Jeff Bezos taught me it's okay to support ICE. He taught me it's okay to steal at least $67.1 million in tips from your drivers. Jeff Bezos taught me it's okay to spy on your workers with the Pinkertons. He taught me it's okay to create hellish working conditions & fight unions.
Jeff Bezos taught me it's okay to refuse to end oil and gas exploration contracts. He taught me it's okay to create surveillance technology and embed it in every part of your home. Jeff Bezos taught me it's okay to create racist facial recognition technology.
Jeff Bezos taught me that when you're being accused of hoarding wealth, poisoning humanity's ecological niche, stealing from competitors, breaking your workers' bodies, proliferating surveillance technology, and undermining democracy, the solution is to simply insist you aren't.
And that if you do it in the right tone or cadence, people will agree with you for some reason and defend everything you've done.

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More from @bigblackjacobin

31 Dec 20
This was my first full year reporting and I got to do a lot of stuff so here's a thread resharing some stuff I wrote that I liked the most or thought was important or enjoyed
I did a deep-dive into Uber & Lyft's quota system in NYC, which was a clever & immoral system to fire thousands of drivers in response to new wage laws increasing driver pay. Uber suspended the quota system hours after this was published.

vice.com/en/article/pke…
I was really happy with this explainer I did on defunding and abolishing the police that also incorporated criticisms of reformist initiatives like 8 Can't Wait. vice.com/en/article/ep4…
Read 16 tweets
30 Dec 20
OK this will be a long ass thread of academic & journalistic work done this year on the gig economy, its labor & antitrust dimensions, and its financial elements. This list is not exhaustive. I avoided paywalled stuff & focused on overlooked/interesting things to consider in 2021
From @psskow and @piravilela a great story about the significance of a July 1 strike across Latin America, itself preceded by multiple strikes & years of deteriorating working conditions. We pay too little attention to the so-called gig economy overseas. vice.com/en/article/jgx…
Gig companies scrambled early in the pandemic to obscure the fact they were forcing workers to either risk starvation or infection. @darakerr spent months reporting on how sick paid leave policies were inadequate and often just bait-and-switch schemes cnet.com/features/gig-w…
Read 22 tweets
30 Dec 20
The Nashville terrorism debate is important but in all honesty I am more interested in figuring out when property damage is justified and to what extent (looting, sabotage, etc.) Don’t blow up a city block to hit a 5G database, ofc. But is it okay to steal/destroy Ring cameras?
If, for example, you want to unmake a city’s surveillance system there are legal & illegal ways to do so. You can regulate it but at what point is it justifiable for someone to just destroy cameras themselves? Or sabotage them somehow? And at what point should you?
Maybe I am missing it but I don’t see much talk of when it’s okay and in what ways is it okay for an individual or group to try & stop technological developments outside of legal forums. One consequence I think is that TO SOME the only option appears spectacular violence
Read 4 tweets
30 Dec 20
Was digging through stuff I’ve been hoarding and look what I found buried at the bottom
Remember when people tried to debate the merits of this dumb ass book
remember his absolutely absurd readings of marx to critique the left?
Read 4 tweets
30 Dec 20
what is the most boring show you've ever watched, not bad or poorly made cause those can be fun but mind-numbingly boring?
for me the first season of the wire was the most boring thing i ever watched and for years i never got past it, it was such an ungodly slog
lol i'm losing a lot of followers for this but that's just the price of speaking truth to power
Read 4 tweets
8 Dec 20
if uber sells all its unprofitable side projects, it will be left with its unprofitable core operations. yeah uber says it is selling units "to get more profitable" but you gotta ask...will it? has it? can it? is that claim realistic enough to be worth repeating?
there really is no evidence uber will ever be profitable. none. that is not hyperbolic, you simply need to sit down with its books for a night and crunch the numbers, reconcile EBITDA, and examine how margins have changed over years with what little info we have. and yet?
we KNOW the main sources of profit improvement have been wage cuts & fare hikes. no scale, no network, no operational efficiency, no customer loyalty at similar price points. massive subsidies, high burnout, low utilization, this is not a hard math problem, we can see the limits.
Read 4 tweets

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