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jerryking : dark_side   31

The robot-proof skills that give women an edge in the age of AI
February 11, 2019 | Financial Times |by Sarah O’Connor.

in a world of algorithms and artificial intelligence, communication skills and emotional intelligence — traditionally seen as female strengths — could prove key.

The latest panic about artificial intelligence is that it will deal a blow to women in the workplace..... The concerns are legitimate enough, but they fail to appreciate the big ways in which the world of work is going to change. In fact, it is quite possible the age of AI will belong to women. Men are the ones in danger of being left behind....Some AI tools may be biased against women — a risk for any group that has been historically under-represented in the workplace. Because machine learning tends to learn from historical data, it can perpetuate patterns from the past into the future......It is right to pay attention to these problems and work on solutions. Algorithms shouldn’t be given power without transparency, accountability, and human checks and balances. Top AI jobs should be held by a more diverse set of smart people.....As machines become better at many cognitive tasks, it is likely that the skills they are relatively bad at will become more valuable. This list includes creative problem-solving, empathy, negotiation and persuasion. As Andy Haldane, chief economist at the Bank of England, has put it, “the high-skill, high-pay jobs of the future may involve skills better measured by EQs (a measure of emotional intelligence) than IQs”..... increasing demand in these jobs for supplementary skills such as emotional intelligence, which has given women an the AI era dawns, it is the right moment to overhaul the way we value these skills, and the way we teach them. With an eye on the demands of the future, we are trying to persuade girls that coding is not just for boys. So why aren’t we also trying to persuade boys that empathy is not just for girls?

We could start by changing the language we use. For too long we have talked about “soft skills”, with connotations of femininity and a lack of rigour. Let’s call them what they are: “robot-proof skills” that neither men nor women can afford to face the 21st century
21st._century  algorithms  artificial_intelligence  biases  checks_and_balances  dark_side  emotional_intelligence  EQ  future-proofing  gender_gap  machine_learning  soft_skills  smart_people  under-representation  women  workplaces 
6 days ago by jerryking
Roger McNamee on how to tame Big Tech
February 7, 2019 | Financial Times | Roger McNamee.

Government intervention of this kind is a first step on the path to resolving the privacy issues that result from the architecture, business models and culture of internet platforms. But privacy is not the only problem we must confront. Internet platforms are transforming our economy and culture in unprecedented ways. We do not even have a vocabulary to describe this transformation, which complicates the challenge facing policymakers....Google, Facebook and other internet platforms use data to influence or manipulate users in ways that create economic value for the platform, but not necessarily for the users themselves. In the context of these platforms, users are not the customer. They are not even the product. They are more like fuel.....Google, Facebook and the rest now have economic power on the scale of early 20th-century monopolists such as Standard Oil. What is unprecedented is the political power that internet platforms have amassed — power that they exercise with no accountability or oversight, and seemingly without being aware of their responsibility to society......When capitalism functions properly, government sets and enforces the rules under which businesses and citizens must operate. Today, however, corpor­ations have usurped this role. Code and algorithms have replaced the legal system as the limiter on behaviour. Corporations such as Google and Facebook behave as if they are not accountable to anyone. Google’s seeming disdain for regulation by the EU and Facebook’s violations of the spirit of its agreement with the US FTC over user consent are cases in point......AI promises to be revolutionary. That said, it will not necessarily be a force for good. The problem is the people who create AI. They are human...McNamee recommends two areas of emphasis: regulation and innovation. As for the former, the most important requirement is to create and enforce standards that require new technology to serve the needs of those who use it and society as a whole. ...... The IoT requires our approval. Do not give it until vendors behave responsibly. Demand that policymakers take action to protect public health, democracy, privacy, innovation and the economy.
accountability  Alexa  antitrust  artificial_intelligence  biases  Big_Tech  consent  dark_side  Facebook  Google  Industrial_Internet  monopolies  personal_data  platforms  political_power  privacy  Roger_McNamee  sensors  surveillance  unintended_consequences 
12 days ago by jerryking
Opinion | Warning! Everything Is Going Deep: ‘The Age of Surveillance Capitalism’
Jan. 29, 2019 | The New York Times | By Thomas L. Friedman, Opinion Columnist.

Recent advances in the speed and scope of digitization, connectivity, big data and artificial intelligence are now taking us “deep” into places and into powers that we’ve never experienced before — and that governments have never had to regulate before. I’m talking about deep learning, deep insights, deep surveillance, deep facial recognition, deep voice recognition, deep automation and deep artificial minds.

Some of these technologies offer unprecedented promise and some unprecedented peril — but they’re all now part of our lives. Everything is going did we get so deep down where the sharks live?

The short answer: Technology moves up in steps, and each step, each new platform, is usually biased toward a new set of capabilities. Around the year 2000 we took a huge step up that was biased toward connectivity, because of the explosion of fiber-optic cable, wireless and satellites.

Suddenly connectivity became so fast, cheap, easy for you and ubiquitous that it felt like you could touch someone whom you could never touch before and that you could be touched by someone who could never touch you before.

Around 2007, we took another big step up. The iPhone, sensors, digitization, big data, the internet of things, artificial intelligence and cloud computing melded together and created a new platform that was biased toward abstracting complexity at a speed, scope and scale we’d never experienced big data got really big, as broadband got really fast, as algorithms got really smart, as 5G got actually deployed, artificial intelligence got really intelligent. So now, with no touch — but just a voice command or machines acting autonomously — we can go so much deeper in so many areas....DeepMind, the artificial intelligence arm of Google’s parent, developed an A.I. program, AlphaGo, that has now defeated the world’s top human players of the ancient strategy game Go — which is much more complex than chess — by learning from human play......Today “virtual agents” — using conversational interfaces powered by artificial intelligence — can increasingly understand your intent... just by hearing your voice.....The percentage of calls a chatbot, or virtual agent, is able to handle without turning the caller over to a person is called its “containment rate,” and these rates are steadily soaring. ....But bad guys, who are always early adopters, also see the same potential to go deep in wholly new ways.....On Jan. 20, The London Observer looked at Harvard Business School professor Shoshana Zuboff’s new book, the title of which perfectly describes the deep dark waters we’ve entered: “The Age of Surveillance Capital.”....“Surveillance capitalism,” Zuboff wrote, “unilaterally claims human experience as free raw material for translation into behavioral data. Although some of these data are applied to service improvement, the rest are declared as a proprietary behavioral surplus, fed into advanced manufacturing processes known as ‘machine intelligence,’ and fabricated into prediction products that anticipate what you will do now, soon and later. Finally, these prediction products are traded in a new kind of marketplace that I call behavioral futures markets. Surveillance capitalists have grown immensely wealthy from these trading operations, for many companies are willing to lay bets on our future behavior.”
5G  algorithms  AlphaGo  artificial_intelligence  automation  books  complexity  connectivity  dark_side  DeepMind  digitalization  gaming_the_system  human_experience  massive_data_sets  patterns  rogue_actors  Tom_Friedman  trustworthiness  virtual_agents 
19 days ago by jerryking
Ghost kitchens : the next disruption in the restaurant industry ?
8 Jan, 2018 | intotheminds | Posted By Pierre-Nicolas Schwab.


ghost kitchen make perfect economic sense : margins are thin in the restaurant industry, driven by high employees-related costs, rent, expensive equipment and variability in demand. Setting up a restaurant is a bet with a 5 to 20-year time horizon depending on myriad factors : your positioning, the location, and many exogenous factors out of your control. Eliminating all those risks seems like a logical move :

how to make a restaurant less location-dependent ?
how to adapt quickly to demand ?
how to reduce fixed costs (renting and equipping a place) ?
The bright sides : 3 major advantages of ghost kitchens

**The 3 major advantages of ghost kitchens are their answers to the 3 problems listed above :

the restaurant is not location-dependant anymore. If there is an event likely to generate massive flow of potential customers, you can move
ghost kitchens can adapt quickly to demand : the standardized kitchen unit just has to be multipled, which is not possible with street food vans unless you own several of them (which brings us to the 3rd advantage).
ghost kitchens, because they are rented from online platforms like Uber Eats and Deliveroo, transfom fixed costs into variable ones. This is great to test your idea and is a cheap way to do market research and test traction on a market.

** The dark sides of Uber’s and Deliveroo’s ghost kitchens
1. Why would one still rent a place to operate a restaurant ?
Good question indeed. If all hurdles and risks of operating a brick-and-mortar restaurant can be removed, why would you still want to rent a place (fixed costs), buy the equipment (fixed costs), hire employees (fixed costs) and wait on patrons to come in (variable revenues) ? If a platform like Uber or Deliveroo can provide you with customers’ orders, the need to have a brick-and-mortar place would vanish.
But if every single restaurant owner adopts that posture, how will city centers look like on the long run ?

2. Dependence towards platforms
What happened with the hospitality sector may well happen on the middle-term in the restaurant industry too. Uber eats, Deliveroo have disrupted the way we consume food. This is a new societal change that is most to be felt in Europe (urban Americans use already to get food delivered to their homes, most restaurants in US cities proposing at home delivery) : it has become easier than ever to get food delivered at home.
If enough restaurant owners make a significant percentage of their revenues through those platforms, they will eventually become dependent on them and will struggle like hotels are now struggling with Using platforms is a wise strategy to grow revenues but it can also become a very dangerous one if your dependence to them increases.
beyond_your_control  disruption  fixed_costs  kitchens  platforms  restaurants  variable_costs  Deliveroo  Uber  asset-light  event-driven  experimentation  test_marketing  pop-ups  cold_storage  on-demand  dark_side  virtual_restaurants  bricks-and-mortar 
5 weeks ago by jerryking
Platform companies have to learn to share
August 19, 2018 | Financial Times | Rana Foroohar.

Algorithmic management places dramatically more power in the hands of platform companies. Not only can they monitor workers 24/7, they benefit from enormous information asymmetries that allow them to suddenly deactivate drivers with low user ratings, or take a higher profit margin from riders willing to pay more for speedier service, without giving drivers a cut. This is not a properly functioning market. It is a data-driven oligopoly that will further shift power from labour to capital at a scale we have never seen before......Rather than wait for more regulatory pushback, platform tech companies should take responsibility now for the changes they have wreaked — and not just the positive ones. That requires an attitude adjustment. Many tech titans have a libertarian bent that makes them dismissive of the public sector as a whole.......Yet the potential benefits of ride-hailing and sharing — from less traffic to less pollution — cannot actually be realised unless the tech companies work with the public sector. One can imagine companies like Uber co-operating with city officials to phase in vehicles slowly, rolling out in underserved areas first, rather than flooding the most congested markets and creating a race to the bottom......Airbnb...often touts its ability to open up new neighbourhoods to tourism, but research shows that in cities like New York, most of its business is done in a handful of high end areas — and the largest chunk by commercial operators with multiple listings, with the effect of raising rents and increasing the strains caused by gentrification. On the labour side, too, the platform companies must take responsibility for the human cost of disruption. NYU professor Arun Sundararajan, has proposed allowing companies to create a “safe harbour” training fund that provides benefits and insurance for drivers and other on-demand workers without triggering labour laws that would categorise such workers as full-time employees (which is what companies want to avoid).
Airbnb  algorithms  dark_side  data_driven  gig_economy  information_asymmetry  New_York_City  oligopolies  on-demand  platforms  public_sector  Rana_Foroohar  ride_sharing  sharing_economy  safe_harbour  training  Uber 
august 2018 by jerryking
Exploring the dark side of leadership - The Globe and Mail
UPDATED MAY 12, 2018

The first three characteristics of this dark side are commonly referred to as the Dark Triad. ....overconfidence can be the fourth characteristic, leading to a dark square of leadership.

Machiavellianism - characterized by manipulative tactics, a pessimistic view of humanity and an emphasis on efficiency over moral principles.... individuals who exhibit Machiavellianism will lie, manipulate and exploit others to get their way.

Psychopathy - not just a characteristic of serial killers. Individuals high on psychopathy have poor impulse control, show little remorse for others, including individuals they harm, and lack concern for the morality of their actions. They use threats and hard tactics in the workplace to gain status and get ahead.

Narcissism - have extremely inflated views of themselves, with grandiose plans for their future.

Overconfidence - "Act as if you have unmatched confidence and then people will surely have confidence in you," says Jordan Belfort in his book The Wolf of Wall Street. This is sad but true. Individuals who exemplify overconfidence are better able to influence others and gain their trust.

So, what is an organization to do about the dark side of leadership? Those who are passionate about leadership must shine a light on the dark side.

The bright side of leadership: Humility -- "an interpersonal characteristic that emerges in social contexts that connotes (a) a manifested willingness to view oneself accurately, (b) displayed appreciation of others' strengths and contributions, and (c) teachability." Leaders with greater humility are better able to deal with the realities of the modern economy such as shocks, rapid technological advances and uncertain demand. On the strategic side, humble leaders will be less overconfident and risky.
leadership  dark_side  humility  leaders  ethical  Niccolo_Machiavelli 
june 2018 by jerryking
Reporter’s Phablet: Is It Time To Panic About Quantum Computing’s Dark Side? - CIO Journal. - WSJ
By Sara Castellanos
Sep 15, 2017

At the three-day Quantum Safe Workshop that wrapped up here Wednesday, the general consensus among cryptography experts is that cybersecurity as we know it will be completely upended when a powerful quantum computer comes to market. That is, unless enterprise executives and researchers start preparing now.

“CIOs need to be planning their requirements for quantum safety today,” said Mark Pecen, founder and chairman of a working group for quantum-safe cryptography at the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, one of organizations that hosted the workshop.

Preeminent cryptographers and mathematicians who attended the conference said that when a scalable, fault-tolerant quantum computer is built, it will be able to solve the algorithms that much of today’s encryption relies on. The popular RSA algorithm, which is used to secure e-mail, online banking, e-commerce and devices connected to the internet, is particularly at risk because it’s based on integer factorization. Quantum computers are capable of solving factorization problems perhaps trillions of times faster than a classical computer.

If a powerful quantum computer is built before new algorithms and encryption methods are deployed, “the cyberspace we’re living in right now (will be) chaos,”
CIOs  quantum_computing  dark_side  cyber_security  cryptography 
june 2018 by jerryking
When algorithms reinforce inequality
FEBRUARY 9, 2018 | FT | Gillian Tett.

Virginia Eubanks, a political science professor in New York, undertakes academic research was focused on digital innovation and welfare claims. ......Last month, she published Automating Inequality, a book that explores how computers are changing the provision of welfare services in three US regions: Indiana, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. It focuses on public sector services, rather than private healthcare insurance, but the message is the same: as institutions increasingly rely on predictive algorithms to make decisions, peculiar — and often unjust — outcomes are being produced. And while well-educated, middle-class people will often fight back, most poor or less educated people cannot; nor will they necessarily be aware of the hidden biases that penalise them....Eubanks concludes, is that digital innovation is reinforcing, rather than improving, inequality. ...What made the suffering doubly painful when the computer programs got it wrong was that the victims found it almost impossible to work out why the algorithms had gone against them, or to find a human caseworker to override the decision — and much of this could be attributed to a lack of resources....a similar pattern is described by the mathematician Cathy O’Neil in her book Weapons of Math Destruction. “Ill-conceived mathematical models now micromanage the economy, from advertising to prisons,” she writes. “They’re opaque, unquestioned and unaccountable and they ‘sort’, target or optimise millions of people . . . exacerbating inequality and hurting the poor.”...Is there any solution? O’Neil and Eubanks suggest that one option would be to require technologists to sign something equivalent to the Hippocratic oath, to “first do no harm”. A second — more costly — idea would be to force institutions using algorithms to hire plenty of human caseworkers to supplement the digital decision-making.

A third idea would be to ensure that the people who are creating and running the computer programs are forced to think about culture, in its broadest sense.....until now digital nerds at university have often had relatively little to do with social science nerds — and vice versa.

Computing has long been perceived to be a culture-free zone — this needs to change. But change will only occur when policymakers and voters understand the true scale of the problem. This is hard when we live in an era that likes to celebrate digitisation — and where the elites are usually shielded from the consequences of those algorithms.
Gillian_Tett  Cathy_O’Neil  algorithms  inequality  biases  books  dark_side  Pittsburgh  poverty  low-income 
february 2018 by jerryking
The dark side of on-demand work - The Globe and Mail
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jun. 05, 2015
on-demand  dark_side  gig_economy 
june 2015 by jerryking
Kobe’s competitiveness ‘scares a lot of people that are just comfortable being average’ - The Globe and Mail
MINNEAPOLIS — The Associated Press
Published Monday, Dec. 15 2014
Bryant has been compared to Jordan for a long time, in part because he dared to chase him. Where Bryant is every bit Jordan’s equal is in the tenacity that has kept him going through a torn Achilles tendon, bone-on-bone friction in his knees and now the painful rebuilding of a proud franchise.

“His competitiveness drives him in the off-season to work to be able to play at the level he plays,” Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders said. “His competitiveness during the games to dominate offensively and defensively and then his competitiveness of wanting to win. He’ll challenge teammates if need be and will do whatever it takes to try to get that edge.”

It’s the only way Bryant knows. And he learned by studying the best.

“I think when you look at Michael’s [Hall of Fame] speech,” Bryant said, referring to a speech in which Jordan cited those who he perceived to have gotten in his way over the years. “People really got a chance to see how he ticks and it scared a lot of people, right? But that’s just the reality of it. You can’t get to a supreme level without channelling the dark side a little bit.”

Bryant’s willingness to embrace the darkness has, in his own eyes, cast him as one of the league’s villains.
NBA  athletes_&_athletics  competition  competitive_advantage  injuries  basketball  Kobe_Bryant  competitiveness  Pablo_Picasso  averages  tenacity  dark_side 
december 2014 by jerryking
Disruptors are just pirates on the high seas of capitalism - The Globe and Mail
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Nov. 05 2014

Often portrayed as criminal pursuers of riches, pirates don't have the best of reputations. But is there something that can be learned from them?

Jean-Philippe Vergne thinks so.

Last January, the assistant professor at the University of Western Ontario's Ivey Business School introduced a course entitled Lessons From The Dark Side Of Capitalism: How Pirates Help To Shape New Industry. The course aims to help his students see the innovative impacts these fringe-dwellers have on the marketplace.
piracy  disruption  Ivey  Uber  Bitcoin  Airbnb  ride_sharing  new_industries  sharing_economy  mobile_applications  dark_side 
november 2014 by jerryking
Big Data makes for meaner politics - The Globe and Mail
Konrad Yakabuski

The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Jan. 18 2014
What do you get when you combine modern technology with old-style politics? Hillary's wrath, that's what.

News that top aides to Hillary Clinton used a computer spreadsheet to compile a "hit list" of disloyal Democrats after her devastating loss to Barack Obama in the party's 2008 presidential primaries is more proof that what used to be an art is turning into a science.

Politicians have always rewarded friends and punished enemies, as the spiteful Bridgegate scandal engulfing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie now reminds us. But evaluating loyalty and disloyalty used to be an entirely subjective exercise that required endless mental acrobatics and was rendered fallible by lapses in memory, blurred emotions and information overload.

The era of Big Data is changing all that. And none too soon for the Clintons, as Hillary keeps her options open for 2016. When you've crossed and been crossed by so many people in 35 years of bare-knuckle politics, it's naturally hard to keep track of all the slights. What better than a computer scorecard that replaces the old mental tally of friends and enemies?

According to a new book by two well-regarded White House correspondents – Politico's Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes of The Hill – Ms. Clinton's aides assigned scores between 1 (most loyal) and 7 (most disloyal) to each Democratic member of Congress and pumped the data into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The result was an instant loyalty ranking that would inform Ms. Clinton and husband Bill's future interactions with fellow Democrats on the list.

Endorsing Mr. Obama for the nomination did not mean you scored an automatic 7 if you had a reasonable excuse, such as being black or from Illinois. Similarly, endorsing Ms. Clinton did not mean you got a 1 if you "didn't go the extra mile" for her or were "just kind of there." The 7 rankings were reserved for those who "endorsed him but really should have been with her … that burned her,"

The Conservatives need any help, really. The party’s Constituent Information Management System (CIMS) is considered the most advanced political database in the country, compiling records on millions of Canadians....In her book Shopping for Votes, the Toronto Star’s Susan Delacourt describes the unsettling transformation of Canadian politics into a game dominated by computer geeks who pump vast amounts of our personal information into party databases to determine whether we’re naughty or nice. The Tories aren’t alone. Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are determined to outdo their rivals in data collection by the 2015 election, and the New Democrats aren’t that far behind.
massive_data_sets  dark_side  political_campaigns  politics  Hillary_Clinton  books  Richard_Nixon  data  data_driven  Konrad_Yakabuski  constituencies 
january 2014 by jerryking
Open data is not a panacea | mathbabe
December 29, 2012 Cathy O'Neil,
And it’s not just about speed. You can have hugely important, rich, and large data sets sitting in a lump on a publicly available website like wikipedia, and if you don’t have fancy parsing tools and algorithms you’re not going to be able to make use of it.

When important data goes public, the edge goes to the most sophisticated data engineer, not the general public. The Goldman Sachs’s of the world will always know how to make use of “freely available to everyone” data before the average guy.

Which brings me to my second point about open data. It’s general wisdom that we should hope for the best but prepare for the worst. My feeling is that as we move towards open data we are doing plenty of the hoping part but not enough of the preparing part.

If there’s one thing I learned working in finance, it’s not to be naive about how information will be used. You’ve got to learn to think like an asshole to really see what to worry about. It’s a skill which I don’t regret having.

So, if you’re giving me information on where public schools need help, I’m going to imagine using that information to cut off credit for people who live nearby. If you tell me where environmental complaints are being served, I’m going to draw a map and see where they aren’t being served so I can take my questionable business practices there.
open_data  unintended_consequences  dark_side  preparation  skepticism  naivete  Goldman_Sachs  tools  algorithms  Cathy_O’Neil  thinking_tragically  slight_edge  sophisticated  unfair_advantages  smart_people  data_scientists  gaming_the_system 
december 2013 by jerryking
Rob Ford, Charbonneau and the dark side of social media - The Globe and Mail

Special to The Globe and Mail

Wednesday, May. 22 2013
Rob_Ford  social_media  scandals  dark_side 
may 2013 by jerryking
The Six Million Person Question
October 4, 2006 | WSJ |pg A 14 | by Mark Bowden
It is a tricky business, rating the moral depredations of the human species. because just when you have settled on the worst, somebody somewhere achieves a new low....The Holocaust haunts us more than those others for a good reason. The Final Solution was the deliberate act of a government to exterminate a portion of its own people. It employed the resources of the state—its policy makers, planners, intellectuals, legal system, police and military, industry. transportation system and to a large extent its people—lo single out a particular group of citizens. systematically demonize and isolate them. and then count them, label them, strip them of everything, round them up, ship them to concentration camps, kill them and incinerate them. It attempted to squeeze some last value out of the most fit among those doomed, by employing them as slave labor or subjecting them to medical experimentation before killing them, and even then looked for ways to make saleable products out of their remains. This horror began in peacetime, so the nation was not lashing out in sell-defense. nor was it being threatened in any concrete way...The Holocaust disturbs us so deeply because it demonstrates that none of the things we associate the of civilization-peace. prosperity, industrialization, education, technological achievement-free us from the dark side of the human soul. Just as there is evil in the heart of every man. there is evil at the heart of even the most "civilized" human society. It is a humbling recognition. Man and society are both capable of the most appallingly depraved behavior. Only in the case of society, it on an industrial scale.
The lives lost in the firebombing of Dresden or the nuclear flash over Hiroshima are no less significant, and the military choices that brought about those deaths remain profoundly disturbing. but they at least took place In the context of war. Whole societies were caught up In a life-or-death struggle.
What the Holocaust demonstrates is the danger of a state. It shows what can happen when a group of true believers. convinced of the superiority of their own ideas, have unchecked power. They are then free to rewrite history lo suit their political ends. and crush those who disagree or pretest . . . or who worship God in a different way.
Like. say. the mullahs in Iran.
the_Holocaust  Ahmadinejad  deaths  moral_equivalencies  WWII  dark_side 
july 2012 by jerryking
Nicholas Carr on E-Books -

Books That Are Never Done Being Written
Digital text is ushering in an era of perpetual revision and updating, for better and for worse.

As electronic books push paper ones aside, movable type seems fated to be replaced by movable text.

That's an attractive development in many ways. It makes it easy for writers to correct errors and update facts. Guidebooks will no longer send travelers to restaurants that have closed or to once charming inns that have turned into fleabags. The instructions in manuals will always be accurate. Reference books need never go out of date.

Even literary authors will be tempted to keep their works fresh. Historians and biographers will be able to revise their narratives to account for recent events or newly discovered documents. Polemicists will be able to bolster their arguments with new evidence. Novelists will be able to scrub away the little anachronisms that can make even a recently published story feel dated.

But as is often the case with digitization, the boon carries a bane. The ability to alter the contents of a book will be easy to abuse. School boards may come to exert even greater influence over what students read. They'll be able to edit textbooks that don't fit with local biases. Authoritarian governments will be able to tweak books to suit their political interests. And the edits can ripple backward. Because e-readers connect to the Internet, the works they contain can be revised remotely, just as software programs are updated today. Movable text makes a lousy preservative.

Such abuses can be prevented through laws and software protocols. What may be more insidious is the pressure to fiddle with books for commercial reasons. Because e-readers gather enormously detailed information on the way people read, publishers may soon be awash in market research. They'll know how quickly readers progress through different chapters, when they skip pages, and when they abandon a book.
Nicholas_Carr  e-books  digital_media  shortcomings  protocols  unintended_consequences  abuses  digitalization  market_research  publishing  dark_side 
january 2012 by jerryking
The 21st century's Hiroshima ProQuest
Aug 6, 2005 | The Globe and Mail pg. A.17 | Preston ManningThe same science that can be used to develop genetically-based cures for human diseases can also be used to produce mutated smallpox bacteria or influenza viruses even more virulent than their predecessors and highly resistant to any known treatment. And if the sun of human progress should again become obscured by the storm clouds of war -- war itself transformed by the increasing scope and sophistication of terrorism -- how long will it be before the plan for utilizing mutated viruses and terrorist-induced pandemics as instruments of mass destruction appears on the underground blackboard of some terrorist cell capable of implementing it?

The third pebble

What exactly is the most disruptive and lethal dimension of the "dark side" of the life sciences -- the genetic equivalent of the first A-bomb -- and how might this destructive force be delivered to target populations to accomplish the political purposes of those desiring to unleash it?

While a terrorist attack on military or civilian populations utilizing such techniques would have immediate impacts on public health, the greater damage to human life and society will most likely be through the panic and terror that such a biological attack or pandemic will trigger throughout the general population. And this panic won't be transmitted by air, water, or utility system, but by the mass-communications network of 21st-century society, in particular the electronic media of radio, television, the Internet, cell phones, and personal computing devices. It is the electronic mass media that will most likely prove to be the B-29s of the age of genetics and bioterrorism.
life_sciences  genetics  viruses  ProQuest  Preston_Manning  21st._century  terrorism  threats  WWI  WWII  bioterrorism  panics  mass_media  virulence  pandemics  digital_media  dark_side 
october 2011 by jerryking
The dark side of mentoring -
July 1, 2011 ||| by Mike Southon. Mentoring should never
be regarded as a revenue opportunity--it should always be provided for
free. A mentoring relationship should be a 2-way process, with the
person giving the advice learning as much, if not more than the person
seeking it. The greatest learning pt. for mentors is always about
themselves....Learn one's strengths and weaknesses. Maturity &
self-awareness are essential prerequisites for giving measured advice to
others....Most mentors have little or no formal training and are
therefore unprepared when the mentees do not listen to their sage advice
– or let them down in other ways. It's important for mentors to adopt
an air of professional detachment at all times and not try to intervene
unnecessarily. Never allow the relationship or the problems of the
mentee to adversely affecting the personal life of the mentor....Study
the techniques of counselling in case they find themselves with a mentee
who is disturbed & manipulative
mentoring  challenges  strengths  weaknesses  maturity  self-awareness  advice  unprepared  dark_side 
july 2011 by jerryking / Comment / Op-Ed Columnists - And the magic word is ...
October 29 2010 | Financial Times | By Gillian Tett.
Innovation can be a powerful totem pole but it is not a magic wand. The
spirit of Google alone cannot “Reboot America!” overnight. That will
require a long, hard slog from politicians and voters alike; it won’t be practical terms, many innovations have had a dark side.
Innovations in oil exploration have cut the price of oil; but they have
also polluted the Gulf. Meanwhile financial creativity has fuelled the
credit crisis
innovation  Tina_Brown  contradictions  revenge_effects  unintended_consequences  Gillian_Tett  dark_side 
october 2010 by jerryking
Rivals Secretly Finance Opposition to Wal-Mart -
JUNE 7, 2010 |WSJ | By ANN ZIMMERMAN. Rival Chains Secretly
Fund Opposition to Wal-Mart. Saint Consulting Group is a specialist at
fighting proposed Wal-Marts, and it uses tactics it describes as "black
arts." Mr. Saint, a former newspaper reporter and political press
secretary, founded his firm 26 years ago. It specializes in using
political-campaign tactics—petition drives, phone banks, websites—to
build support for or against controversial projects, from oil refineries
and shopping centers to quarries and landfills. Over the years, it has
conducted about 1,500 campaigns in 44 states. Mr. Saint says about 500
have involved trying to block a development, and most of those have been
dark_side  sophisticated  Wal-Mart  competitive_intelligence  retailers  oil_refiners  clandestine  big-box  unions  countermeasures  counternarratives  political_campaigns  controversies 
june 2010 by jerryking
Dark Side Arises for Phone Apps -
JUNE 3, 2010 | WSJ | By SPENCER E. ANTE. Security Concerns Prompt Warnings
malware  smartphones  mobile_applications  cyber_security  dark_side 
june 2010 by jerryking
The Dark Side of Entrepreneurship - You’re the Boss Blog -
July 8, 2009 | New York Times | By Jay Goltz. 70 percent of
businesses fail within seven years, according to the SBA. In the worst
cases, the result is not only business failure but also complete
financial failure.
entrepreneurship  failure  ksfs  bankruptcies  Jay_Goltz  dark_side 
july 2009 by jerryking

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