The news is full of their names, supposedly the vanguard of a rethinking of capitalism. Lyft, Airbnb, Taskrabbit, Uber, and many more companies have a mandate of disruption and upending the “old order”—and they’ve succeeded in effecting the “biggest change in the American workforce in over a century,” according to former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich.
But this new wave of technology companies is funded and steered by very old-school venture capitalists. And in What’s Yours Is Mine, technologist Tom Slee argues the so-called sharing economy damages development, extends harsh free-market practices into previously protected areas of our lives, and presents the opportunity for a few people to make fortunes by damaging communities and pushing vulnerable individuals to take on unsustainable risk.
Drawing on original empirical research, Slee shows that the friendly language of sharing, trust, and community masks a darker reality.
Tuesday, May 24 2016
Octopus Books Centretown
251 Bank St. 2nd floor
This event is sponsored by Public Service Alliance of Canada - National Capital Region (PSAC-NCR) and Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE)
MORE DETAILS TO COME!
“[A] superbly argued book.” – The Guardian
“In What’s Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy, Tom Slee, an author and blogger who also works in the software business, delivers a smart and searing critique of a business that people are only just beginning to think about in a serious way… . What makes his book hit harder than the endless expanses of online commentary is that Slee realises it isn’t just a matter of theory.” – The Spectator
“Lucid and rigorous… Tom Slee dismantles the facade of the sharing economy, revealing hidden and often troubling truths about companies like Uber and Airbnb. If you want to understand how Internet businesses really operate,What’s Yours is Mine is the place to start.” – Nicholas Carr, Author of The Shallows and the Glass Cage
“Tom Slee’s essential new book shows that the sharing economy has very little to do with sharing. Slee uses wit, clarity, and facts to demolish the self-serving mythologies of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and figure out what Uber, Amazon and their kind are really up to.” – Henry Farrell, co-chair, Social Science Research Council’s Digital Culture Initiative; professor of political science and international affairs, George Washington University
“Slee is an extremely well-informed skeptic who presents a satisfyingly blistering critique of high tech’s disingenuous equating of sharing with profiteering. ….Should be close at hand for activists fighting the blind greed of Silicon Valley’s self-entitled profiteers.”– Ben Terrall, Counterpunch
Tom Slee writes about technology, politics, and economics and in the last two years has become a leading critic of the sharing economy. He has a PhD in theoretical chemistry, a long career in the software industry, and his book No One Makes You Shop at Wal-Mart is a game-theoretical investigation of individual choice that has been used in university economics, philosophy and sociology courses. He lives in Waterloo, Canada and blogs at www.tomslee.net.