In it for the long haul: If we’re talking disruption and automation, nothing is more front of mind than long haul truckers, as self-driving truck technology gains sophistication and the industry itself struggles to find suitable employees. As Arielle Pardes writes in Cosmo, long haul trucking has massive turnover, with drivers using the job in the short term to reduce their cost of living, pay off debts or save for a downpayment. However, Thrillist reports from the road that truckers often return to the industry, perhaps after raising a family, because the driving is in their blood or they can be picked over for more traditional 9to5 gigs once “trucker” appears on their CV.
Warehouses of the Future: Speaking of automation, warehouses are also ripe for disruption. With more and more sales of physical goods happening online, warehouses are cropping up on the outskirts of urban centres to deal with the demand for instantaneous door to door service. But what’s inside these warehouses is changing rapidly, from the way the warehouses are organized to the way pickers might be kept on their toes.
No news is good news: It seems no good news ever comes from the chilly-ish pole to the south, and reports of newly discovered canyons under the ice is just more of the same. The canyons, the largest of which is more than 350 kilometres long and occur in a region where the ice sheets meet, were unknown until their recent discovery by a team of scientists. Hidden under hundreds of feet of ice, the theory is that the ice will flow faster into the sea than expected due to the deep grooves. That’s especially alarming, given the warming climate.
Here Be Dragons! The walls have come down in many offices, thanks in part to all the downsizing: between hot desking, employees choosing to WOOO and more and more positions going to contract or freelance workers, businesses just don’t need all the space. There are arguments in favour (more camaraderie and collaboration!) and against (privacy and productivity!) open offices. A recent study had another take: that there’s inherent sexism in open plan spaces. But as Emma Teitel suggests in the Toronto Star, maybe the design of the office isn't the real problem. Not to say that we shouldn’t take care when designing open offices to ensure comfort, productivity and allow for privacy when it’s needed, but it’s the bad behaviour that needs exterminating.
The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil: In mid-March, the annual Ogoh-Ogoh parade takes place in Bali on the eve of Nyepi (Balinese New Year) and features terrifying handcrafted giant demons marched through the community as a path to purification. Designed to rid the island of 365 days of evil and restore the divine balance between people, God and nature, the creations are made from wood or bamboo (or sometimes polystyrene) and covered with papier-mâché. Made weeks or months in advance, some Banjars (community organizations) are now strongly pushing for organic materials (aka no styrofoam), especially since the demonic statues are often burnt in cemeteries at the end of their procession through the streets. Nyepi begins the next day and is celebrated with meditation and fasting from dawn to dawn, entirely in silence.