How the Gig Economy Profits off Desperation

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While the gig economy promises to free workers from the traditional, drab 9-to-5 work environment, the reality is quite different. Many contractors employed in gig economy–type jobs lack health care and retirement benefits, are at the mercy of their employers’ scheduling needs, and — despite being promised so much freedom — find themselves little more than glorified service workers.

…Most workers in the gig economy have no minimum wage, no unemployment benefits, no paid sick days, no pensions, and even no maximum or minimum working hours. They live at the whim of the platform(s) they’ve chosen to affiliate themselves with.

…The gig economy has created an employment model that robs workers of the rights they’ve earned over more than a century of fighting. It uses automation not to make a better world for everyone, but to put the risks of doing business on the backs of workers without providing them fair compensation. Though it doesn’t abhor inequality, its business model is well suited to take advantage of the growing divide.

Doug Henwood perfectly encapsulates the worldview of the gig economy when he writes that it “sees us all as micro-entrepreneurs fending for ourselves in a hostile world.”


The Perils of ‘Sharenting’

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…Researchers, pediatricians, and other children’s advocates are in the early stages of designing a public-health campaign to draw attention to what they say is an inherent conflict between a parent’s freedom to publish and a child’s right to privacy.

… “It’s very rare that parents are sharing maliciously, but they haven’t considered the potential reach or longevity of what is happening with the information they’re posting,” says Stacey Steinberg, a law professor at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law and the associate director of the school’s Center on Children and Families.

It’s typical for adults to mention a child’s name and birthdate in birth announcements and other posts on sites like Facebook and Instagram, for instance, which puts kids at risk of identity theft and digital kidnapping—when someone lifts images of another person’s kids and portrays them as their own. Some parents publish real-time information about their children’s whereabouts, potentially risking their safety. And well-meaning adults readily go online to share photos of their kids in a variety of intimate settings.

In Steinberg’s new paper, “Sharenting: Children’s Privacy in the Age of Social Media,” set to be published in the Emory Law Journal in the spring of 2017, she writes of a blogger who posted photos of her young twins while they were potty training. “She later learned that strangers accessed the photos, downloaded them, altered them, and shared them on a website commonly used by pedophiles,” Steinberg wrote. “This mother warns other parents not to post pictures of children in any state of undress, to use Google’s search features to find any images shared online, and to reconsider their interest in mommy blogging.”


We May Be Leaving the Ken Bone Zone

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The real Ken Bone is still alive and well, of course.

To prove it, he has tried, like any enterprising American, to capitalize on the country’s feverish, bewildering affection by accepting some sort of sponsorship deal from Uber, creating his own “Bone Zone” T-shirt line, and conducting an interview with the people of Reddit on Thursday. Judging from his active account history and the breadth of Mr. Bone’s discussions, they are his sort of people.

The media coverage has been so intense that it inspired one journalist to write existential poetry. In just a few short days, Mr. Bone broke Chewbacca Mom’s land-speed record for permeating our consciousness.

But the pendulum of adoration must always swing back, it seems.

Survey: 90% of Millennials Believe Technology Creates More Opportunity


I realized that most of the articles featured here talk about how technology is wrecking the world and human interaction, and then came across this counterpoint. Need some stats to show that tech is actually perceived as helpful and good? Check out the excerpt from this article:

More than 2,000 adults participated in the online survey, and the results indicate that overall, people are trying to manage the use of technology to maintain societal norms. However, the data also reinforces what we already know about millennials: they see technology as an enhancement to daily life.

… nine out of 10 millennials believe technology, and specifically the internet, gives them access to the kinds of jobs they’re suited for.

Across the board, survey participants indicated that technology has helped them connect with people they care about.

How Video Games Are Changing the Way Soccer Is Played

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As Iwobi suggests, however, they increasingly do more than that: They are not merely representations of the game, but influencers of it. Iwobi is not the only player who believes that what he does on the field has been influenced by what he has seen rendered on a screen.

Ibrahimovic said that he would “often spot solutions in the games that I then parlayed into real life” as a young player. Mats Hummels, the Bayern Munich and Germany defender, has suggested that “maybe some people use what they learn in FIFA when they find themselves on a pitch.”

Wenger’s assertion several years ago that Messi was a “PlayStation footballer” was meant more as an explanation than an insult: Messi does things that seem to belong on a pixelated screen because that is, in part, how he has learned to see the game. Just like Iwobi, his conception of what is possible and what is not was forged by fantasy.

Those Lips! Those Eyes! That Stubble! The Transformative Power of Men in Makeup

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My favorite person on Instagram these days is a guy who matches his makeup to his snacks.

…Watching Skelotim at work is mesmerizing. He slickly sets his makeup routine to pounding pop music, transforming from a regular dude into a sparkling vision of the fabulously strange. It’s just like Cinderella twirling around and around until she finds herself wearing a poufy blue ball gown, except Skelotim is changing into a Flamin’ Hot Cheeto. In the age of the selfie, what more appropriate canvas is there for an internet artist than his own face?

Skelotim is one of a handful of young men who have primped and preened their way into the female-centric world of Instagram and YouTube makeup artistry.