Summary of “The Future of Human Work Is Imagination, Creativity, and Strategy”

Their findings so far seem to conclude that the more technical the work, the more technology can accomplish it.
It’s only natural for them to ask, “Am I next? How many more days will I be employed here?” Venture capitalist Bruce Gibney explains it this way: “Jobs may not seem like ‘existential’ problems, but they are: When people cannot support themselves with work at all – let alone with work they find meaningful – they clamor for sharp changes. Not every revolution is a good revolution, as Europe has discovered several times. Jobs provide both material comfort and psychological gratification, and when these goods disappear, people understandably become very upset.”
The wise corporate leader will realize that post-technology trauma falls along two lines: how to integrate the new technology into the work flow, and how to cope with feelings that the new technology is somehow “The enemy.” Without dealing with both, even the most automated workplace could easily have undercurrents of anxiety, if not anger.
Rethink What Your Workforce Can Do. Technology will replace some work, but it doesn’t have to replace the people who have done that work.
Economist James Bessen notes, “The problem is people are losing jobs and we’re not doing a good job of getting them the skills and knowledge they need to work for the new jobs.”
A study in Australia found a silver lining in the automation of bank tellers’ work: “While ATMs took over a lot of the tasks these tellers were doing, it gave existing workers the opportunity to upskill and sell a wider ranges of financial services.”
Such new thinking will generate a whole new human resource development agenda, one quite probably emphasizing those innate human capacities that can provide a renewed strategy for success that is both technological and human.
We can choose to use AI and other emerging technologies to replace human work, or we can choose to use them to augment it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How To Teach Your Brain Something It Won’t Forget A Week Later”

Well, because that’s not how your brain likes to absorb information.
As brain scientists have dug into how learning really works, they’ve discovered that massed practice only leads to remembering things over the short term.
It’s a fine strategy for when you’re learning something you don’t really care about.
With a little more planning and foresight, you can tap into that cognitive phenomenon to take better advantage of how your brain actually works.
“We measure experiment participants’ brain activity while they’re learning, trying to take in the information, and then ask them to rest,” Davachi says of her research.
“We see there is a footprint of what was happening during the learning; the brain continues to rehearse the prior information.” Davachi has found that participants whose brains show more replay during that rest period do better on recall tests later.
“Your brain is doing your work for you while you’re doing other tasks,” she adds.
The good news is that your brain is already built to acquire and store information that way, just as long you space out the learning process from the outset.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Do you work more than 39 hours a week? Your job could be killing you”

Long hours, stress and physical inactivity are bad for our wellbeing – yet we’re working harder than ever.
Memories were still fresh of Moritz Erhardt, the 21-year-old London intern who died after working 72 hours in a row at Bank of America.
Technology was supposed to liberate us from much of the daily slog, but has often made things worse: in 2002, fewer than 10% of employees checked their work email outside of office hours.
Last week, 15,000 workers called a strike, demanding a 28-hour work week with unchanged pay and conditions.
Science is on their side: research from the Australian National University recently found that working anything over 39 hours a week is a risk to wellbeing.
Is there a healthy and acceptable level of work? According to US researcher Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, most modern employees are productive for about four hours a day: the rest is padding and huge amounts of worry.
Because there is a danger that merely reducing working hours will not change much, when it comes to health, if jobs are intrinsically disenfranchising.
In order to make jobs more conducive to our mental and physiological welfare, much less work is definitely essential.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Network Uber Drivers Built”

As a technology ethnographer, writer, and researcher, I’ve joined driver forums, interviewed over 100 drivers, and made observations with over 400 drivers on the road across 25 cities in the U.S. and Canada.
Passengers were being charged a higher fare than drivers were being paid, in a controversial pricing scheme that Uber calls “up-front pricing”: The company charges riders when they book a ride by guessing what a trip will cost, but it calculates a driver’s pay based on the actual miles and minutes they drive.
Recently, Uber added a feature for drivers to give Uber feedback at any time in the app.
A screenshot from one of the drivers participating in the experiment-showing how Uber was charging select drivers to work at a premium through a promotional Halloween offer-became visible to non-study participants across the country, thanks to several forums.
Some cautioned other drivers not to fall for it, as though it was a trick for Uber to profit directly from drivers, or even a type of spam.
As a steady stream of articles about Uber and occasionally Lyft circulate among drivers on forums, that reporting flows to drivers outside of forums, too.
Kofi, an Uber and Lyft driver I interviewed in Washington, D.C., was appalled when he learned first from the media last month-rather than directly from his employer-that hackers had gained access to his personal data and that of 57 million Uber drivers and passengers from around the world last year, such as their names, email addresses, and mobile phone numbers.
In Montréal, Québec, where Uber drivers operated illegally before ride-hail work became legal, drivers showed me the Zello chats they used to update each other on the whereabouts of the transportation police, or hostile cab drivers in the legitimate workforce who tried to intimidate or even attack them.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Impatience: The Pitfall Of Every Ambitious Person”

That’s not what most people do in prosperous times.
What’s even better, we make poor decisions without reading a single book on investing or without getting advice from knowledgeable people.
When you want to learn skills and do good work, impatience is one of your biggest enemies.
Every time he worked on a project, he reminded himself that he would approach his work with the same vigor and tenacity that he always showed.
If your work is not hard, you’re not doing great work.
That’s a perfect way to measure your own work on a daily basis.
Only the people who work hard and try to make an impact do.
That’s the only way we can do truly great work.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Automation Will Change Work, Purpose, and Meaning”

The vast majority of humans throughout history worked because they had to.
Many found comfort, value, and meaning in their efforts, but some defined work as a necessity to be avoided if possible.
The promise of AI and automation raises new questions about the role of work in our lives.
Most of us will remain focused for decades to come on activities of physical or financial production, but as technology provides services and goods at ever-lower cost, human beings will be compelled to discover new roles – roles that aren’t necessarily tied to how we conceive of work today.
As we unmoor from traditional pursuits, how will we avoid a nihilistic, Huxlian future? How will we define our own sense of purpose, meaning, and value?
We can explore this question through the work of philosopher, historian, and journalist Hannah Arendt, who in the 1950s designed a far-reaching framework for understanding all of human activity.
In The Human Condition, a beautiful, challenging, profound work, Arendt describes three levels of what she defines, after the Greeks, as the Vita Activa.
Labor generates metabolic necessities – the inputs, such as food, that sustain human life.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Inside One of America’s Last Pencil Factories”

The basement, where workers process charcoal, is a universe of absolute gray: gray shirts, gray hands, gray machines swallowing gray ingredients.
Pencil cores emerge from the machines like fresh pasta, smooth and wet, ready to be cut into different lengths and dried before going into their wooden shells.
He captures the strangeness of seeing a tool as simple as a pencil disassembled into its even simpler component parts.
Heaps of pencil cores wait piled against a concrete wall, like an arsenal of gray spaghetti.
Hundreds of pencils sit stacked in honeycomb towers.
Wood shavings fly as fresh pencils are dragged across the sharpening machine, a wheel of fast-spinning sandpaper.
In an era of infinite screens, the humble pencil feels revolutionarily direct: It does exactly what it does, when it does it, right in front of you.
Yet when you hold a pencil, your quietest little hand-dances are mapped exactly, from the loops and slashes to the final dot at the very end of a sentence.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Most Millionaires Created Their Own Luck by Taking These 4 Approaches”

Improve yourself outside of work skills to help improve yourself overall.
What you invest in helps determine whom you become, which in turn determines the quality of spouse, parent, or worker you are and even the level of happiness you’ll have.
To become a success, distill what you consume only to things that help you become better at work and life.
If you’re working, you might as well be learning along the way.
Most people trapped in working just to earn money find themselves disgruntled and unsatisfied.
Contemplate what you need to do so you spend only a portion of your time on actual work.
In our modern age, this breeds a world where busy work reigns supreme and the appearance of working equals success.
It’s about cultivating a mindset where more than just the hard work matters.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Psychology of Inequality”

Keith Payne, a psychologist, remembers the exact moment when he learned he was poor.
Payne didn’t pay for meals-his family’s income was low enough that he qualified for free school lunch-and normally the cashier just waved him through.
“Unlike the rigid columns of numbers that make up a bank ledger, status is always a moving target, because it is defined by ongoing comparisons to others,” Payne writes.
The experiment, Payne contends, “Provided the first evidence that inequality itself can cause risky behavior.”
“Feeling disadvantaged magnified their perception of racial differences,” Payne writes.
Some are more convincing than others, and, not infrequently, Payne’s inferences seem to run ahead of the data.
Rachel Sherman is a professor of sociology at the New School, and, like Payne, she studies inequality.
As Payne points out, Thomas Jefferson, living at Monticello without hot water or overhead lighting, would, by the standards of contemporary America, be considered “Poorer than the poor.” No doubt inequity, which, by many accounts, is a precondition for civilization, has been a driving force behind the kinds of innovations that have made indoor plumbing and electricity, not to mention refrigeration, central heating, and Wi-Fi, come, in the intervening centuries, to seem necessities in the U.S. Still, there are choices to be made.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Future of Work, a History”

New technology usually meant labor-saving devices, from the mechanical reaper to the dishwashing machine.
The imposing new factories that initially sprang up seemed to prove that the machines only made jobs.
“If men have the talent to invent machines that put men out of work, they have the talent to put those men back to work,” President Kennedy proclaimed in 1962.
After a three-year study of 19 firms that adopted electronic data processing, she reported that executives and workers alike were left disoriented, and the new computer jobs created by these new machines were grim: New key-punch operators felt they were “Chained to the machine,” in “a dead-end occupation with no promotional opportunities,” Hoos wrote.
Johnson’s own secretary of labor, W. Willard Wirtz, concurred that the new, thinking machines now had “Skills equivalent to a high school diploma,” and that they would soon take over the service industry.
Johnson used these burgeoning concerns to do more or less what he had planned to do anyway: continue in the New Deal tradition of liberal optimism with an enhanced program of education, job training, human rights, more massive infrastructure programs, and provisions for the sick, the elderly and the infirm.
In the past decade, as our economy collapsed, then languished, and as computers and robots reached whole new levels of ability, fears about just what we will all do in the very near future have returned with a vengeance, producing a flurry of books, articles and speeches.
Whatever we decide to do, it is next to impossible to imagine government stepping up and responding to economic change with the sorts of massive public works projects, social work programs and education subsidies that marked the New Deal and the Great Society.

The orginal article.