“The relentless pursuit of efficiency is what capitalism does best…”

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

“The relentless pursuit of efficiency is what capitalism does best…” So how about just calling the sharing economy “the economy?” Thanks, Noah Ready-Campbell.

Set up a tech worker cooperative? Here’s a pretty incredible thread of folks talking about that idea.

I’ve been wondering about the impact of worker-owned co-ops on racial inequality on the job—so was very excited to see this interview, on Shareable.

Geeking Out

There’s been a lot written about the perils of new FCC rules that may undermine net neutrality. For anyone who works with online technology—whether you’re an organizer or a worker who relies on tech to do some crucial part of your job—it’s an important issue. Not sure why? Read these things.

Organizing Theory

Is your organization’s website optimized for mobile? Do you have an app for that? Eric Lee from Labour Start explains why you really want to focus on this.

The New York Rescue Mission got help from a professional ad agency to create a campaign called Make them Visible that asks the question: “if you walked by a member of your family on the street, dressed as a homeless person, would you notice them?” Powerful stuff.

What’s Going On in the Workforce?

What’s going on in the workforce? Increasingly, in the US, income inequality. I’m sure you’ve seen this epic report from Demos, documenting how the fastest-growing sectors in our economy are also the ones with greatest inequality. Want fries with that?

Really, an article about cows that milk themselves, robotically, has got to be great. But then it included this line: “”‘Most milking parlors, you see, you really only see the back end of the cow,’ Mr. Borden’s father, Tom, said. ‘I don’t see that as building up much of a relationship.’”

For all the conversation about NCAA athletes unionizing, I haven’t heard a ton about recently-activist cheerleaders. And yet, with reasons like these, you can see why they might.

It’s clear (at least to me) that one of the fastest-growing industries looking for help from robots is food service…$1.60/day to run a robot chef in China?

Amazon may be setting up their own delivery service, to compete with UPS and FedEx.

What’s Behind that Google Glass?

 

Geeking Out

I can’t wait until nextgen Google Glass (or a competitor) lets me sleep through every meeting. Or make funny faces, during video calls, that no one else can see.

As more and more of us use our phones to organized direct actions, we become vulnerable to authorities’ control of the cell signal. These folks are figuring out work-arounds for protest movements.

Reputation, Reputation, Reputation

Do you organize people in jobs that require criminal background checks? A new program the FBI is rolling out may incorporate photos from those programs into facial recognition searches for actual criminals.

Facebook wants to help you find your friends—where they are hanging out in real time. And they say they won’t use that data to target ads. At least, not until their next privacy rejiggering.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

The Swiss continue to move in the direction of being the first country to provide a guaranteed basic income to every citizen.  Meanwhile, organizers of this subreddit are planning a MayDay Thunderclap supporting basic income.

New York City is not just promoting worker-owned co-ops—they’re partnering with them to fulfill government contracts.

Car-sharing with apps is great—if you happen to live in a big city, with lots of users, that is. But what if we could use the principles of customer/driver verification for hitch-hiking, a much more likely method of ridesharing in rural communities?

Organizing Theory

Can a crowd-funding approach to fundraising also lead to more activist donors?  And while we’re on the topic of crowd funding—IndieGogo put out a great video series about how to make your project a success—here’s the first one.

Greenpeace figured out how to make an MMORPG out of deforestation spotting, to engage thousands of online activists in reporting illegal logging.

What’s Going On in the Workforce?

Imagine that every US company with more than 35 employees had to make seats on the board for employee representatives. That’s how the Danes do it.

Some of us in the US may have a hard time thinking of Chinese trade unionists as major allies in the fight against Walmartization. But these Chinese trade unionists took on Wal-Mart head on.

American Greetings company came up with a novel way of pointing out the millions of hours of unpaid labor that some of us do every day.

Is technological change responsible for the inequality that exists in the United States? This history professor says no, it’s really our public policy and a lack of union density that creates our unfair society.

“He fights to be seen as a human being, because maybe then he will be paid like one and treated like one.”

What’s Going on in the Workforce?

“He fights to be seen as a human being, because maybe then he will be paid like one and treated like one.” An incredible look at St. Louis fast food workers’ organizing by Sarah Kenzidor.

Would a basic income plus technological unemployment force a restructuring of production?

“What can we do to bring home jobs using robotics technology?” Seems counter-intuitive, no? Georgia Institute of Technology thinks robots will deliver more jobs than they kill. PS—the self-driving car? It’s closer than you think.

One town in Sweden is experimenting with a new schedule for their employees—setting up a six-hour workday, but maintaining full-time pay—to see if it will improve productivity & reduce employee stress.

Sometimes, it’s hard to put your finger on what it is that can be so upsetting about the profit-based parts of the  sharing economy. And then there’s this.

Reputation, Reputation, Reputation

The next time you’re at a mass demonstration, you might want to bring your tinfoil hat.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

If you’ve wondered how trade unions and worker-owned coops are collaborating around the world, wonder no more. This excellent paper will give you new insight.

“…the rational reaction to living with social stratification is to compete for all you can get, as you’re not guaranteed a fair share.” Why inequality is bad, from an evolutionary point of view.

What would make the owners of a clothing retail website take out an ad in the Wall Street Journal decrying fast fashion? It’s bad for workers, bad for the environment, and overall, just bad.

When self-driving cars mean we don’t need big parking structures in center cities, maybe we’ll all live in apartments the size of parking spaces.

Organizing Theory

From an organizational perspective, a daily email seems like it will run the risk of alienating supporters. Greenpeace’s mobilization team took a risk, when they wanted to update their list about the Arctic 30.

Are you building a team to do online engagement? Here are some of online organizing firm Echo Ditto’s best practices.

The major social network driving voter contact in India’s election? What’s App.

Geeking Out

You’ve kinda gotta admire a guy who took out €.5M in bank loans and used it to fund anti-capitalist organizing. I bet his FICO score is ruined, though.

Drones that recharge themselves by landing on power lines? I think I saw that in a Transformers movie…

 

“We are a culture that buys a lot of junk.”

Original Content

Julia Carrie Wong explored the intersection of apps that hire domestic workers, and domestic workers who are self-organizing into co-ops and other kinds of employee-empowering structures in this new post.

Kenzo Shibata wrote about the need to take seriously the labor of digital organizing here.  Well, that is, if you want to win…

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

“We are a culture that buys a lot of junk.” In this case, fast fashion—but it’s about to get more expensive. Thank an organizer in Bangladesh or China! No, really, thank them—I’m not being sarcastic.

The world’s about to get its first 3-D printed house. The construction industry—and the waste it generates—may never be the same. In the US, Reaction Housing is planning to build a shelter system that’s light enough to be moved by hand—but can stop a bullet. There’s nothing on their website to explain why someone might be shooting at you.

Should the super-rich all quit their jobs, so someone else can have them?

Can unions and other workplace-oriented groups help their members save money on their energy bills? These UK groups think so.

Reputation, Reputation, Reputation

Are you ready for a social network that’s made up only of people who live in your neighborhood? I’m not sure I want a round-up of bikes stolen & who needs to cut their lawn…but this does seem to have more uses.

Google Glass, or similar technology, seems to have a lot of upside when you think about it in the context of a hospital—instant access to medical records; the health care provider looking at the patient, instead of down at a screen; the ability to hold a consult with someone in a different place. But hospitals are wrestling with some serious concerns about uploading so much personal information to the cloud.

Do you ever get annoyed when people you don’t know well reference something you’ve shared on Facebook? This game will teach you about what level your privacy settings really are .

Mega-corporations are spending mega-money to monitor their presence online. Here’s a story about Wells Fargo’s social media command center. Wonder what hashtags they’re tracking…

Organizing Theory

Why do people engage in protest or direct action? If you’re designing a campaign that requires mass mobilization, read this.

Curious about how to use open data to organize? TechPresident has a good primer, with lots of examples of how to engage communities. And while we’re on the topic of data — here’s how some organizers have been thinking about using data to promote resilience in fragile communities.

In the for-profit sector, the best-performing companies turn over their entire board once every nine or ten years. I’m wondering if anyone has done a similar study on non-profit boards?

Geeking Out

Can tech-infused sponges make surgery safer for patients? This company is betting on it.

Google Glass has some cool factor…but Orcam? Will change the life of a visually impaired person.

What’s Going on in the Workforce?

Contributoria continues to be the most interesting experiment in funding journalism, at least to my mind. Here’s Brett Scott, writing about the ways that funding investigative journalism continues to evolve.

Is there a case to be made that part of what’s driving unemployment in Italy is automation of jobs? This professor thinks there is.

Here’s a pretty incredible, data-driven effort to figure out how musicians’ ability to make money has changed in the light of digital tech—and where the future of musical revenue streams will come from.

Toyota was one of the pioneers of having robots and humans work together on the line. Now, they’re thinking about adding back jobs for humans. Turns out, you can’t become a master car maker without first being an apprentice.

“I’m hard pressed to make a case for my edge over a robot…” Says a doctor.

“…we should be working to ensure that a future without jobs is a future where we all get to enjoy the benefits of free time.”

If you’re a weekend Twitter user, you may already know about #Saturdayschool. Douglas Williams wrote a great piece profiling Professor Rhonda Ragsdale, and how she’s created a new kind of digital teach-in.

What’s Going On in the Workforce

“…we should be working to ensure that a future without jobs is a future where we all get to enjoy the benefits of free time.” Amen, Sarah.

And what better way to enjoy our free time than with sex robots? Which might also lead to technological unemployment for sex workers.

You may have seen that the NY Times Magazine wrote about the inequality-erasing benefits of worker-owned co-ops last Sunday…but did you also know that they can increase their workers’ life expectancy?

Are happier workers more productive? This study, by economists in the UK, says yes. If anyone wants to drop off some chocolate to me at work, I promise to be more productive.

Reputation, Reputation, Reputation

Most car insurance companies already give a “good driver” bonus. Will we change the way we feel about that, when they’re getting real time data on our driving habits from our cars?

Microsoft has announced that they are adding player reputation to each user’s Gamercard—and the reputation score is being crowdsourced from other players. If you want a pretty good explanation of the perils and potential improvements that come from such a system, check the comments to this post.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Are you interested in the sharing economy, but not quite sure how to start? Why not participate in Global Sharing Day on June 1st?

What if you could turn trash into electricity?

Smart cities work more efficiently, saving money & other resources. Here’s how Boston has been working to use the GPS tech that exists in many cars, to map road hazards.

From Partners

Want 8 simple (ok, not really) ideas about how to increase income equality? Check out this long read by Harold Meyerson.

Organizing Theory

Do you want a better way of crowd-sourcing decisions by your volunteers or spread-out staff? Loomio is a new, open-source decision making tool inspired by Occupy—and it’s free.

No one can guarantee that they can make content viral—but here’s a good slideshow of Greenpeace’s best practices for making it more likely, when you’re doing non-violent direct actions.

Got an idea about how to use social media for engagement of people in under-represented communities? Check out this competition that’s making micro-grants for just that purpose.

Are you hacking your way to a better world, or just complaining about the one we’ve got?

Geeking Out

Want to read some crazy predictions about what the short-term (30 years off) future might hold for humanity? Here you go. My personal favorite is from Karen Wickre, editorial director of Twitter (wait, that’s a job?).  “I love what access to technology can do—I just want it to be evenly distributed. That would blow my mind, and I bet I’m not alone.”

And while we’re on the crazy prediction train—do I get to look like Molly Millions, now that Facebook has bought Oculus Rift?

Final Thoughts

“Economically there was no reason why a laborer named, say, Mickey, should dislike a laborer named, say, Mihal; the Mihals did not lower the wage rates of the only kind of jobs they were able to get. Nor did they take others’ jobs away from them; the steel industry was in its period of greatest expansion, building new mills & furnaces & hiring new men by the hundred. That the company openly preferred foreigners as laborers that immigration from wester Europe had fallen off, that the hours were long, the work hard and the opportunities for advancement rare, helped explain why the unskilled labor force was predominantly foreign by the beginning of the new century. For the English-speaking peoples’ unconcealed racial prejudice, their attitude that it was a disgrace to work on a level with Hunkies, there was no rational excuse. But it was a fact, a large & not pretty fact which marked, stunted & embittered whole generations.”

Thomas Bell, Out of This Furnace

“Do you feel that work and play should not be mutually exclusive?”

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

“Do you feel that work and play should not be mutually exclusive?” I’m not gonna lie—this is long. But if you want a real insight into the perils of working as a freelancer in the app economy, it’s worth it.

In SF and have an idea about how to solve the city’s homeless problem? Check out this Hacktivation, scheduled for the last weekend in March. (Protip—equipping the homeless as wifi hotspots is a non-starter.)

This borrowing shop exemplifies what’s best about the sharing economy, IMO.

How is our use of apps and shared vehicles to get around going to change the way that cities plan? Here’s one theory.

Reputation, Reputation, Reputation

Can micro finance help Americans who lack credit get access to capital?

I’ve been wondering how long it would take for someone to come up with the idea of aggregating all your online ratings on various marketplaces into one score. erated claims to have done it.

From Partners

Here’s a call for papers/proposals for what sounds like a really interesting conference that the New School is hosting in November 2014. “Digital Labor, Sweatshops, Picket Lines & Barricades.”

Last week, I went to a very interesting meeting about the future of work (as did many of you!). One of the things that struck me about it was how many people mentioned a universal basic income as a possible solution to income inequality in the future. If you’re interested in finding out more about that, you might want to check out this conference in Montreal, this summer.

One thing that meeting made me wonder about was whether anyone has studied what the rate of pay inequity is, in worker-owned co-ops, seen through the lens of gender and race. So far, just one study has cropped up—which only deals with gender. Anyone who’s got more academic research on this topic—please send it along!

Organizing Theory

If your state legislature let you edit proposed laws via wiki, would it spur citizen engagement? This California Assemblyman is experimenting with just such a plan. On a related note, this NJ congressional candidate is crowd-sourcing his campaign platform on GitHub.

You want to change the world by telling stories? Medium wants to help. They’re looking for 10 do-gooders (c3 status not required) to help out with professional told & photographed stories.

Geeking Out

I’ve finally found my people…hello, technoprogressives!

NASA study of income inequality says that math leads them to only two outcomes: socialism, or societal collapse. But don’t worry, either way, you likely won’t live to see it.

What’s Going On in the Workforce?

Interested in how to succeed as a Mechanical Turk? Peep this thread on Reddit, which is full of helpful tips.

Caregivers beware—while some scientists think it’ll be a long while before we’re able to program social intelligence into robots, others are planning to have robot housemaids for the elderly soon.

Are you trying to make product decisions with a distributed workforce? Or just want to increase worker input on organizational decisions? Try using this new service, Agora, that gives more options to the crowd.

Check out this new documentary about the working conditions of adjunct faculty and precariously-perched academics.

Would you let your employer monitor your sleep, if it was under the guise of making you a better employee?

Incredible look at how the South Korean diaspora fueled the volatile “fast fashion” industry in the Americas, through first- and second-generation immigrants.

Final Thoughts

“No social movement, no matter how liberating, can bring permanent happiness to the people it touches. We grow old; we lose loved ones. We fall short of our greatest goals and fail to live up to our most optimistic visions of our own character. When history opened up to American women in the late twentieth century, it did not offer them permanent bliss. It gave them an opportunity to face the dark moments on their own terms and to exalt in the spaces between.”

Gail Collins, When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present

“When one fishes, there’s an art to landing the fish…”

Did you read Wyatt Closs’s “How Workers Could Get Hijacked on the Digital Highway” yet? You really ought to do that…

What’s Going on in the Workforce

“When one fishes, there’s an art to landing the fish…” This might be the best thing I’ve ever read about teaching, wrapped up in a post about how to engage students, through social media and in-person.

“For all of North Brooklyn’s book groups and websites and meet-ups dedicated to alternative monetary systems, the solidarity economy is, for the time being, at its best in the service sector.” Tip your barista, people.

“What if a company maximized jobs over profits?” Interesting question for  the Harvard Business Review to be asking

Running a unionized worker-owned co-op? Join 1 worker, 1 vote.

Uber has apparently bent to the popular sentiment that, if you are helping people hail & pay for car rides, you might actually have some responsibility if something bad happens—even if you aren’t employing the drivers. So they got insurance.

Organizing Theory

Serious trigger warning on this one—but kudos to this ad company, for figuring out how to incorporate google glass into this PSA.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Peers & the Freelancers’ Union are teaming up to host a Q & A on tax prep for folks who work in the sharing economy—Wed. March 19th at 3 pm Eastern/12 Pacific.

“(non-profit) professionals are taught to say, “how can I help you with the skills and the expertise that I have?” None of us are taught to say, “I need your help too.” Some interesting thinking about how time-banking works—and how it could work differently, if more of us did it.

“It’s tricky for us to focus on property tax in a vacuum. You almost have to look at the entire picture of what the contribution is from the business community—from the philanthropic standpoint as well as the tax base.” Um. Yeah. Right. Guess no one should be too surprised that Silicon Valley companies are just like old school corporations, when it comes to continuing policies that create inequality.

The YMCA in London is working on the problem of access to affordable housing, in that very expensive city, by building pre-fab one-bedroom apartments that can be moved by crane.

If the car is a symbol of individualism—is car-sharing a symbol of collective action? So argues this blog post by French/Belgian car-sharing service, Djump. Kudos to them for wanting to spark a dialogue about reforming (not rejecting) regulation.

Are you thinking about building a makerspace? Here are some tips on how to build community around hardware-sharing.

Geeking Out

Mmmm….robot-made Oreos

Final Thoughts

“Life is going to be complicated no matter what, so you might as well open the door and invite it into your house, or your pickup, as the case may be. Besides, someday, when you have to carry your double bed on your back, someone you once helped might give you a lift. It’s the basic investment plan of the poor: save what you have by sharing it.”

Julia Alvarez, A Wedding in Haiti

“Suppose we found that the only way to guarantee full employment is to institute a 10 hour work week?”

What’s Going On in the Workforce?

“Suppose we found that the only way to guarantee full employment is to institute a 10 hour work week.” Robots are coming, people.  It’s just a question of when…and how we decide to react. They say that the best jobs of the future will be those that combine machine creativity with human ingenuity. IBM’s super computer, Watson, is going to be a key player. Even if you’re a chef. Would a universal basic income create freedom from jobs? And why do people think that’s a bad thing?

Ever wonder how worker-owned coops decide what to pay their CEOs? Here’s a good analysis on that topic by Ed Mayo.

An excellent post from Fast Company about efforts by musicians to remind producers that synthesizers are not the same as people playing real instruments.

Fascinating look at the business of being a cartoonist in this post by Grigory Kogan about how he’s building a tool for cartoonists to use, in order to maximize their cartoons’ earning potential. Relatedly, how do you prevent piracy on the internet, if you run one of the world’s largest sources for digital photos? Maybe you just don’t. Getty’s decision to give away 35 million photos in exchange for link backs is good news for the rest of us, maybe not so good for the photographers who created the work.

Amazing reporting by Vice & ProPublica about temp work in the US—here’s part 1 (of 5)

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

New companies have been launched to help AirBnb hosts manage their properties. I’ve gotta say, there’s a pretty long tradition of this kind of thing at the Jersey Shore—are we counting beach houses as part of the sharing economy?

Some interesting points in this post by NYU’s @erinmorgangore on how non-profits could use the sharing economy & its demands, to improve their own efficiency or help low-paid workers do better, economically.

Chokwe Lumumba, mayor of Jackson, MS was a tremendous supporter of co-ops, and his recent passing was a blow to anyone who supports organizing for better economic equality in the South. Join the folks who are supporting his legacy, by making a donation to their Jackson Rising: New Economies conference.

Despite the fact that Mondragon had a bit of a rocky year, there was still a 32% increase in the founding of new worker-owned coops in Spain last year.

Reputation, Reputation, Reputation

So you’re telling me you don’t need more things to be creeped out about, privacy-wise? Best not to read this article about license plate scanners and the databases they feed, then.

If we start living with robots, will we trust them with all our secrets? Or forget to shut them down, when we don’t want those secrets recorded?

From Partners

Swedish union Kommunal made this brilliant ad for International Women’s Day, featuring their union’s president doing the fastest thing a woman can do to get paid like a man…

Organizing Theory

If you’re online, and an activist with a smart phone, you’ve probably committed an act of “crowd-enabled connective action,” even if you didn’t know it was called that. Now, researchers are starting to study it. Good luck with those millions of #ows tweets, folks.

Geeking Out

Wanna figure out how your city can build its own fiber optic network, even if Google never comes calling? We’ve got the hookup. Or case study, if you prefer.

Maybe you’ve never worried about how to get online in the remotest parts of Africa—but these folks at BRCK have, and they’re building a tool to make it easier.

Skynet is real folks. It just took a little longer to get here than we thought.

“If you are a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?”

First up–interested in finding out more about the global solidarity network USi Live? Watch my interview with organizer Andrew Brady, here.

What’s Going On in the Workforce?

“If you are a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?” Um, the same way everyone else does? Are weird interview questions on your job search radar?

Some of us are fighting against unpaid internships…others of us are making more than the median US income AS INTERNS. Weird, hunh? And speaking of interns…Is fabled film/tech/music conference South by Southwest heading for labor problems with their unpaid intern & volunteer situation? Maybe. Don’t know much about SXSW? Here’s a good history.

Wondering what it’s like to work in an Amazon warehouse in the UK? Wonder no more.

British economist Robert Sidelsky opines about the likelihood of technological unemployment—and why we can’t assume that Luddites of the modern day will be as wrong as their forbears were. Related: It’s not just that driverless cars will kill driving jobs—they’ll likely put auto insurance companies in a tailspin too.

Bernadette Hyland looks at the transition in her local economy in Manchester UK, where a generation of retired women factory workers are now being cared for by a younger generation of women—but these care workers don’t have nearly the wage or benefit standards that the factory women did. How will the caregivers pay, when they need to be care receivers?

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Already hosted your Peers Swap and still have stuff left to give? Here’s a new way to recycle your used clothes.

Do you have an idea for a sharing site to share a specific service or product? Near-Me wants to help you get online with it.

The sharing economy runs on the reputations of its users & providers. Trustribe is working to provide a one-stop reputation shop for the apps of the sharing economy.

Is car-sharing the solution to the world’s pollution problems? Probably not, but it’s a step in the right direction.

From Partners

Last week, we mentioned the report that looked at state-level inequality—here’s a new one from the Brookings Institute that drills down to find the most unequal US cities.

“The fact that the law allows America’s biggest companies to shelter almost half of their US profits from tax, while ordinary wage earners have to report every penny of their earnings, has to undermine public respect for the tax system.” From a new report by Citizens for Tax Justice about how US corporations often pay more tax overseas than at home.

Geeking Out

It’s 2014, people. If you’re hosting a conference, or organizing a panel or a workshop—make sure you have women on it. If not, GenderAvenger will be on the case.

Is wearable technology a human right? Steve Mann asks, why we would allow property to have always-on security, and not people?

Organizing Theory

Fascinating article by Sasha Issenberg about the technology & theory of identifying volunteers, in the modern age. Mostly about political campaigns, but has some lessons that are good for all of us who want to engage volunteers at a high level.

Been working on a keen new idea in labor law reform? The Labour Law Research Network is soliciting papers, for their conference in Amsterdam, June 2015.

Interesting stuff about using data to develop arguments in policy campaigns.

Reputation, Reputation, Reputation

Cory Doctorow utterly shreds the Chicago Police Department’s pre-crime algorithm theory. If you’ve ever had “questionable” associations, read this. (I have no other kinds of associations, personally. My poor children.)

Final Thoughts

“No matter which hardship index we use, (low) wage reliant mothers had more hardships than welfare-reliant mothers.”

Kathryn Edin & Laura Lein, Making Ends Meet

“We are a struggle machine, if we choose to see ourselves this way.”

Hi folks–another exciting announcement this week–Julia Carrie Wong is joining us as a new writer on the blog. Look for new original content to start rolling out in the week of March 10th!

Organizing Theory

“We are a struggle machine, if we choose to see ourselves this way.” Great video interview with Change to Win’s Valerie Alzaga about the international organizing model used by the SEIU Justice for Janitors campaign—including how the union saw changing their organizing model for existing members as a critical piece of strengthening the ability to organize new workers. Long, but super worth it.

Americans are watching even less live TV than ever—ditching it in favor of mobile video. What does this mean for people who are buying campaign ads?

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Car sharing moves further into the EU, with new service, Wundercar, launching in Berlin. Meanwhile, could self-driving cars upend the concept of car-sharing?

Peers & Social Capital Markets are hosting a two-day conference in San Francisco in May, to talk about the sharing economy. To get updates, click here.

Are all for-profit firms inherently cooperatives?

From Partners

In the US and looking for state-specific data on income inequality? Check out this new report from the Economic Policy Institute, featuring work by friend-o-the-blog Mark Price, the most profane economist I know.

Geeking Out

Amazed by some of the Olympic coverage? Thank a camera mounted on a drone.

What’s Going On in the Workforce?

These college students are pushing a crazy idea in income egalitarianism—namely, that the president of their college shouldn’t make more than 10X the salary of their lowest-paid workers.

Freelancers in the EU have launched a fundraising campaign to be able to lobby in Brussels, to make sure freelance labor is counted, and to ensure they’ve got a seat at the table when new laws are being written. The goal? 5,000 euros.

I’d be curious to hear the Teamsters’ side of this story, but it sounds like UPS did some smart thinking about how to roll out computer-assisted route-mapping to their drivers—and saving 98 million minutes of idling time in one year is no joke.

“A world in which a healthy adult has the reasonable expectation of earning a decent living while working full-time at a market wage is absolutely a world in which the dignity of work is a useful social value to cultivate. In a world in which that is not a reasonable expectation, the dignity of work can be a harmful concept.” ~The Economist. Let that sink in.

It’s a common theory that the easiest jobs to automate are the ones that require the least education—but that doesn’t seem to be what’s happening.

Sometimes I feel like we’ve got a problem of overwork AND a problem of underwork. Can we just get some balance?

Awesome look at regulations on the use of temp workers, in the US and around the world, from ProPublica.

Reputation, Reputation, Reputation

Are we allowing ourselves to be shut out of options in life because we’re trapped in algorithmic prisons?