Friday Faves – What We’re Reading This Week

Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive

Whose Time Is It, Anyway? The uneven temporalities that structure global capitalism require martyrdom from its least valued commuters

Nat says: Earlier this year, I met and became friends with Eddie, who also goes by the alter-identity of ‘Dr Time‘. Dr Time shared this ‘Whose Time is it, Anyway’ article on his Twitter feed last week. Weirdly enough, because I will be in Tasmania in a few days’ time, I am writing this blog post ‘ahead of time’, and my reference to Dr Time sharing his post ‘last week’ is actually being referred to today, November 29, the day he shared the article and the day I am writing this post. I am writing for the future based on a past event whilst I am engaging with the ‘here and now’. Trippy.

As you can tell, time fascinates me, and I became even more fascinated with Eddie’s views of time, space and temporality. He explores such issues often in the context of organisations, having worked as a consultant and adviser for many big-named companies. In fact, a few nights after I first met Eddie, myself and the mutual friend who introduced us all got together and made a podcast discussing time. It didn’t take long for the conversation to turn to philosophy as we began to question reality itself. It seems that time plays such a pivotal role in our lives, yet we seldom question the nature of it.

All physicists will tell you that time and space have a hand-in-glove relationship with one another, yet this relationship can confound us outside of our experiences of it. For example, the faster you move, the slower time is said to go. Theoretically, time can also travel backwards, but scientists do not yet have an answer or a consensus that could explain why it doesn’t. If you dropped a glass of wine and its contents splashed all over the floor, theoretically, time could erase the glass breaking, but your memory of the event would remain intact. Space and time, it seems, toys with perception. For this reason, how can we be 100% certain that time does not already flow backwards? I often think that the more we evolve as humans, the further removed we become from nature, which I briefly discussed in last week’s blog (again, I’m making a reference to time even though I wrote that piece just before I started writing this one). If we look back at our past, we can see ourselves becoming more connected to nature. How do we know we are not experiencing time forwards, but that it’s actually playing out in reverse?

These are just some philosophical musings about time, as the topic itself is both complex and fascinating. The shared article discusses time in relation to worker commutes, starting off with a tale of a worker who would walk three miles to work every day. The discussion then moves to the issue of labor in relation to such a commute. The need to work and find a job can make the commute for some people both a mental and physical ordeal. However, these people are still expected to present their ‘best selves’ when on the job. Time and work become the focus of most of our lives, but how often do we question both these things? We work five days on, two days off, every week for a vast majority of our lifetime. Although the article discusses the issues with commute, perhaps the next topic of conversation should be concerned with the purpose behind such time usage.

Readhttps://thenewinquiry.com/whose-time-is-it-anyway/

New Facebook App for Children Ignites Debate Among Families

“In (launching ‘Messenger Kids’), Facebook immediately reignited a furious debate about how young is too young for children to use mobile apps and how parents should deal with the steady creep of technology into family life”.

Emilio says: They’re the ‘digital natives’ of this planet, the generation that ‘first learned how to swipe before they wiped’ – so is it any surprise that tech companies are constantly coming up with new devices, applications, games and content to corner them and fuel their predilections?

This week, Facebook launched ‘Messenger Kids’, a new messaging app for pre-teens (under 13) – and although it was welcomed by a few quarters, the barrage of criticism seems to be drowning out the excitement over its release.

Whilst ‘Messenger Kids’ on the one hand would give parents control of their kids’ messaging, concerned parent groups are raising serious questions. Do younger kids really need a potentially addictive messaging app when most parents are already facing an uphill battle getting their kids off mobile devices?

Even more alarming are the privacy issues surrounding its use – particularly the information that Facebook would be mining about their precious little ones.

And although Facebook have reassured critical groups that all data and personal information of these young users will not be used for marketing, doubts are being raised over whether Facebook, one of the biggest media companies in the world, will put these young users’ interests first, disregarding their business and their advertisers’ needs.

From a marketer’s perspective, Facebook seems to be making all the right moves. Wean the young ones early on, expose them to Facebook while they aren’t old enough to have their own Facebook accounts – and their loyalty is already in the bag. If indeed this is Facebook’s hidden agenda, then there are real ethical questions that need to be flagged on the grounds of exploitation of kids for market share and profit.

The issues raised around the benefits and perils of ‘Messenger Kids’ remind me of the ongoing debate about allowing mobile phones in school or banning devices entirely. No doubt, there are massive benefits with having access to technology in learning and being able to communicate with family and friends whilst in school. Digital literacy needs to be encouraged early. Ensuring that technology is useful rather than a harmful distraction for school kids is important, and striking a balance too is key, with screen time and time for physical activity and socialising physically rather than digitally with other kids equally allocated.

Research in the U.S. shows pre-teens already use technology and messaging platforms so having an app like ‘Messenger Kids’ could give parents more control over their kids’ digital use. If the over 13s can Facebook and Messenger chat, why shouldn’t pre-teens be able to access a similar app with parental permission and supervision? On the other hand, are the strong criticisms about the perils of ‘Messenger Kids’ justified? Or can the potential harm to kids be mitigated? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Readhttps://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/04/technology/facebook-messenger-kids.html

$450,000 esports league is coming Down Under

Joel says: Australia’s esports scene is about to kick it up to the next level. The popular UK Gfinity Elite League is coming to Australia early next year and bringing with it a 2018 prize pool of AU$450,000, which will be spread over two seasons.

The league will feature what many would agree to be the three most currently popular esports games, Rocket League, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Street Fighter V, and pit pro teams from Australia’s six states against each other. It will be helmed by current Sydney Sixers cricket team manager Dominic Remond, the latest exec to make the jump from sports to esports, who will act as Australia’s Gfinity CEO starting February.

It’s been a hot year for esports in Australia. Overwatch’s World Cup drew over 2,000 people to The Star in Sydney back in July, and League of Legends got its own local reality show called “The Next Gamer.” Esports is a global monster, with the aforementioned League of Legends being one of the few games at the centre — it’s sold out LA’s Staple Centre multiple times, and 14 million tuned into the 2016 World Championship finals.

“Esports is really another form of sport,” he said, “sports are competitive, sports have fans, and fans love rivalries and tribalism. By creating this structure of a city-based league, it’ll give more personal connections with fans to a team they can support.”

Readhttps://www.cnet.com/au/news/450000-esports-league-is-coming-down-under/

Inclusion@Work Index 2017

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Jakkii says: With the long overdue passing of Marriage Equality legislation yesterday ,and after a few conversations I’ve had recently about diversity and inclusion, I thought it was timely to share this research on inclusion in Australian workplaces.

The DCA-Suncorp Inclusion@Work Index 2017 was developed through a nationally representative sample of 3000 Australians. It defines inclusion as:

Inclusion occurs when a diversity of people (ie. from different ages, cultural backgrounds, genders) are respected, connected, progressing, and contributing to organisational success.

Some highlights from the findings:

People care about inclusion.

  • 3 out of 4 Australian workers support or strongly support their organisation taking action to create a workplace which is diverse and inclusive.

Inclusion is good for business.

  • Inclusive teams are 10x as likely to be highly effective;
  • 9x as likely to be innovative; and
  • 5x more likely to provide excellent customer service.

Inclusion is good for employees.

  • Employees working in an inclusive team are 19x more likely to be satisfied with their job;
  • 4x more likely to stay with their employer; and
  • 2x more likely to receive regular career development opportunities.

There are plenty more great insights in the research, and I highly recommend you check out the full report. If you take nothing else away, at least take this: inclusion matters. It matters to me, it matters to you, it matters to your colleagues, and it matters to your business.

What steps are you taking (or have you taken) to make your teams and workplaces more inclusive?

Readhttps://www.dca.org.au/research/project/inclusion-index