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Amazon will add 2,500 office jobs in Southern California

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Amazon is dramatically expanding its white-collar presence in Southern California, announcing office leases to accommodate 2,500 new corporate and technology jobs in Santa Monica, Irvine and San Diego.

The e-commerce giant said on Tuesday it had signed three leases, totaling 439,000 square feet, for what it described as “tech hubs” in the three cities. Leases increase Amazon’s office space in Southern California to more than 1.5 million square feet, which is an increase of more than 40%, according to real estate brokerage data.

The Seattle-based company said it plans to hire locally for positions in various fields including retail, operations, games and web services. Specific roles include software development engineers, game designers, and user experience designers.

The three offices are the latest in a series of locations that Amazon has opened over the past two years to deal with the surge in demand from consumers staying at home during the pandemic. last week, The company recognized The hiring spree left her with too many workers and too much warehouse space $3.8 billion quarterly loss.

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E-commerce growth has slowed as the pandemic wanes, and analysts say the company must now trim its workforce without sparking labor unrest that would help union efforts.

Amazon workers at a New York facility on Monday Union refused. Workers in a different warehouse in Staten Island Vote for a union in AprilIt is a first for the nascent union movement among Amazon employees.

Amazon’s new lease on Spectrum Terrace in Irvine will accommodate 800 new employees.

(Amazon, $13)

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The retailer said it opened 15 locations in Southern California last year and added 17,000 jobs statewide, bringing Amazon’s total workforce in California to 170,000. Amazon doubled its logistics network during the pandemic and is currently the second largest private employer in the United States with 1.62 million workers.

“These 2,500 new jobs include building cloud infrastructure, optimizing the Alexa experience and designing cutting-edge video games,” said Holly Sullivan, Amazon’s vice president of worldwide economic development.

The company said the offices will open by the middle of next year and workers will be hired over a three-year period.

The biggest lease is in Santa Monica, with Amazon signing a deal to lease 200,000 square feet of Water Garden, a business hub located two miles from the beach. The complex already houses an office for Amazon Studios, as well as other technology companies including software giant Oracle and video game maker Naughty Dog.

Expected to open in mid-2023, the new location will expand the Amazon Tech Center in Los Angeles and accommodate more than 1,000 new tech and corporate jobs.

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In Irvine, the company has signed a lease for 116,000 square feet of office space at Spectrum Terrace, a modern complex with meeting cabins and an Olympic-size pool down the road. Expected to open later this year, the site will accommodate approximately 800 new employees.

“Economic development, especially job creation, is critical to the growth of our city. Irvine Mayor Farah Khan, Amazon’s expansion of its technology hub in Irvine is a testament to the incredible talent pool and high quality of life our city offers,” said Irvine Mayor Farah Khan, adding that the investment is a vote on the confidence in the city.

Aerial view of the office building complex.

Amazon has signed a lease for 123,000 square feet at University Town Center to accommodate more than 700 employees.

(Amazon, $13)

In San Diego, the company signed a lease agreement for 123,000 square feet space in University Town Center, Which will accommodate about 700 new employees. They will join about 1,000 employees already working at Amazon’s technology center in San Diego. The space will open in early 2023.

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Times staff writer Roger Vincent contributed to this report.

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Hiltzik: Effective Altruism was a cover for a crypto scam

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The uplifting aspect of the Sam Bankman-Fried story has always been that it steers its way toward an assumption Cryptocurrency wealth is over $16 billion By following a philosophy of charitable giving known as “effective altruism”.

Interviewers were intrigued by Bankman-Fried’s account of an epiphany he had during a lunch with Will MacAskill, around the time he was graduating from MIT.

British philosopher MacAskill advocated a version of “effective altruism” asserting that if the purpose of life is to do good, then the moral duty is to make as much money as possible, and then give it away. MacAskill pressed this point of view into the ordinance, “Gaining the Bid.”

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Sam and FTX had a lot of goodwill – and some of that goodwill was the result of being associated with ideas I’ve spent my career promoting… I’m ashamed.

– William MacAskill

According to Bankman-Fried, the encounter inspired him to change his goal after graduation away from joining a non-profit organization and toward finance, eventually founding one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency firms, FTX.

Adam Fisher, author of Bankman-Fried’s naive self-portrait Published in September by venture firm Sequoia Capital, which has invested in FTX, He asked his subject how much money would be too much: “So, is five trillion all you can use to help the world?”

The conclusion of this story is now known. Bankman-Fried’s crypto company has collapsed in a whirlwind, amid indications that it may have scammed customers who deposited money with FTX into buying cryptocurrencies. Billions of dollars are missing.

The company repairman who was hired to fix the disaster, John J. Ray III, says it from an operational standpoint FTX was a mess from top to bottom.

This refers to the question of what the catastrophe says about “effective altruism” in principle and practice. The short answer is: nothing good.

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FTX and effective altruism exist in a kind of symbiotic relationship. Bankman Fried pretended to be a global philanthropist. during His May appearance before a House committee, he boasted of his personal commitment to “donate 99% of his wealth”. Among other philanthropic initiatives, he said, his company launched the FTX Future Fund to invest in “ambitious projects aimed at improving humanity’s long-term prospects.”

Effective altruistic foundations that portrayed Bankman-Fried as a star donor — including the Future Fund — now admit that they may not have the money to honor the grants they promised their recipients. Some have preferred Bankman Fried Clean their payouts from their websites; Similarly, Sequoia removed Fisher’s long piece from its website.

However, the siren call of Bankman-Fried fortune blinded MacAskill and his colleagues to the void at the center of the cryptocurrency concept itself: it is an area riddled with fraud and deception and lacking any convincing argument for its usefulness. Bankman-Fried’s use of his image as a philanthropist to hide the flaws in his organization seems almost predetermined.

The entire Future Fund team He resigned on November 10. Around the same time, the leaders of the movement felt obligated to state explicitly that the principle of gain is to give “No way justifies fraud,” MacAskill also tweeted.

The impulse to define this apparent principle points to the emptiness at the heart of effective altruism. Let’s take a look at what it’s all about.

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First of all, there is nothing new under the sun when it comes to washing away infractions through apparent displays of spiritual piety or good deeds. Take, for example, the gilded robber baron Daniel Drew, one of the era’s preeminent manipulators and con artists, who rarely missed a Sunday in church or was seen in public without a well-thumbed prayer book on hand.

To outsiders, as reported by a biographer, Drew seemed “modest and humble, a good man, pious, reserved and humble to a fault.”

He established Drew Theological Seminary in Madison, NJ, with an ostentatious pledge of $500,000; The formal opening in 1867 was attended by “the largest group of Methodist intellectuals and theologians ever assembled”, including nine denominational bishops and four rectors.

But when the time came for Drew to fulfill the gift after nine years, he was broke. He died in 1879, still owing $250,000 towards his pledge, prompting the school into a panicked round of fundraising to avoid extinction.

The institution he founded lives on today as Drew University, with an associated theological school, however rather than belittling How her namesake philanthropist made his money.

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Other notable businesses and charities—the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, the Carnegie Library’s 1,800 libraries across the United States—are also products of their creators’ desire to clear their slate for posterity.

236 millionaires and billionaires have them signed the Bid Pledge, Committing to contribute most of their wealth to “tackle some of society’s most pressing problems”, essentially indicating their intentions in advance, without waiting for their will to be read. (Signatories include: Sam Bankman-Fried.)

Effective altruism in its modern form originated in the work of philosopher Peter Singer, whose initial influence stemmed from his advocacy of animal rights and expanded into the view that we all have a moral duty to prevent bad things from happening, if we can do so. “Without sacrificing almost anything of equal importance.”

Singer’s most famous thought experiment involved the necessity of saving a drowning child, even if it meant muddying your clothes or even missing a crucial appointment. His argument was that there was nothing fundamentally different from saving that child and alleviating the suffering of children in faraway lands, for example by donating whatever money you have beyond what you need to support yourself and those who depend on you.

But life is more complex than that simple formula would suggest. It raises countless questions about how we prioritize problems to solve, who we owe responsibilities to, and how we consider the source of our donations. Singer himself acknowledged some of this complexity by participating in exchanges with his critics that resulted in a 640-page book, “Peter Singer Under Fire” in 2009.

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McCaskill expanded on the mistake he made in Bankman-Fred’s hood during that lunch by embracing what he calls “the long haul.” As he puts it in a recent book, What We Owe to the Future, the idea is that “positively influencing the future is a fundamental moral imperative of our time.”

He acknowledges that the future, whether a generation to come or thousands or even a million years, is “uncharted territory” where “we don’t know exactly what threats we’re going to face or even where exactly we’re trying to go.”

The word “exactly” carries a lot of weight in this line: the truth is, we don’t know anything About the threats we will face or where we are going.

There is a significant element of hand-waving that underlies the purported principles of effective altruism.

The Center for Effective Altruism, which MacAskill heads, says it is dedicated to “Using evidence and reason to learn how to benefit others as much as possible.” Is there a philanthropist anywhere on earth who would disregard “evidence and reason” before deciding where to spend their money?

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Turning to the movement’s defense that it never intended to inspire Bankman-Fried or anyone else to commit scams to accumulate fortunes to give away — it just wants clean money — the “earn for giving” camp ignores that the accumulation of significant wealth is rarely morally neutral.

The concentration of vast wealth in the hands of ever fewer people increases inequality, because so much of the fortunes of millionaires and billionaires have come at the expense of workers, customers, suppliers, and societies. Timothy Noah of The New Republic emphatically identifies the most distinctive feature of effective altruism as “Ballet prowess which you go along with past targets that potentially offend billionaires,” such as inequality.

Jeff Bezos pledge To give away most of his $121 billion fortune during his lifetime, for example, he obscures salient facts about how he acquired that wealth in part by underpaying Amazon.com employees and, as widely reported, subjecting them to inhumane and abusive treatment. working conditions. (Balzac’s line, often paraphrased as “Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.” Related here.)

Then there’s the question of whether we want a small cadre of wealthy people – no 1% of the world’s population controls nearly half of the world’s wealth Distributing their wealth according to their personal preferences, rather than subjecting it to public and transparent judgments through government procedures.

Among other things, wealthy people tend to engage in tax-paying charitable giving It reflects their ideological preferences and personal interestswhich may not reflect the public interest.

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This is why effective altruism, as a movement, tends to seem like just another justification for the accumulation of wealth, in this case as a line of philanthropic effort to benefit humanity in the infinite future.

There is no reason to assume that promoters of effective altruism are anything but sincere in their convictions. As for the financial class who claims to believe in the movement, the jury is out. Interviewed via text messages by Vox.com’s Kelsey PiperBankman-Fried seems to admit that, in Piper’s words, the “moral material” was “mostly a facade”.

He replied, “Yes.” “I mean that’s not the case All Of it but it’s a lot… It’s what a reputation is made of, in a sense.”

Bankman-Fried rode that horse as far as he could go before he collapsed, and his trusted admirers saluted as he galloped past. MacAskill, for one, admits he was humiliated by the experience.

He then tweeted: “Sam and FTX had a lot of goodwill – and some of that goodwill was the result of being associated with ideas I’ve spent my career promoting.” “If these good intentions wash away the fraud, I feel shame.”

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But will he grasp the lesson already taught to Daniel Drew, Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie among countless other financial barons—that having money comes first, and giving it an afterthought? The lesson was there to be learned long before Sam Bankman-Fried appeared on the scene, and he ignored it at his own risk.



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Elon Musk reinstated Donald Trump’s Twitter account

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The poll came narrowly to Yes winning, with 51.8% out of 15 million votes cast.

trump It was broken After the January 6 riots at the Capitol. At the time, Twitter explained the decision in a file POS blogt: “After carefully reviewing the recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context surrounding them – specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter – we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement to violence.”

Previously, Musk said he would have big moderation decisions like this made by a special committee, perhaps like the Facebook Oversight Committee, which They voted to support Ban Trump from Facebook and Instagram.



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Will Musk keep his promises after thousands rejected Twitter’s ultimatum?

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After, after Thousands of employees Reportedly rejecting Elon Musk’s ultimatum this week to stick with the new “hardcore” culture or get out, both the outgoing and the rest of the staff are left with one big question: What happens now?

People who thought they took buys are wondering if Musk will try calling them back for business. Laid-off workers do not know what kind of bonus they are getting or if it will appear at all. Those urged to stay have no idea what Musk’s plan is for them or the company.

According to one former employee, Musk spent Thursday meeting with engineers to try to entice them to stay, while meeting “goons” outside the company — a mix of employees pulled from other Musk ventures and many supportive men in the billionaire’s orbit — the company’s nominally less important sectors. . (The former and former Twitter employees agreed to speak for this article on the condition of anonymity, fearing retaliation from Musk.)

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In what the former employee described as a case of a no-clothes emperor, the only argument anyone seemed able to make as to why employees could trust Musk’s leadership was his past business successes. Plus the possibility of the people who stay getting rich.

However, the company did not provide any specific compensation agreements, the former employee continued, and Musk did not offer a broader plan or strategic vision.

The platform’s trajectory seems to change every few days under Musk. Efforts to adjust how the platform’s user verification system works have fallen behind, and the drive toward premium subscriptions has left the platform’s user base wondering what the pay-to-play schedule will look like. some have forecast Musk is aiming to make Twitter more user-friendly for pornography.

In a farewell message on Twitter, Peter Close — whose LinkedIn page still identifies him as the company’s senior software engineer — cited Musk’s lack of a clear game plan as the catalyst for his departure from the company.

“There was no shared vision with us,” Close said Wrote. “No 5-year plan like Tesla. Nothing more than anyone can see on Twitter. Allegedly coming for those who stayed but the request was blind faith and required signing a class offer before seeing it. A test of pure loyalty.”

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Severance pay has figured prominently in questions from employees and former employees about their and the company’s future.

“It remains unclear what the actual reward will be for anyone and all people in all stages of layoffs,” said one former product designer whose role was cut on November 4. Already with no termination information.

Email Twitter HR sent Nov. 4, copy from The Times After the review, he said the let go employees will receive details of the severance offer within a week.

That was more than two weeks ago. However, employees say, nothing came of it.

The designer is now part of Twitter’s “inactive” workforce — still a technical employee as of February, getting paid in the meantime, but not doing any actual work. Severance is supposed to start after that limbo ends, according to company emails reviewed by The Times, however, it’s not clear what that will look like.

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Musk has claimed several times that laid-off employees will receive severance pay for three months: once in a tweet He described that plan as “50% more than legally required”, and repeatedly In the email he sent to the employees he offered them an ultimatum.

The former designer said via email that “no information” was given about what the waiver process would look like, and nothing “official” to sign. It’s not even clear what Musk means by being 3 months out of the service: “3 months salary? 3 months severance?” He does. [Musk] Considering salary and severance pay the same? “

“The lack of proper preparation and communication for layoffs builds frustration in people,” said the outgoing designer. “Since we are still technically employed…we have to handle this frustration very carefully, as we want to prevent continued dismissals for what may result in loss of salary up to the date of dismissal and also loss of compensation.”

Q&A attached to HR email of November 4, used by The Times As reviewed, he said the severance pay will be sent about 45 days after the employees’ non-working periods have ended. However, this can get complicated lately reports Insider’s Kali Hays reports that Twitter’s entire payroll department has quit (although some accountants remain).

Another former employee confirmed that severance packages had not yet been issued, and had no information about healthcare coverage for laid-off employees. According to the former designer, employees have been given one email address to send in questions about the layoff, but no one seems to be answering them.

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Before Musk took over, the product designer said, Twitter’s severance package included a minimum of two months’ salary plus a metered performance bonus and extended work visa support.

“Most of us have attorneys in place where we expect terminations to not follow sooner [pre-Musk] said the designer. If Twitter claims that the payment made during the inactivity period is in fact severance pay, “we are preparing a potential class action lawsuit with the affected tweeters,” also known as Twitter employees.

The former employees considering legal action against Musk have reportedly contacted three law firms.

“We are all waiting for the details of the chapter to be legally disclosed,” said the designer, but the lawyers consulted “believe we have a strong claim and are entitled to the original chapter.” [2 months salary + 3 months vesting/bonus and visa coverage]. “

At the beginning of November, Mask laid off – laid off temporarily Roughly 50% of the company, they promise compensation for two to three months for those who leave. It was He filed a lawsuit almost immediately by former employees who have alleged that Musk violated federal and state labor laws on mass layoffs.

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Laura Reathaford, a California employment attorney with Lathrop GPM, said Musk’s email calling for employees to adhere to a “hardline” work culture effectively constitutes terminating the employment of those who don’t want to stay.

“He made an offer to resign and took a three-month severance package,” Rethaford said. “If someone accepts this offer, it looks like it can be enforced.”

Musk could change his mind and decide not to fire everyone who didn’t opt-in to the new Twitter, or not offer compensation, but employees don’t have to play by his rules. “In any contract negotiation, either party can change their mind, and the other party can decide whether they want to continue the negotiations,” Rethaford said.

Employees can go after Musk in two ways: breach of contract or a so-called “malicious reliance,” according to Lloyd Greif, CEO of investment bank Greif & Co. The first is based on the fact that Musk’s email is effectively an oral contract, even if it’s not a formal written contract signed by both parties. The second can be pursued when one party relies on a promise made by another party and suffers harm or loss because of it. In this case, employees rely on the promise of three months severance pay when they are out of work and looking for a new job.

“I think it’s an open-and-shut case,” Greif said. “The only thing that can prevent that is bankruptcy” – If Musk files for bankruptcy, that’s likely the only way to get rid of employee severance pay.

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Some laid-off employees could successfully file discrimination cases against Musk, the lawyers said, especially older employees, those on parental leave, or those affected on the basis of race or gender.

The current Twitter anarchy, surprising though it may be in its scale and speed, does not come entirely without warning. It comes after months of acquisition drama during which the company’s fate seemed to swing back and forth every few weeks.

Musk ended his control of the platform on October 28 after trying to back out of an acquisition he had begun in April. Since then, Twitter’s ranks have been dented by uncertainty and fear about the fate of their jobs and a platform in which many employees seem genuinely emotionally invested.

More and more managers and employees have quit over the past few weeks or been fired for criticizing or speaking out against Musk in public or, it is said, in internal channels, until Musk’s edict this week on the new “hardcore” culture.

“There was no retention plan for those who stayed,” Close, the former software engineer, wrote in his farewell tweet. “No clear upside to keeping them in sight through the storm. Just ‘trust us’ style verbal promises.”

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He added, “But, strikers were generally not confident after 7 months of possession drama.”

Twitter no longer has an official communications team and could not be reached for comment.



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