Just how bad a mother am I? I wondered, as I watched my 13-year-old son deep in conversation with Siri. Gus has autism, and Siri, Apple’s “intelligent personal assistant” on the iPhone, is currently his BFF. Obsessed with weather formations, Gus had spent the hour parsing the difference between isolated and scattered thunderstorms — an hour in which, thank God, I didn’t have to discuss them. After a while I heard this:
Gus: “You’re a really nice computer.”
Siri: “It’s nice to be appreciated.”
Gus: “You are always asking if you can help me. Is there anything you want?”
Siri: “Thank you, but I have very few wants.”
There is no “I” in team, we are told. It’s important for workers to share information and collaborate. So why would employees deliberately hide knowledge from their colleagues? And yet they do, all the time.
Knowledge-hiding in the workplace is common and takes different forms, some more harmful than others, according to new research by Catherine E. Connelly, an associate business professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, andDavid Zweig, an associate management professor at the University of Toronto, Scarborough.
Theirs was not a study of inadvertent communication failures. (That’s a research topic in itself.) Rather, the professors examined the deliberate attempt “to withhold or conceal knowledge that has been requested by another member of the organization.” Based on surveys at a range of workplaces, they were able to trace a “continuum of deception” among knowledge hiders, Professor Zweig said in an interview.
Counting crows (not that often Radiohead, sorry if that makes me dumber), The Shins, …
Originally posted on Consequence of Sound:
How does a person’s intelligence relate to the type of music they listen to? For the last several years, a software application writer by the name of Virgil Griffith has charted musical tastes based on the average SAT scores of various college institutions. For example, students attending the California Institute of Technology have an average SAT score of 1520. By looking at Facebook to determine the most popular (or — “liked”) band of students at Cal Tech, Griffith was able to conclude that Radiohead really truly is music for smart people. A highly scientific study, I know.
As Digital Inspiration points out, Griffith’s chart reveals Sufjan Stevens, Bob Dylan, The Shins, and — uh — Counting Crows as other favorite bands of smart people. Meanwhile, Lil Wayne, Beyoncé, The Used, and gospel music comes in at the lower end of the spectrum — or, as Griffith puts it, is music for dumb people.
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There should be a German word for that feeling when you desperately need to be somewhere on time, and the traffic lights seem like they’re conspiring against you. When the greens feel especially short, the reds especially long, and both appear as if they’re in cahoots to keep you idling.
It’s not a conspiracy, but it is something called fixed time control. Most intersections, if they don’t have embedded sensors under the road, abide by traffic light timing determined by observed data from years or months past. Fixed time control based on historical data is usually pretty accurate for specific intersections, but what if entire cities coordinated their traffic lights to cut down on mass commute times and fuel use?
The thermometer showed a 103.5-degree fever, and her 10-year-old’s asthma was flaring up. Mary Bolender, who lives in Las Vegas, needed to get her daughter to an emergency room, but her 2005 Chrysler van would not start.
The cause was not a mechanical problem — it was her lender.
Ms. Bolender was three days behind on her monthly car payment. Her lender, C.A.G. Acceptance of Mesa, Ariz., remotely activated a device in her car’s dashboard that prevented her car from starting. Before she could get back on the road, she had to pay more than $389, money she did not have that morning in March.
“Magazine still do come in handy tho when your battery of your tech is low. And sometimes the resolution on paper magazines is just better on the eyes as is the reading. Giving oneself a rest from tech is rather good.”
Originally posted on Gigaom:
The announcement came one day in 1992, when I was eight, and was momentous enough in my household that I actually answered the phone with “Tina Brown became editor of the New Yorker!”
This is seared in my mind now as one of the most cringe-worthy things I did in childhood. Yet I’m telling you about it to provide evidence that I grew up surrounded by print magazines and a belief in their importance; so that now, when I talk about my increasingly sad relationship with magazines, you’ll believe that I’m not simply dismissing them out of hand, Millennial-style.
Magazines have been an important part of my reading and regular life, but they aren’t like books, where I actually can’t imagine what both my life and the entire course of human history would look like without them. For all of the debates about publishers and Amazon and so on, I don’t…
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Fifty years ago, historians advised politicians and policy-makers. They helped chart the future of nations, by helping leaders learn from past mistakes in history. But then something changed, and we began making decisions based on economic principles rather than historical ones. The results were catastrophic.
Photograph of dust bowl survivors, by Dorothea Lange
According to historians David Armitage and Jo Guldi, authors of a new book called The History Manifesto, historians ceded authority to economists by losing their long view. They stopped studying broad stretches of time, refused to analyze long-term trends over centuries or even millennia. Instead, according to Armitage and Guldi, they gave in to “short-termism,” focusing on obscure moments in history that weren’t relevant to the public sphere.