gig economy

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pages: 375 words: 88,306

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism by Arun Sundararajan


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, distributed ledger, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, job-hopping, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Lyft, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, Zipcar

Beyond Owyang’s “collaborative economy”—favored over “sharing economy” by the authors Rachel Botsman and Robin Chase, and, somewhat ironically, by OuiShare—writers and thinkers since 2010 have experimented with the use of the terms “gig economy,” “peer economy,” “renting economy,” and “on-demand economy” (the latter deemed most accurate by the venture capitalist Chris Dixon11). A study by Fortune magazine of term usage in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post revealed that “sharing economy” was used five times as frequently as “on-demand economy” and “gig economy” in the first six months of 2015, but that the latter two terms were gaining popularity.12 Before I delve into the intellectual precursors to today’s sharing economy, I’d like to consider the definitions implicit in two influential books that have appeared concurrent with the mainstream emergence of the sharing economy—Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers’s What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption (2010) and Lisa Gansky’s The Mesh (2010)—and look as well at the ideas in Alex Stephany’s more recent book, The Business of Sharing (2015).

I have heard Teran discuss this at two separate events in the second half of 2015: the TAP Conference in New York on October 1, and the White House Summit on Worker Voice, October 7. See an op-ed by Sapone at 6. Mark Warner, “Asking Tough Questions about the Gig Economy,” Washington Post, June 18, 2015. 7. Quoted in Christina Reynolds, “Reality Check: Hillary Clinton and the Sharing Economy,” The Briefing, July 16, 2015. 8. Robert Reich, “The Share-the-Scraps Economy,” Robert Reich, February 2, 2015. 9.

John J Horton, “Should Online Labor Markets Set a Minimum Wage?,” Blog posted October 29, 2011. 16. Decisions and Orders of the National Labor Relations Board, v. 344, December 16, 2004, through August 17, 2005. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office. 17. Mark R. Warner, “Asking Tough Questions about the Gig Economy.” Washington Post, June 18, 2015. 18. ”Common Ground for Independent Workers,” WTF, November 10, 2015, 19. 20.

The Economic Singularity: Artificial intelligence and the death of capitalism by Calum Chace


3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Elon Musk,, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lump of labour, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

If a machine carries out a job, there is no point a human replicating the work it is doing: she will not be paid, so she will have to look for some other way to generate an income. The gig economy We saw in chapter 3.2 how consultants at McKinsey noted that jobs can be analysed into tasks, some of which can be automated with current machine intelligence technology, and some of which cannot. This is an important insight and suggests that jobs will be sliced and diced, with some tasks being automated, and other tasks being retained by the human who previously did the whole job. Some would argue that this process is already under way. Parts of the economies of developed countries are being fragmented, or Balkanised, with more and more people working freelance, carrying out individual tasks which are allocated to them by platforms and apps like Uber and TaskRabbit. There are many words for this phenomenon: the gig economy, the networked economy, the sharing economy, the on-demand economy, the peer-to-peer economy, the platform economy, and the bottom-up economy.

Are the people hired out by these organisations “micro-entrepreneurs” or “instaserfs” - members of a new “precariat”, forced to compete against each other on price for low-end work with no benefits? Are they operating in a network economy or an exploitation economy? Is the sharing economy actually a selfish economy? Whichever side of this debate you come down on, the gig economy is a significant development: a survey by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers found that as many as 7% of US adults were involved in it.[cclxv] But our concern here is not whether the gig economy is a fair one. It is whether it can prevent the automation of jobs by machine intelligence leading to widespread unemployment. The answer to that is surely No: as time goes by, however finely we slice and dice jobs into tasks, more and more of those tasks are vulnerable to automation by machine intelligence as it improves its capabilities at an exponential rate.

The unloading bays at the retail end are also standardised for efficiency: a system which automates the entire unloading process from a truck into the retailer's receiving area is technically feasible today, and with the exponential improvement in robotics and AI, it won't be long before it is economically feasible as well. As we have seen, robots are becoming increasingly flexible, nimble and adaptable. They can also increasingly be remotely operated. Most of the situations a driver could deal with on the open road will soon be within the capabilities of a robot which does not need sleep, food or salary. On the rare occasion when human intervention is needed, the gig economy[ccx] can probably furnish one quickly enough. Once it is economically feasible to replace human drivers with machines, it is a very short step to being economically compelling. Drivers account for 25-35% of the cost of a trucking operation.[ccxi] You can't escape the invisible hand of economics for long. In a free market, once one firm replaces its drivers the rest will have to follow suit, or go out of business.

pages: 323 words: 90,868

The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century by Ryan Avent


3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, means of production, new economy, performance metric,, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, very high income, working-age population

Etsy makes it possible for the person who made a hobby of creating sewing-sampler wall hangings with rock lyrics to find people who want to pay money for just such a product, and perhaps to sell enough as a result to earn a modest income.11 Some analyses suggest that these sorts of niche work could become part of a ‘gig economy’ that provides supplemental income and work for lots of people. That is, as ‘regular’ work, in well-defined jobs for large employers, provides workers with less wage growth and fewer hours, they will increasingly turn to a few hours driving an Uber, or a side business selling craft goods, to top up their income. In time, perhaps, the gig economy could become the regular economy; the flow of earning opportunities could grow large enough that workers could feel secure in their ability to earn a living through piecework. In emerging economies, the gig economy could permit workers to make the leap directly from the poverty of the developing world to full participation in global markets; a handful of residents of Mumbai slums have boosted their incomes tremendously through participation in a programme offered by eBay, which allows them to sell their wares (such as handmade leather goods) to customers around the world rather than to those in nearby Mumbai neighbourhoods.

In emerging economies, the gig economy could permit workers to make the leap directly from the poverty of the developing world to full participation in global markets; a handful of residents of Mumbai slums have boosted their incomes tremendously through participation in a programme offered by eBay, which allows them to sell their wares (such as handmade leather goods) to customers around the world rather than to those in nearby Mumbai neighbourhoods. How powerful could this gig economy become? It is growing every day, though from a very small base. Uber, one of the larger contributors to it, has several hundred thousand drivers worldwide.12 In a global labour force of billions that doesn’t begin to move the needle. Part-time work increased in importance during the economic crisis of 2008–9, but has ebbed as economic conditions have improved. Still, there is indisputably the opportunity for significant growth in the future. The question is whether the gig economy will lead to the suspension of the trilemma. The trilemma implies that to scare up enough consumer demand for ‘gigs’, the price – of the Uber trip or the TaskRabbit errand, for example – must be low.

A suspension of the trilemma means the arrival of a world of hyper-specialization, in which the market-expanding, match-generating power of the web becomes so powerful that most of the world’s billion workers can find themselves a tiny niche that is nonetheless lucrative enough to keep them fed and housed, but which isn’t, in the end, doable with software. We can hold out hope for that odd, intriguing world, but we probably should not hold our breath. The more probable future scenario is one in which new opportunities created by technology – through fracking, or through the disruption of service industries, or through the gig economy – destroy more work than they create, but also reduce the cost of critical goods and services for most consumers. That world has the potential to be a better one, and real standards of living could increase in that world even as pay to workers stagnates. But realizing that world almost certainly implies a significant evolution in societies’ social-safety institutions. As more workers compete for available jobs, wages for people without exceptional skills will stagnate or fall.

pages: 344 words: 94,332

The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Lynda Gratton, Andrew Scott


3D printing, Airbnb, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, diversification, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, falling living standards, financial independence, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, low skilled workers, Lyft, Network effects, New Economic Geography, pattern recognition, pension reform, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, women in the workforce, young professional

In thinking of possible lives for Jane’s 100 years, the flexibility that the ecosystem model offers makes the prospect of self-employment at certain stages a viable option. The technology that connects an individual to companies who want to buy their skills is becoming more global, cheaper and more sophisticated. These connecting platforms are already proliferating, leading to growing commentary about the ‘gig economy’ and the ‘sharing economy’. Technological change reduces information costs and so enables buyers and sellers to find each other more easily as well as determine the reliability and quality of each other from independent sources. The gig economy refers to the idea that there will be a rising number of people earning their income not through full- or part-time employment, but rather through providing a series of specific tasks and commissions to multiple sequential buyers. It’s possible right now to sell your skills through platforms like Upwork, or to make a creative contribution on InnoCentive or Kaggle, which can attract top project work for cash or prize awards.

These platforms will become more significant as large corporations increasingly look to small groups or individuals for their insight and innovation, and small groups look to connect with each other to build scale and reach. Corporations will engage interested individuals and teams with prizes, partner with them for a specific project, or buy them – much as Uber bought the robotics team from Carnegie Mellon. Similar to the gig economy, the sharing economy as a commercial entity provides the promise of a flexible source of income. Through renting out spare room capacity with Airbnb, the most high-profile example, individuals can generate useful income. As well as providing a source of income, we expect these ecosystems will also help people better blend work, leisure and home. As people work more flexibly in small and focused teams where they feel passionate about what they are doing, so the barriers between work and leisure become eroded.

The emergence of Yahoos Although these new stages will be experienced by all ages, right now it is the 18–30-year-olds who are really embracing them. We shouldn’t be surprised by this. After all, Jane’s generation has the greatest need to adapt to longevity and also the greatest flexibility to do so. So it is they who will lead the way in experimentation and the adoption of new stages. Being an explorer, an independent producer and creating a portfolio (for this age group by utilizing the gig economy) will all be actively used and developed. This is an age group that, perhaps more than any other, realizes the value of options and is prepared to work hard to investigate and create them. In financial theory, an option is the right to buy an asset at a fixed price. The longer the period over which an option works, the greater its value. Moreover, the greater the uncertainty around the asset, the greater the value of the option.

pages: 515 words: 132,295

Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business by Rana Foroohar


3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, bank run, Basel III, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour mobility, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vanguard fund

Indeed, the company was at the forefront of the huge hike in executive pay from the 1980s onward. By fomenting constant, ruthless competition within the firm and rewarding those who took big risks for big payoffs, Welch did more than build the sorts of hidden debt bombs that went off so famously during the subprime crisis. He was also instrumental in ending GE’s tradition of secure lifetime employment and creating what might be called the “gig economy,” in which firms could get rid of anyone, even their top people, at any time. Every employee became, in essence, a temp. This again was a shift in which business had come to mirror finance, where service tenures for employees had always been lower (and paydays bigger, as part of the high-risk, high-reward model that worked for the few but not for the many). Tenures at GE and most of the rest of the Fortune 500 companies decreased dramatically from the 1980s onward, a change that Welch lauded.

What’s more, the number of people with access to plans may actually decline in the future, given current labor trends. Many small and mid-size businesses that are creating the majority of new jobs can’t afford to offer retirement benefits, and most freelancers as well as part-time workers at companies of all sizes usually don’t qualify. Yet those are exactly the groups that are growing in number, as the American workforce becomes a “gig” economy in which more and more people work on contract, and often without benefits. The 401(k) system itself may be flawed, but any vehicle for retirement savings is better than none. PENSIONERS VERSUS WALL STREET The failed experiment that is our 401(k) system is just one part of the retirement crisis; the other is the beleaguered defined-benefit pension system (in which individuals retire with a fixed monthly benefit) that serves millions of workers.

pages: 265 words: 69,310

What's Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy by Tom Slee


4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, David Brooks, don't be evil, gig economy, Hacker Ethic, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, ultimatum game, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Zipcar

It suggests exchanges that do not involve money, or that are at least motivated by generosity, by a desire to give or to help. “Economy” suggests market transactions—the self-interested exchange of money for goods or services. There has been a lot of debate about whether “sharing economy” is the right name to use to describe this new wave of businesses, and a raft of other names have been tried out—collaborative consumption, the mesh economy, peer-to-peer platforms, the gig economy, concierge services, or, increasingly, the “on-demand economy.” There is no doubt that the word “sharing” has been stretched beyond reasonable limits as the “sharing economy” has grown and changed, but we still need a name when we talk about the phenomenon. While it may not last more than another year or so, “sharing economy” is the name used right now in 2015. I will use the name, but to avoid repeated use of the word “alleged” or annoyingly frequent scare quotes I will capitalize it as the Sharing Economy.2 Definitions don’t take us very far when talking about something as fluid and rapidly changing as the Sharing Economy, but we still need to draw some boundaries around the topic to talk about it coherently.

pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton


1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk,, Eratosthenes, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, phenotype, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

Hansen, Emergence and Embodiment: New Essays on Second-Order Systems Theory (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009). 77.  Peter Watts, Beyond the Rift (San Francisco: Tachyon Publications, 2013), 9. 78.  James Bridle, “Do You Know This Person?” Render Search, 79.  Sarah Jaffe, “Silicon Valley's Gig Economy Is Not the Future of Work—It's Driving Down Wages,” Guardian, July 23, 2014, 80.  When I was a youngster, my dislike for the Canadian rock band Rush was confirmed by the song “Red Barchetta,” about a guy who drives around in his muscle car in defiance of climate and pollution laws. Today, Johnny Dronehunter protects normatively masculine white guys from the emasculating influence of “drones” (and “technology” in general we assume) by zooming around inside his big metal box and shooting at things in the sky.

pages: 602 words: 177,874

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman


3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, centre right, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra

“I can hire a thousand graders in a week from around the world,” said Thrun, “try them out, find the two hundred best, and let the other eight hundred go.” It is a fast way to get high quality. There are Udacity freelance graders who make several thousand dollars a month grading computing projects—like how to build a map from Google’s GPS—sent in from students around the world. “We had one project grader who made twenty-eight thousand dollars one month,” said Thrun. “The gig economy is moving up. It’s not just about TaskRabbit errands anymore.” And Udacity is not just providing intelligent assistance for companies such as AT&T. Its platform is creating intelligent assistance for “the start-up of you”—whoever and wherever you are. In the fall of 2015, I found myself in a small conference room at Udacity’s Palo Alto headquarters interviewing—via Skype—Ghada Sleiman, a thirty-year-old Lebanese woman, who was taking Udacity’s online course to advance her skills in Web-page design.

Olin Foundation Gaffney, Owen Gallup Galor, Oded Galston, Bill Galván, Arturo Gambia Garber, Jake Garten, Jeffrey Gates, Bill Gates Foundation gays, gay rights; violence against Gaznay, Karwan GDP (gross domestic product); Internet penetration and Gebbia, Joe gender equality gene drives gene editing, as weapon General Electric (GE); Additive Manufacturing Lab of; engineering-design contests of; Niskayuna research center of General Mills generative design genetic engineering genetics, human manipulation of geopolitics: climate change and; Cold War in, see Cold War; foreign aid in; innovation in; interdependence in; post–Cold War; post–World War I; post–World War II; U.S. hegemony in geopolitics, post–post–Cold War era in: accelerated pace of; ADD (amplify, deter, degrade) policy in; breakers in, see breakers, super-empowered; climate change and; great-power competition in; innovation in; interdependence in; low-wage jobs in; weak states in, see weak states Georgia Tech gerrymandering Get Smart (TV series) Ghana Ghonim, Wael ghost apps GI Bill gig economy Gil, Dario Gilhousen, Klein GitHub Global Change and the Earth System (Steffen, et al.) global flows; bandwidth and; destructive aspects of; developing world and; digitalization of; education and; human relationships and; infrastructure and; innovation and; Internet of Things and; the Market and; as percentage of world GDP; population growth and; power of; push vs. pull in; social technologies and; supernova and; weak states and; see also connectivity, advances in globalization: acceleration of; Moore’s law and; traditional definition of; see also Market, the global warming, see climate change Go God: cyberspace and; Jewish postbiblical view of Goldberg, Jay Golden Globes Golden Rule Goldwasser, Lesley golf, author and Golf Digest Goodwin, Tom Google; MapReduce of; proprietary systems of; search engine of; self-driving cars of Google Apps Google File System (GFS) Google Maps Google News Google Photos Gorbachev, Mikhail Gorbis, Marina Gordon, John Steele Gordon, Robert Gorman, Michael Governing the World (Mazower) Government Accountability Office GPS Grantham, Jeremy Great Acceleration; see also age of accelerations Great Barrier Reef Great Britain; EU exit of Great Depression “Great Green Wall” Great Recession of 2008 Greece “Green Corps” Greenland, ice sheets of Grinstein, Gidi Gross, Susan GSM (Global System for Mobile) Guardian Guatemala gun reform Hadoop Hagel, John, III Hagstrom, Jane Pratt Haick, Hossam Haidt, Jonathan Haigazian University Hang, MayKao Y.

pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen


3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

Fitzgerald and Erica Orden, “Airbnb Gets Subpoena for User Data in New York,” Wall Street Journal, October 7, 2013; and Elizabeth A. Harris, “The Airbnb Economy in New York: Lucrative but Often Unlawful,” New York Times, November 4, 2013. 16 Alexia Tsotsis, “TaskRabbit Gets $13M from Founders Fund and Others to ‘Revolutionize the World’s Labor Force,’” TechCrunch, July 23, 2012. 17 Brad Stone, “My Life as a TaskRabbit,” Bloomberg Businessweek, September 13, 2012. 18 Sarah Jaffe, “Silicon Valley’s Gig Economy Is Not the Future of Work—It’s Driving Down Wages,” Guardian, July 23, 2014. 19 Guy Standing, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (Bloomsbury Academic, 2001). 20 Natasha Singer, “In the Sharing Economy, Workers Find Both Freedom and Uncertainty,” New York Times, August 16, 2014. 21 George Packer, “Change the World,” New Yorker, May 27, 2013,

pages: 366 words: 94,209

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff


3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar

That’s because the conflict here is not really between San Francisco residents and Google employees or the 99 percent and the 1 percent. It’s not even stressed-out employees against the companies they work for or the unemployed against Wall Street so much as everyone—humanity itself—against a program that promotes growth above all else. We are caught in a growth trap. This is the problem with no name or face, the frustration so many feel. It is the logic driving the jobless recovery, the low-wage gig economy, the ruthlessness of Uber, and the privacy invasions of Facebook. It is the mechanism that undermines both businesses and investors, forcing them to compete against players with digitally inflated poker chips. It’s the pressure rendering CEOs powerless to prioritize the sustainability of their enterprises over the interests of impatient shareholders. It is the unidentified culprit behind the news headlines of economic crises from the Greek default to skyrocketing student debt.