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robertogreco : freelance   25

Robert Reich: Why Work Is Turning Into a Nightmare | Alternet
"How would you like to live in an economy where robots do everything that can be predictably programmed in advance, and almost all profits go to the robots' owners?

Meanwhile, human beings do the work that's unpredictable - odd jobs, on-call projects, fetching and fixing, driving and delivering, tiny tasks needed at any and all hours - and patch together barely enough to live on.

Brace yourself. This is the economy we're now barreling toward.

They're Uber drivers, Instacart shoppers, and Airbnb hosts. They include Taskrabbit jobbers, Upcounsel's on-demand attorneys, and Healthtap's on-line doctors.

They're Mechanical Turks.

The euphemism is the "share" economy. A more accurate term would be the "share-the-scraps" economy.

New software technologies are allowing almost any job to be divided up into discrete tasks that can be parceled out to workers when they're needed, with pay determined by demand for that particular job at that particular moment.

Customers and workers are matched online. Workers are rated on quality and reliability.

The big money goes to the corporations that own the software. The scraps go to the on-demand workers.

Consider Amazon's "Mechanical Turk." Amazon calls it "a marketplace for work that requires human intelligence."

In reality, it's an Internet job board offering minimal pay for mindlessly-boring bite-sized chores. Computers can't do them because they require some minimal judgment, so human beings do them for peanuts -- say, writing a product description, for $3; or choosing the best of several photographs, for 30 cents; or deciphering handwriting, for 50 cents.

Amazon takes a healthy cut of every transaction.

This is the logical culmination of a process that began thirty years ago when corporations began turning over full-time jobs to temporary workers, independent contractors, free-lancers, and consultants.

It was a way to shift risks and uncertainties onto the workers - work that might entail more hours than planned for, or was more stressful than expected.

And a way to circumvent labor laws that set minimal standards for wages, hours, and working conditions. And that enabled employees to join together to bargain for better pay and benefits.

The new on-demand work shifts risks entirely onto workers, and eliminates minimal standards completely.

In effect, on-demand work is a reversion to the piece work of the nineteenth century - when workers had no power and no legal rights, took all the risks, and worked all hours for almost nothing.

Uber drivers use their own cars, take out their own insurance, work as many hours as they want or can - and pay Uber a fat percent. Worker safety? Social Security? Uber says it's not the employer so it's not responsible.

Amazon's Mechanical Turks work for pennies, literally. Minimum wage? Time-and-a half for overtime? Amazon says it just connects buyers and sellers so it's not responsible.

Defenders of on-demand work emphasize its flexibility. Workers can put in whatever time they want, work around their schedules, fill in the downtime in their calendars.

"People are monetizing their own downtime," says Arun Sundararajan, a professor at New York University's business school.

But this argument confuses "downtime" with the time people normally reserve for the rest of their lives.

There are still only twenty-four hours in a day. When "downtime" is turned into work time, and that work time is unpredictable and low-paid, what happens to personal relationships? Family? One's own health?

Other proponents of on-demand work point to studies, such as one recently commissioned by Uber, showing Uber's on-demand workers to be "happy."

But how many of them would be happier with a good-paying job offering regular hours?

An opportunity to make some extra bucks can seem mighty attractive in an economy whose median wage has been stagnant for thirty years and almost all of whose economic gains have been going to the top.

That doesn't make the opportunity a great deal. It only shows how bad a deal most working people have otherwise been getting.

Defenders also point out that as on-demand work continues to grow, on-demand workers are joining together in guild-like groups to buy insurance and other benefits.

But, notably, they aren't using their bargaining power to get a larger share of the income they pull in, or steadier hours. That would be a union - something that Uber, Amazon, and other on-demand companies don't want.

Some economists laud on-demand work as a means of utilizing people moreefficiently.

But the biggest economic challenge we face isn't using people more efficiently. It's allocating work and the gains from work more decently.

On this measure, the share-the-scraps economy is hurtling us backwards."
robertreich  2015  economics  sharingeconomy  society  work  labor  ondemand  uber  efficiency  unions  insurance  benefits  downtime  responsibility  wages  employment  freelance  regulation 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Not An Employee
"You’re independent but you don’t have to be alone. In the past few years, the coworking movement has resulted in community-minded spaces for independent workers around the world. These are not stiff and stifling “business incubator” or “office condo” spaces. They are spaces where independent workers come together for collaboration and camaraderie.

If you are in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area, we invite you to join us at The Workantile Exchange - a coworking space in the heart of downtown. The location is outstanding, the community is vibrant and the benefits of membership are vast.

If you are not local to Ann Arbor, we encourage you to find not an employees around you. You can check the Coworking Wiki to see if there is an existing space near you, or you might consider starting your own ad hoc group. Most coworking spaces start out humbly, as groups of like-minded people getting together regularly at coffee shops or in other public spaces. Community comes first."
workantile  community  annarbor  independence  freedom  williamtozier  freelancing  freelance  coworking 
december 2012 by robertogreco
nickd: Whatever's next; whatever's good.
"I like dabbling in small projects with good people, and I like making tiny amounts of money so I can eat burritos in a city with a comically low cost of living."

"I always keep an open mind about any sort of projects that involve some degree of research, play, and curiosity. So if you want to plan anything off-the-wall funny or pranksterish, then get at me. I love outlandish, ridiculous projects. Let’s scheme together."

"I would like to make cool things with good people. Maybe you’re one of these good people. And maybe you know other good people, too. I’m in a rare inflection point in my life where I don’t have to juggle competing priorities to take on new stuff. I would love if you got in touch (nickd//nickd/org or @nickd), and spread this far and wide. I am a little scared these days, but things are really only worth doing if they’re scary, so I figure I must be at least a little right."
focus  makingtime  projects  projectideas  curiosity  risktaking  time  leapsoffaith  design  yearoff  glvo  freelance  doing  making  play  quitting  2012  nickdisabato 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Rheingold U
"a totally online learning community, offering courses that usually run for 5 weeks, w/ 5 live sessions & ongoing asynchronous discussions through forums, blogs, wikis, mindmaps, & social bookmarks. In my 30 years of experience online & 6 years teaching students face to face & online at UC Berkeley & Stanford, I've learned that magic can happen when a skilled facilitator works collaboratively w/ a group of motivated students. The first course, "Introduction to Mind Amplifiers," ran in 2 sessions in January-March, 2011. Live sessions include streaming audio & video from me & students, shared text chat & whiteboard, & my ability to push slides & lead tours of websites. Future classes will cover advanced use of personal knowledge tools, social media for educators, participatory media/collective action, social media issues, introduction to cooperation studies, network & social network literacy, social media literacies, attention skills in an always-on world."
education  learning  onlinelearning  online  howardrheingold  teaching  socialmedia  networkculture  networkliteracy  rheingoldu  asynchronous  collaboration  collaborative  freelanceteaching  freelance  freelancing  freelanceeducation  alacarteeducation 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Why I Prefer French Health Care - Reason Magazine [via: http://covblogs.com/eatingbark/archives/2009/12/more_health_care_links.html]
"Since 1986 I’ve missed exactly three days of work due to illness. I don’t smoke, I don’t (usually) do drugs or drink to excess, and I eat a pretty healthy diet. I have some back pain now and then from a protruding disc, but nothing too serious. And from 1998 to 2001, when I was a freelancer in the world’s capital of freelancers (Los Angeles), I couldn’t get health insurance. ... This is the exact opposite of the direction in which we should be traveling in a global just-in-time economy, with its ideal of entrepreneurial workers breaking free of corporate command and zipping creatively from project to project. Don’t even get me started on the Kafkaesque ordeal of switching jobs without taking any time off, yet going uncovered by anything except COBRA for nearly two months even though both employers used the same health insurance provider. That incident alone cost me thousands of dollars I wouldn’t have paid if I had controlled my own insurance policy."
healthcare  cv  government  health  france  reason  policy  economics  freelancing  freelance  psychology  politics 
december 2009 by robertogreco
School's Out: Get ready for the new age of individualized education - Reason Magazine
"The Homogenizing Hopper...The Home-Schooling Revolution...Free Agent Teaching...The End of High School...A renaissance of apprenticeships...A flowering of teenage entrepreneurship...A greater diversity of academic courses...A boom of national service...A backlash against standards...The Unschooling of Adults...The devaluation of degrees...Older students...Free agent teaching...Big trouble for elite colleges...Learning groupies"
danielpink  education  learning  2001  freedom  unschooling  deschooling  schools  schooling  tcsnmy  autodidactism  future  homeschool  reform  curriculum  motivation  choice  change  gamechanging  freelance  freelanceteaching  freelanceeducation  freelancing  colleges  universities  economics  history  demographics  work  careers  entrepreneurship  apprenticeships  lcproject  standards  testing  alternative  autodidacticism  autodidacts 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Weblogg-ed » The Future of My Kids’ Work
"Which would seem to me to suggest that we need to create a more flexible, more freelance, more collaborative learning experience for my kids, right? If as the article states fully 40% of the US workforce is predicted to be independent contractors by 2019, shouldn’t we be rethinking what it means to prepare them for that?
tcsnmy  schools  learning  education  workforce  future  willrichardson  children  millennials  generations  freelance  collaboration  projectbasedlearning  flexibility  change  reform  genx  geny  generationy  generationx  boomers  pbl  babyboomers 
june 2009 by robertogreco
The Way We'll Work - The Future of Work - TIME
From the cover: "Throw away the briefcase: you’re not going to the office. You can kiss your benefits goodbye too. And your new boss won’t look much like your old one. There’s no longer a ladder, and you may never get to retire, but there’s a world of opportunity if you figure out a new path." ... and from the intro ... "We will see a more flexible, more freelance, more collaborative and far less secure work world. It will be run by a generation with new values — and women will increasingly be at the controls. Here are 10 ways your job will change. In fact, it already has. Here are 10 ways your job will change. In fact, it already has. 1 High Tech, High Touch, High Growth; 2 Training Managers to Behave; 3 The Search for the Next Perk; 4 We're Getting Off the Ladder; 5 Why Boomers Can't Quit; 6 Women Will Rule Business; 7 It Will Pay to Save the Planet; 8 When Gen X Runs the Show; 9 Yes, We'll Still Make Stuff; 10 The Last Days of Cubicle Life"

[pay particular attention to 4, 8, and 10]

[via: http://weblogg-ed.com/2009/the-future-of-my-kids-work/ ]
future  work  collaboration  tcsnmy  boomers  babyboomers  change  generations  generationx  generationy  geny  genx  millennials  productivity  trends  workforce  freelance  technology  society  culture  business  employment  careers  economics  healthcare  benefits  leadership  administration  management  hierarchy 
june 2009 by robertogreco
William Gibson: Bohemian
"Reg is quite the model of the successful bohemian, isn’t he?” “I suppose he is.” “He’s always working on something, Reg. Always. Always something new.” He looked at her, across the heavy silver pots. “Are you?” And he had her, then, she knew. Looking straight into her. “No,” she said, there being nothing else really to say. “You should be,” he said. “The secret, of course, is that it doesn’t really matter what it is. Whatever you do, because you are an artist, will bring you, however randomly, to the next thing of your own."
via:blackbeltjones  creativity  williamgibson  freelancing  freelance  free  freedom  writing  art  bohemians  postmaterialism  postconsumerism  glvo  productivity 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Monbiot.com » Choose Life - "This [career] advice applies only to those who have a genuine choice of careers, which means, regrettably, that it does not apply to the majority of the world’s workforce."
"be wary of...careers advice...college gives...What corporate or institutional world wants you to do is complete opposite of what you want...It wants a reliable tool, someone who can think, but not for herself...2nd piece of...advice echoes...Benjamin Franklin: whenever you are faced with choice between liberty & security, choose liberty. Otherwise you will end up w/ neither. People who sell their souls for promise of a secure job & salary are spat out as soon as they become dispensable. The more loyal to an institution you are, the more exploitable, and ultimately expendable, you become....final piece of advice...when faced with choice between engaging with reality or engaging with...“necrophiliac” world of wealth & power, choose life, whatever the apparent costs may be...You know you have only one life. You know it is a precious, extraordinary, unrepeatable thing: the product of billions of years of serendipity and evolution."
georgemonbiot  careeradvice  careers  via:preoccupations  journalism  work  happiness  advice  wisdom  freelance  cv  yearoff  freedom  politics  education  business  jobs  life  philosophy  benjaminfranklin  administration  management  leadership  gamechanging  deschooling  unschooling  learning  selfdetermination  alternative 
august 2008 by robertogreco
TeachStreet | Find Local Teachers, Learn New Things
"Our goal is to encourage life-long learning by connecting inquiring minds with quality instructors. We built TeachStreet to be a headache-free place for insatiable learners to quickly find great local instructors—whether they want to learn photography

[via: http://www.springwise.com/education/local_lessons_advertised_revie/ ]
education  learning  local  teachstreet  lessons  unschooling  johnholt  hyperlocal  courses  instruction  maps  mapping  search  seattle  teaching  tutoring  socialnetworks  lcproject  gamechanging  freelance  freelanceteaching  socialnetworking  classes 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Freelancing, finance, self-employment | Salon Life
"Tired of getting gouged on your taxes? Sensing an impending mental breakdown? Here are tips for the self-employed, from someone who feels your pain."
freelancing  business  glvo  entrepreneurship  finance  freelance  money  taxes  tips  accounting 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Freelancers Union :: Platform for an Independent Workforce
"we’re helping freelancers to come together in a nationwide online community to find work and share their knowledge. We offer life, disability, and dental insurance throughout the U.S., and health insurance in 31 states."
artists  benefits  business  union  healthinsurance  health  glvo  work  insurance  freelance  nonprofit  networking  journalism  freelancing  collaboration  writing  jobs  employment  coworking  community  money  taxes  nonprofits 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Kevin Kelly -- The Technium - 1,000 True Fans
"A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author - in other words, anyone producing works of art - needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living."
longtail  artists  art  glvo  work  money  distribution  freelance  fundraising  howto  entrepreneurship  economics  business  marketing  branding  creation  creative  creativity  celebrity  capitalism  design  socialsoftware  society  ecommerce  kevinkelly 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Your Dream Office is Just Over There: Co-Working and the Instant Creative Community: Coroflot - Coroflot's Creative Seeds Blog
"temp on-site cubicle, home office, coffee shop...all lack most important quality of ideal creative workspace: other creatives with whom to interact...good ideas, creative work flow almost never flourish in vacuum, yet increasingly...asked to do so"
collaborative  coworking  creativity  freelance  innovation  workspace  work  howwework  design  lcproject  workspaces 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Pixish: We bring visual artists and publishers together
"site where you can create image contests....place where people who want images and people who make images can easily find each other and collaborate on creative projects together."
design  freelance  illustration  glvo  social  competition  images  photography  art  collaboration  community  creativecommons  creativity  graphics  crowdsourcing  socialnetworks  socialsoftware  webapps  publishing 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Vodafone Receiver » #19 | Generation Mesh
"For Generation Mesh, Starbucks – as well as independent cafés, parks and other public spaces where it is possible to access the wireless internet – is a vital site for social interaction, professional support, collaboration and, even, community."
wireless  coworking  telecommuting  social  computers  game  public  internet  online  wifi  web  interaction  relationships  society  work  collaboration  community  networks  networking  socialnetworks  socialnetworking  mobile  mobility  neo-nomads  nomads  urban  urbanism  culture  economics  freelance  gamechanging  network  mesh  starbucks 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Cool Tool: Uclue Answers
"Many of the free-lance researches from Google Answers moved to...Uclue...offers a similar service. You ask a question, announce a price you think an answer is worth, and if a top-notch researcher thinks your fee is fair, they will research your question.
freelance  information  knowledge  outsourcing  answers  tools  search  web  internet  online 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Co-Trabajo | Encuesta para Freelancers en Argentina
"Coworking es un movimiento para crear espacio de trabajo compartido entre desarrolladores, diseñadores, escritores y otros trabajadores independientes; generando una comunidad y un ambiente de colaboración entre sus miembros."
coworking  argentina  buenosaires  space  networks  networking  freelance  productivity  entrepreneurship  business  meatspace 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Jelly -- Working together is more fun for everyone!
"Jelly is casual coworking. We invite people to work from our home for the day. We provide chairs and sofas, wireless internet, and interesting people to talk to, collaborate with, and bounce ideas off of."
collaboration  jelly  collaborative  coworking  entrepreneurship  workspace  work  socialnetworking  networking  meatspace  productivity  nyc  conferences  social  freelance  environment  business  workspaces 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Coworking Community Blog
"Coworking is a movement to create cafe-like community/collaboration spaces for developers, writers and independents."
opensource  community  collaboration  blogs  communication  coworking  office  work  workspace  space  studio  freelance  entrepreneurship  socialnetworks  socialnetworking  productivity  cooperative  business  workspaces 
october 2007 by robertogreco

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