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The sharing economy is bullsh!t. Here’s how we can take it back

The sharing economy is bullsh!t. Here’s how we can take it back
The sharing economy is bullshit. Airbnb is a rental broker. Uber and Lyft are unregulated cab services. Taskrabbit and similar “servant economy” enterprises let well-off people pay less well-off people to do their chores — without providing anyone the benefits and security of traditional employment. “Sharing” has been appropriated and stripped of all meaning by people trying to sell you things, much like sustainability was. Once “green” became hip and important about a decade ago, corporate bigwigs started preaching about sustainable profits and misleading eco-labels got slapped on single-use disposable plastic water bottles. A recent piece in The Nation indicted the so-called sharing economy on multiple counts: The sharing economy is a nice way for rapacious capitalists to monetize the desperation of people in the post-crisis economy while sounding generous, and to evoke a fantasy of community in an atomized population. And sharing, real sharing, is important. Hence this series.

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Think Outside the Boss The Festival of Labor © Chrysti | Flickr Thank you very much to the committee for this invitation to deliver the 8th Annual Eric N Schocket Memorial Lecture on Class and Culture, and thank you especially to Professor Christoph Cox for setting it all up! Today, we are not only celebrating spring time, we are honoring Eric Schocket. While I never had the privilege of meeting Professor Schocket, I learned about his exemplary scholarship, engaging and passionate work as a teacher here at Hampshire College, his care for family and comrades, his work with Rethinking Marxism, and the influential roundtable on class that he convened in Youngstown, Ohio. Digital labor touches all of us, whether you are browsing Tinder profiles in your spare time, searching for “Jersey Shore” on Google, or ordering an Uber taxi. In this afternoon’s talk, I will highlight what is and what could be successful about 21st century work and what are some tendencies that are worrisome.

Class differences University of California, Irvine, professor Paul Piff, PhD, starts his courses on class differences by asking students about their consumer habits: Do they shop at J.C. Penney or Neiman Marcus? What kind of car do they drive, if they drive at all? Behavioral Economics 101 This page was adapted from A Glimpse of Behavioral Economics by ideas42 and Applying Behavioral Research to Asset-Building Initiatives by CFED innovator-in-residence Mindy Hernandez. Behavioral economics is the study of how people make choices – not in a simplified economic model, but in the textured and rich reality of daily life – and draws on insights from both psychology and economics. Standard theorizing from traditional economic models assumes that people are highly rational and pursue their goals consistently, without mistakes or need for help.

Airbnb has a dead people problem: The morbid side of the sharing economy A few months back, I rented a car via Getaround, a company that’s like Airbnb for vehicles. I booked a stranger’s 2006 BMW for the weekend. After locating it in a nearby parking lot via GPS, I unlocked it with the Getaround app and found the key behind the sun visor.

How do we organise to create a new local economy? You are here: Home » News & Blogs » How do we organise to create a new local economy? One of the biggest challenges to human beings living sustainably on the planet is not so much about the technology or lack of resources- its more about how we can work together and organise ourselves to respond to the collective challenges we face. So many of the challenges of today require us to work things out together to find a shared response- in groups, teams, organisations, communities, nations…. And that’s fine working in groups, teams or organisations- except that they are full of people! So many social change groups and organisations who try and do things like create a more sustainable, resilient and equitable local economic system come up against the challenges of working together.

David Graeber: ‘So many people spend their working lives doing jobs they think are unnecessary’ A few years ago David Graeber’s mother had a series of strokes. Social workers advised him that, in order to pay for the home care she needed, he should apply for Medicaid, the US government health insurance programme for people on low incomes. So he did, only to be sucked into a vortex of form filling and humiliation familiar to anyone who’s ever been embroiled in bureaucratic procedures. At one point, the application was held up because someone at the Department of Motor Vehicles had put down his given name as “Daid”; at another, because someone at Verizon had spelled his surname “Grueber”. Graeber made matters worse by printing his name on the line clearly marked “signature” on one of the forms. Steeped in Kafka, Catch-22 and David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King, Graeber was alive to all the hellish ironies of the situation but that didn’t make it any easier to bear.

Hazel Kyrk Hazel Kyrk (1886 – 1957) was an American economist. §Biography[edit] §Early years[edit] Hazel Kyrk was born in 1886 in Ashley, Ohio. The 15-Word Fix for Tragically Misguided Logic (Needism) by Jag Bhalla This is diablog 7 between David Sloan Wilson (DSW, head of the Evolution Institute and author of Does Altruism Exist?) and me (JB). 1. JB: Humans basically can’t survive without cooperating (~economics) and sharing resources (~politics). Emotional Economics: Measuring What Matters Since the economy came crashing down on us in 2008, there’s been a growing consensus that our economic system as we know it is not sustainable. What we’ve since learned is that money is fiction and the security we think we’ve been building all these years is a myth. Other than its dysfunction, nothing in the conventional economy seems real.

untitled Examples of Food Services Collectives Abstract Based on the examples of two collectives preparing lunches and giving them for free with an option of donation at Montreal universities, this article considers how services of general interest could be organized in an alternative way—namely how the combination of paid and unpaid work, spontaneous work involving high number of volunteers, and the dissociation of annual income from sale of output can serve as a model for providing needed public services. The probable expansion of such services in the future is supported by several current trends in the developed countries: for example, underemployment of human resources, a new work ethos, and the democratic deficit inherent in the current system of service provision by state or market providers. Article Notes Declaration of Conflicting Interests The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

The Unselfish Gene Artwork: Geoffrey Cottenceau and Romain Rousset, Flamme, 2009 In 1976, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins wrote in The Selfish Gene, “If you wish, as I do, to build a society in which individuals cooperate generously and unselfishly towards a common good, you can expect little help from biological nature. Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish.” By 2006, the tide had started to turn. The Danger of Financial Jargon The most important mystery of ancient Egypt concerned the annual inundation of the Nile floodplain. The calendar was divided into three seasons linked to the river and the agricultural cycle it determined: akhet, or the inundation; peret, the growing season; and shemu, the harvest. The size of the harvest depended on the size of the flood: too little water, and there would be famine; too much, and there would be catastrophe; just the right amount, and the whole country would bloom and prosper. Every detail of Egyptian life was shaped by the flood. Even the tax system was based on the level of the water, which dictated how successful farmers would be in the subsequent season. Priests performed complicated rituals to divine the nature of that year’s flood and the resulting harvest.

The dangers of the Sharing Economy (3): A Platform for (Cooperative) Revolution by Trebor Scholz for THE NATION In the past few months alone, you’ve probably read or listened to at least one story about the unethical labor practices of Amazon Mechanical Turk, TaskRabbit, or CrowdFlower, to name a few crowdsourcing labor platforms. To get gigs, workers must go through the bottleneck of the platforms, where thousands of invisible, novice workers are paid between $2 and $3 an hour, workplace surveillance is rampant, and wage theft is a feature, not a bug.