BS Jobs and the Meaning of Work
If you’re not familiar with the concept of the UBI — Universal Basic Income — it’s time to start learning. Not because it’s necessarily the solution for the problem of poverty – there’s lots of debate about that, as you can imagine. Rather, the concept is more important because it is in the context of talking about UBI that a looming problem is at least getting discussed with some seriousness. What to do in a possible future when technology (be it AI, robotics, or both) makes the meaningful employment of large swaths of society obsolete?
More on the History and Future of Work
It’s easy to fall into the notion that the “gig economy” is a relatively new phenomenon just because companies like Uber and WeWork are relatively new companies. In this podcast (you can either listen or read the transcript at the link above), author Louis Hyman discusses the argument of his new book, Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary — that the roots of the gig economy originally sprouted in the ’50’s and ’60’s as a result of the new thinking about how corporations should conduct themselves.
The Real Challenge Facing Tesla
Yes, Tesla is learning that manufacturing car at scale is a seriously tough feat, both from an engineering and an operational standpoint. And while they still have quite a ways to go there, Tesla’s sales haven’t suffered. Just take a look at the numbers of all electric and electric-hybrid vehicles sold in the US last month:
But even assuming they successfully tackle the manufacturing challenge, that isn’t the end of the game. It will just mean the game for market dominance is officially on. Few people write as smartly about the larger trends of the tech world than Andreesen Horowitz ‘partner’ Benedict Evans. His analysis of the four pieces of the game Tesla is aiming to win — and the one that actually matters the most — is a great example of deep strategic thinking. If you only click through and read one thing from me this week, this is it.
The Even More Pressing Challenge Facing Tesla
There is simply no way to sugar coat this: Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, is saying and doing things of late that are giving even his most ardent defenders pause. From his repeated bizarre lewd insult of one of the rescue divers in Thailand (for which he is being sued) to his half-cocked tweet about taking Tesla private (for which he is being investigated by the SEC and is also being sued), Musk’s mouth and tweets are creating havoc for Tesla. If the reports by the Wall Street Journal linked in the title here are true, Musk’s behavior as the day-to-day leader and CEO are becoming a problem as well. Of course, none of this is playing well for Tesla’s stockholders.
The Wonder Years of Web Design
It’s called the Web Design Museum, and let’s just say it’s a fabulous diversionary time machine walk through the garish colors and dense designs of the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Here’s what CNN.com looked like on the day it was launched: