Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Weekend reading

Paul Mason in the Guardian, also Guardian Weekly 11 November:
The battle over Uber and driverless cars is really a debate about the future of humanity

  • "Uber drivers were right to claim employment rights. But in a world where driverless cars may soon make them redundant, we face long-term dilemmas about the systems we choose". 
  • If we accept – as Oxford researchers Carl Frey and Michael Osborne stated in 2013 – that 47% of jobs are susceptible to automation, the most obvious problem is: how are people going to live?
  • "In a way, Uber has done us a favour by making concrete the kind of rightwing libertarian dystopia that would come about if we allowed Silicon Valley to design the future. Instead, we should begin by recognising that, as machines plus artificial intelligence begin to replace human beings, the entire social, political and moral dilemma for humanity becomes a question of systems".

Guardian Weekly 11 November reader letter under the heading Time to get rid of elections, with reference to George Monbiot's article under the heading Lies, fearmongering and fables: that’s our democracy and the Sortition Foundation.

Guardian 25 October: 'Nobody calls it Czechia': Czech Republic's new name fails to catch on


Guardian Weekly 4 November: The prime minister of pretence – Theresa May told lies to win her job and now she is doing the same to make people believe she is acting in their interest.


Owen Jones, Guardian Weekly 4 November: "We all possess a natural empathy for other human beings. But once we Lose that, it is easy for injustice to flourish. The solution? Tell humanising stories".


Guardian Weekly 21 October: Liquid assets: how the business of bottled water went mad.  This article was heavily criticised in a reader letter under the heading The great water folly in GW 11 November for "totally ignoring the many real issues surrounding the bottled water industry".