Book Bits: 8 June 2024

The Last Human Job: The Work of Connecting in a Disconnected World
Allison Pugh
Summary via publisher (Princeton U. Press)
With the rapid development of artificial intelligence and labor-saving technologies like self-checkouts and automated factories, the future of work has never been more uncertain, and even jobs requiring high levels of human interaction are no longer safe. The Last Human Job explores the human connections that underlie our work, arguing that what people do for each other in these settings is valuable and worth preserving.

How to Make Money: An Ancient Guide to Wealth Management
Translated by Luca Grillo
Summary via publisher (Princeton U. Press)
Ancient Romans liked money. But how did they make a living and sometimes even become rich? The Roman economy was dominated by agriculture, but it was surprisingly modern in many ways: the Romans had companies with CEOs, shareholders, and detailed contracts regulated by meticulous laws; systems of banking and taxation; and a wide range of occupations, from merchant and doctor to architect and teacher. The Romans also enjoyed a relatively open society, where some could start from the bottom, work, invest, and grow rich. How to Make Money gathers a wide variety of ancient writings that show how Romans thought about, made, invested, spent, lost, and gave away money.

Cuckooland: Where the Rich Own the Truth
Tom Burgis
Review via Financial Times
“I will prove to you . . . that everything you’ve written is ninety-five per cent bullshit, lies and bias,” the Tory donor, businessman and self-styled “thought leader” Mohamed Amersi tells journalist Tom Burgis halfway through this savagely funny new book. “I hope your publishers are going to view this tape recording, so they know before they publish shit what it is.”
Evidently HarperCollins took a different view: Amersi’s obscenity-laden threats against Burgis sparkle through the buoyant prose of Cuckooland. The book charts Amersi’s colourful career and tells a wider tale of how corruption and influence-peddling works in the modern world, and how, in the age of social media manipulation and expensive lawsuits, “the rich can buy everything — including the truth”.

The Truth About Immigration: Why Successful Societies Welcome Newcomers
Zeke Hernandez
Interview with author via
Q: When it comes to the economics of immigration, there is the big one: immigration and its effect on wages and jobs. So let’s start there. Does immigration reduce wages?
A: The short answer is no. I understand that that’s a big question, but we have enough evidence to know that the answer is no. Immigration doesn’t cause job losses, either, for native workers.

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