Working Futures: The Future Of Work May Have Unexpected Consequences

from the but-it's-still-coming dept

Order your copy of Working Futures today »

Over the last week or so, since releasing our Working Futures book of science fiction stories about “the future of work,” we’ve been profiling each of the stories in the book. The first three stories were profiled here, and the second three were profiled here. Here are the next three stories in the book:


Joan Henry vs The Algorithm by Randy Lubin is a modern retelling of the legend of John Henry vs The Machine, but where the machine is an algorithm and there are a few additional twists in the story.

Prime of Life. This is my own second story in the collection, and I talked a bit about it on yesterday’s podcast. This was my attempt to look at how more and more services are coming with subscription models, and picturing a world (and new kinds of jobs) that might come about if we were to create subscription services for almost anything. But, that also raises questions, such as whether or not you’d want to turn your whole life over to one company. And then what happens if that company decides you should no longer keep that life. But… also what happens if there were real competition in the market to provide such services.

The Auditor & The Exorcist by N. R. M. Roshak which is a story that explores the future of work in a near-future world with AI-mediated social credit. Unfortunately for everyone concerned, software bugs are still a thing in the future. If you have nightmares about the lack of security on IOT (and also about the possibility of a social credit score), this one is for you.


I like that these three stories are together in the collection, because despite all three being very different, all three present protagonists with jobs that clearly don’t exist today… but which don’t seem at all unlikely depending on how technology and society evolve over the next decade or so. All three also highlight how these futures we’re discussing are neither dystopian nor utopian (or, arguably, they can be seen as both dystopian and utopian depending on whose perspective you’re looking at. These are worlds where amazing things are possible, but those amazing things also have costs and consequences that should be considered. Thanks to everyone who has already purchased the book — and for those who haven’t yet, please check it out.

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Comments on “Working Futures: The Future Of Work May Have Unexpected Consequences”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Okay, here you big baby.

The complaint seems to have been about Javascript, and Mediafire won’t work without that either. For publishing files that have free licenses, archive.org is always a decent option. Weird UI, but you can post direct PDF links and they’ll work. No weird bullshit to try to push advertising, no file/link expiry.

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

The Flying Subpoenas Brothers says:

Re: Re: Re: Okay, here you big baby.

Got it at last! Thanks!

Of course I’d have been GOOGLED if using a normal browser. Those "fonts" and "API" have no function but surveillance. Don’t any of you want to be FREE in the future? You don’ t mind GOOGLE collecting every web-site and every click? Sheesh.

The future is utterly unnecessary detailed surveillance by which corporations will control you after the least unorthodox view or action. — Tell ya, kids, the novel "1984" could only work because Orwell didn’t see the present level of surveillance! He had his little corner in which to write, and could get out into the country without being tracked. That’s already nearly impossible.

But you just go on heedling Mike "corporatiions are persons" Masnick.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Just in case you wanted an EPUB of the book

While I know Mike & co released this under creative commons and encourage sharing generally, it seems like if you’re going to post such a link, you should at least suggest that people look for other ways to support tech dirt if you’re going to share the file like that. Otherwise, it kinda looks like a dick move.

Samuel Abram (profile) says:

Re: Re: Just in case you wanted an EPUB of the book

How is it a dick move? The very act of a creative commons release strongly suggests that it was meant to be shared freely in such a fashion. Had they not offered a free or sharable license, then yeah, it would definitely be a dick move. However, the fact that they did so means that I am doing what they intended people do anyway.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Just in case you wanted an EPUB of the book

Not a dick move to share, but seems like you should at least suggest people support tech dirt in some other way if they’re going to download the book that way when they’re promoting a very reasonably priced version and allowing it to be shared freely.

Samuel Abram (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Just in case you wanted an EPUB of the book

I think there are plenty of ways TechDirt and the Copia institute make supporting them easy, such as through the "support TechDirt" link above. I am an insider, after all. 😉 I just think putting a mention to support TechDirt would seem redundant considering all the ways people can do so and TechDirt make available.

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The Flying Subpoenas Brothers says:

Re: Re: Just in case you wanted an EPUB of the book

So, downloads infringing normal copyright is… WHAT?

Had they not offered a free or sharable license, then yeah, it would definitely be a dick move.

I’m highly curious whether that applies to other books, music, and movies, OR only some exemption pirates make because… it’s Masnick trying to gain money with this?

[Looked in hoping for a useable link… Must be getting desperate for comments since those aren’t yet "hidden"!]

This comment has been deemed funny by the community.
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: One Of Us One Of Us Gleeble Globble Gleeble Glooble!

So what you’re saying bro. Is that you, as customer are having a hard time with the technology that your preferred distributor has chosen to use. And further more, piracy is cheaper, more reliable, more user friendly, and quite a bit more convenient. Welcome to the Filthy Pirate Club bro.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 One Of Us One Of Us Gleeble Globble Gleeble Glooble!

He already uses TOR. By his own definition and petard, blue is a pirate. He’s been a pirate from Day One.

More than that, unlike most of the pirates here, blue is also a corporatist who would go down on his knees and put a sign saying "Three holes, no waiting" if his beloved AT&T ever comes under scrutiny.

Samuel Abram (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Just in case you wanted an EPUB of the book

I’m highly curious whether that applies to other books, music, and movies, OR only some exemption pirates make because… it’s Masnick trying to gain money with this?

I can’t speak for the other people here, but as far as I am concerned, yes, it does apply to other copyrighted books, music, and movies as well (not to mention games). Other commenters may disagree. We’re not a monolith.

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

Multiple Rebendables says:

The future is a lot like the web-sites this is on!

The workingfutur.es has an overlay they think neat, but just makes difficult to read.

Amazon twice blocked me for a "robot" check, wouldn’t let me read all of Masnick’s bio, and of course I wouldn’t even think of letting it identify me, and thousand times less give it a card #.

Google Drive — in Deutsche — presented two words at top, mostly blank, then when allowed javascript, some other apparent message. Nothing that was clickable.

THAT foretells the real horror to come. Banal, not useable, anonymity impossible, surveilled and track — forever.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Hardly surprising. This particular out_of_the_blue PEBCAK has been demanding for increased surveillance powers to monitor for potential copyright infringement. Of course it would lead to encryption backdoors and removed anonymity.

He spent all those years gloating it wouldn’t bite him in the ass, and now look. Wotta maroon!

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