Brutal and Unequal:
Disruption, Precarity and the New Tech Boom
with Darwin Bond-Graham and Ryan Smith
“The tech sector,” said sociologist and writer Darwin Bond-Graham, “has obtained a strategic power over the rest of the economy … Flows of income and distributions of wealth have been equally transformed by the rise of the tech-centric economy, as by the rise of finance.” The ideology of the new tech boom is disruption, “a code word for forms of sabotage that benefit a few monopolizing corporations,” Bond-Graham said. A key to fighting back against disruption is to understand what it is and how it functions: Bond-Graham will use the ridesharing phenomenon as a focal point for a discussion of how the industry uses disruption to ” … extract wealth from billions of workers and consumers across the planet.”
What happens when the whiz kids of high tech concentrate on inventing ever more airtight forms of exploitation? With all of the brainpower they have to throw at the engineering puzzles of exploiting others, how can ordinary workers hope to resist this juggernaut? Ryan Smith, longtime Occupy activist, former tech employee and a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) will discuss his experiences in workers’ struggles and working in the belly of the beast. The Wobblies are famous for “unionizing hundreds of thousands of workers previously regarded as ‘unorganizable.'” Can precarious, isolated workers benefit from IWW techniques in the coming century?
Time will be allotted for Q&A, discussion and announcements. Donations to Occupy Forum to cover costs are encouraged; no one turned away!