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jerryking : cautionary_tales   12

Texas top ten percent policy provides a cautionary lesson
July 8, 2019 | hechingerreport | by JILL BARSHAY

Texas’s policy to automatically admit the top students in each high school to the state’s flagship universities didn’t expand the number of high schools that send students to Texas A&M University, College Station.

One proposal to boost the number of black and Latino students in elite schools is to cream the top students from every neighborhood or community, rather than admitting only the top students on a national or statewide yardstick. That way the brightest Latino students in a predominantly Latino school, for example, can get a shot at a coveted slot that they otherwise might not get. Bill de Blasio, New York City mayor and Democratic presidential candidate, has floated this idea for diversifying his city’s elite high schools.

But the state of Texas provides a cautionary lesson for how much this sort of well-intended reform can accomplish. Research is showing that a policy that takes the top students from the state’s high schools didn’t increase diversity in Texas’s elite universities or increase the number of high schools that feed them.
admissions  affirmative_action  African-Americans  cautionary_tales  Colleges_&_Universities  diversity  elitism  high-achieving  high_schools  Latinos  students  Texas  workarounds 
july 2019 by jerryking
Keeping Cori Gauff Healthy and Sane
July 2, 2019 | The New York Times | By Christopher Clarey.

Cori Gauff studies the map of her predecessors' pitfalls

Tennis has its latest prodigy in Cori Gauff, the 15-year-old American who upset Venus Williams, once a wonder child herself, in the first round of Wimbledon of Monday......The list [of child prodigies] is extensive, punctuated with cautionary tales. As tennis has become a more physically demanding sport, these breakout moments have been trending later.......Corey Gauff, the player’s father, longtime coach and the inspiration for his daughter’s name, has attempted to do what he can to help her chances of long-term success. One of his self-appointed tasks: studying tennis prodigies extensively......“I went through everybody I thought was relevant, that won Grand Slams and were good young,” ....“I went through every one of their situations and looked at where they were at a certain age, what they were doing. I asked a lot of questions, because I was concerned about burnout. Am I doing the right things?”....“I studied and studied to prepare myself to make sure if she was able to meet these goals that we’d be able to help the right way,” he said. “That was important. I still sit there and benchmark: ‘O.K., we’re at this point now. How is she doing physically? Is she growing? This is what Capriati did at this stage. This is what Hingis did at this stage, what the Williams sisters did at this stage.’”....Great stories, which prodigies continue to be, attract not just attention but money from sponsors. Parents and advisers can get more invested in success — and continued success — than the young player, and the result can be traumatic......Some precocious talents have experienced physical abuse,.....There is also the physical and mental toll of competing against older, potentially stronger opposition......“The main thing I looked at was how do you prevent injury,”.........The family has sought frequent outside counsel: “It’s honestly been a village of coaches,” he said.

Cori Gauff chose to sign with Team8, the agency started by Roger Federer and his longtime agent Tony Godsick, in part because the Gauffs believed a long-term approach had worked well for Federer, who turned pro at 17 and is still winning titles at 37.
African-Americans  athletes_&_athletics  benchmarking  cautionary_tales  dark_side  due_diligence  injury_prevention  long-term  outside_counsel  parenting  pitfalls  precociousness  prodigies  sports  systematic_approaches  teenagers  tennis  women 
july 2019 by jerryking
What tech hasn’t learnt from science fiction
APRIL 3, 2019 | Financial Times | Elaine Moore.

Never mind the future: where are the books tackling Silicon Valley’s current challenges?

There is a myth that Silicon Valley is stuffed full of nerds who have never picked up a book in their lives. Like a lot of tales about the Valley, it is not true. The tech industry is acutely aware of the value of storytelling.......Whenever a tech founder is asked about their favourite novel it is usually worth paying attention. Uber founder Travis Kalanick’s admires Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.....Jeff Bezos’s is taken by the quiet despair of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Remains of the Day......and Theranos' Elizabeth Holme is attached to Moby-Dick.

It’s true that reading lists on the West Coast tend to skew towards science fiction.......For Silicon Valley, the genre seems to offer both inspiration and validation. .......But the connection between tech companies and sci-fi novels runs deeper. To make their futuristic projects reality, some seek the help of the authors themselves......Less is made of its focus on the downside of humanity interacting with a virtual world (jk: sci fi doesn't pay enough attention to the the downside of humanity interacting with a virtual world). .....The affection tech founders feel for sci-fi often seems to lack this dimension.....If founders are not paying too much attention to cautionary sci-fi themes, at least some people are. Amazon Go shops can feel like a vision of the future as you pick up milk and walk away, without scanning anything. But cities such as San Francisco have begun to wonder whether cashless shops will end up marginalising the country’s poorest citizens, who do not have access to online bank accounts......does any sci-fi novel offers a way to think about Silicon Valley’s present, as well as its future? The singularity and inter-planetary travel are well covered in literature..... are there book out there that address privacy scandals, electric scooters and $100bn IPOs?
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
* Counting Heads' (2005) by David Marusek is a novel set in 2134.
* Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson.
* Idoru" by William Gibson.
* Count Zero" by William Gibson.
* "Black Mirror" TV series Charlie Brooker.
* The Circle by Dave Eggers.
* ‘Minority Report’ Phil K Dick.
* Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
* Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.

People who don't read science fiction (SF) are handicapped in today's world really, because usually they form part of the 99% of humans who are unable to look ahead more than a few months or so and see where society is going. ......Or the people that think Elon Musk is a visionary. He is not a visionary! He is just a smart person, which necessarily includes reading SF, and taking things from there. People who do not read SF think that Musk is the only person on the planet thinking about and developing our future society on Mars...  But there are millions - it's just that he is one of a few billionaires working concretely on it. For example, if you read the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson, you'd realise that one of the reasons that Elon Musk now has a tunnel boring company is that we will NEED tunnels on Mars... You'd also realise that the TV rights of the trip to Mars will pay for (most of) the cost of the trip... etc. etc. etc.
Amazon_Go  augmented_reality  Ayn_Rand  authors  books  cautionary_tales  Elon_Musk  entrepreneur  fiction  founders  future  futurists  novels  pay_attention  reading_lists  San_Francisco  science_fiction  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  storytelling  virtual_reality  William_Gibson 
april 2019 by jerryking
Amazon offers cautionary tale of AI-assisted hiring
January 23, 2019 | Financial Times | by Andrew Hill.

the task of working out how to get the right people on the bus has got harder since 2001 when Jim Collins first framed it, as it has become clearer — and more research has underlined — that diverse teams are better at innovation. For good reasons of equity and fairness, the quest for greater balance in business has focused on gender, race and background. But these are merely proxies for a more useful measure of difference that is much harder to assess, let alone hire for: cognitive diversity. Might this knotty problem be solved with the help of AI and machine learning? Ming is sceptical. As she points out, most problems with technology are not technology problems, but human problems. Since humans inevitably inherit cultural biases, it is impossible to build an “unbiased AI” for hiring. “You simply have to recognise that the biases exist and put in the effort to do more than those default systems point you towards,” she says...........What Amazon’s experience suggests is that instead of sending bots to crawl over candidates’ past achievements, companies should be exploring ways in which computers can help them to assess and develop the long term potential of the people they invite to board the bus. Recruiters should ask, in Ming’s words, “Who will [these prospective candidates] be three years from now when they’re at their peak productivity inside the company? And that might be a very different story than who will deliver peak productivity the moment they walk in the door.”
Amazon  artificial_intelligence  hiring  future-proofing  Jim_Collins  machine_learning  recruiting  teams  Vivienne_Ming  cautionary_tales  biases  diversity  intellectual_diversity  algorithms  questions  heterogeneity  the_right_people 
january 2019 by jerryking
Trump offering a timely cautionary tale on trying to run government as a business
Mar. 31, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | ADAM RADWANSKI.

.The enduring appeal of this hoariest of political clichés – some variation of making government run more like a business – is such that it surely seemed to Mr. Trump’s admirers like confirmation of the real-world expertise he seduced them with on the campaign trail....Mr. Trump is already providing cautionary tales. A management style that encourages factions in his employ to compete against each other for his attention is a proven recipe for chaos in government. His blustery approach to negotiations has yet to show many signs of working with foreign leaders. Most consequentially, so far, a lack of attention to detail, which could be overcome when delegating to underlings at his companies, proved devastating in the first legislative test of his administration – the President unable to sell fellow Republicans on his health-care plan, in part because he did not know details about the bill.......The more time one spends in or around governments, the more obvious it is why attempts to bring a Wall Street or Bay Street mentality to them can end badly.

Ethical scrutiny, for all that entrepreneurs-turned-politicians paint capital cities as swamps, is greater than in the corporate world. And because governments get more attention for failures than quiet successes, tolerance for risk is often lower.

Healthy tension with career civil servants can turn unhealthy if politicians and their staffs do not make honest efforts to understand and engage bureaucrats. And the overarching reality is that, in government, goals and outcomes are more complex, abstract and intuitive than when they can be measured by profit margins.

Business titans can triumph in politics – a Michael Bloomberg in New York, a Danny Williams in Newfoundland. And public-sector culture is often stagnant, and benefits from outside eyes. But the disruptors’ success usually involves a willingness to admit (privately) what they do not know about government, and trust people who understand it better.
bureaucrats  business  business_interests  businessman_fallacy  cautionary_tales  clichés  delusions  Donald_Trump  government  humility  national_interests  political_clichés  pro-business  public_sector 
april 2017 by jerryking
For Brexit supporters, a cautionary tale from Henry VIII - The Globe and Mail
CARL MORTISHED
LONDON — Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2016 3:06PM
Brexit  United_Kingdom  Tudors  EU  history  cautionary_tales 
september 2016 by jerryking
A Reading List of Tell-Alls, Strategic Plans and Cautionary Tales in Finance - The New York Times
JULY 4, 2016 | DEALBOOK | Andrew Ross Sorkin

(1) “Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley,” by a former Facebook executive, Antonio García Martinez.
(2) “The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse” by Mohamed A. El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz and chairman of President Obama’s Global Development Council.
(3) “Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business” Rana Foroohar
(4) “Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World” Adam Grant
(5) Bloodsport: When Ruthless Dealmakers, Shrewd Ideologues, and Brawling Lawyers Toppled the Corporate Establishment” by Robert Teitelman,
(6) “Dear Chairman: Boardroom Battles and the Rise of Shareholder Activism,” by Jeff Gramm, owner and manager of the Bandera Partners hedge fund and an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School.
(7) “Brazillionaires: Wealth, Power, Decadence, and Hope in an American Country” by the journalist Alex Cuadros.
(8) a biography of Alan Greenspan titled, “The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan.” It is by the journalist Sebastian Mallaby, an adroit writer who also published a brilliant book on hedge funds several years ago, called “More Money than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite.”
(9) “To Pixar and Beyond: My Unlikely Journey with Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History” by Lawrence Levy, the former chief financial officer of Pixar.
Rana_Foroohar  books  booklists  summertime  Andrew_Sorkin  Pixar  Mohamed_El-Erian  hedge_funds  central_banks  finance  dealmakers  Silicon_Valley  Brazil  biographies  Adam_Grant  cautionary_tales 
july 2016 by jerryking
Making Sense of Ambiguous Evidence
September 2008 | HBR | A Conversation with Documentary Filmmaker Errol Morris.

The information that top managers receive is rarely unfiltered. Unpopular opinions are censored. Partisan views are veiled as objective arguments. Honest mistakes are made. The manager is then left to sort it all out and come to a wise conclusion.

Few people know how to get an accurate read on a situation like documentarian Errol Morris. He is the award-winning director of such films as The Thin Blue Line and this year’s Standard Operating Procedure, an exploration of the elusive truth behind the infamous photographs taken at Abu Ghraib prison. The Guardian has ranked him among the world’s top 10 directors, crediting him with “a forensic mind” and “a painter’s eye.”

In this article, Morris talks with HBR’s Lisa Burrell about how he sorts through ambiguous evidence and contradictory views to arrive at the real story. “I don’t believe in the postmodern notion that there are different kinds of truth,” he says. “There is one objective reality, period.” Getting to it requires keeping your mind open to all kinds of evidence—not just the parts that fit with your first impressions or developing opinions—and, often, far more investigation than one would think.

If finding the truth is a matter of perseverance, convincing people of it is something of an art, one with which Morris has had much experience not only as a documentarian but also as a highly sought-after director of TV ads for companies like Apple, Citibank, Adidas, and Toyota. He holds up John Kerry’s 2004 bid for the U.S. presidency as a cautionary tale: Kerry struck voters as inauthentic when he emphasized only his military service and failed to account for his subsequent war protest. Morris would have liked to interview him speaking in his own words—natural, unscripted material—so that his humanity, which seemed to get lost in the campaign, could emerge.
anecdotal  HBR  executive_management  CEOs  contradictions  information  information_flows  evidence_based  objective_reality  information_gaps  authenticity  sense-making  ambiguities  uncertainty  persuasion  forensics  postmodern  filmmakers  documentaries  judgment  cautionary_tales 
august 2012 by jerryking
The Clintons' last hurrah: watching the skunk in the alley
Thorsell, William. The Globe and Mail [Toronto, Ont] 16 Feb 2001: .13

The Wall Street Journal is the best-edited newspaper in the world, and its relentless editorial pages are sometimes superlative, too. This week, a Journal editorial disposed of Bill Clinton's shrinking rump of defenders with enviable finality. And last week, the Journal published a potent denunciation of the United States' governing elites -- "the dominant minority" on which the long-term welfare of any great civilization depends. Together, it was like reading a very good second draft of history.

The first of these forays can be explained by partisan predilection, as the Journal's genome contains the protein marker for Republicans in every cell, including the one that defines how you dress. But the editorial page's fervent hostility to Bill and Hillary Clinton goes far beyond the bounds of ideological conviction. It bespeaks moral outrage at the Clintons' damnable ability to act badly and then implicate a majority of Americans in their sins by sustaining public support...The context for all this was forcefully provided one week earlier in a Journal editorial-page essay coldly titled Prole Models. Charles Murray argued that America's governing elites have allowed repugnant lower-class values to become fashionable in society, nay, have adopted them. Citing Arnold Toynbee's cautionary tale in A Study of History,Mr. Murray warned against the rising social status of the Thug Code: "Take what you want, respond violently to anyone who antagonizes you, gloat when you win, despise courtesy as weakness, treat women as receptacles, take pride in cheating, deceiving or exploiting successfully."...The Wall Street Journal is an important instrument of the American establishment, and thus a contradiction to the thesis that U.S. elites have lost their way. Indeed, the political power of the religious right suggests the opposite, to the point that pluralist democracy might become at issue there. But Bill Clinton has ultimately validated the Journal's distinctive moral outrage by his consistently cynical indifference to its strictures.
thug_code  William_Thorsell  Bill_Clinton  Hillary_Clinton  Charles_Murray  underclass  cultural_values  values  social_classes  editors  cautionary_tales 
august 2011 by jerryking
Venture Capital Investors, Lesson Learned, Do More Homework - NYTimes.com
By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER
August 9, 2011

the market for investing in tech start-ups remains white-hot. Still,
some investors are proceeding with extreme caution.

Saying they learned their lesson in the dot-com boom and bust, and the
2008 recession, the institutional investors — pension funds, university
endowments and foundations — that put money in venture capital funds are
more selectively choosing the firms in which they invest, doing
exhaustive research before handing over money, and in some cases driving
hard bargains for more favorable management fees and shares of profits.
cautionary_tales  venture_capital  vc  limited_partnerships  due_diligence  investment_research  Claire_Cain_Miller  institutional_investors  selectivity  pension_funds  endowments  foundations  lessons_learned  bubbles  economic_downturn 
august 2011 by jerryking
http://www.ipac.ca/EmployeeProgram2010
Making Sense of Research in Engagement
Dann Hoxsey; University of Victoria
Angela Matheson; Manager Research and Development, BC Stats
While everybody is talking about employee engagement, our research
points to some limitations about what can be said and how we might
better understand the effects an engaged workforce has on organizational
performance. This research presents a cautionary tale, which suggests
that a lot of “engagement” talk is over-simplified. In this
presentation, we will tell you what we have done, what we have found,
and what you can do to avoid making an engagement faux pas.
employee_engagement  limitations  cautionary_tales 
september 2010 by jerryking

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