National Jobs Guarantee, Volunteer Bucks, and the Future of Work

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's amazing victory in the 14th congressional district Democratic primary this week got a lot of people talking about the progressive ideas she ran on, one of which is a Federal Job Guarantee. According to her website: Alexandria endorses a Federal Jobs Guarantee, because anyone who is willing and able to work shouldn’t struggle to find employment. A Federal…

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Can Babershops Help Save Us From Job-Killing Robots?

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/05/22/upshot/22up-healthbarber/22up-healthbarber-facebookJumbo.jpg Interesting news from a new study on reducing blood pressure. A few years ago, researchers had trained barbers "to check blood pressure and refer people with high levels to physicians." It only had a small effect, they thought, because too often the physicians didn't prescribe blood pressure medication. So this time, researchers tried a different approach: The control group…

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Model the Blue-Collar Coding Job Ladder After Restaurants, Not Construction Work

A few years ago, Anil Dash wrote an influential piece advocating for what he called "blue-collar coding": High schools have long offered vocational education, preparing graduates for practical careers by making them proficient in valuable technical skill sets which they can put to use directly in the job market right after graduation. Vocational-technical schools (vo-tech) provide trained workers in important…

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The Robot/AI Jobs Debate Is Too Cramped

Using a small army of cheap, recent college graduates; 32 deep learning algorithms; and a Greek Oracle who just escaped from rehab, CrystalBall Associates has produced a forecast of the future they're confident is 97.82% accurate. The good news: robots and AI won't create mass unemployment. Instead, millions of people will have a "Last Mile automation" job, helping with training…

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By 2030, the Global 1% Will Own Two Thirds of All Wealth

According to the Guardian newspaper, we’re likely headed towards an unparalleled concentration of global wealth. An alarming projection produced by the [UK] House of Commons library suggests that if trends seen since the 2008 financial crash were to continue, then the top 1% will hold 64% of the world’s wealth by 2030 The reason for this disturbing prediction? Wealth was…

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Writing Our Stories, Writing Code: A Community-Centered Approach to Teaching Coding

While working on the Mixed Reality for All project, I started thinking about how you might teach coding to adults in low income communitities where instead of treating them as isolated individuals, you'd take advantage of the power of community. At one point I wrote a quick-and-dirty sketch of what such a class might look like. It's pretty rough --…

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