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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Johannes Gutenberg died in 1468, a little over a decade after inventing moveable type. But he had already set in motion a gold rush-like frenzy of European entrepreneurs who flung open print shops to cash in on his technological earthquake.
Today's competition for people's attention in the torrent of digitized information — blogging, the 24-hour broadcast news cycle and online commentary (not to mention email newsletters) — may be a key driver of the chaos.
The big picture: Competition was everything to the Gutenberg revolution, Dittmar and co-author Skipper Seabold wrote on their blog and in a longer paper in January.
How they reached their conclusions: Dittmar and Seabold collected data on every known book and pamphlet published from 1454 to 1600 — more than 295,000 of them in some 200 cities. Then they tracked the opening of printing shops.
Details of what they found:
There was also an impact on the value of labor:
The bottom line: The lifting of traditional gatekeepers — the Catholic Church in Gutenberg's day, and the mainstream media today — is one factor, but not everything.
Typing away. Photo: Getty
Over the last three years, the pay gap between American men and women shrunk by just 3 cents, per a new study from Glassdoor.
Erica writes: Women went from earning 76 cents to a man's dollar to 79 cents. But, in some jobs, that gap is even wider.
“The media industry continues to see roles that are dominated by men, including highly visible roles like anchor and editor,” says Zhao.
And media — like all industries — is adding scores of tech jobs, which is exacerbating pay gaps. “Common occupations include editor, producer and account executive, but also software engineer and game artist. This is an example where tech jobs with big pay gaps are spreading to other industries,” Zhao says.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Face-recognizing machines at a Beijing airport. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty
While we're fumbling for our licenses and passports in long check-in lines at the airport, travelers in China are just walking up to a camera.
Erica writes: China tech analyst Matthew Brennan encountered one of the machines at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport. He filmed himself walking up to it, and in just a few seconds, the image recognition software pulled up all the details of his flight and checked him in — with just his face.
Worth noting: This technology might seem a bit unsettling, but it has already arrived in the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security has been testing facial recognition at airports for years, and Delta Airlines' systems in several airports scan travelers' faces for check-in and boarding.