Working Futures: The Future Of Work Is Likely To Be Complicated

from the but-it's-coming-either-way dept

Order your copy of Working Futures today »

On Wednesday we officially launched our Working Futures anthology, which is available at Amazon as both an ebook (for $2.99) or a paperback for ($9.99) or both together ($10.99). I really recommend the paperback, because it looks great. So far, we've been blow away with the support we've received and the excitement over the collection. The book has shot up the various best seller lists on Amazon, reaching in the teens for science fiction anthologies, and reaching #12 in the "new releases" category.

In the launch post earlier this week, I profiled the first three stories, so today I want to explore the next three -- which has some names that Techdirt readers will recognize... starting with me:


The Nole Edge Economy: I've been talking a lot about protocols over platforms lately, and wanted to explore such a world in a fictional context -- and combined two other elements: the incredible wealth of DIY info found totally free online such as on YouTube (I was inspired to write this after learning how to rebuild a carboretor via YouTube videos) and also the odd dependencies created by shareable, reusable code. Also, there'a little nod towards SLAPP suits as well. In short, this is a story that hits on a lot of regular Techdirt points.

eMotion: by our very own Timothy Geigner. He kept telling me he was too busy to write something, and then at the last minute delivered this wonderful story exploring what the world might look like when artificial intelligence is granted its own rights -- and starts to require what probably can't be called "human" resources any more when dealing with job changes and transitions. But, in such a world, certainly the line begins to blur between who gets to make decisions for whom. And, I mean, how do you let a military artificial intelligence know that its services are no longer needed...

Genetic Changelings: by Keyan Bowes was one of the few stories we received that didn't focus on artificial intelligence, but rather started exploring a world where genetic engineering has taken off to fairly spectacular levels. It's a world that will seem quite familiar to today's... but with a few potentially startling differences. I mean, when a story starts out in its first line discussing a child's tail, you know it's going to be a bit different.


We'll continue describing more stories next week, and we'll have some fun other stuff, including some of the authors on our podcast. I also wrote a short guest post at Boing Boing about the project, and wanted to highlight one point I made over there. These stories don't paint a dystopian or a utopian future -- but mostly somewhere in between. Indeed, some of the stories are being interpreted in very different ways, with one author letting me know that he thought his story was really optimistic, but someone who read it reacted the opposite way. As I wrote for Boing Boing:

Some stories are upbeat and optimistic. Some... not so much. Many are deeply, deeply, in between: stuck in a world where “it’s complicated” is a fair way to describe things. But all of them help paint possible pictures of what work might mean in the future.

And that's part of why I like this collection so much. I've said all along that I'm less impressed by the "it'll all turn out horrible" or "it'll all work itself out" viewpoints, because they don't tell us anything useful, and the reality is almost always somewhere in the middle. But that's a big spectrum, and it often includes elements of good things... and elements of bad. Mixed together. It's complicated. Just like real life.

Filed Under: future of work, scenario planning, working futures


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    R. E. View, 4 Oct 2019 @ 11:15am

    "Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item"

    Is my (TOR) browser not allowing javascript so not showing reviews? Or you're actually up the charts without a SINGLE review? -- Not even HERE?

    C'mon, kids. Tell me how great this is!

    And by the way: putting it on torrent sites is PROMOTION as I said, 'cause saw the CC license. So, rip it and PROMOTE a torrent here! All I ask. 'Cause otherwise it's just not convenient, ya know?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      R. E. View, 4 Oct 2019 @ 11:34am

      Re: "Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this i

      Clicking around got me to review of other books...

      So, no reviews.

      Can't find any sales figures, either.

      Anyone want to explain the magic of Amazon's ratings to me? Do those just come... wait for it... out of the blue?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2019 @ 1:08pm

      Re: "Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this i

      Is my (TOR) browser not allowing javascript so not showing reviews?

      Amazon silently gave up their support for non-JS usage a couple of years ago; the "see all reviews" and "expand review" links are sometimes broken "javascript:" URIs. The review counts and star ratings are not broken, there are just no reviews for this.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2019 @ 11:39pm

      Re: ignorant motherfucker demands to special privlanges

      You’re so fucking jelly bro.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    R. E. View, 4 Oct 2019 @ 11:19am

    Also, it's $3.28 according to the page.

    But I'd be DELIGHTED to read you for FREE!

    Maz, you're just not practicing what you preach.

    (BTW: last week was to DARE, didn't appear that you were within a week of release.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2019 @ 11:52am

      Re: Also, it's $3.28 according to the page.

      You obvious do not look at other peoples comments, as if you did you would already have a copy to read for free from the link provided in the previous article.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rocky, 4 Oct 2019 @ 2:46pm

        Troll crosses public bridge, demands to pay toll.

        He do look at other peoples comments, it's just that he cannot comprehend things that doesn't fit into his worldview.

        He actually exhibits signs of suffering from schizophrenia and fixation, and he really should seek treatment.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2019 @ 5:17pm

      No it's not.

      Apparently you can't read either. It's $2.99.

      Maz, you're just not practicing what you preach.

      He does seem to be practicing what he preaches. The book is under creative commons license.

      (BTW: last week was to DARE, didn't appear that you were within a week of release.)

      Your comment saying he wasn't going to publish was literally on a post that said the book was to be released "next week". What about that "didn't appear" that they were within a week of release?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2019 @ 7:01pm

        Re: No it's not.

        blue could have a copy delivered to him, for free, with money attached, and he'll still piss and moan about it because he wasn't given a "Fuck Masnick up the asshole with a railroad spike" coupon.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Oct 2019 @ 4:04am

    Really? Deliver to Kindle Reader??!

    I can't. Sorry, I really just can't. Oh, wait - I could paperback? Even MORE NO!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Andrew Pam (profile), 5 Oct 2019 @ 6:07pm

    Not available in Australia

    Amazon says the book is not available (even for Kindle) in Australia. Mike, when will you make the book available in Australia?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Andrew Pam (profile), 5 Oct 2019 @ 6:11pm

      Re: Not available in Australia

      My mistake - the paperback is apparently available for shipping to Australia, it's only the eBook that is not. Mike, will the eBook be available in other formats and/or through other vendors?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Andrew Pam (profile), 5 Oct 2019 @ 6:15pm

        Re: Re: Not available in Australia

        ARGH!! I just successfully ordered the eBook via amazon.com.au (eventually). I hate their system so much. Please delete all these posts if possible.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 6 Oct 2019 @ 12:00am

          Re: Re: Re: Not available in Australia

          Heh. I just saw the first comment and was coming to note that it absolutely is available in Australia and in fact, we have orders from Australia for both the ebook and paperback. But... I guess you figured it out. Sorry about Amazon's bad interface. :(

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Andrew Pam (profile), 6 Oct 2019 @ 12:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Not available in Australia

            Yeah I have accounts on amazon.com amazon.com.au amazon.co.uk amazon.co.jp and amazon.de because I want to order things from those countries, and nowadays they notice that you're not using the site from your own country when you go to pay and forcibly redirect you, which loses the thing you're trying to buy. It's not always obvious how to find it again.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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