Fun Friday Links: How to Leave Work at 5PM, Humanity’s Inevitable Union With Machines, and the End of Growth
Welcome to Conspire’s Super Happy Fun Friday Link Time, a weekly collection of cool discoveries from around the Web. Most times the goal is to get you thinking differently about communication, collaboration, culture, and life in general. Other times, LOLCAT ATTACK! Submissions are welcome, and you can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
How to Leave Work at 5PM and Still Get Everything Done
In theory, those of us with classic day jobs work a solid 9AM-5PM shift, with an hour for lunch, consistent commutes, and evenings and weekends set aside for all of the non-work tasks and leisure activities we can handle. But theories are rarely an accurate reflection of reality, which for many a career-having adult, is a far cry from this cut-and-dry ideal. Not all hope is lost, though — in this piece, Kathryn Dill assesses our obsession with getting everything done at the expense of getting anything done. From Forbes:
“Maybe you keep trying to write that proposal but can’t help clicking over every few minutes to see the emails pour in. Or your boss keeps strolling over to give you tasks while you try to complete the ones you’ve already got. Or you’re overwhelmed by trying to work while maintaining your superior command of Everything That’s Happening On The Internet.
Whatever the reason, doing too many things at once can diminish the quality of your work and add hours to the end of your day. If you’re looking to optimize the time you spend at work, figuring out how it’s actually allocated–versus what you think you’ve been doing–is a great place to start.”
Coming to Terms With Humanity’s Inevitable Union With Machines
Our worldwide connection to technology is undeniable — but even so, it’s difficult for modern society to fully grasp how dependent we are on it, or totally understand the intimate nature of our relationship with it. And while most people don’t believe we’re taking orders from the machines just yet, we’re not all that in control of them, either. From Mashable:
“It’s hard not to get philosophical. Or judgmental — I’m genuinely struggling with the idea that we’ll soon fully merge with machines.
As technology gains human level sentience, I need to evolve my mindset. What if my daughter wants to marry an algorithm? Can I have dinner with its parents? Can we expect to see anti robot-bullying campaigns soon? Or a reworked cover of Macklemore’s, “SIM love?”
I joke because I’m conflicted. I’m genuinely a bit freaked at the idea that humans and machines are already so inexorably linked. And I firmly believe that things like the wearables industry are simply intermediary technologies to mentally prepare us for our inevitable union with machines. They help reveal the personal data that’s currently invisible in our lives while providing a thin, albeit fashionable, buffer between the time devices will be on our skin versus within.”
The Death of Innovation, the End of Growth
Any person with an investment in economic or business growth faces the fear of failure, irrelevance, slowed growth, and unforeseen circumstances. This is especially true in a world increasingly accessible through technology, and where the commercialization of tools and services previously guarded by corporations is on the rise. In his TED talk, economist Robert Gordon discusses the possibility that innovation and growth are not quite as everlasting as we’d like to think. From TED:
“The US economy has been expanding wildly for two centuries. Are we witnessing the end of growth? Economist Robert Gordon lays out 4 reasons US growth may be slowing, detailing factors like epidemic debt and growing inequality, which could move the US into a period of stasis we can’t innovate our way out of. Be sure to watch the opposing viewpoint from Erik Brynjolfsson.”