Archive for RYOL Lecture Info
Robots, robots everywhere
by Jay Nelson
February 2013 issue of SWCP Portal
(reprinted with the kind permission of the author)
What follows is a reprint of an article by Jay Nelson that appeared in the February 2013 issue of Southwest Cyberport Portal Newsletter. Southwest Cyberport is the FHL Foundation’s IP or Internet provider. Their newsletter appears in our invoice statement each month. Given that SWCP is very much a digital technology company, I am impressed by how much they regularly write on such issues as how technology affects us not only as individuals but also as a society. The following article is just one example. I asked for (and received) permission to reprint this particular article because I myself have written extensively on what automation is doing to our society, especially our economy. In short, pundits (like economist Jeremy Rifkin, more on Rifkin below) regularly point to automation as a chief cause of our high levels of un- or underemployment. I am always heartened to see that others are also looking at this issue. When I called Jay, he told me that the TV news program 60 Minutes ran a piece on automation back in January, 2013. I did a Google search and, indeed, the title of the piece is, Are Robots Hurting Job Growth? Jay told me that the 60 Minutes piece offers up a more gloomy picture than the one he paints in his article. I’ll offer up a few additional gloomy observations of my own following this reprint of Jay’s article. For now, enjoy this reprint of Robots, Robots Everywhere. And thanks Jay. (My editorial comments will be in brackets.)
About two weeks ago we launched a Zoomerang survey to collect feedback information from participants who attended the Foundation’s RYOL Lecture by Nicholas Carr on February 17th, 2012. Mr. Carr spoke about his 2010 book The Shallows—What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. As mentioned in my February 24th, 2012, post, Mr. Carr’s lecture was well attended and well received. In this post I’d like to briefly cover the results of the Zoomerang survey. We sent out 25 survey invites and we received 19 completed surveys. Not too shabby. Thanks to all who participated in the survey. We will definitely use your thoughts to guide our efforts as we put together the next RYOL Lecture.
Author Nicholas Carr will be speaking as a part of the Foundation’s Roll Your Own Lecture (RYOL) Series. Mr. Carr is coming to Albuquerque on Friday, February 17th, 2012, to talk about his book The Shallows—What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains.
Book Description—The Shallows
Here’s a description of The Shallows from the book’s publisher:
(W. W. Norton & Company, June 2010)
Finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction
In The Shallows, Carr describes how human thought has been shaped through the centuries by “tools of the mind”—from the alphabet to maps, to the printing press, the clock, and the computer. The book interweaves a fascinating account of recent discoveries in neuroscience that reveal how our brains change in response to our experiences. The technologies we use to find, store, and share information can literally reroute our neural pathways.
Building on the insights of thinkers from Plato to McLuhan, Carr makes a convincing case that every information technology carries an intellectual ethic—a set of assumptions about the nature of knowledge and intelligence. He explains how the printed book served to focus our attention, promoting deep and creative thought.
by Zachary Roth
This a quick follow-up to my February 18th, 2011, post wherein I comment on a news article entitled, How the Middle Class Became the Underclass. The growing income gap is a topic that we have been tracking for some time now. The growing income gap is a central theme of Daniel Brook’s 2008 book The Trap: Selling Out to Stay Afloat in Winner-Take-All America. Brook talked about the growing income gap at our first RYOL Lecture. (For more on the Foundation’s RYOL Lecture Series, use the link above). Brook talked about how the growing income gap could lead to increasing “brain drain” in the non-profit sector, increased housing insecurity, increased job insecurity, a decrease in funding to schools, and an increase in the inability to pay for college. In short, the increasing income gap plays a role in many of the social ills facing foundations today. For more on Brook’s work and lecture, see my posts of July 29th and 30th, 2010. Here are a few charts from Roth’s article graphically illustrating the growing income gap. The text accompanying the charts was written by Roth. Enjoy (if you can keep your gorge from rising). Read More→
by Annalyn Censky, staff reporter, CNNMoney, February 16, 2011
As many of you know, our Foundation brought Daniel Brook to Albuquerque to speak as a part of the Foundation’s Roll Your Own Lecture (RYOL) Series. For more on Daniel’s RYOL Lecture, see my posts of July 29th and 30th, 2010. For more on the ROYL Lecture Series in general, use the RYOL LECTURE SERIES link above.
During his lecture, Brook talked to us about the widening income gap: what it is, where it has come from, its history, its effect, and what we can expect. I’m drawing your attention to the above CNNMoney article by Annalyn Censky because it’s a great summary of the information Brook presents in his 2008 book The Trap: Selling Out to Stay Afloat in Winner-Take-All America as far as the widening income gap is concerned. In my opinion, it is important to understand what’s driving the widening income gap because many of society’s ills—job loss, unemployment, under-employment, job insecurity, education issues, etc.—can be traced back to the widening income gap. Way back in 1995, Jeremy Rifkin saw the proverbial writing on the wall and talked about it in detail in his book The End of Work: The Decline of the Global Labor Force and the Dawn of the Post-Market Era. Rifkin talks about how the third sector—the non-profit sector including foundations—can play a role in mitigating the effects of a dwindling labor force (in part by developing a social market economy). Because Rifkin talks at length about the intersection between The End of Work and the third sector, I wrote an executive summary of Rifkin’s book. Feel free to request a copy by using the CONTACT US link above. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for both non-profits and foundations to have a handle on the widening income gap and the (continuing) fall of the middle class. Censky’s article is a great “cheat sheet.” But for the full story, check out Brook’s The Trap or Rifkin’s End of Work. You can’t go wrong with either.
Following the Foundation’s first Roll Your Own Lecture (September 10th, 2010) featuring Daniel Brook and his book The Trap, we launched a Zoomerang survey to collect feedback information. We thought we would pass along some of the individual responses to you:
The following sentence sums up the “jewel” of information I picked up by attending this lecture… Read More→
The following is a post that went out to the Foundation’s ListServ:
Hello all -
Just a quick Alerts Message to let you know that the first lecture in the FHL Foundation’s Roll Your Own Lecture (RYOL) Series was a huge success. The lecture featured author Daniel Brook who spoke on his book entitled The Trap—Selling Out to Stay Afloat in a Winner-Take-All America. The lecture was held at the meeting facilities within the downtown Flying Star Restaurant here in Albuquerque on September 10th, 2010. Attendees (about 25 strong) were treated to a complimentary lunch. The local chapter of the National Center for Social Entrepreneurs was the event’s beneficiary organization and received a $1,500 grant. Here are a few bullet points from Daniel’s lecture. Quotes may not be exact because I’m pulling them from my notes: Read More→
Ok, I admit, I’m playing here … but play with a purpose. I’m still learning how to use WordPress (the blog software being used here). One thing I have not done yet is embed a YouTube video within a post. In this post, my goal is to embed a YouTube video of Daniel Brook giving a talk as a part of Google’s Authors@Google Lecture Series. This talk was given May 8th, 2008 in support of Daniel’s book The Trap—Selling Out to Stay Afloat in Winner-Take-All America. Read More→