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Who Owns the Future? New Book Explains “technology is making jobs obsolete—but not replacing them,

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Jaron Lanier really articulates, in an accessible way, everything I've been complaining about for the last two years.  It is hopeful that someone is actually talking about these issues in the mainstream media.  While I complain about losing the Black voice on the net from the perspectives of journalism and artists, Lanier talks about it in much broader societal perspective.


Of course the Black community, as with all that ails America, is more adversely impacted.  Unfortunately, any entities with a broad reach are not raising this issues.  which garnered, deservedly, a lot of attention in the Black media a decade ago. 


Today there is no one in the Black community is talking about this because we no longer have the journalists and platforms in place with the ability to do it. Again, this is another result of the problem; the power of corporations through social media, search, etc has made reporting on these issues economically impossible as a sustainable business.


We posted of Review of Jaron's book:

Who Owns the Future?


I'd also encourage everyone to watch this video

Check out this video where Jaron Lanier talked about his book, Who Owns the Future, in which he argues that the rise of digital networks contributed to our economic recession and weakened our middle class. He said that while many millions of people contribute to and create value for the internet, largely for free, the technology companies that own the central computers are the ones making all the money from it. In his book, he argues that a more equitable sharing of the wealth, based on user contributions, would improve the middle class and our economy. Mr. Lanier spoke at Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park, California.


For example, I do not know a single Black writer being paid to Blog on the Huffington Post website.  Ariana has made many millions and we have good Black writers Blogging for free enriching Ariana and now AOL.


I remember Black writers complaining about how little they were being paid to write for, the now defunct, Black Issues Book Review Magazine.  They they were being paid.  They were also supporting an important business that could have grown into something much more!

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This is all the more reason why I've been saying for years we need to have a NEW Industrial Revolution in this nation.

Too many people are going to college and coming out expecting a cushy job where they can sit on their ass and play with computers and cell phones instead of actually doing physical work that builds and produces.t

The bubble has to burst at some point.

What we see going on in the Western world today could be considered an ECONOMIC GENOCIDE of sorts.

Just like tearing down the housing projects without building more affordable housing was a signal that instead of focusing on erasing POVERTY, they decided to focus on erasing THE POOR THEMSELVES.

On the economic front.....,
Instead of producing enough decent jobs for the millions of low skill and unskilled who are already unemployed and the millions more on there way, hey have now decided to simply ignore them and forget about them all together.

A lot of young Black professionals have foolishly bought into the hype many other young and less experienced professionals have bought into that if they work for free or or "bust thier ass" for peanuts that somehow one day the executives or "corporate" will recognize thier value.
The older generation of Blacks failed to teach them the tricks and traps of the corporate world.
The bottom line is the only thing that counts and they'll use anyone stupid enough to present themselves for free labor.

Many young White professionals are catching on to this pimping game and are now suing many of thier former employers where they worked for free as interns.

Maybe this is a good thing.............

Truth be told, there are too many people "blogging" and using social media anyway.
It's taking away too much valuable time and energy that could be used for the rebuilding of society.

Maybe some of our youth will become so disenchanted with trying to make it in the artificial cyber world that they'll trade in their  Docker pants for a pair of overalls, move to the country and learn how to farm and grow their own food.

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I have found that there is the world as it is verbalized and publicized and theorized and prophesized and, then, there is the real world, a sphere where a person is the center of his own universe.and left to his own devices finds a way to cope and survive, be it by random luck or deliberate maneuvering.  :huh:   


What I also know is that things will never go back to being the way they were. Technology has, indeed, wreaked havoc of menial labor and even eliminated the need for many skilled jobs.  In the meantime, problems cry for solutions, and solutions invariably split out into more problems. Turmoil is the norm and there is order to the chaos as the little blue planet wavers in its orbit.   :wacko:  


Ironically, it has been my lot to stay under the radar.  For the past 20 years,  nothing happening in the world has had any great impact on me.  Kinda like living in a bubble where the more things changed, the more they became the same. Since retiring from the post office in 1992, I have lived an unremarkable life unphased by all the economic upheaval going on around me.  Uncle Sam sends me 2 checks every month, and once a year he gives me a cost of living raise.  Everything that happened in one area has been offset in another so that to this day I have mangaged to maintain a stable existence.  I am a member of  what was once known as "the silent majority".  People who manage to get by.  -_-  


What lies ahead for my children and grandchildren, I do not know, but if being good at texting and tweeting and navigating the Internet, - and this may very well be a factor, - they will somehow find their niche in a re-formatted world. :mellow:


I'm sure the author of "Who Owns The Future" has done a good job of  defining the situation,  and hard times lie ahead.  That's the way it goes...  I only have one question.  What possessed  this man to have a swarm of long, down-past-his-waist,  synthetic dread locks woven into his own hair roots????? :o

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Cynique are you saying he is wearing hair extensions?  Anywho no matter how you slice it the guy is a utter physical mess, mentally however he is brilliant.


One of his quotes from the talk was every time we complain about the 1% on social media we enrich the 1%


After thinking about this for a few I'm going to boycott social media.  I'm going to completely stop using it for personal reasons.  No more liking anything (my last like was liking something Del posted this morning), or sharing personal photos. I'll keep my profiles active but only so people can find me on my website.


On the business side I will limit my participation to just providing links back to AALBC.com I'm not going to post any excerpts, no opinions nothing.  I'll let me bots continue tweeting and posting on Facebook but that is it.  


I'll keep all the social sharing icons on AALBC.com and continue to encourage people to use their social platforms to promote AALBC.com but I'm going to stop making it part of my daily routine.


I can not, knowing what I know, continue to actively use social media.


Pioneer, we absolutely need a new industrial revolution.

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After taking time to watch (or rather listen to) the author in full, I must say it's refreshing to hear someone articulate some of what I've been warning about for years.

Despite his sloppy appearance, he seem to look quite younger than his 50 plus years.


Did anyone catch him mentioning how him and his friends would go to Black neighborhoods to monitor the youth and get "cool" ideas to make money off of?

I remember hearing something similar from Sally Jesse Raphael.
She said that her and her friends used to go Uptown (I'm assuming either Harlem or Washington Heights rather than Riverdale) to see what the young people were wearing so they'd know what would be trending in the future.

See, you have to watch shit like that and pay attention to it or it'll go right over your head.

Artists be they musicians or designers routinely steal their "creative ideas" from AfroAmericans and get paid from it!

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I'm about 1/2 way through his book now.  Again I went to the bookstore -- over $30 with the tax.  Versus Amazon delivering it to my front door for $7 less.  I actually order the book from Amazon while in the store.


Now If that bookstore, my local Barnes & Noble superduper store, minutes from my house, closed I would not be happy.  It is the only store for that sells new books for maybe 20 miles that I'm aware of.  I often go there to buy food and chill on their patio.




The the store is a bright, two stories and cavernous, but they don't have a lot of titles given the space. There are few books on the first floor which has; a cafe, stationery, games, nooks, music, magazines and cashiers.  Most of the books are located on the top floor.  But given most of the floor space, is literally space giving the store that cavernous feel, there is not much room for book.  There is plenty of soft seating and plenty of space between shelves.


The store does not host author events, but they have free WiFi.


But all of this speaks to Jaron's book.  I simply do not use the store to buy books because Amazon sells them for so much less.  In reaction, the big stores have morphed into a spaces where books are not the primary focus and the Indy stores are closing. 


B&N is now Amazon's book showroom. 

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There WAS a Border's books not too far from where I live that I used to frequent.

It was a 2 story building that took up the whole block and had a patio on the upper floor outside where people could sit, read, eat, chat, and even smoke.

When I had the time I used to love going there with a good book and smoke a cigar and have a cup of coffee often engaging in powerful conversations that only coffee and fresh air can stimulate.

I even met a few women there.....lol....that was the pick-up spot.

Like many things in this world, it had to come to an end.

Borders went bankrupt and it closed down.

Looks like Barnes and Noble might be headed in that same direction.

I really missed that place.

Not just because of the books and wealth of knowledge, but because unlike Starbucks where you come and generally only talk to the people you walked in with, it was a place where READERS and people who wanted intellectual/social stimulation without the stupid immaturity of a bar or nightclub could come and interact.



((Pioneer folds his arms, looks down, and shakes his head in disappointment))

I think this "E"-conomy isn't just ruining the economic market but I really think it's destroying the social fabric of society because helping to make an environment where people don't know how to even socially interact with eachother anymore.

It seems as if "they" want a fat, lazy, stupid populous.

"Don't you think, or try to connect the dots.....let US take care of everything."

"You just put in your little time at work, go home and eat some ribs, or to a bar and get drunk, then crawl your ass to bed so you can be rested to do it all over again tomorrow."


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Pioneer I'm not sure if any of your previous posts resonated more with me than this one.


"...this 'E'-conomy isn't just ruining the economic market but I really think it's destroying the social fabric of society..."


That might sound extreme, but I'm really not so sure it is anymore. When these youngins, breast feed, on the tit of social media come come of age I can only image what that world will look like.


I'm sure the same thing was said about the advent of TV.  I'm not convinced the world is better as a result it the boob tube either.


When the internet first started it was truly open.  Today it is quickly becoming a massive, interactive boob tube, custom tailored to exploit your weaknesses for monetary gain.

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If you want to entertain conspiracies.............

Just like there are some who believe that some state governments raise speed limits knowing that it would lead to more traffic acccidents and injuries to fuel the medical industry-

I've heard some people say that all this "texting" was PURPOSELY designed to detroy the attention of much of the public to not only lead to more accidents and injuries to fuel the medical industry but also to make the people more socially inept and akward.

Whether these conspiracies are actually true or not, it's clear that human beings are "social creatures" and corporate executives are taking advantage of this well known fact to the fullest.

Where as a generation ago, most people who were unemployed or at low wage jobs KNEW BETTER than to sign contracts to make monthly payments for a phone with all types of shit on it they really don't need......now if they don't have the latest I-pod, smart phone, or texting app they feel "left out" or backwards.

They're addicted to constant communication and mental stimulation!
They can't stand to be alone with their own thoughts and focus on self development.

Now imagine if something were to happen where all of this collapsed and they had to go back to READING and TALKING to strangers!
Some of them would melt down into panic attacks or become suicidal at the social ineptness they would experience.

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Part of me, even though my livelihood is based on the net, wishes for a time before the thing existed.  I mean we have more access to information but are not any smarter and certainly not wiser.  Maybe the 'net  or TV is not the 'cause but if seems to accelerate the dissemination of all the crap we can manufacture as a people.


I just posted my Zimmerman predictions on facebook.  I rest my case ;)

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:lol: Speak for yourselves, Guys.  We senior citizens are not enslaved to the electronic devices that stifle communication and stultify  behavior. We are not shackled to our computers or hooked on the social media.   We still converse with each other and make eye contact and read books and write coherently.  We still venture outdoors to walk about and take time to smell the flowers, still know how to enjoy leisure and appreciate solitude and contemplate life.  


 Who is to blame for the direction this generation is heading?  Not us. Change masqueraded as progress, and we are becoming extinct, soon to be fossils, relics from a better time when people retained their humanity. :(

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Cynique I definitely do not think your generation is to blame indeed most of the people i encounter in your age cohort aren't even online.


I don't think it is my age cohort either or anyone old enough to clearly remember a world before the internet...


You do touch upon a good point with "...appreciate solitude..."  can anyone under 30 spend 2 seconds without being tethered to an electronic device? 


I heard on the radio today that a significant number of young people are suffering from hearing loss and tinnitus because the are constantly listening to music in heads phone....

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I don't think the older generation is to blame, but there were certain necessary values that I don't think were passed along.

I don't like giving my exact age over public forums but I'm under 45 and don't consider myself part of the "older" generations of AfroAmericans who grew up during socio/legal segregation. I was blessed to come along during the transition but it allowed me to get a TASTE of how White people used to be as a warning of what society could return to if ever Black people lose what our fathers fought for.

I grew up in a workingclass mostly Black neighborhood with a few well to do professionaly class Black families sprinkled within it.

What I heard most from those in the generatoin before me, many of whom were in my own family was of the "disappointment" in the younger generations that got "everything".
They said that one of their mistakes was trying to give their children and grandchildren material assets that THEY never had without giving them the proper values and instructions to go along with it.
It's sad to go back to my old neighborhood where most of the families were "home owners" (I put home owners in quotes because most of them were mortgaged and as far as I'm concerned you don't own your home until the mortgage is paid off) and now most of thier children have lost the homes or had to sell them because they couldn't keep them up. Many had thier homes "confiscated" through legal proceedings because of illegal activities operating out of the buildings.

I think one of the main values that weren't passed along was that as long as we remain in a White controled society Black people must work/study atleast TWICE AS HARD as Whites to succeed or get the same recognition for thier accomplishments.

Asians seem to understand this and are making sure their succeeding generations do also.

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The idea of values not being passed on is an interesting one.  About 50 years ago the society began changing so dramatically so quickly that almost anything a parent could relate to a child, from their own experiences or rearing was much less applicable in the current world.


I was raised to hit anyone who hit me - period.  However on the street I could not apply that advice directly because some guys I hit back had a gang backing them.  Today it is a gun and we see Black boys shooting each other every single day in some communities.  I heard Chicago had 55 shooting over the 4th of July...


The allure of marketers and how they have created a culture of consumption can not be negated.  People born in the 80's were raised under pressure today to consume in a way the someone born in the 30's simply can't appreciate.


I can barely get people to pay $8 a year to subscribe to the AALBC.com eNewsltetter and help support the site, so I'm forced to have banners ads on the site to generate revenue -- further contributing to the problem. 


The problem for me may be moot as people migrate to social media where the pressures to consume are far greater and with the help of all the free data people provide -- far more effective.


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I was raised to hit anyone who hit me - period. However on the street I could not apply that advice directly because some guys I hit back had a gang backing them.


((Pioneer turns towards Troy and raises up his right hand  with the palm down for some dap ))


Lol.....I'm telling you mayne!

Me and my brother had similar experiences in school.
The teachers taught the students that if someone were to hit you you were to tell the teacher because "violence wasn't the answer". But at home we are taught that if someone hit's you you hit them back or face an even worse punishment at home.

But it wasn't that easy.

Sometimes depending on who you were dealing with it was best not to fight back OR tell anyone.
I went to about 5 different schools during my Elementary to Highschool days and every one of them had a handful of cats who were straight up ruthless.
They carried knives and guns and unless you were just as ruthless or had a "crew" to back you up .....if they fucked with you you better look down and keep walking and hope they move on to somebody else, lol.

The teachers and principles who were mostly White and mostly scared did very little to protect the students.
I remember I was in the 5th grade and this one cat used to get picked on all the time. He was actually half-retarded and had no business in a class with normal students but they put him in anyway and he would get clowned on daily. Somebody must have told him to "stand up" for himself and when he did the boy he stood up to got his boys together and went into the class room and stomped him infront of the teacher who was hysterical and crying and ran.....not to the principles office...but OUT THE SCHOOL into the parking lot and into her car and she didn't come back except to collect her things.
She quit teaching in that school, lol.

I remember in the 7th grade some of the boys was bulling another and when one of the basketball coaches stepped in to protect him they were waiting on him with a Tech-9 outside in the parking lot and shoot it in the air and shot out his car windows.
The only thing that happened was the one boy the coach saw holding the gun got suspended.

I don't think these people who talk about "bullying" and the various methods to combat it understand how dangerous some places are and how limited the options are for some students.

Only God knows the future, however if I had followed the advice of so-called "experts" in dealing with the bullies in my school I probably wouldn't be posting to you right now.


I can barely get people to pay $8 a year to subscribe to the AALBC.com eNewsltetter and help support the site, so I'm forced to have banners ads on the site to generate revenue -- further contributing to the problem.


You may or may not believe this but I think that some of it comes from the distrust of putting one's personal information on the internet.

I rarely do any type of financial transactions online outside of buying plane/train tickets.
I was thinking about taking some classes a few years ago and wanted to apply for some financial aid. When I found out I had to put my personal financial information including bank account info and amount ONLINE I got up from the admissions office and hadn't been back there since, lol.

If you were meeting people face to face where they could dig in their pockets or purses and help support knowing they could walk away without providing any other kind of personal information besides an e-mail address you'd probably get a much higher response.

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You might be right about the eNewsletter subscriptions.  Occasionally I get checks but I hate checks, from strangers, because a good portion of them bounce.  It is not worth the risk for me to deposit an $8 check to incurr a $30 charge if it does not clear.


I gladly accept money orders :-) and of course cash is king -- still!

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