This Week: June 20, 2018

Why You Are a Fish:

Evolutionary biologist, Prosanta Chakrabarty reminds us that we are more fish than monkey. This six-minute video is a worthwhile perspective on how we, and all of the rest of life on the planet, are simply the latest incarnations from ancient trails of evolution, expanding outwards in great pulses of diversification.

Are We Losing Control?

James Bridle inquires in the Guardian about the unpredictable nature of technology and whether we are losing control:

Or perhaps the flash crash in reality looks exactly like everything we are experiencing right now: rising economic inequality, the breakdown of the nation-state and the militarisation of borders, totalising global surveillance and the curtailment of individual freedoms, the triumph of transnational corporations and neurocognitive capitalism, the rise of far-right groups and nativist ideologies, and the degradation of the natural environment. None of these are the direct result of novel technologies, but all of them are the product of a general inability to perceive the wider, networked effects of individual and corporate actions accelerated by opaque, technologically augmented complexity.

The Blurring Boundaries of the Workplace:

Three practicing architects and designers offer their perspectives on the future of the workplace:

In the automotive world, there will soon be, on the one end, autonomous vehicles with which nobody has any emotional relationship, and at the other end, you’ll have Ferrari. In a similar way, the office is becoming either extraordinarily tailored and made into a kind of resonant, special place or very generic. There won’t be much in the middle.

We often think of a place when we think about the office. But today our offices are becoming less like traditional places and more like hubs—smart hubs—each one connected to others all over the world, at all hours of the day. Here, the divide between “internal” and “external” members of a company is blurred, as the idea of collaboration is fully integrated into the organization of the space. The office will be a fluid thing. It will be almost natural.

As Tech Pinches the Middle and Lower Portions of the Income Curve:

Mark Harris explores how technology platforms are disproportionately harming those with less.

Because of the scale of the data many workers in the new digital economy have roles that put them at the mercy of an algorithmic regime, rather than a human boss, and they often have few rights of recourse should anything go wrong.

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