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How Value Weaponises the Machine

See original here. For some time now, a façade of techno-optimism has obscured the political reality that technology is not neutral. While Marx saw both oppressive and liberatory potential in technological systems, recent narratives have tended to neglect how technology has historically been used to deepen exploitation, rather than to overcome it. In his new book, Breaking […]

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Automation Will Create More Jobs, But Most Will Be Shit

See Novara for the original. In 2013, the academics Carl Frey and Michael Osbourne predicted that up to 47% of American jobs were at high risk of automation over the next two decades. Their paper provoked automation hysteria, reflected in pronouncements of the “second machine age”, “fourth industrial revolution” and “industry 4.0”. Seven years on, the reality […]

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Research

Tribune Article: Why Silicon Valley Loves Coronavirus

The coronavirus is an exogenous shock to the global economy, causing panic in the financial markets, a jobs apocalypse and an unprecedented crisis in health services. At the same time, the necessary safety measures are challenging the very nature of work and human sociality. Social distancing and lockdowns have been implemented around the world and in many […]

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Research

Intelligent Machines: a brief history (Parts 1-3)

Below is a series of three blogs (part 1, part 2, part 3) I wrote for Autonomy last year on the history of intelligent machines. This serves as an introduction to anyone curious about artificial intelligence and how it might shape the future of digital automation in work and society more generally. Introduction The notion […]

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Autonomy and Automation: Work in the 21st Century (Zed series)

Last year I was contacted by Kim Walker at Zed books to put together a book series in collaboration with Autonomy. I’m pleased to say that our first book  by Mark Bergfeld is nearing completion now and we have 4 more on the way.  We hope to build this momentum throughout 2020. With that in […]

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On Exploitation

I’m very happy to have my first book contribution published in the Bloomsbury Companion to Marx. The entry introduces the Marxist conception of exploitation and summarises some key debates over the last century. I highly recommend ordering a copy for your university library or for personal reference. The text is below. Exploitation Matt Cole Introduction The […]

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Joint Call for Papers from the Political Economy of Work and Social Reproduction Working Groups

IIPPE 9th Annual Conference in Political Economy Pula, Croatia Joint Call for Papers from the Political Economy of Work and Social Reproduction Working Groups The Political Economy of Work and Social Reproduction Working Groups invite you to submit proposals for individual papers, themed panels or streams of panels related to our lines of inquiry. These […]

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Experiential Commodities, Experiential Labour: Exploring the Service Labour Process in Hospitality Work

Experiential Commodities Experiential Labour PP My research addresses the experiences of workers in the hospitality industry. It takes a political economic approach to studying the labour process, which entails an analysis grounded in the unity of production and valorisation. Ethnographies of work such as Diamond’s (1992) study of the industrial production of care and Sherman’s […]

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Research Theory

Platform Capitalism and the Value Form

Image Credit Chris Koch Reposted from Salvage Quarterly According to the speculations of techno-futurologists, left and right, the machines are here to liberate us. Most of the discourse is dominated by the neoliberal right such as Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee and Andrew Haldane, chief economist of the Bank of England. Their arguments, avoiding questions […]

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Research

A Note on Fieldwork

A key element of the fieldwork involves the contrasting narratives of management and workers with regard to conflict and cooperation in the workplace. Through exploring contrasting accounts between workers and mangers at the sectorial level, I will be able to articulate the politics of ‘service’ production in the workplace. From the data, I hope to be […]