Preoccupations + 2016   2082

Limitless Worker Surveillance by Ifeoma Ajunwa, Kate Crawford, Jason Schultz :: SSRN
“From the Pinkerton private detectives of the 1850s, to the closed-circuit cameras and email monitoring of the 1990s, to contemporary apps that quantify the productivity of workers, American employers have increasingly sought to track the activities of their employees. Along with economic and technological limits, the law has always been presumed as a constraint on these surveillance activities. Recently, technological advancements in several fields – data analytics, communications capture, mobile device design, DNA testing, and biometrics – have dramatically expanded capacities for worker surveillance both on and off the job. At the same time, the cost of many forms of surveillance has dropped significantly, while new technologies make the surveillance of workers even more convenient and accessible. This leaves the law as the last meaningful avenue to delineate boundaries for worker surveillance.

In this Article, we examine the effectiveness of the law as a check on worker surveillance, given recent technological innovations. In particular, we focus on two popular trends in worker tracking – productivity apps and worker wellness programs – to argue that current legal constraints are insufficient and may leave American workers at the mercy of 24/7 employer monitoring. We then propose a new comprehensive framework for worker privacy protections that should withstand current and future trends.”
well-being  surveillance  employment  2016  research 
august 2018 by Preoccupations
The End of Christendom by Eamon Duffy | Articles | First Things
“In his brilliant but controversial recent study of the consequences of the Reformation, The Unintended Reformation, Gregory has no doubt that its outcomes were, on balance, negative. The principal of sola scriptura and the rejection of the Church’s teaching authority in the end, he thinks, led to a “market of values” in which all certainties dissolved. The abolition of the vowed religious life of monks and nuns removed a powerful institutional witness to Christian ambivalence about material prosperity, and opened the door to the acquisitive society. By contrast, the intractability of post-Reformation religious disagreements contributed to the emergence of societies which found their rationale in purely materialistic concerns such as the protection of property and the contractual guarantee of the rights of the individual. In the pioneering early modern secular states, notably the Dutch Republic, Gregory argues, men and women decided to stop killing each other over what seemed hopelessly irresolvable religious differences, and went shopping instead. In the long run, because there were no universally accepted norms for truth, religion became a private matter, and this privatization became one of the building blocks of Enlightenment social theory. “It does me no injury,” declared Thomas Jefferson, “for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” Here, Gregory thinks, lies the origin of a rootless modern “hyperpluralism,” in which there is no objective basis for shared value, and in which good and bad become matters of arbitrary personal preference, or, as Gregory expresses it, “whatever.”” “Protestantism “desacralized” the world by accepting an essentially binary division of reality into spirit and matter. That division was expressed in Reformation iconoclasm and the rejection of the notion that material objects—the bread and wine of the Mass, relics, images—could be vehicles of spiritual reality. The Reformation, Eire suggests, restricted the supernatural “to heaven and the ancient past.” It thereby changed “the very essence of the Christian religion as it had been lived for the previous 1,500 years.” By outlawing prayer for the dead and denying that the saints could pray for us, the Reformation “stripped religion of mediation and intimacy . . . with the dead,” transforming it into “something strictly for the living, . . . more pragmatically focused on this world.” … gradually turned religion “into a private concern rather than a public one.””
Christianity  Reformation  Catholicism  book_reviews  Eamon_Duffy  2016 
may 2018 by Preoccupations
DEEP HISTORICAL ROOTS OF MODERN INEQUALITY: How the Reconquista still shapes Spain’s economy - Media Briefings - Royal Economic Society
“The Christian Kingdoms’ Reconquest of Spain between the eight and fifteenth centuries set in motion processes that generated persistent inequality, which remains evident in big income differences among Spanish provinces today. This is the central finding of research by Daniel Oto-Peralías and Diego Romero-Ávila, to be presented at the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference in Brighton in March 2016.

The study finds that the inequality created in some parts of the recolonised country constitutes a severe impediment to the requirements for modern economic growth – which is based on entrepreneurship, innovation and the participation in economic activity of broad segments of the population.

From 711-1492, Spain’s Christian kingdoms steadily retook land that had previously been Muslim-ruled in what is known as the Reconquista. Sometimes, this newly reclaimed land was shared among settlers; at other times, the land ended up in the hands of a few nobles. Today, these regions are some of Spain’s richest and poorest respectively.

This study argues that the main cause of this inequality was the speed at which the land was retaken – the ‘rate of Reconquest’. Regions that were retaken quickly needed power centralised among the nobility so as to defend them, and these people continued to stay in control long afterwards.

These regions ended up become more unequal and worse-off than regions that were retaken slowly and could be distributed more fairly. They were ultimately slower to industrialise, continuing a chain of events that led to low growth and even to the 1939-
39 Civil War.


Can a historical process that ended more than five centuries ago be responsible for a large part of income differences among Spanish provinces today? The findings of new research to be presented at the Royal Economic Society’s 2016 annual conference indicate that the Reconquista (c. 711-1492) crucially determined the economic development of Spanish regions.

The study by Daniel Oto-Peralías and Diego Romero-Ávila shows that the legacy of history is particularly pervasive in Spain. The way in which the Christian Kingdoms colonised the lands conquered by the Muslims during the Middle Ages had crucial consequences for the future development of each territory.

In some stages of the Reconquest, land was well distributed among settlers and jurisdiction rights granted to nobles were sparse. Territories colonised in this way are today among the richest in Spain. In other stages, land and political power ended up concentrated in the hands of the nobility. Regions colonised in this other way are today among the poorest.

What explains these different methods of colonisation? The authors argue that the speed at which the Christian frontier advanced in each period, which they call ‘rate of Reconquest’, was a decisive explanatory factor in the resulting pattern of land distribution and the concession of jurisdictional rights to the nobility.

Using an historical geographical atlas, they calculate the surface area conquered in each stage and estimate the rate of Reconquest. There exists a strong relationship between the speed at which the frontier advanced and the percentages of landless workers and municipalities under noble jurisdiction, as measured in the eighteenth century. Thus, regions conquered faster gave rise to unequal societies.

A key point to explain this is that large frontier expansions that need to be occupied and defended from the enemy allow the nobility to play a central role in the colonisation of the territory, monopolising large tracts of land and political power. This initial pattern of inequality arising from the Reconquest persisted over time, which explains why there also exists a strong relationship between rate of Reconquest and land inequality measured in the second half of the twentieth century.

The findings of the study support the idea that historically rooted inequality created the conditions leading to the exclusion of large segments of the population from participating in the economic opportunities that opened up with the arrival of industrialisation.

Provinces featuring high levels of inequality fell behind during the industrialisation period. Thus, the Reconquest set in motion processes that generated persistent inequality, constituting a severe impediment to the requirements for modern economic growth, which is based on entrepreneurship, innovation and the participation in economic activity of broad segments of the population.

The consequences of the Reconquest have weighed heavily on the history of Spain not only from an economic perspective. As Gerald Brenan argued in The Spanish Labyrinth, the extreme level of land inequality, the miserable living conditions of landless workers and their subsequent political radicalisation are at the heart of the causes of the 1936-1939 Civil War.

Finally, this study is also appealing from the point of view of the literature on colonialism, because it gives clues about the colonisation of the New World. When Spain colonised Central and South America, it had the long experience gathered in the Reconquest.

The policy of distributing large estates and political privileges, as applied in Spain since the mid-eleventh century, is a foretaste of what would later be implemented in the New World. A clear example of this is the institution of the ‘encomienda’, initially employed in Southern Spain and later exported to America.”
Spain  history  inequality  research  2016  economics 
january 2018 by Preoccupations
Ruth Davidson: Keynote speech at Belfast Pride event - Scottish Conservatives
RT @RuthDavidsonMSP: As a Protestant Unionist about to marry an Irish Catholic, here's the Amnesty Pride lecture I gave in Belfast...
Ruth_Davidson  gay  sexuality  Conservatives  speech  2016 
june 2017 by Preoccupations
The Brexit Dialogue | Sphinx
"You must be the only people on earth who think that what might happen in future is clearer than what’s right in front of you."
Brexit  Thucydides  EU  2016 
may 2017 by Preoccupations
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