M-Shaped Strategy Weekly for 25 December 2016
It seemed appropriate to get this out early this week. I'm going to be rather busy with Christmas travel, and you're going to be sitting around looking for some good reads. Is seems there was a lot of good stuff around this week if you weren't attracted to the blinking lights of "best of 2016" articles. Toss some of your own thoughts into the comments section.
Merry Christmas to all!
Detroit seeks the lead in autonomous driving. Detroit is moving all it can to attract talent to its autonomous driving initiatives. “This helps reinforce the message that Michigan is a place of innovation.”
Detroit tries a new approach to planning. "The attention now focuses not on the already revitalizing downtown but in places where city planners for decades have paid little if any attention — Detroit’s hard-hit neighborhoods."
Majestic urban architecture in East St. Louis? "A thousand years ago, huge pyramids and earthen mounds stood where East St. Louis sprawls today in Southern Illinois. This majestic urban architecture towered over the swampy Mississippi River floodplains, blotting out the region's tiny villages. Beginning in the late 900s, word about the city spread throughout the southeast. Thousands of people visited for feasts and rituals, lured by the promise of a new kind of civilization."
Pencil Towers. "I once had a pug I described as “a big dog trapped inside a small dog’s body.” Four thirty-two Park is a short building trapped inside a tall building’s body. Most super-tall buildings reach to the sky, by virtue of their height alone. This one somehow squats its way to the heavens."
Only the 1% afford great architecture. "Architects operating outside this disconnected bubble of design know a different reality: every construction project has a budget."
Workplace as destination. “Done right, the workplace can provide employees with a positive sense of purpose. It can contribute to enhanced health and wellbeing, create a sense of community and improve pride in a place of work. All of which significantly enhance productivity and contribute to the attraction and retention of talent.”
Even design robots? "A quick examination of the above list, which sounds a lot like a designer’s skill set, might lead you to believe that your job is safe. The reality is a bit more complex."
The cultural value of work. "That’s a thing you notice in Japan, the deep personal investment people make in their work. The word shokunin, which has no direct translation, sums it up: It means something like “master or mastery of one’s profession,” and it captures the way Japanese workers spend every day trying to be better at what they do."
What makes things cool? “Most Advanced Yet Acceptable”
Tech for humanity? "That is why we need more companies that work for everyone, enabling the application of human creativity and ingenuity to the creation of a new world order. I know at this moment in history that seems optimistic, but the truth is that a new world order is inevitable; the question now is who will shape it."
Uber as mobility in everything? "Kalanick is no longer interested in just getting you a ride: He's positioning Uber to be at the center of mobility. If it moves, Kalanick wants a piece of it. Less than seven years after launch, Uber is already reshaping how cities think about public transit, parking and congestion, and how Millennials think about car ownership. And it has barely scratched the surface in terms of moving physical goods."
New new brutalism? "Time and again we have seen reawakened interest in the disdained buildings of two generations earlier, a span still within living memory but not quite yet history."
Ford on "the good life." Ford researchers attempt to look into the future.
Absolving China? “They’re always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex or race discrimination case. ”
Life after capitalism? "What if workers are able to subvert technologies meant to pacify them, or what if they could seize the means of technological production? Might technology be oriented toward some brighter horizon, rather than intensifying injustices?"
Mass authenticity? "We want to believe—indeed, I argue we need to believe—that there are spaces in our lives driven by genuine affect and emotions, something outside of mere consumer culture, something above the reductiveness of profit margins, the crassness of capital exchange."
The algorithm for a boss? T"he dystopian prospect of being enslaved to artificial intelligence has arrived. Sort of. The sensational fantasies of machine domination have been replaced with a banal reality: The AI isn’t a murderer, it’s an insecure boss who needs constant reassurance that its jokes are funny."
Silicon Valley stoicism. "Stoicism’s emphasis on controlling emotion can make life seem rather flat. “Being emotional, having highs and lows, are an important part of life and I don’t want to get rid of that,” she says. Around the world, people today are devastated and furious, and with good reason. Those in Silicon Valley may be practiced at remaining Stoical in the face of 2016. But then, they aren’t the ones facing the ultimate tests."
Awakening AI. "The phrase 'artificial intelligence' is invoked as if its meaning were self-evident, but it has always been a source of confusion and controversy."