Hey Chris, this could not only be your Coke, it could be your house. / Photo by Elliott Brown.
The Baffler,  September 24, 2014

Daily Bafflements

Hey Chris, this could not only be your Coke, it could be your house. / Photo by Elliott Brown.
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• If you’ll remember, we used to help the homeless by turning them into walking Wi-Fi hotspots; now we might as well help them by actually housing them inside ad-emblazoned billboards.

• Today in Billionaires: Larry Ellison bought an island in Hawaii. He has said he wants to transform it into a green and innovative tourist destination, saying that the project feels to him like “this really cool 21st-century engineering project.” Jon Mooallem writes in the New York Times Magazine: “It’s the sort of sweeping challenge that engineering types get giddy over: a full-scale model. Of course, there are actual people living inside Ellison’s engineering project—a community being hit by an unimaginable wave of wealth.”

• Today in Strikes: Amazon workers in Germany, who belong to the country’s largest union, are on strike. “Some of the employees have reached their limit,” Frank Schrand, an Amazon employee, tells Bloomberg. “They can’t work any faster. For Amazon the customer is everything and the worker means very little.” 

• Gretchen Gavett at the Harvard Business Review writes on new research comparing what people in different countries think CEOs should earn, relative to the unskilled worker, and their understanding of what CEOs in those countries actually earn. Turns out there is an “extraordinary consensus” across the world: pretty much everyone wants their countries’ pay gap to be smaller, even if they don’t have a firm grasp on how large that gap actually is. For instance, in the United States, people guessed on average that the ratio of CEO pay to unskilled worker pay was thirty to one, but it is actually 350 to one.

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Further Reading

 August 3

I was wandering in a smoldering landscape, knowing that nothing could be done. The decisions had been made.