where i feel like the whole approach is wrong. not just on the level of words, and maybe not even the political analysis, but like something broader
In the event that something a person says or does contributes even minutely to a database that allows, say, a machine language translation algorithm, or a market prediction algorithm, to perform a task, then a nanopayment, proportional both to the degree of contribution and the resultant value, will be due to the person.
this is literally impossible to do well (by any measure) and i feel like i'm having a stroke just thinking about this. i don't even know how to express the degree to which this proposal makes no sense
Algorithmic, market-based solutions to wages in on-demand labor markets provide a potentially interesting alternative to minimum-wage mandates as a way to increase worker incomes. Rather than cracking down on the new online gig economy businesses to make them more like twentieth-century businesses, regulators should be asking traditional low-wage employers to provide greater marketplace liquidity via data sharing. The skills required to work at McDonald’s and Burger King are not that dissimilar; ditto Starbucks and Peet’s, Walmart and Target, or the AT&T and Verizon stores. Letting workers swap shifts or work on demand at competing employers would obviously require some changes to management infrastructure, training, and data sharing between employers. But given that most scheduling is handled by standard software platforms, and that payroll is also handled by large outsourcers, many of whom provide services to the same competing employers, this seems like an intriguingly solvable problem.
[...] the rise of intangibles might be expected to increase inequality both of wealth and income. Increasingly intangible intensive firms will need better staff to create synergy with their other intangible assets: better managers, better movie stars, better sports heroes. Firms will screen them more thoroughly and pay them more handsomely. [...]
so many normative assumptions concealed within the word "better". better at what? at extracting rent? and what the fuck does screening them more "thoroughly" mean? like putting up more and more arbitrary barriers to make managers feel like they're prestigious and selective and only hire the "best"?
[...] adult education provides people with option value. It may also help mitigate some of the problems of inequality we described in chapter 6: to the extent that the growth of intangibles disadvantages those with poor skills and makes some skills obsolete, the availability of training offers a way of redressing the imbalance.
I think he’s wrong on this, but we’re talking about fossil fuels now. Oil and coal are capital, he says, and we need to leave that capital in the ground. We should not mine it, sell it, buy it, or burn it. But people already own it. A journalist recently observed, he says, that the last time we walked away from an accumulation of capital this significant was Emancipation.
this quote epitomizes everything that's both interesting and annoying about the book. on the one hand, there is kind of a good point (though made by someone else) but it's left to wilt. the author doesn't add anything. it's supposed to just stand there on its own. similar to jenny offill, but somehow more annoying. is her point that it takes a civil war to do this? that the only way to abandon capital is through violence? if so, she doesn't really support it or foreshadow it elsewhere in this section. and if not, what the hell is her point?
I sip my tea, imagining rich people drowning in the very water I’m drinking, though most of the dead, I know, were third class. I think of the odd pleasure I took in that scene in the movie where water floods the ballroom and roils up the grand staircase. It was the pleasure of seeing wealth come to ruin. A pleasure that lives, strangely, right next to the pleasures of wealth.
another section that pisses me off. like why can't she be more strident and interesting here? why can't she advance an actual point? are we supposed to just assume that she has said something novel or thoughtful?
He inches towards me, eyes soft-closed and lips squeezed into a kissy pout. He believes his words in this moment, I believe that. But his is the fleeting belief of a moment, and it will pass. As soon as new fancy strikes, the next adventure. I understand. It’s the impulse of a boy who himself understands, in his flesh and bones and blood and skin, that he was born to helm this great nation – upon which the sun has never set. Not yet. It’s bright, now. And the sky is impossibly blue. He’s himself again. Here. At home, and rendered in sharp contrast to me. But without this place, without that contrast –
what the fuck are you talking about
She appears in the mirror next to me: younger, blond hair, bright blue eyes, glowing tan, the next generation of tech, the embodiment of the Valley, radiating probiotics and spirulina. Her name is Cat or Julie or Jennifer or Lindsay. I can never keep the new girls from Sales straight.
i don't like this. it feels unjustified in its cruelty