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The Costs of Reliability - LessWrong 2.0
"A question that used to puzzle me is “Why can people be so much better at doing a thing for fun, or to help their friends and family, than they are at doing the exact same thing as a job?”"
organization  fun  work  reliability  business 
15 days ago by tsuomela
The Fight for Our Eyeballs - Los Angeles Review of Books
"Stand Out of Our Light Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy By James Williams Published 05.31.2018 Cambridge University Press 144 Pages"
book  review  technology-critique  social-media  attention  business  advertising 
september 2018 by tsuomela
10 Big Data Trends You Should Know
"Very business centric, but may be interesting."
big-data  trends  business 
september 2018 by tsuomela
Muller, J.: The Tyranny of Metrics (Hardcover and eBook) | Princeton University Press
"Today, organizations of all kinds are ruled by the belief that the path to success is quantifying human performance, publicizing the results, and dividing up the rewards based on the numbers. But in our zeal to instill the evaluation process with scientific rigor, we've gone from measuring performance to fixating on measuring itself. The result is a tyranny of metrics that threatens the quality of our lives and most important institutions. In this timely and powerful book, Jerry Muller uncovers the damage our obsession with metrics is causing—and shows how we can begin to fix the problem. Filled with examples from education, medicine, business and finance, government, the police and military, and philanthropy and foreign aid, this brief and accessible book explains why the seemingly irresistible pressure to quantify performance distorts and distracts, whether by encouraging "gaming the stats" or "teaching to the test." That's because what can and does get measured is not always worth measuring, may not be what we really want to know, and may draw effort away from the things we care about. Along the way, we learn why paying for measured performance doesn't work, why surgical scorecards may increase deaths, and much more. But metrics can be good when used as a complement to—rather than a replacement for—judgment based on personal experience, and Muller also gives examples of when metrics have been beneficial. Complete with a checklist of when and how to use metrics, The Tyranny of Metrics is an essential corrective to a rarely questioned trend that increasingly affects us all."
book  publisher  metrics  measurement  business  organizations 
may 2018 by tsuomela
Silicon Valley’s Rigged Game of Life | The New Republic
"LIVE WORK WORK WORK DIE: A JOURNEY INTO THE SAVAGE HEART OF SILICON VALLEY by Corey PeinMetropolitan Books, 320 pp., $28.00"
book  review  silicon-valley  inequality  business 
may 2018 by tsuomela
How Tech Companies Became a Political Force | The New Republic
"TROUBLEMAKERS: SILICON VALLEY’S COMING OF AGE by Leslie BerlinSimon & Schuster, 512 pp., $30 THE KNOW-IT-ALLS: THE RISE OF SILICON VALLEY AS A POLITICAL POWERHOUSE AND SOCIAL WRECKING BALL by Noam Cohen The New Press, 272 pp., $25.95"
books  review  technology  silicon-valley  culture  business  idealism  advertising  surveillance 
february 2018 by tsuomela
Divining Desire: Focus Groups and the Culture of Consultation by Liza Featherstone
"Over the course of the last century, the focus group has become an increasingly vital part of the way companies and politicians sell their products and policies. Few areas of life, from salad dressing to health care legislation to our favorite TV shows, have been left untouched by the questions put to controlled groups about what they do and don’t like. Divining Desire is the first-ever popular survey of this rich topic. In a lively, sweeping history, Liza Featherstone traces the surprising roots of the focus group in early-twentieth century European socialism, its subsequent use by the “Mad Men” of Madison Avenue, and its widespread deployment today. She also explores such famous “failures” of the method as the doomed launch of the Ford Edsel with its vagina shaped radiator grille, and the even more ill-fated attempt to introduce a new flavor of Coca Cola (which prompted street protests from devotees of the old formula). As elites have become increasingly detached from the general public, they rely ever more on focus groups, whether to win votes or to sell products. And, in a society where many feel increasingly powerless, the focus group has at least offered the illusion that ordinary people will be listened to and that their opinions count. Yet, it seems the more we are consulted, the less power we have. That paradox is particularly stark today, when everyone can post an opinion on social media—our 24 hour “focus group”—yet only plutocrats can shape policy. In telling this fascinating story, Featherstone raises profound questions about democracy, desire and the innermost workings of consumer society. "
book  publisher  focus-groups  business  marketing  public-relations  history  advertising 
february 2018 by tsuomela
The Listening Con | Liza Featherstone
"How the powerful learned to launder their reputations using focus groups"
focus-groups  business  marketing  public-relations  power 
february 2018 by tsuomela
How bosses are (literally) like dictators - Vox
"Elizabeth Anderson is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and John Dewey Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy and Women's studies at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk About It (Princeton University Press, 2017)."
book  excerpt  business  government  power  labor  work  freedom  free-markets  markets-uber-alles  ideology  capitalism 
july 2017 by tsuomela
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