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jerryking : tipping_points   9

Shut it down: It’s time for Canada to get serious about social distancing
MARCH 11, 2020 | The Globe and Mail | by ANDRÉ PICARD.

It’s time to shut it down. Canada needs to embrace social distancing.....close down schools (from daycares through to universities) temporarily, restricting access to hospitals and nursing homes, pulling the plug on mass gatherings (e.g. sporting events), curtai all non-essential travel and urging companies to have their employees work at home......we can no longer stop this pandemic illness, just slow it down. Public health officials in Canada have embraced a calm, measured response to coronavirus. That has served us well and must continue....Social distancing means limiting our public interactions. It doesn’t mean mass quarantine,. shutting down our borders and other draconian measures....Canada is a democracy. We must respect individual rights, but also remind citizens of their collective responsibilities.....this is a pandemic and we must err on the side of caution. As an open society, we must take our coronavirus response lessons from South Korea, not China – both countries that have reined in their outbreaks using markedly different approaches....South Korea, hit early and hard by coronavirus, responded by embracing social distancing, testing massively, prioritizing public health communication, cleaning public spaces and investing in a broad range of measures to blunt the economic impacts of the outbreak.....That is what Canada needs to do – move from a wait-and-see approach to a roll-up-our-sleeves and act approach....a singularly important change has happened: New cases in Canada are no longer exclusively in people who travelled to high-risk countries such as China and Iran. Coronavirus is now spreading in the community......pro-actively seek out cases with greatly expanded testing....implement thoughtful policies to support Canadians harmed by social distancing......The way the virus has been galloping around the world, we knew the tipping point was coming......we can’t stop the spread anymore. But we can slow it ("flattening the curve”)...Italy has an excellent health-care system and yet COVID-19 has hit it “like a bomb”.......The time to prepare for the worst is now. We need to, in the immortal, if clichéd, words of hockey great Wayne Gretzky, “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.”
André_Picard  bias_for_action  collective_responsibilities  community_transmission  COVID-19  disaster_preparedness  forward_looking  flu_outbreaks  individual_rights  lockdown  pandemics  proactivity  public_health  public_spaces  quarantines  social_distancing  tipping_points  urgency  viruses 
20 days ago by jerryking
Opinion: Coronavirus will change the world. It might also lead to a better future
March 5, 2020 | The Globe and Mail | by THOMAS HOMER-DIXON.
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED MARCH 5, 2020

What’s happening in response to the worldwide spread of the SARS CoV-2 virus (and COVID-19, the disease it causes) is a vivid example of a global 'tipping event,' in which multiple social systems flip simultaneously to a distinctly new state.
complexity  COVID-19  disease  epidemics  flu_outbreaks  pandemics  Thomas_Homer-Dixon  tipping_points 
24 days ago by jerryking
Music’s ‘Moneyball’ moment: why data is the new talent scout | Financial Times
JULY 5, 2018 | FT | Michael Hann.

The music industry loves to self-mythologise. It especially loves to mythologise about taking young scrappers from the streets and turning them into stars. It celebrates the men and women — but usually the men — with “golden ears” almost as much as the people making the music....A&R, or “artists and repertoire”, are the people who look for new talent, convince that talent to sign to the record label and then nurture it: advising on songs, on producers, on how to go about the job of being a pop star. It’s the R&D arm of the music industry......What the music business doesn’t like to shout about is how inefficient its R&D process is. The annual global spend on A&R is $2.8bn....and all that buys is the probability of failure: “Some labels estimate the ratio of commercial success to failure as 1 in 4; others consider the chances to be much lower — less than 1 in 10,” observes its 2017 report. Or as Mixmag magazine’s columnist The Secret DJ put it: “Major labels call themselves a business but are insanely unprofitable, utterly uncertain, totally rudderless and completely ignorant.”......The rise of digital music brought with it a huge amount of data which, industry executives realized, could be turned to their advantage. ....“All our business units must now leverage data and analytics in innovative ways to dig deeper than ever for new talent. The modern day talent-spotter must have both an artistic ear and analytical eyes.”

Earlier this year, in the same week as Warner announced its acquisition of Sodatone, a company that has developed a tool for talent-spotting via data, another data company, Instrumental, secured $4.2m of funding. The industry appeared to have reached a tipping point — what the website Music Ally called “A&R’s data moment”. Which is why, wherever the music industry’s great and good gather, the word “moneyball” has become increasingly prevalent.
........YouTube, Spotify, Instagram were born and changed the way talent begins its journey. All the barriers came down. Suddenly you’ve got tens of thousands of pieces of music content being uploaded.......Home computing’s democratization of recording removed the barriers to making high-quality music. No longer did you need access to a studio and an experienced producer, plus the money to pay for them. But the music industry had no way to keep abreast of these new creators. “....The way A&R people have discovered talent has barely changed since the music industry began, and it’s fundamentally the same for indie labels, who put artistry above sales, as it is for major labels who have to answer to shareholders. It’s always been about information.....“We find them by listening to new music constantly, by people giving us tips, by going out and seeing things that sound interesting,”.....“The most useful people to talk to are concert promoters and booking agents. They are least inclined to bullshit; they’ll tell you how many people an act is drawing,”...like labels, publishers also have an A&R function, signing up songwriters, many of whom will also be in bands)....“Journalists and radio producers are [also] very useful people to give you information. If you know you’ve got particular DJs or particular writers who are going to pick up something, that’s really good.”
.......Instrumental’s selling point is a dashboard called Talent AI, which scrapes data from Spotify playlists with more than 10,000 followers.....“We took a view that to build momentum on Spotify, you need to be on playlists,”....“If no one knows who you are, no one’s going to suddenly start streaming a track you’ve just put up. It happens when you start getting included on playlists.”......To make it workable, the Talent AI dashboard enables users to apply a series of filters to either tracks or artists: to sort by nationality, by genre, by number of playlists they appear on, by the number of playlist subscribers, by their industry standing — are they signed to a major? To an independent label? Are they unsigned?
.......What A&R people are looking for, though, is not totals, it’s evidence of momentum. No one wants to sign the artist who has reached maximum popularity. They want the artist on the way up....“It’s the direction. Is it going in the right direction?”....when it comes to assessing what an artist can offer, the data isn’t even always about the numbers. “The one I look at the most is Instagram, because that’s the easiest way for an artist to express themselves in a way other than the music — how they look, what they’re into,” she says. “That gives a real snapshot into [them] and whether they really have formulated a world for themselves or not.”......not everyone is delighted with the drive to data. “[the advent of] Spotify...became the driving force for signings...“A&Rs were using their eyes rather than their ears — watching numbers change rather than listening to music, and then jumping on acts....they saw something happening and got it out quickly without having to invest in the traditional A&R process.”... online heat tends to be generated by transient teenage audiences who are likely to move on rather than stick around for a decade: online presence is a big thing in electronic dance music, or some branches of urban music, in which an artist might only be good for a single song. In short, data does not measure quality; it does not tell you whether an artist has 20 good songs that can be turned into their first two albums; it does not tell you whether they can command a crowd in live performance..........The music industry, of course, has always had an issue with short-termism/short-sightedness: [tension] between the people who sign the cheques and those who go to bat for the artists is built into the way it works..........The problem is that without career artists, the music industry just becomes even more of a lottery. It is being made harder, not just by short-termism, but by the fact that music has become less culturally central. “It’s so much harder to connect with an audience or grow an audience, because there’s so much noise,”
.......Today the A&R...agree that the new data has its uses, but insist it still takes second place to the evidence of their own eyes and ears.......As for Withey, he is not about to tell the old-school scouts their days are done....Instrumental can tell A&R people which artists are hot, but not which are good. Also, there will be amazing acts who simply don’t get the traction on the internet to register on the Talent AI dashboard.....All of which will come as a relief to the people running those A&R departments. .....when asked if data will become the single most important factor in scouting talent: “I hope not. Otherwise we may as well have robots.” For now, at least, the golden ears are safe.
A&R  algorithms  analytics  data  dashboards  tips  discoveries  filters  hits  Instagram  inefficiencies  momentum  music  music_industry  music_labels  music_publishing  Moneyball  myths  playlists  self-mythologize  songwriters  Spotify  SXSW  success_rates  talent  talent_spotting  tipping_points  tracking  YouTube  talent_scouting  high-quality  the_single_most_important 
july 2018 by jerryking
Trump and the problem with the new normal
Twenty years ago, Nasa scientists asked the sociologist Diane Vaughan to study the causes of the 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster. Vaughan responded by developing a concept she called "the norma...
Gillian_Tett  Donald_Trump  NASA  deviance  '80s  normality  White_House  complacency  normalization  tipping_points  normalization_of_deviance  new_normal 
may 2017 by jerryking
Global Warming May Chill the North - WSJ.com
March 7, 2003 | WSJ | By SHARON BEGLEY | Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

It helps to think of the Gulf Stream as a checkout counter. When this warm, salty current reaches its Northern terminus, the arctic air cools it, causing it to sink (cold water is denser than warm). Much like a grocery-store conveyor belt that dives underneath the counter pulls up the other end, the Gulf Stream's plunge pulls warm tropical water up to the Northeastern U.S. and Canada and Western Europe. That makes these regions at least 9.5° F. warmer than they'd be without the Gulf Stream...."We're seeing huge freshening in the North Atlantic," says Mr. Gagosian. "The sinking of the cold, salty water has slowed 20% in the last 30 years." No one knows how much of a freshwater influx would shut down the Gulf Stream (this winter's big chill in the Northeast is not a sign that the current is weakening so much as a sneak preview of what climate would be like without it). But if the tipping point were reached, the nations of the North Atlantic could face a so-called little ice age in under a decade. Icebergs would lurk off Portugal....The surprising discovery, based on airborne surveys and satellite images, is forcing scientists to re-examine the possibility that ice shelves act like corks in a bottle: Remove them, and the glaciers behind accelerate toward the sea. Glaciers are moving as much as 200% faster where an ice shelf has disappeared, says glaciologist Robert H. Thomas of NASA: "Individually, the extra water a glacier adds to the world's seas doesn't amount to much, but if more and more glaciers start surging as we lose ice shelves it's a much bigger problem."
climate_change  Arctic  Gulf_Stream  tipping_points  Sharon_Begley  counterintuitive  the_Atlantic 
january 2013 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - Our Three Bombs - NYTimes.com
October 6, 2009 | New York Times | By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN. "As
we continue to build up carbon in the atmosphere to unprecedented
levels, we never know when the next emitted carbon molecule will tip
over some ecosystem and trigger a nonlinear climate event....people are
worried that our next dollar of debt — unbalanced by spending cuts or
new tax revenues — will trigger a nonlinear move out of the dollar and
torpedo the U.S. currency."

If people lose confidence in the dollar, we could enter a feedback loop,
as with the climate, whereby the sinking dollar forces up interest
rates, which raises the long-term cost of servicing our already massive
debt, which adds to the deficit projections, which further undermines
the dollar.
Tom_Friedman  climate_change  nonlinear_systems  debt  step_change  tipping_points  apocalypses  feedback_loops  interest_rates  discontinuities  think_threes 
october 2009 by jerryking
Mexico's Drug Cartels May Have Become Too Powerful to Control - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 21, 2009 WSJ article by By DAVID LUHNOW and JOSé DE
CORDOBA on Mexico's poise on the tipping point into rule by drug
cartels.
law  security  Mexico  drugs  cartels  criminality  tipping_points 
february 2009 by jerryking

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