I’m going to be testing out content for the next bit. If you’re from the PKM Weekly newsletter and don’t like the content, feel free to unsubscribe. You should only ever spend time on things that fit with your current needs.

Here are 3 threads I’m thinking about this week.

When You Think Automation Think Worker Replacement.

Cory Doctorow brought up a good point that the market is horny for replacing workers with automation, but often what’s really happening is replacing low-wage local workers with even lower wage foreign workers. That’s what Amazon Go stores did, replaced low-wage clerks with low-wage foreign workers monitoring cameras.

Doctorow also brings up Cruise, GM’s failed autonomous taxi, that replaced drivers with 1.5 highly paid technicians that had to monitor the cars all the time.

Next time I hear a story about robots/AI the first question I’m going to ask is where did the workers go. The workers are still there, companies are simply trying to hide them and pay less for people.

Avoid Blind Capture Mindset with Your Notes

TfTHacker has a good post about making sure you do more than merely capture your notes. I’m sure we’ve all come to a note a few weeks after taking it and we have no idea why we took the note, or the context in which it would be important for us to know.

I encounter this daily with problems submitted at work. The idea/problem that I’m supposed to implement has 2 lines to explain it, no screenshots, no indication of how it’s supposed to work, just 2 lines that the footer is “wrong”. That often leaves me following back up with the submitter or digging for 30 minutes to figure out what on earth was meant by the person submitting the issue.

While I can do little about how people submit issues to me at work besides reminding them what a good submission looks like, I can take the article above to heart when I write my own notes. I can give lots of context and add dates to meeting notes with indications about who said they’d do what by when. I can assume that future me has no idea what I’m talking about today and fill in a research note with enough information to ensure that future me has a place to start with their understanding of the topic at hand.

Don’t Give a Fuck about Work

This is a good reminder about what’s worth investing in at an emotional level. No work isn’t one of the things that’s worth it. Work says that “you’re family” when they need you to work extra hours, but if you get cancer it’s “just business” to let you go instead of paying you for years because you need the support.