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The Future of Work

Ralph talks to Professor Trebor Scholz about how to organize workers in the new “Uber” economy.  And David and Steve ask Ralph about what he thought about the Trump Inauguration speech.  Plus, listener questions.



Trebor Scholz is a scholar-activist and Associate Professor for Culture & Media at The New School in New York City and is an expert in the new digital labor economy.  His books Uber-Worked and Underpaid.  How Workers Are Disrupting the Digital Economy and Ours to Hack and to Own  introduce the concept of platform cooperativism, a more humane workplace, which takes the worker-owned cooperative idea to the app store.


  1. Scott says:

    The objective of platform cooperativism is noble and good. The issue in the discussion that wasn’t raised is who protects the consumer? If the Uber driver owns Uber it becomes a all about the drivers and not the consumer. For example, standards get lowered or pricing structures get complicated so in some circumstances more can be charged. I think the model needs a go between or organizer if you will.

  2. Alanson Charles says:

    Interesting program on the future of work. Although it is true that we will be automated out of the repetitive mind numbing jobs. I recently quit driving for Uber to drive a car for Lyft. Much of the decision was based on my riders telling me that Uber was planning to replace drivers with robot cars. But the main reason I left was the feeling that Uber was more interested in profit than either driver or rider. Lyft at least appears to be more concerned with the driver. I have enjoyed learning about the Lyft way a kinder gentler way to ride share.

    I the program on on Future jobs I heard the ring of Fear as the droning undertone.

    So with that in mind I wanted to remind you and the listeners of the teachings of R. Buckminster Fuller. As a student at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. R. Bucky was a least 50 years ahead of his time. As an Anticipatory Design Scientist, he predicted the end of all manual jobs so that we could free the mind to expand and think of great things.

    We are currently in the grip of reactionary design science. We think and build only for the short term narrow thinking. The result is a failing infrastructure. Jerry Brown is rightly introducing legislature to simply patch the problem.

    I would like to suggest to you a read of “Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth”. I would like to introduce the idea of a closed system. I would like for you to consider “Whole Systems” Thinking as an alternative to fear.

    If identifying a problem would solve a problem we would have no problems.

    Ralph you are a master at identifying problems.

    R. Bucky was a master at identifying solutions. Find out what he thought about making this world work for all living things in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of cost and energy imaginable.

    Very Kindly Yours, Trim Tab.

  3. Obbop says:

    When in danger or in doubt, run in circles scream and shout.

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