Things to Read this Week, #3

Here are some really cool news articles this week! Little bit on labour, little bit on technology, little bit on democracy and free speech. Check it out!

“Rise of the ‘Precariat’, the global scourge of precarious jobs”, CBC, June 1st

Very informative article, covering the reality and dangers of unemployment, underemployment, temporary employment, unpaid work, and slavery. Global poverty, together with climate change, is our biggest challenge ahead in the 21st century. Unemployment, unemployment, and temporary work are becoming very real concerns for us in the West as well, especially among youth, as short term contracts, temp-agencies, and unpaid internships are rapidly becoming more accepted and utilized.

“Canada ‘cultural genocide’ against First Nation – report”, BBC, June 3rd

Canada has an absolutely dreadful track record in dealings with First Nations, hopefully the acknowledgement by all parties involved that a genocide did take place will be the first step forward.

“Biometric data collection change in budget bill raises privacy concerns”, CBC, June 3rd

Absolutely ridiculous – we do not have a problem with security in Canada, and this proposal is a waste of time and money, not to mention a gross invasion of privacy and, frankly, an insult to those coming to visit or migrate to this country. The concept of the nation-state is becoming less and less relevant this century, as people organize themselves en masse through the blessedly unregulated internet and as transnational corporations exist entirely outside the limits of government control, but the governments themselves don’t seem to be able to recognize this shifting paradigm and adapt to it. We need more open borders, more transparency, and more power in the hands of the people. See also this CBC article on further proposed limits to our freedom to travel.

“Imam: US anti-Islam protests brought solidarity”, Al-Jazeera, June 2nd

Absolutely insane to see protesters dressed as soldiers in an American city. As I discussed this week, just because you have the right to free speech does not give you the right to be hateful towards other individuals or groups for no reason – I’m sure the Founding Fathers did not imagine that particular clause would be used to defend the rights of armed racists to scare children. I think the most interesting point in this article was the imam’s mention of an industry based on exploiting our basest fears, which in this case manifest themselves as “Islamaphobia”. We really need to recognize that our current media landscape breeds these kinds of hateful, intolerant, and ignorant views of the world, usually all in the name of making a short term profit.

“We’ve reached a tipping point where technology is now destroying more jobs than it creates, researcher warns”, Business Insider, June 3rd

Alright, I saved the most interesting for last. I (and many, many others) have suspected exactly this for years: soon, most jobs will be replaced by technology. Many in the working and middle classes rightfully fear this, because in our current model we are dependent upon jobs/wages to live. What we really need is a new model, where higher productivity and productive output that technology affords us can be harnessed for the greater good: a full wealth distribution system would see everyone’s standard of living increase while reducing the amount of hours they would need to work to survive. Technology could eliminate both wage-slavery and economic disparity (i.e. the wealth gap between the richest and the poorest), though it would require a massive rethink in how we as a society operate. Basically, it comes down to one of three scenarios: 1) fewer jobs for humans, as technology replaces them, with lower wages and benefits, and high unemployment that leads to social unrest; 2) stagnating technological progress to retain our current model, an unlikely “luddite revolution”, or 3) fewer jobs for humans as they are replaced by machines, but where technology allows everyone more free time and a better quality of life if wealth is properly distributed. What do you want to see?

I’m working on a really cool article right now about why today’s youth aren’t interested in politics and civic life. It will either be posted here, on Lost Graduate, or on both. Stay tuned! Check out this in the meantime.


About ryanmikeorr

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1 Response to Things to Read this Week, #3

  1. Pingback: Things to Read this Week, #4 | doonpress

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