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Work Futures - All Short Takes, No Longs

All my long form is going into other projects this week.

Work Futures

October 5 · Issue #1006 · View online
The ecology of work, and the anthropology of the future.

All my long form is going into other projects this week.

Beacon NY - 2018-10-?? — A busy few days leads to a post consisting of a slew of short takes.
For those hungry for a long take I recommend Liberation that I wrote in September, and mentioned in the short takes, below.
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Short Takes
Honda Putting $2.75 Billion Into G.M.’s Self-Driving Venture | Honda is investing $750 million in GM Cruiseautonomous vehicle project immediately, and an additional $2 billion over the next 12 years. GM acquired Cruise for what has been reported as $1 billion in 2016. Honda flirted with Waymo, the spinoff of Google, but now is partnering with GM. They hope to bring driverless cars to market in the next few years.
SoftBank and Toyota team up to develop services powered by self-driving vehicles | In related news, Jon Russellreports that SoftBank is marrying its IOT platform with Toyota’s Mobility Service Platform to create a joint venture called Monet.
Called MONET — after ‘mobility network’ — the joint venture will essentially assign autonomous vehicles to various different “just in time” services. That just in time caveat essentially means more than on-demand. SoftBank suggests it’ll mean that services are performed in transit. That could be food prepared as it is delivered, hospital shuttles that host medical examinations, or mobile offices, according to examples given by SoftBank.
Amazon Eliminating Bonuses, Stock Awards to Help Pay for Raise | An update to the recent announcement by Amazon, raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour: the company will simultaneously eliminate monthly performance bonuses and stock awards for hourly workers. The company says even with these changes, all hourly workers will see an increase in compensation. Also, hourly workers making more than $15 an hour now will receive a bump up of $1 an hour. Definitely sending a mixed message, though.
Iron Ox opens its first fully autonomous farm | The agricultural robots company Iron Ox opens its first fully autonomous farm, where Angus a 1000 pound robotic device manipulates 800 pound hydroponic boxes in an indoor farm. The company could be solving a major crisis in farming: a labor shortage for agricultural workers.
What’s Housework Worth? $1.6 Trillion a Year in U.K., Officials Calculate | An official UK study estimates that domestic labor – cleaning, laundry, cooking, and care for elders and children – amounts to $1.16 trillion in unpaid work, which is more than the manufacturing and retail sectors combined. The overall value of unpaid housework has increased by 80% since 2005, as UK austerity has cut into social services, and unpaid workers – mostly women – have borne the burden.
Self destruction | I only recently stumbled across Jim Meredith, but this post is an example of the sort of broad scope observation I eagerly seek out. This post includes a smart discussion of ‘liberated’ companies as explored in Give Your Team the Freedom to Do the Work They Think Matters Most by Brian Carney and Isaac Getz that I commented on in September.
Why Employers Should Stop Giving Away Snacks | Greg Rosalsky takes a deep dive into the ethical issues raised by free food at work. He suggests that employers should instead give workers an allowance – maybe a credit card – that can be used only for food purchases on site, but these funds could be redeemed for cash, alternatively.
source: Axios Future, Reproduced from Kaiser Family Foundation 2018 Employer Health Benefits Survey; Note: Average general annual deductibles are for single coverage
Cartoon of the Day
 via The New Yorker
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Stowe Boyd, 17 South Cedar Street, Beacon NY 12508