Even Sweatshops are Getting Automated. So What’s Left?

May 22, 2014

Comparison of Nike’s successive sustainability reports reveals that the company used 106,000 fewer contract employees around the world in 2013 than 2012 (a greater than 9% drop), even as both profits and revenues increased by 16% and 5%, respectively. A story in the International Business Times states that this is because the company is “shift[ing] […]

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Why Is Customer Service Still So Lousy? Monopolist (i.e. Comcast) Edition

April 24, 2014

Every so often I have an experience as a consumer so bad that I have to write about it. The latest were the interactions I had with Comcast to get a new TiVo box working properly at my Mom’s house in Chicago and then (having, I thought, learned from that one) ordering a Comcast DVR […]

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On Monday, April 21: Talking with Walter Isaacson About The Second Machine Age

April 16, 2014

Next Monday morning at Noon I’m talking with king of all media Walter Isaacson about The Second Machine Age at the Aspen Institute in Washington DC. I give Walter that title because in addition to editing Time and being CEO of CNN, he’s also written runaway bestsellers (about Steve Jobs) and Pulitzer Prize nominees (about Henry Kissinger). In […]

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The Second Machine Age Comes to DC This Week

April 10, 2014

Just a quick note to let Washingtonians know about two happenings in their city this week. I find them interesting not because I’m speaking at them, but rather because of the people I’m speaking with. Tonight from 5:30 to 7 I’m sitting down to talk with Prof. Amitai Etzioni at George Washington University about “the […]

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The Second Machine Age Comes to New York this Friday

March 31, 2014

Just a quick note to let New Yorkers know that the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy is coming to your city this Friday, April 4. MIT Sloan faculty, alums, and other digital movers and shakers will come together from Noon to 7 pm on Friday at the TimesCenter (I haven’t been inside the facility […]

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Event: FWD.us in New York on Wednesday, March 26

March 25, 2014

Just a quick note to let New Yorkers know that I’ll be in Manhattan tomorrow (Wednesday, March 26) participating in a very worthwhile event: a discussion and reception sponsored by tech industry advocacy group FWD.us on technology, the middle class, and the American dream. It takes place at AOL headquarters at 770 Broadway. I’m not sure […]

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Non-Technologists Agree: It’s the Technology

March 12, 2014

Two papers came out last year that examined important issues around jobs and wages. Both are in top journals. Both were written by first-rate researchers, none of whom specialize in studying the impact of technology. And both came to the same conclusion: that digital technologies were largely responsible for the phenomena they examined. The first […]

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I Have Glimpsed the Future of Commercial Aviation. There Were Fewer Workers There.

February 26, 2014

Even though it seems Lufthansa has had its ‘Quick Boarding’ gates up and running since 2003, today was the first time I experienced one. In order to board my flight from Munich to Warsaw I scanned the two-dimensional bar code on my boarding pass (which I’d printed out at home). A subway station-style gate opened, […]

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Next Week: The Fray by the Bay

February 14, 2014

Next week I’m heading to Silicon Valley and San Francisco for two events. The advocacy group FWD.us has to date been focused largely on immigration, but is now taking up issues related to technological progress, innovation and growth, and the economic security of American workers. These are exactly the topics Erik Brynjolfsson and I tackle […]

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The Second Machine Age Book Tour Comes to the East Coast This Week

February 3, 2014

I can’t say for sure that coming to hear me and Erik Brynjolfsson talk about our book The Second Machine Age will bring great things to you and your city, but we did wind up our West Coast tour last week in Seattle. Draw your own conclusions… We start off the week tonight in our hometown […]

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