nordic finds

Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds. I am currently in Helsinki, via Oslo, and then off to Stockholm. So my selections may be influenced by my local surroundings.

“We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings.” –Ursula K. Le Guin via @HaymarketBooks

@MrAlanCooper: “The entire tech world is gonna be gobsmacked when they finally realize the solution is to take more time and think about people more.”

@EskoKilpi: “We are going to have a new kind of company that is to your data what your bank is to your money Storing it, keeping it safe and investing it.”

@White_Owly: “We can’t celebrate a shift towards a gig economy *and* complain about short-termism in the same breath.”

@Indy_Johar: “Societal Truths are a complex social product of linked & extrapolated scientific facts & correlations – dependent on high fidelity trust & governance. Where trust & governance has been destroyed – people return to making decisions on faith – be it Brexit or any other religion.”

The Guardian: Google’s plan to revolutionise cities is a takeover in all but name

In reality, there is no “digital grid”: there are just individual Alphabet products. Its bet is to furnish cool digital services to establish complete monopoly over data extractivism within a city. What passes for the efforts to build the “digital grid” might, in fact, be an attempt to privatise municipal services – a staple feature of Blackstone Urbanism, not a radical departure from it.

BBC: The flying drones that can scan packages night and day

Forrester estimates that automation technologies, including artificial intelligence, will replace 17% of US jobs by 2027. And growth in new types of employment will not be enough to compensate.

“Automation does create opportunities for new jobs – equivalent to 10% of today’s jobs,” says Mr Gownder.

“But that still leads to a net 7% loss of jobs due to automation, which has to be made up by macro-economic growth, non-automation related jobs, and monetary policy.”

The Atlantic: What if getting laid off wasn’t something to be afraid of?

In the early days of the 20th century, unions in Sweden were very militant, and there were frequent strike and labor disturbances. To try to stop the frequent disruptions to factories, the government encouraged companies to enter into collective bargaining agreements with unions. This collective relationship proved useful when employers started to lay off workers and outsource jobs in the 1970s. Unions were in a position to demand that employers do something in exchange for laying off workers. Unions and employers decided that the way to help laid-off employees was through job-security councils. “For unions to accept the idea that people get laid off from work, they need to know that people who are laid off get good support,” Walter said.  The first job-security council was founded in 1972, the most recent one was established in 2012.

Neal Jacobson, of FutureWorld, presenting HR Norge in Oslo this week, saying that people are paid to think. His three points align nicely with PKM which gave me a nice segue to my workshop the next day.


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