7 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. You have to be right that the best society is one where people get ahead by being good at things that are worth doing.

      Quote from Daniel Markovitz

      This does raise the point of whether or not some of the things elites are doing is actually good or productive for society. Many are only working at privatizing profits and socializing losses which can be phenomenally caustic to society as well.

  2. May 2021
    1. I worked on a recent project to sketch out for a centre-right German think-tank how a European data commons might work. I tried to steer it away from property rights and towards what you’d get if you started with the commons and then worked back to what data could be harnessed, and to which collective purposes. This is eminently do-able, and pushes you towards two distinct areas; groups of people who are served poorly or not at all by current data regimes, and existing cooperatives, unions and mutual societies who could collect and process their members’ data to improve collective bargaining, or licence access to it to generate revenue and boost affiliate membership. Viewing personal data as a collective asset points towards all sorts of currently under-provided public goods (I briefly describe several, on p. 74 here – yes, oddly enough, this stuff got shoved into an annex).

      Apparently lots of reading to catch up on here.

      I definitely like the idea of starting with the commons and working backwards, not only with respect to data, but with respect to most natural resources. This should be the primary goal of governments and the goal should be to prevent private individuals and corporations from privatizing profits and socializing the losses.

      Think of an individual organism in analogy to a country or even personkind. What do we call a group of cells that grows without check and consumes all the resources? (A cancer). The organism needs each cell and group of cells to work together for the common good. We can't have a group of cis-gender white men aggregating all the power and resources for themselves at the cost of the rest otherwise they're just a cancer on humanity.

    1. banning DDT also seemed ludicrous until it wasn’t.

      And even with the ban, we can find dumped barrels nearly 60 years later which become problematic: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/28/us/ddt-barrels-california.html

    2. There’s many examples around the world of communities banding together to collectively govern a shared resource, like forestry, grazing grounds, and wells.

      If we all take action to do these things collectively, then it isn't a "tax" on any individual or corporation.

    3. The thing about common goods like public health, though, is that there’s only so much individual actions can achieve without a collective response that targets systemic problems. While we owe a duty of care to one another, it’s not enough for all of us to be willing to wear masks if there’s no contact tracing, no paid sick leave, no medical manufacturing and distribution capacity, no international sharing of vaccine research. And it’s not enough for each of us to be individually vigilant about our information if unscrupulous trackers are gathering up data we didn’t even know we were shedding, or if law enforcement is buying up that data on the private market to use for surveillance purposes none of us ever consented to.

      This example underlines that as a society we need better collective responses to many things which not only improves the lives individuals, but of society as a whole.

      A rising tide lifts all boats should be a government mantra rather than the more typical libertarian or republican responses of each person on their own. Without society and cohesion, neither individuals nor corporations can succeed, so let them carry more of the share that's due rather than externalizing all the costs.

    1. This is another great example of companies attempting to privatize profits and socialize the losses, or in this case pass along the losses and lost productivity to their employees (or as described here their independent contractors).

      Why can't they do some of the hard "technology" work and solve the problem of helping their workers become dramatically more productive?

  3. Jan 2021
    1. For example, the notion of the workplace as a family is a refrain in offices but it is most explicit for nannies.

      Too often corporations use the idea that the workplace is a "family", but when times get tough, we don't abandon our families the same way that corporations will summarily fire their employees to try to survive themselves without any real thought about their supposed "family members".