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CEOs write me: “How do I convince my shareholders to accept dividends instead of capital gains? We have gotten to a place where people need jobs not because we need all that work done, but because we need an excuse to let them have the food and housing which is already in abundance. They were telling me how they understood that Uber drivers don’t get paid a living wage—but that once the government instituted a guaranteed minimum income, then it wouldn’t matter that the drivers don’t get paid enough to live! At least they’d have enough money to hire Uber cars when they need to get somewhere!” People ask how to start local currencies in their towns, or how to do crowd-funding for local businesses. So guaranteed minimum income doesn’t really empower anybody.So now, each show is basically a single theme, with a monologue by me and a conversation with a guest.It’s much more about the live engagement than whatever book or accomplishment the guest comes with.And I’m still working on this problem, since I believe that food, housing, and medical care are basic human rights for which you shouldn’t need a job, but I don’t like how guaranteed minimum income becomes an excuse for more exploitation of those at the bottom, and a new two-tiered society.Given what you’ve written recently, including the piece about Trump being the epitome of a “digital” candidate, do you have any particular hope for the way the internet develops, going forward?Journalists in the mainstream TV and print media, for example, can no longer feign “balance” in a media space as polarizing as ours is today.
A few months after the book, after going on tour and hearing feedback from readers—among them tech folks and executives—I wonder which concepts or models preoccupy you the most now.Are there some you are still working through and wondering about?Critical hurdles to a fairer and more human future? Things that leave you particularly curious or anxious or worried?I’m thinking particularly of the way the web and its platforms, economies, and media are built predominantly upon advertising—and how journalism has been folded into this media landscape, to its detriment, and at a time when it’s never been more needed.My hope doesn’t lie in the way we develop the internet so much as in the way we learn to compensate for its effects out here in the real world.