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Dev Patnaik of Jump has his own answer to the [innovation] why-now question. He contends that advances in technology over the past three decades have gradually forced management to reconceive its role in the corporation, shifting its focus from processing data to something more esoteric. “My dad was a midlevel manager for I.B.M.,” Patnaik explains, “and I remember him in the ’70s, sitting there with plastic 3M transparencies, by hand, with marker, to make presentations. For years, the good manager was one who had data at their fingertips. What’s our sales in Peoria? ‘It’s actually 47 percent above last year.’ People say, ‘Oh, he’s a good manager.’ ” By the early ’90s, though, companies like Microsoft and SAP were selling software that digitized this task. The days when a manager at, say, the Gap could earn a bow just for knowing how many sweaters to ship to Seattle were over. “When that happens, what is the role of the manager?” Patnaik asks. “Suddenly it’s about something else. Suddenly it’s about leadership, creativity, vision. Those are the differentiating things, right?” Patnaik draws an analogy to painting, which for centuries was all about rendering reality as accurately as possible, until a new technology — photography — showed up, throwing all those brush-wielding artists into crisis. “Then painters said: ‘Well, wait, you can tell what is but you can’t tell me my impression of what is. Here’s how it looks to me, like Seurat. Or the Cubists who said, ‘You can’t capture what is going on from multiple angles.’ ” Technology forced painters to re-evaluate, which transformed their work. Something similar has happened in corporate America. As Patnaik puts it, “We’re in the abstract-expressionist era of management.”

Do NYT, via Noah Brier

Do excelente Noah Brier.

O Noah do título é o fodástico Noah Brier.

Sabe aquele maluco do Uruguai que impediu com as mãos o gol de Gana, no último minuto da prorrogação (o ganês perdeu o pênalti e a decisão foi para as penalidades, com vitória da Celeste)? Pois bem, vejam que análise foda:

My own view is that this is not “cheating.” It seems to me “cheating,” in its colloquial understanding, involves not just breaking the rules but attempting to prevent others from discovering you’ve done so. What happened in that game was what I would call “rational rule breaking.” There was no intent to deceive; the Uruguayan player knew the only chance he had to save the game was to break the rules, and accept the penalty, and hope the Ghanans missed the penalty kick. True cheaters don’t wish to break the rules and accept the penalty, they just wish to break the rules and avoid the penalty.

f I want to cheat at cards, say by dealing off the bottom of the deck, I’m going to do it in such a way that attempts to mask what I’m up to. I’m not going to make it obvious what I’m doing becasue I do not wish to accept the penalty. Rational rule breaking, by contrast, is done with a clear understanding of the costs and benefits and not just a willingness to be caught, but an actual positive desire to get caught because the penalty is worth preventing the outcome that will come from following the rules.

Eu acho essa análise foda, mas tem uma ironia aí: a última coisa que o cara fez foi um ato racional, naqueles milésimos de segundo ele não conseguiu pensar em porra nenhuma, foi mais instinto do que razão. Escroto seria se o juiz não tivesse visto e ele não se acusasse.

The relevance for broader social theory, I think, is that in dealing with both forms of rule breaking we need to ask whether such behavior does indeed indicate that the rule is bad. But for true cheating, the question is likely to have much more to do with the costs of detection and enforcement, while for rational rule breaking, it will be about how frequently the behavior takes place and whether any attempt to tweak the rule to prevent such scenarios will be more costly than living with the status quo… Rational rule breaking may not be so easy to prevent or change, and the costs of trying to address the “black swans” situations that cause it might well turn out to be greater than the costs of the status quo.

Um final foda:

Uruguay should be treating Luis Suarez as a national hero not a cheater, and we economists should thank him for a wonderful classroom example about cost/benefit analysis.

Via Noah brier

Análise foda em cima de possibilidades sobre o Linkedin:

The company has some 70 million members. That’s data on 70 million careers. Conceivably, the company could provide a service showing each one of us the paths that others took when they were in the same position we’re in now. It could diagram where those choices led. … “Maybe he ends up deciding to be a high school math teacher,…” Nishar [Vice President of Products and Services at LinkedIn] says. In that case, he could find current math teachers who have followed that path and debrief them.

Esse trecho é tão foda que me lembrou da palestra mais foda que eu já vi na minha vida, e que já postei aqui. A forma como os dados são trabalhados é estonteante.

“Our society has an instant- gratification thing. We admire instant brilliance, effortless brilliance. I think quite the reverse. You should admire the person who perseveres and slogs through and gets there in the end.”

Via Neil Perkin, em um bom post sobre inovação. Tem muito a ver com a visão do Noah Brier sobre o assunto.

Há um tempo atrás o Noah Brier comentou um reportagem do The Onion.

The best onion articles are the ones that make you a little uncomfortable:

“A new report published this week by researchers at Stanford University suggests that Americans spend the vast majority of each day staring at, interacting with, and deriving satisfaction from glowing rectangles.”

Lê-se no ácido The Onion:

“From the moment they wake up in the morning, to the moment they lose consciousness at night, Americans are in near-constant visual contact with bright, pulsating rectangles,” said Dr. Richard Menken, lead author of the report.

According to the report, staring blankly at luminescent rectangles is an increasingly central part of modern life. At work, special information rectangles help men and women silently complete any number of business-related tasks, while entertainment rectangles—larger and louder and often placed inside the home—allow Americans to enter a relaxing trance-like state after a long day of rectangle-gazing.

“We discovered in almost all cases that Americans find it enjoyable and rewarding to put their faces in front of glowing rectangles for hours on end,” said Howard West, a prominent sociologist on the Stanford team. “Furthermore, when citizens are not staring slack-jawed at these mesmerizing shapes, many appear to become lost, confused, and unsure of what they should be doing to occupy themselves.”

Bem, deixemos a ironia de lado. Abaixo, Nick Carr fala sobre uma pesquisa feita com estudantes. A propósito, sempre que se falar em Ternovskiy, trata-se do criador do Chatroulette, em uma entrevista ao NYT, que Nick usa como referência. No final do post volto a ele.

The world of the screen hasn’t replaced everything, but, for most of us, whether we’re of Ternovskiy’s generation or not, it has replaced a lot. According to recent media surveys, the average American spends some 8.5 hours a day peering at a screen – TV, computer, or cell phone – and that number continues to rise as smartphone use explodes. We’ve reached a point, in other words, where it’s more likely than not that we’re looking into a screen at any given moment when we’re awake.

Essa frase em negrito aí em cima é muito pancada. O Nick Carr então comenta a pesquis feita com estudantes de uma universidade. Lhes foi pedido que ficassem sem qualquer mídia eletrônica por 1 dia.

The students, the researchers reported, “use literal terms of addiction to characterize their dependence on media.” By using the a-word – “addiction” – the researchers assured themselves of a burst of media attention. (If there’s one thing we’re addicted to these days, it’s the word “addiction.”)… “According to a new study out of the University of Maryland, students are addicted to social media, and computers and smartphones deliver their drug,” began a story at the Huffington Post. Predictably, the overheated reports were quickly countered by a flood of counter-reports pointing out the silliness of confusing the language of addiction with addiction itself.

Eis alguns dos relatos dos alunos após a experiência:

“Texting and IMing my friends gives me a constant feeling of comfort. When I did not have those two luxuries, I felt quite alone and secluded from my life. Although I go to a school with thousands of students, the fact that I was not able to communicate with anyone via technology was almost unbearable.”

“Not having a cell phone created a logistical problem. It was manageable for one day, but I cannot see how life would be possible without one.”

“It is almost second nature to check my Facebook or email; it was very hard for my mind to tell my body not to go on the Internet.”

“With classes, location, and other commitments it’s hard to meet with friends and have a conversation. Instant messaging, SMS, and Facebook are all ways to make those connections with convenience, and even a heightened sense of openness. I believe that people are more honest about how they really feel through these media sources because they are not subject to nonverbal signals like in face to face communication.”

“My short attention span prevented me from accomplishing much, so I stared at the wall for a little bit. After doing some push-ups, I just decided to take a few Dramamine and go to sleep to put me out of my misery.”

“On a psychological note, my brain periodically went crazy because I found at times that I was so bored I didn’t know what to do with myself.”

Volta o Nick Carr e sua generosa e elegante escrita:

In the course of just a decade, we have become profoundly dependent on a new and increasingly pervasive technology.

Ele explica por que o termo addicetd não é o mais apropriado para a questão:

There’s nothing unusual about this. We routinely become dependent on popular, useful technologies. If people were required to live without their cars or their indoor plumbing for a day, many of them would probably resort to the language of addiction to describe their predicament. I know that, after a few hours, I’d be seriously jonesing for that toilet. What’s important is to be able to see what’s happening as we adapt to a new technology – and the problem with the addiction metaphor is that it makes it too easy to avert our eyes.

The addiction metaphor also distorts the nature of technological change by suggesting that our use of a technology stems from a purely personal choice – like the choice to smoke or to drink. An inability to control that choice becomes, in this view, simply a personal failing. But while it’s true that, in the end, we’re all responsible for how we spend our time, it’s an oversimplification to argue that we’re free “to choose” whether and how we use computers and cell phones, as if social norms, job expectations, familial responsibilities, and other external pressures had nothing to do with it. The deeper a technology is woven into the patterns of everyday life, the less choice we have about whether and how we use that technology.

Para fechar, voltemos ao criador do Chatroulette. A reportagem do NYT dizia que o amigo virtual mais próximo de Ternovskiy é um imigrante russo que mora nos EUA. Há 5 anos, todas as noites eles se falam, via MSN, até que um deles durma. Um dia eles se encontraram pessoalmente. Nick fecha seu post comentando o encontro físico dos dois amigos:

At the end of Ioffe’s piece, she reports on a recent trip that Tournovskiy made to West Virigina to meet his IM buddy and “real friend,” Kirill Gura, face to face: “‘It was a little weird, you know,’ Ternovskiy told me later. ‘We was just looking at each other without having much to say.'” At this point, there’s probably a little Ternovskiy in all of us.

Henry Chase and Luke Clark of the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute in Cambridge have previously found that the brain responds to near miss gambling outcomes in much the same way it does to as winning. In moderate gamblers, both types of outcome activate the reward circuitry, and although near miss events are experienced to be somewhat less rewarding than wins, they nevertheless increase the desire and motivation to gamble. For games involving skill, near misses indicate an improvement in performance and spur the player to try again. But gambling is a game of chance, which distorts gamblers’ thought processes – near misses cause them gambler to overestimate both the level of skill involved and their chances of winning. This spurs them to continue gambling.

Bizarro é saber que os caras que desenham jogos estilo caça níquel já sabiam disso:

Manufacturers of gambling games have apparently known the rewarding effects of near misses all along, and they design slot machines in such a way as to exploit the cognitive distortions of gamblers. Using a technique called clustering, they create a high number of failures that are close to wins, so that what the player sees is a misrepresentation of the probabilities and randomness that the game involves. The gambler who nearly hits the jackpot will therefore want to continue playing, because he thinks he has a good chance of winning.

Filhos da puta! E como bem disse o Noah, este é um bom assunto para se pensar em um mundo cada vez mais infestado de mecanismos de jogos.

É por isso que o Noah Brier é foda. Irritantemente foda.

É um slide melhor que o outro.

Consumer choices not only reflect price and quality preferences but also social and moral values as witnessed in the remarkable growth of the global market for organic and environmentally friendly products. Building on recent research on behavioral priming and moral regulation, we find that mere exposure to green products and the purchase of them lead to markedly different behavioral consequences. In line with the halo associated with green consumerism, people act more altruistically after mere exposure to green than conventional products. However, people act less altruistically and are more likely to cheat and steal after purchasing green products as opposed to conventional products. Together, the studies show that consumption is more tightly connected to our social and ethical behaviors in directions and domains other than previously thought.

Essa última frase aí dá muito o que pensar.

Achei esse texto no Noah Brier, de quem roubei inclusive o título do post. O Noah achou esse texto em um site da Economist, onde se lê:

This would seem to point to another advantage for price-oriented environmental policies like carbon taxes. They’re likely to be more effective, because they rely on price signals rather than altruism to generate reductions in the environmental impact of consumer purchases. And because they don’t rely on altruism, consumers may be less likely to compensate for their greenness by being more ethically indulgent elsewhere.

Sobre o mesmo estudo o The Guardian escreve:

According to a study, when people feel they have been morally virtuous by saving the planet through their purchases of organic baby food, for example, it leads to the “licensing [of] selfish and morally questionable behaviour”, otherwise known as “moral balancing” or “compensatory ethics”.

“Virtuous acts can license subsequent asocial and unethical behaviours”

Dieter Frey, a social psychologist at the University of Munich, said the findings fitted patterns of human behaviour. “At the moment in which you have proven your credentials in a particular area, you tend to allow yourself to stray elsewhere,” he said.