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      Employees also have “asymmetrical” power. Nobody forces you to work there. Corporations don’t have any ‘power’ over you. You only give them power if you put yourself in a position where you need continuous employment. But if you throw your phone in the river don’t blame the water for being wet.

      I lost faith in privately owned corporations.

      Well. Cars are made by privately owned corporations. Computers are made by privately owned corporations. It is good that you lost faith, now you can know why privately owned entities operating in a free market is good rather than just believe it is without evidence.

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        Nobody forces you to work there.

        of course no one person or entity is forcing you to work at a specific job or company. the needs of life, however, are. there is no universal basic income. there is no free job re-training. if you aren’t in your teens and free of living costs and dependants, you are forced to work.

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          The evaluation of whether or not something is “good” is based on costs as well as benefits. I’m certain that everyone on this website knows where cars and computers come from. The question is whether the benefits they provide outweigh the overall costs of the system that produces them.

          That many people are ambivalent on this point should make you examine the nature of your own certainty. Have you taken all the costs and benefits into account? Are you sure there isn’t a better way to obtain equivalent benefit?

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            Cars are made by privately owned corporations. Computers are made by privately owned corporations.

            They are right now, yes. That’s kind of crocket’s point. In a sense, private corporations have a monopoly on places to work. Where can I go buy a collectively-produced car right now?

            In the USSR, cars and computers were made by publicly-owned entities. Not that I’m advocating the soviet model, but it’s a counterexample to your assertion.

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              Corporations don’t have any ‘power’ over you. You only give them power if you put yourself in a position where you need continuous employment.

              i mean we could return to a society built on subsistence farming maybe but otherwise you gotta work to eat.

              Amusingly enough your analysis is completely orthogonal to reality. The asymmetrical power is wielded by the corporation against the worker. Things don’t need to be this way, but the bourgeoisie have successfully made the word “union” radioactive, thus reinforcing the power differential.

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            Those concerned about their privacy might be alarmed by the arrival of such badges


            This article is easily the biggest WTF all month.

            The microphones are there. There’s zero accountability of what’s actually recorded and what isn’t. Just because the company/boss/whoever says that no actual conversations are recorded means nothing. The capability is there. It will be used.

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              Yes. It will be used unless either the law or aggressive social disapproval prevent it. We can fantasize, but I wouldn’t count on the latter.

              This is also going to literally kill people. In the US, it’ll probably be regulated out of existence. In the developing world, we’re going to see this used for unionbusting and, in a lot of these countries, that’s done with bullets rather than blacklists and bad references.

              If your product relies on corporations being ethical, the only ethical thing to do is to not launch it.

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                You mean in Europe maybe. In the U.S., there’s all sorts of monitoring by employers with either no or few regulations going way back. I’m not hopeful on this one.

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              I think companies who feel the need for this may consider investing in robot technology instead. It will be cheaper than the lawsuits.

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                This is terrifying.

                It is also up to the employee to decide whether they want to participate.

                Oh, I’m sure it will be “voluntary”. As in, “if you want to keep your job” voluntary.

                I can also see people being expected to “voluntarily” release their individual data to management.

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                  I can also see people being expected to “voluntarily” release their individual data to management.

                  Of course it is voluntary. At any point any employee can quit. Employment is a voluntary relationship between employees and employers under a mutually agreed upon conditions. If the conditions are bad, then employees would choose to work elsewhere, giving corporations incentives to make conditions good to retain employees.

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                    that is an incredibly privileged point of view.

                    not everyone has the ability to change employers at will. and in many lines of work, your options are going from one major corporation to another of (effectively) similar size and management philosophy.

                    so no, employee privacy is not something “The Market” can solve.

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                      The exchange you’re having is a classic example of how terms like “voluntary” are hopelessly overloaded. You see volition from the perspective of the individual making decisions and taking responsibility for themselves, where as the folks you’re responding (some of whom are being incredibly condescending to you) to see volition as encompassing a lot more than that, including circumstances outside the individual’s locus of control (i.e., “lack of clear choices”).

                      This is speaking as someone who has been down that road way too many times to count. One useful thing I’ve learned from my engagement with others is that there are a lot of people who see the entire relationship between the individual and society in very very different and fundamentally irreconcilable ways. It can be hard to have a productive conversation, because they tend to devolve to life or death scenarios really quickly (it already has here), and once you’re there, it’s hopeless to continue.

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                        I think the discrepancy in the definitions of the word “voluntary” can be reconciled by being clear about the relative costs and risks of each choice. All choices are not equal.

                        As an abstract entity, the company who chooses to use these trackers expends and risks relatively little when compared to what the human employee has to expend and risk in their choice to quit — even if they have plenty of savings or whatever else. The things that make us alive and human also make our decisions much more complicated than those of any abstract entity. This mismatch in costs and risks is the essence of power.

                        So, as long as the more powerful entity keeps the cost of accepting some regression from the status quo just below the cost of fighting it, the parameters of the decision never really change for the individual. This is how most unfavorable situations are advanced upon us these days. I think the reason these discussions always head towards life and death is that we try to find some kind of shared moral terra firma from which to argue. When the changes are always slow and minute, arguing against them either makes you a crazy person who’s making a big deal about something small or a crazy person railing against the entire structure of society.

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                        Once you get out of high school (yo, put down the Ayn Rand book for a second and listen) you’ll realize that not everyone has a choice whether or not to work. Most people don’t. So, no, it is not voluntary. Not everyone has parents with a $500,000 house in the suburbs where they can live rent-free if they lose their jobs.

                        Also, my point in the other comment still stands. In the U.S., this will be a hassle and result in some lawsuits. In the developing world, this will be used to track union organizers and people will be killed because of it. Yes, in those libertarian paradise countries without the rule of law, it’s not atypical for corporate management to put a bullet in a union organizer’s head. As I said, this device will literally kill people. I wasn’t exaggerating.

                        On the other hand, there is one advantage that incurs to employees that I didn’t consider. One could argue that these badges being placed on employees gives them permission to record interactions with management, even in one-party states. (In most U.S. states, it’s illegal to record someone without their permission, but the existence of a recording badge could be argued to represent affirmative consent among management.) That could put some management behaviors in check.

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                          Once you get out of high school (yo, put down the Ayn Rand book for a second and listen)

                          I downvoted you as troll for this. This kind of presumptuous, snarky, yet content-free insult is only worthy of Reddit.

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                      So its basically the communications badges in star trek? I hope we get transporters next to even it all out.

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                        Miniluv approves