Algorithms with Chinese Characteristics – Audio Edition

New forms of algorithmic governance are set to transform both the Global North and China. But which variant will prove most effective?

  
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Welcome to New World Same Humans, a weekly newsletter on trends, technology, and society by David Mattin.

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A quick thought this week.

A few days ago, the Wall Street Journal argued that Amazon is transforming the nature of work and production in the industrialised world. Writing in that paper, the technology reporter Christopher Mims even gave the set of practises via which this is happening a name: Bezosism(£).

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If you’d prefer to read this week’s instalment, go here for the text version of Algorithms with Chinese Characteristics.


Links in this week’s instalment

1. Back in New Week #22 we saw how Amazon is installing surveillance cameras in the cabs of its delivery vans; the company wants to apply the same close surveillance to its drivers as it does warehouse staff.

2. This week the California senate passed a bill that, while mentioning no names, takes direct aim at all this. The bill would force Amazon to disclose the metrics it uses to grade worker performance.

3. Reading about Bezosism, though, I’m also reminded of a recent Sunday note: The People’s Republic of Tech.

4. And the strategic thinking that underlies it sounds a lot like Bezosism. Or, if you like, Bezosism With Chinese Characteristics.


Thanks for listening this week. I’ll be back on Wednesday as usual. Until then, be well,

David.

P.S Thanks to those of you who joined the NWSH Slack group last week. If you didn’t, and you want to continue the discussion on Amazon, algorithmic management, and the CCP, then sign up for the Slack here!