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Ten lessons for a post-pandemic world: must-read new book by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria (some shared morsels)

"America will always disappoint its most ardent detractors—and admirers. It’s a big, complicated place, and you can always find in it what you want. But the pandemic laid bare fissures that have been persistently widening. They were best described decades ago by the economist John Kenneth Galbraith, who wrote that America was defined by “private opulence and public squalor.” The United States has long had a dazzling private sector, but its public institutions, with a few exceptions—such as the independent, self-funded, and highly respected Federal Reserve—limp along. Washington can throw money at a problem, which often does the job eventually, but it cannot run a complex national program to serve a collective benefit. Social Security—whose job is mainly to write checks—works, while the Veterans Administration is a bloated, bureaucratic disaster... These ills of government are an American, not a democratic, disease. Many other democracies handled this pandemic effectively, better than any dictatorship. That list includes countries run by political parties of all stripes"

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Humans are going to have the edge over robots where work demands creativity (says Tim Dunlop) via TheGuardian

As I said, the point of capitalism is to destroy jobs, not create them.

The second big change is post-industrialisation. Wealth is being created – not by making and selling physical things – but in areas of knowledge, information and financialisation.

These areas simply do not need as many workers as traditional employers. Where Kodak used to employ 140,000 people and was valued at $28bn (and is now bankrupt thanks to digitisation), Instagram was sold to Facebook in 2012 for a billion dollars when it (Instagram) employed 12 people.

Facebook itself is the sixth-largest company in the US, but it employs a mere 12,000 people full time. Compare that to, say, General Motors, which during the 1980s employed 349,000 workers in the US alone.

Google, one of the richest corporations on the planet, only employs about 55,000 people worldwide.

You get the picture.”

Humans are going to have the edge over robots where work demands creativity | Tim Dunlop
via Instapaper

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Rushkoff on the future of work, automation and the economic OS

“we may come to see that the values of the industrial economy are not failing under the pressures of digital technology. Rather, digital technology is expressing and amplifying the embedded values of industrialism.”

Viewed in this light the Industrial Age may have had no more to do with making products better or more efficiently than simply removing human beings from the value equation, and monopolizing wealth at the top

via Instapaper

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