Tag Archives: Corporations

Science Fiction Today – Work

WThe way that we work in today’s world is different than the way it functioned even just twenty years ago. With advancements in technology and the way that physical distances do not mean as much anymore, it is bound to happen that how work functions becomes different.

Some of the problem that actually happens is that the people running the show are used to how things used to work and that is what they know. It can be difficult to think that things could function differently. Now there are a few different directions that these changes could go, but each have good sides and bad sides.

Worker Factories

One way to go and is often seen in stories is the worker factories. With the advancement in technology and the possibility of being able to go completely digital, that means that the space people need to be able to do their work is less. If you can have all the paperwork at your fingertips and do not need to keep the miles and miles of paperwork in ever expanding filing cabinets.

By needing less space you can cram more people into an office to try and get more accomplished in a day. There is also the thought that you can reach people at anytime so suddenly, where do we draw the boundaries of people being at work or off of work? Suddenly, it is about churning out work at all times and using less space to do more.

Virtual Work

Now being able to be connected at any time to work could be a good thing. The ability for people to work on projects across continents makes it so that the physical office does not matter. We can connect over phones, video chat, and even work on files across countries. The ability to work becomes unbound to a physical presence.

Now obviously this cannot be every job, but in some ways it can benefit almost every job. The ability to control so much from a touch of a button already exists, and that ability is just going to grow as the technology advances. As the connections between nations grows larger the space between will grow smaller. Already there are corporations who work in multiple countries and currently we still travel between, but there is so much that can be done without being in the physical location.

The big thing is that more and more of our work is going to be able to be done online or with a computer. We can talk to each other and connect, we can control machines, we can have meetings, we can share documents, and so much more. Who knows where the boundary actually lies? At the same time this can be used to either make everyone have to work harder or to help all of us work smarter.

This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge, and also part of our occasional series on Science Fiction Today. You can read an explanation of both here. We are striving to keep these posts short, and know that we have not covered every example or angle – plenty of room for discussion!

Science Fiction Today – Corporations

CWhile they often get a bad rap in today’s world for being too big and powerful, they usually get an even worse rap in the future – having spread beyond national boundaries and governmental controls. I’m of course talking about Corporations. Love ’em, work for ’em (and therefore can’t express an opinion), or hate ’em, Corporations are a fact of modern life.

Corporations are not inherently evil, but instead are dictated by a whole lot of people’s opinions and choices, between management, share holders, and all the individual actions of the employees. Just to throw out one really recent example of how a Corporation can be an interesting entity, take Starbucks – between their #RaceTogether initiative, and their support of same sex marriage in their home state of Washington, they’ve gotten a whole lot of press, and a whole lot of people both for and against them. Big actions, big consequences; so what might this look like in the future?

Corporations and Peace?

So you’ve probably heard of these theories from economist Thomas Friedman: the Golden Arches theory, and the updated Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention. Basically, the idea is this: two countries that both have the same Corporation doing business within their borders will not go to war with one another. It’s somewhat both cause and effect: they are likely peaceful or stable countries to begin with, and they would not immediately want to go to war and risk their relationships in terms of what these Corporations bring to their country.

So while they may not be the most sound theories, more of an educated assumption about national decision making – they are interesting theories taken into the future. As Corporations, and their related business and supply chains, increase their business and how many countries they are in – so too could spread world peace. Certainly at least, these theories would suggest that there’s much more chance and time that would be given to diplomatic means of peacekeeping!

Those Evil Multi-National Corporations…

Umbrella Corporation LogoOf course, then there’s the sorts of futures where we see Corporations evading all of the laws, evading taxes, taking over, out of control. And really, there’s no better example than the Umbrella Corporation.

Created a super-plague that turns people into Zombies? Check. Unleashed it on the world to see what happens, and maybe create super-soldier in the process? Check. Totally unable to stop what you’ve caused? Check. Totally survive the ensuing apocalypse and continue to cause problems? Check. I guess I’m basing this more on the Resident Evil movies than the games, as I’ve seen more than I’ve played, but it’s pretty much Umbrella’s deal that no one can stop them, and they do bad things because they can. Like GLaDOS! In fact, I’ll leave you with Still Alive. We do what we must, because, we can.

This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge, and also part of our occasional series on Science Fiction Today. You can read an explanation of both here. We are striving to keep these posts short, and know that we have not covered every example or angle – plenty of room for discussion!