[married to Mackenzie]
ceo and founder of amazon
If it was merely a hoax, then the Mechanical Turk would have been forgotten as yet another eighteenth-century oddity. However, the device fit perfectly into the creeping belief—replete with excitement and anxiety—that mechanical labor (and maybe mechanical minds) could replace human labor and agency.
The United States has been going through a similar period of excitement and anxiety since at least the 1970s. Whereas some companies, like IBM, have sought to create a supercomputer that can think as well as (or better than) a human, Amazon invested instead in its own Mechanical Turk—something that feels like a machine but really has people behind it. Instead of developing the perfect computer, Amazon thought, it could just develop a way for imperfect computers to “integrate a network of humans directly into their processes,” as the company wrote in its 2005 SEC filing. In doing so, it opened the door to the weird world of crowdworking.
In 1911, the American engineer Frederick Taylor delivered a paper in which he announced that workers’ natural laziness and propensity for underworking was “the greatest evil which the working-people of both England and America are now afflicted.” His solution was a system of “scientific management,” wherein work would be divided into the smallest repeatable tasks and assigned a time limit. The aggregate of these tasks would then become the baseline for the workday, and “those who fail to rise to a certain standard are discharged and a fresh supply of carefully selected men are given work in their place.”
Almost a century later, Amazon hit upon a similar approach to worker productivity. Yet, whereas Taylor’s genius was in super-charging the assembly line by reducing all skilled work to tiny micro-tasks, the genius of Mechanical Turk is in creating virtual assembly lines.
Request for ideas… https://t.co/j6D68mhseL
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/JeffBezos/status/875418348598603776
let’s try one that facilitates all the spectrums.. all the people..
revolution of everyday life
33 mn to dreamers scholarships
CNN (@CNN) tweeted at 7:00 AM – 13 Jan 2018 :
With a net worth of more than $105 billion, Jeff Bezos is now the richest person in history https://t.co/ePw55dZR5Qhttps://t.co/yuf0C7jkRA(http://twitter.com/CNN/status/952178596113723393?s=17)
bernie sanders fb share
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ wealth increases by $275 million every single day. Meanwhile, Amazon workers have to rely on food stamps and public assistance just to survive. This is what a rigged economy is all about.
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/CNN/status/1047131709378977792
3 min video
bernie: if you work 40 hrs a week you should not be living in poverty
we could get/be there via tech as it could be..
Amazon is raising its minimum wage to $15 following pressure from Bernie Sanders
back to twitter
P. E. Moskowitz (@ptrmsk) tweeted at 9:35 AM on Tue, Oct 02, 2018:
why is everyone saying amazon raising its wages is because of bernie sanders and not cuz of the thousands of workers who protested, leaked information to the press, and organized? lol
Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) tweeted at 5:37 AM – 3 Oct 2018 :
Monopolization is a form of theft. What Bezos is doing is, for business reasons, throwing back a few pennies he stole and watching the people rejoice in his honor. That’s gross. (http://twitter.com/matthewstoller/status/1047450481025601536?s=17)
Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) tweeted at 6:40 AM – 3 Oct 2018 :
13. Bezos raised wages for minimum wage workers for a series of reasons. But mostly because he’s happy to be able to steal from the entire economy and get the support of lefties in doing so. Bezos throwing pennies at workers while stealing from others isn’t a victory. It’s sad. (http://twitter.com/matthewstoller/status/1047466372937273345?s=17)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) tweeted at 4:47 PM – 14 Feb 2019 :
Amazon is paying $0 in taxes on $11+ billion in profit.
$0 for schools.
$0 for firefighters.
$0 for infrastructure.
$0 for research and healthcare.
Why should corporations that contribute nothing to the pot be in a position to take billions from the public? https://t.co/IdsuKaVOTU(http://twitter.com/AOC/status/1096194174301495296?s=17)
Chosun Chillbo (@hermit_hwarang) tweeted at 2:31 PM – 18 Feb 2020 :
Jeff Bezos didn’t “donate” $10B to “fight climate change” he’s setting up a $10B venture called the “Bezos Earth Fund.” In other words, he’s founding a bank and using it to invest in “the green sector,” thereby profiting from & influencing how transition happens https://t.co/Y4573j2zPd(http://twitter.com/hermit_hwarang/status/1229881180889198595?s=17)
michel fb share:
“While the rest of us nervously await our fates in the looming economic armageddon, the Amazon founder’s wealth shot up by $24 billion this week, to $138 billion. Fear not, though: he’s kindly giving 0.1% of it to some food banks.At first glance, Jeff Bezos appears to be one of those lucky entrepreneurs whose phenomenal success is rooted in a few core business beliefs. But after I read up on him last night, this famous Groucho Marx quote sprung to mind: “Those are my principles; if you don’t like them… well, I have others.”Amazon might tell us that “Speed matters in business” – it is one of the company’s main leadership principles – but Bezos, as reflected in his modus operandi so far during the pandemic, has also clearly bought into Gordon Gekko’s dubious philosophy of “greed is good.”And the richest man on the planet is getting wealthier by the minute thanks to the pandemic, with Amazon chalking up a record $11,000 every second on its products.Amazon is the “clear winner” from the coronavirus, according to financial analysts quoted in the Guardian’s front-page story on Wednesday.”
ongoing by Tim Bray · Bye, Amazon https://t.co/BLaMgi2FV4
Corona whistleblowers fired from Amazon
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/mbauwens/status/1257592766953074689
May 1st was my last day as a VP and Distinguished Engineer at Amazon Web Services, after five years and five months of rewarding fun. I quit in dismay at Amazon firing whistleblowers who were making noise about warehouse employees frightened of Covid-19.
What with big-tech salaries and share vestings, this will probably cost me over a million (pre-tax) dollars, not to mention the best job I’ve ever had, working with awfully good people. So I’m pretty blue.
Amazon is exceptionally well-managed and has demonstrated great skill at spotting opportunities and building repeatable processes for exploiting them. It has a corresponding lack of vision about the human costs of the relentless growth and accumulation of wealth and power. If we don’t like certain things Amazon is doing, we need to put legal guardrails in place to stop those things. We don’t need to invent anything new; a combination of antitrust and living-wage and worker-empowerment legislation, rigorously enforced, offers a clear path forward.
Firing whistleblowers isn’t just a side-effect of macroeconomic forces, nor is it intrinsic to the function of free markets. It’s evidence of a vein of toxicity running through the company culture. I choose neither to serve nor drink that poison.