Summary of “From rust belt to robot belt: Turning AI into jobs in the US heartland”

There is no sillier-or more disingenuous-debate in the tech community than the one over whether robots and AI will destroy jobs or, conversely, create a great abundance of new ones.
In one of the first attempts to quantify the impact of industrial robots, research by Daron Acemoglu at MIT and his colleagues, based on data from 1990 to 2007, found that for every robot on the factory floor, some six jobs are lost.
That means as many as 670,000 jobs for the years that they looked at, and as many as 1.5 million jobs at 2016 levels of robot usage in the US. Automation is changing work.
Gauging the net gain or loss of jobs due to robotics and AI is a tricky business.
“The alarmists’ is that this time is different and it will destroy jobs. The truth is it’s capable of doing both.” Though in the past the economic benefits from new technologies have always been enough to create more jobs than were lost, he says, “Lately, for a variety of reasons, there has been a much more job-destroying face to technology.”
Part of what he’s describing is the so-called productivity paradox: while big data, automation, and AI should in theory be making businesses more productive, boosting the economy and creating more jobs to offset the ones being lost, this hasn’t happened.
On tech unemployment: “I’m of the view that we’re not headed for sustained technological unemployment. In a market economy, wages adjust over time and people will find jobs. The question is not the number of jobs but the quality of jobs. Will they provide livelihood levels and opportunities comparable to livelihoods and opportunities of the jobs lost through automation? This worries me.”
As a country, we’re struggling to imagine how to build an economy with plenty of good jobs around AI and automation.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Paisley Park, Prince’s Lonely Palace”

Three years later, it was real: in 1987, Prince built a sixty-five-thousand-square-foot, ten-million-dollar recording complex in Chanhassen, Minnesota, and called it Paisley Park.
On April 21, 2016, Prince collapsed and died in an elevator at Paisley Park.
One of the highlights of the tour is a chance to play Ping-Pong at Prince’s own table, where he often beat his guests-including Michael Jackson, who visited Paisley Park in 1986, while Prince was working on the film “Under the Cherry Moon,” the follow-up to “Purple Rain.” Prince mercilessly taunted the hapless Jackson, who had never played Ping-Pong before.
“He didn’t have close friends.” Alan Leeds, who was Prince’s tour manager for much of the nineteen-eighties, and briefly ran Paisley Park Records, said that it was Prince’s need for total control that drove him to build Paisley Park.
Paisley Park presents Prince only as a visionary-not as a father, a husband, a friend, or a son.
Prince built monuments to himself in his own home, during his lifetime! He had even tested out the museum concept, periodically opening Paisley Park for guided tours.
Although Prince’s estate has disregarded some of his preferences-his discography is now available on Spotify, a platform he pulled his music from in 2015, in part because he believed that the company didn’t compensate artists properly-there’s something profound about how Paisley Park insists on maintaining Prince’s privacy.
Visiting Paisley Park now evokes a similar sensation-of being near Prince, but never quite with him.

The orginal article.

Summary of “In a world of digital nomads, we will all be made homeless”

The basic deal is simple enough: you can either pay to put your laptop wherever there is space, or stump up a little more for a more dependable desk or entire office – and, in either case, take advantage of the fact that, with operations in 20 countries, WeWork offers the chance to traverse the planet and temporarily set up shop in no end of locations.
As the working day winds on and such distractions – along with the necessity of meeting other footloose hotshots, and comparing “Projects” – take up more of your time, a couple of questions might spring to mind: what is work, and what is leisure? And does the distinction even count for much any more?
If accommodation is proving hard to find, you need company, and your life as a freelance means you have no permanent workplace where you can meet like-minded people, here is a solution: a range of tiny studio flats and slightly bigger dwellings, built around communal areas, kitchens and laundrettes – in the same building as WeWork office space.
Miguel McKelvey, one of the company’s two founders, has said that the idea is partly aimed at people who are “Always working or always semi-working”.
For upwards of $500 a week, such people can now wander around the world, mixing life and work – “Two activities that quickly become indistinguishable within Roam’s confines”, as the New York Times put it.
More generally, the need for a distinction between work and downtime should enter the political vocabulary as a fundamental right, and the organisations dedicated to trying to enforce it – most notably, the network of small freelance unions that are dotted across Europe and the US – need to be encouraged and assisted.
We all know the modern rules: millions of people have to leave where they grew up to find even halfway dependable work; and they find that creating any kind of substitute home somewhere new is impossible.
The idea is apparently to put WeGrow schools in WeWork properties across the world, so digital nomads can carry their disorientated offspring from place to place, and ensure they have just as flimsy an idea of home as their parents do.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Leader’s Calendar”

On top of that, the CEO must be the internal and external face of the organization through good times and bad. CEOs, of course, have a great deal of help and resources at their disposal.
A CEO’s schedule is a manifestation of how the leader leads and sends powerful messages to the rest of the organization.
In the study each CEO’s executive assistant was trained to code the CEO’s time in 15-minute increments, 24 hours a day and seven days a week, and to regularly verify that coding with the CEO. The resulting data set reveals where, how, and with whom the CEO spent his or her time and on what activities, topics, and tasks.
On the basis of these discussions and those with the hundreds of other CEOs in our workshops, we are convinced that every leader can improve his or her time management.
Finally, we will reflect on what our rich data reveals about the overall role of the CEO. A CEO has to simultaneously manage multiple dimensions of influence, which all contain dualities, or seeming contradictions, that effective CEOs must integrate.
Keeping time allocation aligned with CEOs’ top priorities is so crucial that we suggest that every quarter CEOs make a point of looking back at whether their schedule for the previous period adequately matched up with their personal agenda.
Should the CEO follow up with that person right away to make sure everything is OK? Should the CEO just wait and let the team member cool off? Sometimes emerging problems seem small at first but balloon into larger distractions if the CEO doesn’t attend to them.
Though the CEO’s presence can be important, overseeing and managing such work does not require the CEO and can be delegated to direct reports, for whom it is motivational and provides professional development opportunities.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Smarter, Not Harder: How to Succeed at Work”

We each have 96 energy blocks each day to spend however we’d like.
Using this energy blocking system will ensure you’re spending each block wisely to make the most progress on your most important goals.
Think of your day as having 96 blocks of energy, with each block being a 15-minute chunk of time.
Not all of those blocks are direct productivity blocks – they can’t be unless we’re androids.
Sleeping for eight hours uses 32 blocks of your 96-block day.
That leaves 32 blocks for you to apply your energy toward keeping your job and doing something amazing.
If you get enough sleep, the other 64 blocks are amplified.
When it comes to the 32 blocks of work time you have to allocate, everything that’s not on your top-three list should be dropped.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Tesla workers say they pay the price for Elon Musk’s big promises”

In conversations with more than 10 current and former Tesla employees over the past month, workers described the consequences of having a boss whose bombastic promises – to shareholders, to customers and to them – frequently go unfulfilled.
A Tesla spokesman said that Musk had met with injured workers “Many times” and worked on the assembly line “Many times” and provided the names of 10 workers that they said could attest to this.
Of the 10 workers whose names Tesla provided, the Guardian was able to reach four, including Guajardo.
Ortiz, an outspoken supporter of a unionization drive at the factory, argued that even if Musk had performed every injured workers’ job, it’s unlikely the experience would have helped the CEO truly understand the challenges and dangers of the work.
To one worker, an immigrant who started at Tesla in 2017, the contrast between what Musk promises and what he does is indicative of a lack of “Principles”.
A third Tesla worker, a US army veteran, concurred that telling people to have a “Thick skin” had become the “Dismissive philosophy” of Tesla’s management, adding that he had heard workers “Outright call people the N-word with little to no repercussions”.
Whatever Musk’s intent, the words were interpreted as an insult by some of the hundreds of factory workers Tesla hires through subcontracted staffing agencies.
In recent months, three lawsuits have been filed against Tesla alleging that the company is violating California labor laws by, among other things, failing to provide workers with legally mandated breaks.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to spot a perfect fake: the world’s top art forgery detective”

The authenticity of four, in particular, including the Cranach, has been contested; the art historian Bendor Grosvenor said they may turn out to be “The best old master fakes the world has ever seen.” Ruffini, who remains the subject of a French police investigation, has denied presenting these paintings as old masters at all.
Prof David Ekserdjian, one of the few art historians who doubted that the painting was a Parmigianino, said he just didn’t feel the prickle of recognition that scholars claim as their gift: the intimacy with an artist that they liken to our ability to spot a friend in a crowd.
Over the past two decades, Martin has also become the art world’s foremost forensic art detective.
On the sliding scale of attribution that art historians use – painted by; hand of; studio of; circle of; style of; copy of – each step takes the artist further from the painting.
Wolfgang Beltracchi, a German artist who served three years in prison for forging paintings worth $45m, surveyed the chemical elements in his works by running them under X-ray fluorescence guns – the same handheld devices, resembling Star Trek phasers, that many art fairs now train upon their exhibits.
Georgina Adam, who wrote Dark Side of the Boom, a book about the art market’s excesses, told me that many forgers are sensibly choosing to falsify 20th-century painters, who used paints and canvases that can still be obtained, and whose abstractions are easier to imitate.
In 2013, investigators learned that the forgeries had been painted by a Chinese immigrant, who was by then 73 years old, in his garage in Queens, and placed with Knoedler by an art dealer who pleaded guilty.
The world of today, the world in which the forgery is being created, is likely to fix itself in some form within the painting – as radioactive dust, perhaps, or as cat hair, or a stray polypropylene fibre.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Your Flex Work Culture Doesn’t Help Employees If It Hurts Their Careers”

The prevailing assumption is that working mothers are the ones who want and need flexibility at work.
To be sure, many working mothers still shoulder the daunting double shift of full-time work and primary child care responsibilities, and many likely want jobs that give them more flexibility to juggle these important responsibilities.
In two studies, recently published in Sociological Perspectives and Community, Work, & Family, we examined how workplace flexibility bias – employees’ belief that people at their workplace are unlikely to get ahead if they take leave or work flexibly – affects people’s engagement at work, their intentions to stay or leave their jobs, their ability to balance their work and personal lives, and even their health.
Our data comes from a nationally representative sample of about 2,700 U.S. employees collected by the Families & Work Institute.
In the survey, employees were asked about the extent to which others at their workplace were likely to get ahead at work if they took time off or rearranged their schedules for family or personal reasons.
We also find that perceiving bias against people who work flexibly not only impacts work attitudes but also follows employees home.
Why is workplace flexibility bias so harmful to all types of employees? We think employees generally do not like working for organizations that penalize people for having lives outside of work.
If employees at your organization are scared to take leave or work flexibly, there are things you can do.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Financial Crimes That Fueled Brazil’s Inhotim Museum”

Paz believes beauty changes lives, and, perhaps because he lets the poor in for free, he’s called Inhotim “a factory of citizens” and “The greatest social project anyone in the world has ever done.” He’s also called himself a socialist, and scoffs at the ostentation of other rich people with their yachts and private jets.
Inhotim began as an unintended consequence of Paz’s 1980s takeover spree.
As soon as Paz moved on, an Inhotim curator stayed behind to cancel the sales, explaining that he was trailing Paz to “Unbuy” impulsive purchases.
Not long after Inhotim opened, a series of government investigations began uncovering the environmental and labor violations that had helped Paz build his fortune-and then the financial crimes that had shielded his fortune from taxation.
The investigators focused on a holding company called Horizontes that Paz had formed to administer Inhotim.
Allegedly, Paz used some of the money going through Horizontes to buy land for Inhotim and transferred some to his other companies, ordering employees to cash checks for as much as 500,000 reais at a time.
Paz started buying the work of Brazilian artist Miguel Rio Branco in the ’90s. The conversations they had helped inspire Inhotim’s creation, and today the museum has a whole building to display Rio Branco’s color-saturated photographs of humble Brazilians.
Up in northern Minas Gerais, Dias says he’d never even heard of Inhotim until his legal battles with Paz.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Did Toolmaking Pave the Road for Human Language?”

To understand what Kolodny’s getting at, I ask Bovaird to walk me through the history of Stone Age technologies.
Somewhere on the timeline between the long run of the Oldowan and the more rapid rise of Acheulean technologies, language likely made its first appearance.
Rather, they theorize, the emergence of language was predicated on our ancestors’ ability to perform sequence-dependent processes, including the production of complex tools.
A flintknapper himself, Stout has taught hundreds of students how to make Acheulean-era tools, and he’s tracked their brain activity during the learning process.
His research suggests that producing complex tools spurred an increase in brain size and other aspects of hominin evolution, including-perhaps-the emergence of language.
Language couldn’t just pop out fully formed, like Athena from the head of Zeus.
“Every evolutionary process, including the evolution of language, has to be incremental and composed of small steps, each of which independently needs to be beneficial,” Kolodny explains.
When hominins like Homo ergaster and Homo erectus taught their close relatives how to make complex tools, they worked their way into an ever more specialized cultural niche, with evolutionary advantage going to those individuals who were not only adept at making and using complex tools, but who were also able-at the same time-to communicate in more and more sophisticated ways.

The orginal article.