Work Futures Minipost - Back In The USSR

| Food Courier Exploitation | Winner-Take-All Economy | Toxic Managers | Pre-Burnout | Steven Hawking |

Beacon NY - 2019-06-17 — Back from two weeks in Europe. In Barcelona I joined other members of the Platform Design Toolkit community for a two-day working session, about which more to follow. Then off to Lisbon for the SocialNow conference, seeing old friends, and five days of roaming the cobblestone streets of the city with my son, Keenan.

I lost 5 pounds from all the walking!


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Food App Couriers Exploit Migrants Desperate for Work in France | Liz Alderman explores the sour economics of food couriers in France:

In France, where food delivery is a booming trend, some couriers who are registered on such apps [like Uber Eats, Deliveroo, or Glovo] are renting out their accounts. The substitute cyclists are often illegal migrants, asylum seekers and underage teenagers willing to work long hours for low wages, no matter the traffic or weather, according to French labor and humanitarian groups, some companies, and interviews with more than a dozen of riders and migrants.


“These jobs have become more precarious,” said Jean-Daniel Zamor, president of the Independent Deliverymen’s Collective in Paris, a group that works on labor issues for couriers. “The fact that there is less money from the platforms has pushed poor people to outsource to people even poorer than them.”

A race to the bottom, and a failure of regulation to stop it.


How Data Can Help You Win in the Winner-Take-All Economy | Neil Irwin argues that the best chance for a successful career is in the platform 'superstar' companies that dominate their fields:

If you’re looking to make a career out of creating great art, or changing the world through activism, or otherwise eschewing the conventional business track, I wish you the best. But this article isn’t for you: I’m here to address those seeking fortune in modern capitalism. And across industries, I’ve found, more and more of the most compelling opportunities are at companies that dominate their fields — global, profitable, well managed, technologically adept.

Irwin's comments about what former VoloMetrix people — acquired by Microsoft — found through analyzing the metadata associated with office productivity tools is fascinating. Biggest takeaway: being forced to attend too many big meetings makes people sad.

Go read the whole thing.


How To Handle A Toxic Manager | Chris Sowers provides on-the-ground advice about surviving a toxic boss.

Get out. The most important survival tactic is to get out as soon as you can.

The rest of the advice is solid, too.


How to tell if you’ve got 'pre-burnout' | Zaria Gorvett reports on a WHO study on burnout:

Late last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the trendy problem will be recognised in the latest International Classification of Diseases manual, where it is described as a syndrome “resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”.

According to the WHO, burnout has three elements: feelings of exhaustion, mental detachment from one’s job and poorer performance at work. But waiting until you’re already fully burned out do something about it doesn’t help at all –and you wouldn’t wait to treat any other illness until it was too late.

So how can you tell if you’re almost – but not quite – burned out?

A lot of the signs and symptoms of pre-burnout would be very similar to depression,” says Siobhán Murray, a psychotherapist based in County Dublin, Ireland, and the author of a book about burnout, The Burnout Solution.

Quote of the Day

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.

| Steven Hawking


The Rise of Progressive Occultism | Tara Isabella Burton takes a deep dive into the enigmatic spirituality of the 'nones':

Progressive occultism—the language of witches and demons, of spells and sage, of cleansing and bad energy, of star and signs—has become the de facto religion of millennial progressives: the metaphysical symbol set threaded through the worldly ethos of modern social justice activism. Its rise parallels the rise of the religious “nones,” and with them a model of spiritual and religious practice that’s at once intuitional and atomized. Twenty-three percent of Americans call themselves religiously unaffiliated, a number that spikes to 36 percent among millennials (Trump’s white evangelical base, by contrast, only comprises about 17 percent of Americans). But tellingly, few among this demographic identify as atheists or agnostics.


An End To Predictions, A Call For Revolution | I wrote this earlier in 2019, but recently posted it on Medium where it was curated for the Future topic.