Who is in Charge?
Your weekly newsletter from the mind of Miles Lasater
Happy Saturday! Here is your weekly dose of the world of Miles, learning, techno-optimism, business thoughts and ways to improve the world.
Worker Owned Firms. I’m learning about employee-owned companies. Many studies find that “employee-owned firms increase income, assets, and savings among workers; are more productive and less likely to fail; and are more committed to their local communities.” Why aren't there more of them? Awareness? Lack of capital to make the conversion? Complexity? Something else? If you have any experience with them or know someone who does, I’d love to talk to them.
Turing Test Anyone? Are you up-to-date on the capabilities of computers? You know that a computer can beat humans at Chess and Go. You also know that a computer can train itself to win at Go or at a video game. What about realtime dubbing and translation? Oh, whatever, that’s not creative. Have you seen the writing that AI can do? How about art? Test yourself to see if you can identify which human-made images. Well, none of that matters because someone has to do the work around here. Maybe Adept will handle some of that too?
Lobbying. I’ve heard that the financial return on lobbying for companies is very high. In which cases? And why? Is it vote buying? As an early supporter of Issue One and reader of Nation on the Take, I do worry about corruption in our political system. But consider other explanations for how people behave. Does lobbying work via persuasion? What kinds of arguments cause a politician to change his or her mind? A new-to-me mental model is lobbying as a legislative matching grant. If you assume that politicians have limited resources, a lobbyist that provides good policy ideas or intelligence on the political landscape is giving non-monetary resources that help the politician work more on their shared interest. It explains why lobbyists tend to spend most time with allies. It is not laziness or wanting to avoid conflict.
Until next week,