Computer Algorithms Are Killing Jobs and Narrowing Our Personalities

The history of industrialization is the separation of workers from their labor, and it continues today in the digital marketplace where online companies seek to replace human labor with algorithms.

Every time you navigate an automated telephone menu — a recorded voice helping you do what a receptionist could help you with in half the time — you are experiencing an early form of digital industrialization. Today, more sophisticated algorithms are replacing human employees, further separating workers from their labor.

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Online Companies Like Facebook Have Created a "Meaningless Economy"

Companies like Facebook no longer depend on traditional economic exchanges to turn profit, so what does this mean for the consumer? When we're not paying money, we're paying in other ways, says Douglas Rushkoff.

Online businesses were originally measured by how much they sold. Makes sense, right? That's how economics is taught. But today, the largest online companies depend on an "economy of likes" to make money, says media theorist Douglas Rushkoff. Valuations for companies like Facebook depend largely on their user base, he says, rather than their actual profits. An interesting case in point is Jay-Z's partnership with Samsung.

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The Online Economy Is Breaking Businesses, and Stealing Our Time and Energy

It's harder for most people to making a living now than it was before the rise of online businesses like Facebook and Amazon. That's because the digital economy is hurting the real economy.

It's harder for most people to making a living now than it was before the rise of online businesses like Facebook and Amazon. That's because the digital economy is hurting the real economy, says media theorist Douglas Rushkoff. Competition is increasingly fierce in just about every industry, and digital technologies have allowed companies to pursue monopolies like never before — because they chase the entire world's population as a customer base.

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Your Reality Was Designed By Stoners

I was just fascinated watching these guys doing coding during the day and scraping peyote off cactuses at night and going to raves until morning.

I got my second big wave of interest in digital technology when the weirdest and most psychedelic people I knew from Princeton, where I went to college, ended up moving out to California to become part of the digital revolution in the mid to late ‘80’s. 

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