Slee is an extremely well-informed skeptic who presents a satisfyingly blistering critique of high tech’s disingenuous equating of sharing with profiteering.To read the rest of the review, visit CounterPunch.
To read the rest of the interview, visit Vice.
The sharing economy can, in a certain way, be seen as an extension of companies finding ways not to pay people their full value. That also takes form in unpaid internships and using independent contractors instead of full-time employees. It's always been a left-wing ideal that all are entitled to a universal basic income, that we as a collective have a responsibility to make sure everyone at least has something. That idea is now being taken up by Silicon Valley, which would claim its services help people provide themselves with that universal basic income, without actually paying it to them. I think Silicon Valley is going to take that idea and see how far it can run with it.
Laurance Friend: What would you consider the highlights of your life as a writer? What keeps you writing? Michael J. Seidlinger: The elusiveness of a good idea. I’m always brainstorming, looking for possibilities. Inspiration keeps me writing. A great idea decides the way. As a writer, I need to feel every word or else, there’s no point. If it doesn’t feel right, or feel like anything, it shouldn’t exist. Never waste a word.To read the rest of the interview, visit Bizarro Central.
To watch the full interview, visit Bloomberg.
One of the big secrets of Silicon Valley in the '70s and '80s was that it combined so much money, so much power, so much idealism, so much technical creativity, and a complete ignorance of its own will to power.
[My Turn] it makes a simple, important point very effectively: that there is, and always has been, a distinctive whiff of cronyism and dishonesty about the way Hillary Clinton does politics.To read the rest of the review, visit OpenDemocracy.
Would Clinton actually be a good president? No, argues Doug Henwood in his book My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency. As Daniel Davies observes, it provides a brief, reasonable survey of the case against returning Clinton to the presidency, free of the right-wing dreck clogging up the internet. The whole book is worth reading, but the main argument can be grouped under three headings.To read the rest of the review, visit The Week.
Nadia Idle: Was it worth it? And why? @TheAlexandrian: Well, that really depends on your time horizon. Any wholesale societal shifts of the sort that we witnessed across the region five years ago will naturally involve a period of adjustment before a new equilibrium is reached. This period will naturally come with quite a bit of difficulty. Even in the region’s lone “success story” Tunisia, consternation and unease remain high. At any given point in recent years, one could look to the continued repression, economic stagnation, and security breakdowns across Egypt and conclude that all this was assuredly not worth it. Yet, without minimising the real toll felt by everyday Egyptians, what we are seeing is the growing pains that generally attend to the breakdown of authoritarian rule. It will likely take a generation to pass before we can meaningfully assess whether the current tumult was truly worthwhile.To read the rest of the article, visit Red Pepper.
To read the rest of the review, visit Guernica.
In Bowie I hear a voice crying in the wilderness. Really. He is this plaintive voice which feels radically alone, commanded by a black star. That’s what’s coming for all of us, and that’s the sign that hovers over all of Bowie’s work. It’s only when that black sun of melancholy and depression is exerting its force most strongly that the counter movement could be felt. That is the apparent paradox of his work.
To read the rest of the review, visit The Wall Street Journal.
Artificial intelligence is evolving quickly and bringing us to the edge of science fiction’s most dystopian dreams. But will machine intelligence soon beget actual consciousness? Scientist and human-factors engineer Andrew Smart thinks that possibility is a long way off—and that we will not have created a truly intelligent machine unless it’s capable of tripping on LSD (or the machine equivalent). In this wild but learned ramble Dr. Smart draws on neuroscience and chemistry, enlightenment philosophers and Steve Jobs, and just about everything in between.
To read the rest of the interview, visit The Register.
Of course there are some areas of over-regulation. But thousands of cities around the world have independently decided that regulating taxis is needed, and it’s worth thinking why that is so. One reason is universality; another is transparency and consistency in fares; another is to give drivers an income. There are lots of problems with taxi services, but these underlying causes don’t go away with Uber. After-expense incomes for drivers are now on a race to the bottom, churn in the driver base is high. And personally I do think taxes matter, and avoiding them by using complex routing of funds through subsidiaries as Uber and Airbnb do is one more thing that needs to be stopped.
To read the rest of the article, visit ARTINFO.
I want to say something contradictory here. On the one hand Bowie has to be understood in a tradition of musical theater, which I think is Brechtian, and has to be understood in a tradition of contemporary art. I think Bowie should be spoken of in the same breath as Marcel Duchamp. And he worked in all these different media, and his influence is incalculable across all these domains. All of this is true. But if all of that existed, if all of that artifice existed without the songs, we wouldn’t be talking about him now. He was good at all these different things, but he was really, really good at making songs. And it’s those songs that stand up, and they form a coherent body of work for a number of reasons. But maybe it’s just because they’re really good [laughs]. They’re able to register with people in this incredibly powerful way. His fate was to be a pop star because that was the medium in which he could work in that particular historical period. If he was around now who knows what he might be.