Labor Pains: 

  • While the marketing language around the gig economy emphasizes freedom, flexibility and implausibly optimistic earnings for any hard hustling Horatio Alger types, the reality can be one of continual precarity. In an unusual and maybe unprecedented take on an old labor tactic, a crowdfunding campaign has been set up to fund a strike by gig economy workers upset with sudden changes in how and how much delivery drivers are paid. While the broad reach of networks might help finance strike activities, it also allows companies to source replacement workers with exceptional ease and speed. 


(Dis)trusting Technology:



  • Living in the most surveilled era of human history has demonstrable effects on personal expression and cultural production. In the case of social media context collapse we self-edit for our real or imagined audiences composed of friends, co-workers, bosses, ex-lovers and would-be clients. While the consequences of poor personal editorial oversight might be losing followers or losing a job, the stakes are even higher for people who have been processed through the prison system. When it's a choice between physical freedom and freedom of expression, artists respond in various ways - in some cases completely switching up styles or abstaining from content that was once the mainstay of their work. Fader looks at the impact of prison and parole on the artistic output of several rappers, with the implication that all those eyes on our actions may be depriving us of more than we can ever know. When judgement fueled by scraps of information abounds, we lose the opportunity to hear certain stories, try out new ideas or more fully comprehend the not-safe-for-social media aspects of one another.


More next week.