How coronavirus is kickstarting the 21st century

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Narrator comes off as a bit bitter… kind of ‘I told you so!’.


Man, after 3 weeks of work from home, I can unequivocally say it isn’t for me. Its great that it works for some people and some jobs, but I want to get back into the office and I want my coworkers to be there too.


I’m sure these videos are great, but my experience is that teaching in general is way better than when I was in school, from grade school to high school. Kids are learning more and learning it better than I ever did even in what was considered an excellent school at the time.


Yeah, my thought watching this was that maybe the fact that we didn’t dive in to all of this until we were forced to suggests that most people don’t actually want this future, regardless of how cool Wired magazine might think it is.

Edited to add: I’m not disputing all this remote learning, remote working, remote medicine has real value - just that this video is making a lot of assumptions about what people want.


It worked for me as I had a dedicated work space away from the family and fungible hours. So if we ended up working an extra hour or two for some priority issue the boss didn’t say anything about extended lunch the next day.
Of course now the extended lunch isn’t out for something nice.


A lot of this techno-utopian bushwah has fallen out of public view…remember the idea that the internet would allow us to to live and work anywhere or that simply handing out laptops would replace traditional education? Look at real estate prices in NYC, SF, and Seattle and tell me how that worked out. Or ask a parent in the time of corona how online learning is going. For people whose main job is being themselves, this is nothing new. But that’s not — yet — how the rest of the world makes a living.


I’m all for remote work/learning/medicine and innovation where appropriate, but the hidden agenda of Libertarian techno-utopianism is more about creating a world of personal isolation that mainly benefits privileged white males and big corporations at the expense of workers (especially unionised ones, especially those evil unionised teachers). 80% of the people in this “utopia” would be either members of a gig-economy underclass or (if their jobs are automated away) unemployed and, if they’re lucky, subsisting on a neoliberal UBI.

Not surprising, since Gillespie once edited the Koch-funded Libertarian news outlet presenting the video. Bitter white male curmudgeons over age 40 who demand to be recognised for being right are heavily represented in that ideology.

Exactly. I’ve been working remotely for years, but that’s mainly because I have a boatload of privilege and good luck. And even though I’m effectively a “digital nomad”, the home bases where I spend most of my time are still in big alpha cities instead of the sterile whitebread exurbs that this video glorifies.

If you want to see a better way for COVID-19 to kickstart the 21st century, this is a better starting point:


This change point means that a lot of use will be able to break the old habits that stuck around just by because they were the way we did things.


I have to say, it’s little creepy to hear libertarian-tech-bro types treat a global pandemic as just another “disruption”.

It’s a bit more serious than that. Our institutions are failing us, and the “free market” is exacerbating that.


This video is an early example of VirusWave.

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It’s like Isaac Asimov pegged this one right with the Solarians in Caves of Steel.


It’s not the dedicated work space or the hours. Honestly, I never had a problem focusing that wasn’t internal. If I am actually focused and working I can tune out almost anything. I just want to be around the people I work with, in an environment where other people are working towards common goals. I am one of the lucky ones and I really enjoy what I do and the people I work with, and slack and zoom are not sufficient substitutes for me.


Ahh when I got told to go home from the boss even if the team had proper desks were still all spread out across multiple sites. Group IM and cellphones were already standard. So the only difference for me was commute time and the walls I looked at. Plus it was nice starting the day with my coffee and still in my jammies.


I cannot do my job from home. Does that make me a Luddite because I enjoy my job and don’t want to change fields? What does the 21st century have to offer me. I do Security work.


I have few friends who are teacher, and speaking with them about remote learning make me really sceptical about this video.
Being myself an illustrator I could work remotely all the time, yet I rent a space in a studio with other people, because you are more productive and less lonely than at home. It’s just not for everyone.

Yeah, thanks, this video is blatantly ignoring any political implication of a more isolated workforce. We know what that kind of “apolitical tech ideology” leads to.


Channeling Alvin Toffler?

Yes the virus is going to fuck so many businesses. And with the uptake in distributed retail and food perhaps it’ll make the cost of entry into those industries in traditional form for new players even tougher- at least in the short term.
But people adopting the stay-at-home life long term? I don’t think so. Let’s face it. It sucks - and it’s unhealthy. We all need to move and mix. Retreating to our homes can’t be a good choice psychologically either. If anything, this pandemic is going to affect more organs than the lungs.


Educator here…yes, the quality of instruction is far better that the sink or swim stuff I remember. Today we teach and assess, to see if everyone got it, vs “teach and test and it sucks to be you if you didn’t.”

Sure, one guy can make a video that does a better job than your misty 40 year old memory, but try teach 25 kids with varying degrees of engagement and preparation with the same ease and skill. Why, it’s almost like scripted material is more smooth than real-life interactions.


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