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tsuomela : efficiency   47

The American Scholar: Too Much Information - Howard P. Segal
"The Efficiency Paradox: What Big Data Can’t Do by Edward Tenner; Knopf, 282 pp., $27.95"
book  review  efficiency  technology-effects 
august 2018 by tsuomela
The Rule of Logistics — University of Minnesota Press
"How the world’s largest retailer is redefining architecture by organizing flows of merchandise and information across space and time Jesse LeCavalier analyzes Walmart’s stores, distribution centers, databases, and inventory practices to make sense of its spatial and architectural ramifications. A major new contribution to architectural history and theory, The Rule of Logistics helps us understand how retailing today is changing our bodies, brains, buildings, and cities. "
book  publisher  architecture  business  business-model  design  logistics  efficiency 
november 2016 by tsuomela
How to Save College | The Awl
"Instead, like every threatened profession, I see my peers arguing that we, uniquely, deserve a permanent bulwark against insurgents, that we must be left in charge of our destiny, or society will suffer the consequences. Even the record store clerks tried that argument, back in the day. In the academy, we have a lot of good ideas and a lot of practice at making people smarter, but it’s not obvious that we have the best ideas, and it is obvious that we don’t have all the ideas. For us to behave as if we have—or should have—a monopoly on educating adults is just ridiculous."
academia  future  work  labor  efficiency  online  education  mooc  internet  disruption 
february 2013 by tsuomela
Joi Ito's Near-Perfect Explanation of the Next 100 Years - Technology Review
"One hundred years from now, the role of science and technology will be about becoming part of nature rather than trying to control it."
future  science  technology  sustainability  environment  efficiency 
may 2012 by tsuomela
Council for Secular Humanism
"Products of intelligent design typically have capabilities that exceed usefulness precisely because these can be “intelligently” engineered, not in order to make the product more useful but in order to make it more impressive. In biological evolution, by contrast, “barely good enough” is the highest level that can be reached, because expense that does not improve overall fitness cannot be tolerated. The “barely good enough” standard is also maintained in biological evolution because species characteristics cannot be redesigned from scratch. Human bipedalism is far less than perfect—consider all those endemic back problems! It is clearly the result of a quadruped design being turned into a biped design rather than having been intelligently designed from scratch. This is exactly the mark of the “blind watchmaker” of natural evolution. But the nonblind watchmakers who intelligently design watches can, and do, redesign from scratch."
evolution  intelligent-design  design  efficiency  humanism 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Yahoo didn't mean to censor emails about Wall Street protests. The truth is much more insidious. - By Zeynep Tufekci - Slate Magazine
Unfortunately, thoughtless automation is driving the day. If we don't get off this train, it might have the same results it has had in other sectors of the economy: an unsustainable economy with high unemployment—and a lot of cheap, plastic crap.
automation  algorithm  efficiency  online  censorship  commons 
september 2011 by tsuomela
Which technologies get better faster?
"Some forms of technology — think, for example, of computer chips — are on a fast track to constant improvements, while others evolve much more slowly. Now, a new study by researchers at MIT and other institutions shows that it may be possible to predict which technologies are likeliest to advance rapidly, and therefore may be worth more investment in research and resources."
technology  technology-cycles  evolution  complexity  growth  efficiency 
june 2011 by tsuomela
Efficiency vs. Robustness: On Scott’s Seeing Like a State « A (Budding) Sociologist’s Commonplace Book
"To rehash briefly, complex systems biologist Jack Cohen argued that many failures in complex systems can be attributed to the hyper-emphasis on efficiency at the expense of robustness. Apparently inefficient systems are often useful under specific, but uncommon circumstances. Thus, removing these systems will increase efficiency in normal times, but promote dramatic failures under other conditions.

I was thinking about this distinction while reading James Scott’s fantastic 1998 book, Seeing Like a State."
efficiency  robust  systems  complexity  power  sociology  politics 
march 2011 by tsuomela
How to get to 100 percent renewables globally by 2050 | Grist
News post on an optimistic report on changing world energy supplies. We just need to divert 3% of world GDP to efficiency, renewables, and infrastructure. Whew!
energy  environment  infrastructure  reform  change  climate  global-warming  electric-grid  electricity  model  future  growth  optimism  efficiency 
march 2011 by tsuomela / Comment / Opinion - America needs to make its bad jobs better
The problem is that on average, service workers earn only half of what factory workers make – and only a third of what professional, technical and knowledge workers are paid. The key is to upgrade these jobs and turn them into adequate replacements for the higher-paying blue-collar jobs that have been destroyed.
economics  innovation  efficiency  service-economy  jobs  income 
july 2010 by tsuomela
Global competitiveness, the erosion of checks and balances, and the demise of liberal democracy | openDemocracy
Fuelled by existential fears, the search for efficiency is becoming the chief, if not sole, guiding principle for human action and public policies. Unchecked by competing concerns such as equity or compassion, it is becoming a totalitarian principle threatening the survival of pluralism, democracy and human rights. A totalitarian principle does not ipso facto entail totalitarian government in the traditional sense. However, by definition it entails the removal of the various sources of friction or opposition and thus the checks and balances that might prevent or delay its own translation into reality
government  politics  power  ideology  efficiency 
may 2010 by tsuomela
Lowering the Ceiling on Roof Energy Losses: Scientific American Podcast
Via a proprietary technique, the researchers turn waste cooking oil into a liquid polymer, which hardens after application. As a roof coating, the polymer can reflect or absorb depending on conditions: it changes reflectivity at a particular temperature and so goes from reflecting light and emitting heat in the dog days to absorbing light and retaining heat in the cold.
energy  technology  efficiency  housing  sustainability  building  architecture 
march 2010 by tsuomela
Welcome To The Occupation: Art For Art's Sake / Apology For Apology's Sake
In an attempt to absorb it all (trying to seat patrons quickly at a restaurant / experiencing painting by listening) a little piece of what made something great
(dining experience / letting just your eyes fill you with wonder) is lost.
museum  experience  business  efficiency 
march 2010 by tsuomela
The history of management consulting : The New Yorker
Not So Fast -Scientific management started as a way to work. How did it become a way of life? by Jill Lepore
management  consulting  history  work  business  culture  efficiency  time-management 
october 2009 by tsuomela
Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog: Alex Rosenberg on Cochrane and Economics
The first thing a philosopher notes about this notion is that since most people have false beliefs, especially about the future, an efficient market doesn’t internalize knowledge, but only beliefs. If they are mostly false, then the market isn’t efficient at internalizing (correct) information, it’s efficient at internalizing mostly false beliefs. If false beliefs are normally distributed around the truth, then they’ll cancel out and the proof of a probabilistic version of the efficient markets theorem will go through—market prices reflect the truth most of the time. Too bad false beliefs don’t always take on this tractable distribution. Even worse, when enough people notice the skewed distribution of false beliefs, they can make rents, as the markets crash. This is what Cochrane seems to think can't happen. How many times will it have to happen for the Chicago School to give up the efficient markets hypothesis?
economics  free-markets  markets  efficiency  efficient-markets-hypothesis  chicago-school  neoclassical  philosophy  capitalism  recession  ideology  rational-markets 
september 2009 by tsuomela
The Limits of Arbitrage « The Baseline Scenario
...arbitrageurs, the very smart and talented traders at hedge funds who will take prices that are out of line and bring them back into line, making a good fee and making prices reflect all available information, the very building block necessary for EMH to work, can’t do their job if they are time or credit constrained. Specifically, if they are highly leveraged, and prices move against their position before they return to their fundamental value – if the market stays irrational longer than they can remain solvent – they’ll collapse before they can do their jo
finance  arbitrage  money  wall-street  banking  financial-engineering  limits  efficiency  markets  free-markets  debt  leverage 
august 2009 by tsuomela
Book Review - 'The Myth of the Rational Market,' by Justin Fox
THE MYTH OF THE RATIONAL MARKET A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street.By Justin Fox
THE SAGES Warren Buffett, George Soros, Paul Volcker, and the Maelstrom of Markets By Charles R. Morris
book  review  finance  market-failure  markets  efficiency  mythology  ideology  free-markets 
august 2009 by tsuomela
ITS-Davis: Automobiles on Steroids: Product Attribute Trade-Offs and Technological Progress in the Automobile Sector
This paper estimates the technological progress that has occurred since 1980 and the trade-offs that manufacturers and consumers face when choosing between fuel economy, weight and engine power characteristics. The results suggest that if weight, horsepower and torque were held at their 1980 levels, fuel economy for both passenger cars and light trucks could have increased by nearly 50 percent from 1980 to 2006
transportation  research  automobile  energy  oil  efficiency  regulation  fear  design 
july 2009 by tsuomela
PhilSci Archive - The importance of pairwork in educational and interdisciplinary initiatives
An early and prominent employee of Google, Georges Harik, recently made the assertion that pairs working together in startups are 20 times more productive than individuals working alone. The author has also personally experienced the boost of what is here termed pairwork in a university setting during the startup phase of several educational and interdisciplinary initiatives. The paper briefly explores pairwork in the history of technology and constructs both qualitative and little quantitative models of pairwork. The quantitative model under reasonable assumptions easily recovers Harik’s 20x boost. The paper also briefly examines the author’s recent experiences with pairwork in four interdisciplinary and educational initiatives.
groups  work  labor  productivity  startup  psychology  organization  efficiency  collaboration 
may 2009 by tsuomela / Columnists / GillianTett - A chance for bankers to refocus their talents
.. the data also suggest that if history now repeats itself – i.e. banking becomes a tightly regulated, low-margin business – then the relative skills and pay of bankers could stay low for years....But it may also carry some seeds of hope. After all, if finance no longer keeps monopolising the brightest and best workers, some of that talent could be diverted into other, more productive, arenas – for the good of the economy.
talent  banking  finance  labor  efficiency  allocation 
april 2009 by tsuomela
Free Markets vs. "Free" Markets | Mother Jones
Objections to private student lending ignore ways that government could save money now, even when it couldn't save money at the start of the program. Everything changes, even the efficiency of government.
education  loan  government  efficiency  free-markets  ideology  republicans 
february 2009 by tsuomela
The Oil Drum | Rail Efficiencies
Given the greater-than 80% reductions in GHG emissions we need to achieve in the coming decades, and given the fact that new CAFÉ standards mandate a 40% improvement in the mileage of cars and SUVs by 2020, efficiency gains from passenger rail of 19% to 25% seem paltry. Moreover, due to basic laws of aerodynamics, the efficiency of high speed rail (i.e. trains moving at 150-300 mph) will inevitably be less than trains moving at 50-100 mph. While I cannot recall the source at present, I am quite sure I have seen credible data within the last five years which indicated that Bullet Trains in Japan were no more energy-efficient on a passenger-mile basis than airplanes.

Of course the real issue vis a vis energy and CO2 is the practical potential for these transportation modes in the future, not the existing efficiencies of each as currently deployed.
energy  transportation  rail  environment  green  efficiency 
january 2009 by tsuomela
Study Hacks » Blog Archive » Debunking Parkinson's Law
“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
productivity  gtd  work  efficiency 
june 2008 by tsuomela
At 3M, A Struggle Between Efficiency And Creativity
But the most notable attempt yet, by Wharton School professor Mary Benner and Harvard Business School professor Michael L. Tushman, suggests that Six Sigma will lead to more incremental innovation at the expense of more blue-sky work.
business  management  innovation  creativity  efficiency  via:snowden 
june 2007 by tsuomela
Hybrid Cars Burning Gas in the Drive for Power - New York Times
Article on the new generation of hybrids that are adding performance instead of saving gas.
hybrid  energy  efficiency  automobile 
july 2005 by tsuomela

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