Apple’s “Transparent Texting” Could Make Typing And Walking Safer
If you’re walking, you really shouldn’t be texting. While not as perilous as texting and driving, there’s no surer way to annoy fellow pedestrians than by zigzagging across a sidewalk, eyes glued to your precious screen. But if you absolutely must walk and text, Apple might have a new feature that could make that action safer.
More> Co.Design


Apple’s “Transparent Texting” Could Make Typing And Walking Safer

If you’re walking, you really shouldn’t be texting. While not as perilous as texting and driving, there’s no surer way to annoy fellow pedestrians than by zigzagging across a sidewalk, eyes glued to your precious screen. But if you absolutely must walk and text, Apple might have a new feature that could make that action safer.

More> Co.Design

(via dackdel)

Socialogy Interview: Benjamin Dyett

First Meeting of the NYC Chapter of Future of Work

We had a great start in New York last night. A long list of attendees — some old friends and many new — came together for a chance to discuss their personal reasons for coming, and then were subjected to me laying out my own rationale: for trying to bring together a Future of Work community as the start of a movement, a movement dedicated to changing the ways of work. 

I offered up a subset of my manifesto for a new way of work, entitled Leanership: A New Way Of Work (see the presentation here, at Haiku Deck). And I sketched out some thoughts about how the community might work, at the chapter level, but I know that will grow and evolve as more people become involved, and the chapters start to take on a life of their own.

Big thanks to Grind, whose wonderful Broadway coworking space was our venue. The staff were immensely helpful, and I got a minute to chat with Benjamin Dyett, one of the founders. He told me that the Chicago Grindspace has now opened, joining the two in New York City, (And the Grindism manifesto is awesome.) Later today I will be publishing an interview with Benjamin, in the Socialogy series. 

I want to especially thank Guy Alvarez, the NYC Chapter chief, for his efforts, and the larger task ahead. He and his fellow chapter chiefs — Kat Mandelstein in Austin, and Laura Gaunt in Boston — will be working over the coming months to reach out to their respective communities to pull in new voices and contributors, with new ideas about formats, speaker, and other activities.

Austin’s first meeting is this Thursday 27 March 6:30pm Austin time (Tech Ranch, 9111 Jollyville Rd, Austin, TX 78759). Please RSVP if you plan to attend. I am hoping that we can use the Interwebs so I can be piped in.

Boston’s first meeting is next week, and I will be attending. That will be held at Ideapaint, 40 Broad St, Boston MA 02109 on Thursday 3 April at 6:30pm Boston time. Please RSVP.

I’ve only seen one photo so far from last night’s event. Here I am with three members of Change Agents Worldwide, with (left to right) Rob Cladera, Joachim Stroh, me, and Dany DeGrave.

And a final invitation to join us, and to consider starting other chapters. This is the start of a movement, and we will need to incite a disruption — a discontinuity — so that some of the old, bad ways can be halted, and a new way of work can be coaxed into existence.

Stowe Boyd, lead researcher for GigaOM Research, took many overlapping influences into consideration in his response, also figuring in the influences of robots and asking, “What are people for?” He predicted: “The Web will be the single most foundational aspect of people’s lives in 2025. People’s companion devices — the 2025 equivalent of today’s phones and tablets — will be the first thing they touch in the morning and the last thing they put down to sleep. In fact, some people will go so far as to have elements of their devices embedded. The AI-mediated, goggle-channeled social interactions of the near future will be as unlike what we are doing today, as today’s social Web is to what came before. The ephemeralization of work by AI and bots will signal the outer boundary of the industrial age, when we first harnessed the power of steam and electricity to amplify and displace human labor, and now we see that culminating in a possible near-zero workforce. We have already entered the post-normal, where the economics of the late industrial era have turned inside out, where the complexity of interconnected globalism has led to uncertainty of such a degree that it is increasing impossible to find low-risk paths forward, or to even determine if they exist. A new set of principles is needed to operate in the world that the Web made, and we’d better figure them out damn fast. My bet is that the cure is more Web: a more connected world. But one connected in different ways, for different ends, and not as a way to prop up the mistakes and inequities of the past, but instead as a means to answer the key question of the new age we are barreling into: What are people for?”

Digital Life in 2025| Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project

I was one of the ‘gurus’ in the Pew’s attempt to peer into the future of the Internet. I come across as protopian, hoping that we can use the web to make the world a slightly better place, and to work on the most central question of the age: What are people for?


Call for Proposals

To be held at The New School, a university in New York City
NOVEMBER 14-16, 2014

The third in The New School’s Politics of Digital Culture Conference Series
Sponsored by The New School and The Institute for Distributed Creativity

labor organizers, theorists, social entrepreneurs, historians, legal scholars,
independent researchers, cultural producers — and perspectives from workers themselves
– to discuss emerging forms of mutual aid and solidarity.

Over the past decade, advancements in software development, digitization,
an increase in computer processing power, faster and cheaper bandwidth and
storage, and the introduction of a wide range of inexpensive,
wireless-enabled computing devices and mobile phones, set the global stage
for emerging forms of labor that help corporations to drive down labor
costs and ward off the falling rate of profits.

Companies like CrowdFlower, oDesk, or Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk serve as
much more than payment processors or interface providers; they shape the
nature of the tasks that are performed. Work is organized against the
worker. Recent books included The Internet as Playground and Factory
(Scholz, 2013), Living Labor (Hoegsberg and Fisher) based on the exhibition
Arbeitstid that took place in Oslo in 2013 and Cognitive Capitalism,
Education, and Digital Labour (Peters, Bulut, et al, eds., Peter Lang,
2011). In 2012, the exhibition The Workers was curated by MASS MOCA in the
United States. Christian Fuchs’ book Digital Labor and Karl Marx is
forthcoming with Routledge.

Several events have been organized in the last few years to focus on these
developments: Digital Labor: the Internet as Playground and Factory
conference (The New School, New York City, 2009 http://digitallabor.org),
Digital Labor: Workers, Authors, Citizens (Western University, London,
Ontario, Canada, 2009), Invisible Labor Colloquium (Washington University
Law School, 2013), Towards Critical Theories of Social Media (Uppsala
University, Sweden, 2012), Re:publica (Berlin, 2013), and the Chronicles of
Work lecture series at Schloß Solitude (Stuttgart, Germany, 2012/2013).

We would like to continue and elaborate on these discussions by raising the
following questions:

Who and where are the workers and how do they understand their situation?
How and where do they act in political terms?

How can we analyze digital labor as a global phenomenon, pertaining to
issues like underdevelopment and supply chains?

Which theories and concepts can help us to frame our thinking about the
gridlock of digital work?

How do waste, repair, and disposal play into the debate about labor?

Are there artistic works that respond to contemporary labor?

How do gender, race, ability, and class play out in the diverse fields of
digital labor?

How are laboring capacities, also in the digital realm, sustained and
maintained by maternal labor, or the labor of care workers, domestic

Alternatively, how do we conceptualize digital work that is underwaged and
often coded as feminized?

What are the postcolonial tensions arising between digital workers in
different locales?

How relevant are unions to the millions of crowdsourced workers?

How can we resist the all-too-common “the labor movement is dead” narrative?

Which concrete projects might offer us a critical foundation upon which to
build broader strategies for “digital solidarity”?

What can be learned from the history of organized labor when it comes to
crowdsourcing and lawsuits like Otey vs. CrowdFlower?

What are possibilities and tensions that arise with projects aiming for
solidarity among people in global labor systems?

What are the reasons for withholding legislation that would allow for an
enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act in the crowdsourcing industry?

Are there new forms of contracts or widened definitions of employment that
would better address today’s work realities?

What policy proposals might be developed and put on the table now?

In addition to traditional conference structures,
with creative presentation formats and novel venues. We welcome applications for
the following formats:

- experimental lectures (e.g., “theory tapas,” pecha kuchas, collaborative
presentations, or formats not using spoken language)
- lectures or panels
- keynote dialogues
- design fiction workshops for those interested in design storytelling and
envisioning alternative futures (3 hours)
- performance lectures in the places where some of this work is taking
place: the living rooms of participants (20 minutes each)

SUBMIT a 300-word abstract or a link to short video, and a one-page
curriculum vitae to digitallabor2014 at gmail.com by March 21, 2014.
Please state clearly which format you are applying for and do emphasize how
your proposal speaks to the questions above.

Confirmation of participation: March 31, 2014.
If you have any logistical questions, please contact Alexis Rider
digitallabor2014 at gmail.com

We are planning an open access digital work notebook that documents and
expands the discussion leading up to, during, and after this event.
Contributions will emerge from the iDC mailing list.


Conference editor: Trebor Scholz with (Advisory Board): Lilly Irani, Frank
Pasquale, Sarah T. Roberts, Karen Gregory, Mckenzie Wark, and Winifred
Poster. Producer: Alexis Rider.

Join the discussion:


iDC — mailing list of the Institute for Distributed Creativity (distributedcreativity.org)


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