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Brave new world.

Good Monday morning, Apexians, and welcome to the month of May! Today, I’ve collected four stories about how some folks are getting paid big bucks to do nothing. Sound crazy? It does to me too. Yet it’s been happening for years, and it seems to be happening more often.

“I’ve been employed in tech for years, but I’ve almost never worked.” [Emmanuel Maggiori] — “What is happening right now in tech may be one of the greatest market inefficiencies — or even deceptions — in history. I am writing this article because I think outsiders deserve to know what’s really going on in the field.” This doesn’t surprise me at all. I have a close friend who works a tech job for a large non-tech corporation. He works maybe two or three hours a week, and that’s mostly sitting in on meetings. Nobody else understands what his job is supposed to do, so he’s left to his own devices. He does almost no work.

The biggest new moneymaking scheme for Hollywood stars? Doing nothing. [The Guardian, so possible soft barrier] — “How hard do you have to work to earn $60m in just three years? The answer, for Phoebe Waller-Bridge, at least, is not very hard at all. In 2019 the Emmy-winning creator of the hit TV show Fleabag signed a $20m-a-year deal with Amazon Studios…Waller-Bridge has collected $60m from Amazon over the last few years without ever making a new show.”

‘Overemployed’ hustlers exploit ChatGPT to take on even more full-time jobs. [Vice] — “Over the last few months, the exploding popularity of ChatGPT and similar products has led to growing concerns about AI’s potential effects on the international job market—specifically, the percentage of jobs that could be automated away, replaced by a well-oiled army of chatbots. But for a small cohort of fast-thinking and occasionally devious go-getters, AI technology has turned into an opportunity not to be feared but exploited, with their employers apparently none the wiser.” Related: The always-fascinating /r/overemployed subreddit, where member share how they work multiple jobs at once.

“I delivered a presentation completely generated by ChatGPT in a master’s program and got the full mark.” [/r/ChatGPT on Reddit] — “For everyone in higher education, I genuinely wish you the best of luck. I’m almost positive certain countermeasures will be deployed to contain this beast and I’m glad this is my final semester in higher education and kinda got there early to take full advantage of this. It’s going to be a nightmare discerning real human work from AI-generated content, and I’m sure everyone is going to suffer equally this abrupt advance in technology.”

O, brave new world that has such people in it…