Archive by Author | plerudulier

The Quantified Workplace: Despite the Hype, Not All That Useful Yet • ©[theatlantic.com]

The Quantified Workplace: Despite the Hype, Not All That Useful Yet — The Atlantic

Five or six years ago, companies realized that they were sitting on a wealth of data about their own employees. “People started to realize, ‘Wait a minute, there’s a lot of data in here that we’re not using. Some of it is wrong. It’s not very clean,'” says Josh Bersin, the founder of Bersin by Deloitte, an HR research and advisory arm of Deloitte. “But if we look at it like we look at customer data, we could probably make much better decisions about who to promote, where they should be in the company, what role they would be successful at.'”

Since then, the people-analytics industry has emerged, with companies using algorithms and Big Data to recruit and assess employees. One report from McKinsey Global Institute estimated that social technologies, such as internal networking tools, can boost not only employee happiness, but also productivity by up to 25 percent.

via The Quantified Workplace: Despite the Hype, Not All That Useful Yet — The Atlantic.

The Taming of Tech Criticism • ©[thebaffler.com]

What does it mean to be a technology critic in today’s America? And what can technology criticism accomplish? The first question seems easy: to be a technology critic in America now is to oppose that bastion of vulgar disruption, Silicon Valley. By itself, however, this opposition says nothing about the critic’s politics—an omission that makes it all the more difficult to answer the second question.

Why all the political diffidence? A critical or oppositional attitude toward Silicon Valley is no guarantee of the critic’s progressive agenda; modern technology criticism, going back to its roots in Germany at the turn of the twentieth century, has often embraced conservative causes. It also doesn’t help that technology critics, for the most part, make a point of shunning political categories. Instead of the usual left/right distinction, they are more comfortable with the humanist/anti-humanist one. “What if the cost of machines that think is people who don’t?”—a clever rhetorical question posed by the technology author George Dyson a few years ago—nicely captures these sorts of concerns. The “machines” in question are typically reduced to mere embodiments of absurd, dehumanizing ideas that hijack the minds of poorly educated technologists; the “humans,” in turn, are treated as abstract, ahistorical émigrés to the global village, rather than citizen-subjects of the neoliberal empire.

via The Taming of Tech Criticism – The Baffler.

The dark side of the Californian dream ► [telos-eu.com] ©Fred Turner

The dark side of the Californian dream - Telos

Before I boarded a plane to Paris last December, one of my American colleagues took me aside: “French audiences are very critical,” he warned me. “Polite, but very critical.” Thus, I was not surprised when I finished my lecture at EHESS and watched what had appeared to be an easygoing and attentive audience rise up to take sharp, concerted aim at my pessimistic account of the history and future of American technoculture.

What did surprise me were their hopes. As the questions tumbled out, they revealed a shared dismay with the state of France today. Questioners pointed to the rise of the National Front; to high rates of unemployment; to the persistence of racism and xenophobia. Surely, they suggested, the entrepreneurial individualism of California hacker culture could help dig them out of this mess. Silicon Valley and San Francisco – weren’t they geographically entwined examples of how egalitarian culture and economic growth might nourish one another?

via The dark side of the Californian dream – Telos.

“Dressing down” is only a status symbol for the elite

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Originally posted on Quartz:

The casual outfit that Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg sported in front of elegantly dressed bankers and investors just before his company went public generated much clamor in the media. While some observers judged the young entrepreneur’s choice to wear his typical hoodie and jeans on such an official occasion as a mark of immaturity, others defended it as a sign of boldness that helped spread publicity about the deal.

Why is the “CEO Casual” look sported by Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and certain other business leaders interpreted as a sign of status, while other professionals in casual dress would be laughed out of a job interview? Our research explores the conditions under which nonconforming behaviors, such as wearing red sneakers in a professional setting or entering a luxury boutique wearing gym clothes, lead to attributions of enhanced status and competence rather than social disapproval.[pullquote]In certain cases…

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The Sharing Economy Is On The Brink Of Disrupting Business Travel

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Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Editor’s note:Dan Ruch is the founder and CEO of Rocketrip.

The foundations of the business-travel ecosystem are under more strain than ever before. U.S. companies are projected to spend $310 billion on business travel in 2015 (up 6.2 percent from last year), but how they spend that money has become a source of tension and uncertainty.

Sharing-economy startups like Airbnb and Uber are challenging traditional travel vendors – and in the process, they’re forcing many businesses to reevaluate travel policies and conventions that are pillars of the current system.

The corporate travel ecosystem is traditionally powered by relationships between travel managers and travel providers, the latter of which includes travel-management companies, airlines, hotel chains and rental car companies. Travel managers and providers negotiate rates and perks based on the volume of travel that a company will book.

For example, a multinational company that commits to one airline can…

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Exploring Manhattan with Excel Power Map • ©[blogs.office.com]

New York is an iconic city with a rich history of innovation. I have a lot of family in New York and grew up visiting the city. Now that I’m living in Seattle, thousands of miles away, I don’t get to visit very often. However, I thought it might be fun to see if I could explore New York from the comfort of my desk using Excel. Through a little Internet searching, I discovered New York City’s “PLUTO” dataset. Created by the Department of City Planning, the PLUTO dataset includes information on every building in the city—more than 500,000 in total. I downloaded the dataset as CSV files and using Power Query for Excel, imported the data directly into Excel. I focused on the data file containing the borough of Manhattan as I’m most familiar with it. The dataset has a separate row for each building complex in the city and about 80 columns of information for each one.

via Exploring Manhattan with Excel Power Map – Office Blogs.

This Louisiana radio station likes their news ‘en Franglais’

plerudulier:

Truth be told, I can hardly understand what those guys say even though it is obviously in french. ^_^

Originally posted on GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION:

For more than half a century, one small commercial radio station has been keeping French alive in the bayous of Louisiana.

Source: www.pri.org

This PRI podcast on Louisana’s cultural geography goes nicely with this NY Times article on the same topic.

Tags:language, folk cultures, culture, podcast.

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