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How social media took us from Tahrir Square to Donald Trump - MIT Technology Review
Rather, the problem is that when we encounter opposing views in the age and context of social media, it’s not like reading them in a newspaper while sitting alone. It’s like hearing them from the opposing team while sitting with our fellow fans in a football stadium. Online, we’re connected with our communities, and we seek approval from our like-minded peers. We bond with our team by yelling at the fans of the other one. In sociology terms, we strengthen our feeling of “in-group” belonging by increasing our distance from and tension with the “out-group”—us versus them. Our cognitive universe isn’t an echo chamber, but our social one is. This is why the various projects for fact-checking claims in the news, while valuable, don’t convince people. Belonging is stronger than facts.
socialMedia  politics  activism  communication  ArabSpring  Egypt  TahrirSquare  Tunisia  Syria  Iran  Twitter  MubarakHosni  authoritarianism  power  control  ObamaBarack  targeting  technoUtopianism  bigData  misinformation  polarisation  NSA  security  Facebook  Google  monopolies  YouTube  algorithms  attention  insults  TrumpDonald  USA  Russia  trolling  interference  corruption  accountability  filterBubble  surveillance  platforms  personalData  inequality  precarity  insecurity  dctagged  dc:creator=TufekciZeynep  recommendations 
12 weeks ago by petej
Now is the Time for Worker Power in the Tech Industry | Novara Media
For many tech workers, the idea of joining a trade union seems ridiculous – unions are often thought of as a relic of an older time, irrelevant to the meritocracy that is the tech industry.
The class composition of the industry.

Why is this? If we take a structural approach to the tech industry, we see that the workforce is effectively bifurcated in such a way as to contain potential challenges from below. Those with high leverage over production – say, senior software engineers who know how the systems work – are paid exceedingly well, often partly in stock, and given lavish perks. This is especially true in Silicon Valley, where a frothy startup investment environment forces tech companies of all sizes to offer lavish benefits in order to compete for ‘talent’. Correspondingly, workers with the most leverage over production are convinced they are not actually workers, and that their interests align with their company instead of their class. This amounts to a strategic isolation of the few employees with the most power to disrupt production, who are then showered with material benefits to dissuade them from ever exercising that power.
technology  work  labour  employment  class  tradeUnions  activism  informationTechnology  SiliconValley  power 
july 2018 by petej
Financial Globalisation Has Been a Disaster. Brexit Gives Us a Chance to Resist It | Novara Media
The left was right to campaign against leaving the EU in 2016. Based on the tenor of the campaign, it was clear the Leave campaign would embolden the xenophobes and nationalists that exist across the class spectrum in the UK. This prediction was proven chillingly correct with both the spike in hate crime that followed the referendum and the movement that has emerged around Tommy Robinson over the last few weeks. The left should deplore and, if necessary, physically resist such acts of violent racism.

But fighting fascism does not mean accepting globalisation. The fact is, working class people are right to be pissed off about global economic and financial integration – especially those in the places that have been most ravaged by it. Financial globalisation has led to the concentration of capital in a series of financial entrepots, more integrated into the global economy than they are with their own countries. Rather than using this capital for productive investment, these centres have repurposed it for the kind of financial wizardry that caused the 2008 crash. London is in many ways the global financial hub par excellence, with the City of London the vampire squid sucking on the face of the global economy.

The left should be making a case for Brexit that involves resisting financial globalisation, whilst welcoming immigrants from the parts of the world that have been most ravaged by both colonialism and free market neocolonialism.
finance  economics  politics  globalisation  financialisation  neoliberalism  anti-globalisation  IMF  WTO  protest  activism  StiglitzJoseph  KrugmanPaul  TheLeft  France  nationalisation  Greece  Italy  EU  Euro  singleMarket  UK  Brexit  referendum  campaigning  immigration  intervention  economy  dctagged  dc:creator=BlakeleyGrace 
june 2018 by petej
Solidarity Forever
Tech employees have an outsize force because they’re very expensive to hire and it takes a long time to train people up. Even for very skilled workers, it takes months and months to become fully productive at a place like Google because you have to learn the internal tooling, you have to learn how things are done, you have to learn the culture. It’s a competitive job market and employee morale is vital. If people start fleeing your company, it’s hard to undo the damage.

So tech workers are a powerful lever. And knowing that fact, it seems unwise not to use the best tools at our disposal. The point isn’t to improve our economic well-being, but to pursue an ethical agenda.
TechSolidarity  CeglowskiMaciej  politics  technology  activism  work  labour  TrumpDonald  ethics  immigration  refugees  USA 
november 2017 by petej
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