Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Meritocracy in the workplace, may melt like the ice caps


Does meritocracy drive the workplace in IT?

For me, in mainframes three decades ago, not exactly.  It became a rather stable culture that went nowhere after Y2K and broke down into gigs, when we were going to need mature old-fashioned professionals to rewrite health care.

And we needed to train people to do security.

The “business” got used to low-balling, to expect on-call production support without pay.

The rest of the world was preoccupied with selling things, and billable hours.

Read, in the Atlantic Sept. 2009, “Meritocracy’s miserable winners”, by Daniel Markovits (p. 14). 

There is also a “conversation” about “your professional decline” on p. 10.

The article reminds us that “the rich now dominate society, not idly but effortfully.” 


But Tim Pool seem to believe that the meritocratic rich can afford “luxury beliefs” that don’t require their skin in other people’s games. It’s based on Rob Henderson’s piece in the New York Post.

I had written a "legacy" piece on meritocracy myself back in 2002, old, fixed html, here

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Why does Apple resist putting touchscreens on its computers when Microsoft encourages it?



As I get ready to set up a studio to “finish” some of my music, I wonder why Microsoft-based PC’s offer touch screen (which would respond to pens writing music by hand on a staff, as with NotateMe) and Apple has split the world, offering touch technology only on tablets and phones (iOS) and needing a separate interface for music software processing on the main computer (a MacBook or iMac) under a modern MacOS.
  
iMore offers some insights with a 2018 article by Rene Ritchie. There is a belief that sitting at a desk and working with a touchscreen is not very ergonomic, unless you are working with a pencil, and then you would want a tablet in your lap (like a piece of paper).  There are also some indications that Apple and Sibelius will announce major improvements possible in MacOS 10.15 at a conference in the Netherlands in September (according to an Apple store I visited).

  
I’m not sure how much the Touch Bar on the newer MacBooks accomplishes (I don’t have it on my 2015 MacBook), but that’s discussed here by Busten Hein on Cult of Mac.  .


Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Should the childless subsidize paid family leave? Another debate


Donald J. Boudreaux has an interesting article in AIER, the American Institute for Economic Research, “Unseen victims of government policies”.

He uses a “Stanford experiment” scenario, fictitious, to dramatize his point.

  
But then he gets around to explaining how mandatory paid family leave is paid for by others, particularly those who don’t have (or at least adopt or foster) children.
  
Rick Sincere shared this in his Daily “li” paper Tuesday.  The video above seems to come from the UK.

Monday, August 05, 2019

Can you be expected not to act "gay" or "fluid" on the job?



Some different for this blog to start a sleepy August.

Should you be expected to act gender binary in the workplace?  Or just neutral?

Speaker Riyadh Khalif talks about this.


His boss (in the TV station business) asked him to tone it down.  He says he didn’t.

Social media and the preoccupation with pronouns has had an effect on corporate America.

But of course, gay men in the workplace in the past weren’t noticed for behaving any differently, particularly independent media.

In the past, the paradigm was salesmen going out and meeting customers and having to behave in business-like fashion. 

My own father did that for 40 years, although he sold only wholesale. 
  
And, yes, YouTube has a few softcore “comedy” videos of job applicants “giving in” to get jobs.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Wall Street Journal reports on employers spying on workers; and for chefs, hand appearances matter


Sarah Krouse has a big article in the “Exchange” section of this weekend’s Wall Street Journal (July 20, 2019), “The new ways your boss is spying on you”.

A lot of the article deals with movement monitoring for jobs like waiters, but some of it applies to desk workers too.  One of the packages discussed is comes from Ambit Analytics.

  
The article also advises against “bring your own gear” and suggests separation between personal and work-related hardware, even phones. It is also taking the position that most people need to be sparing about the way they use social media (although I’ve talked a lot about that before, as I made a career of it early in the game).

The Russia Today video above misspelled "employees".  
  
Nick Kostov has a whimsical piece about the importance of the appearance of chef’s hands on food videos. 

Monday, July 15, 2019

Walmart uses an Oculus Go virtual reality system to screen, train associates



Peter Holley describes a new kind of interview tool for companies putting people into regimented retail jobs, at least for promotions, on p. A21 of the Washington Post Monday July 15, 2019. 


That is an Oculus Go virtual reality headset, through which applicants will be tested to see how well they can perform tasks and how quickly when confronted by practical situations that happen suddenly in a retail store.
  
In March 2004, I had interviewed for a retail job at Hollywood Video before I started substitute teaching.  I guess I was overqualified (“IYI”).

Monday, July 08, 2019

YouTuber loses job because of his videos supposedly connecting him to Pewdiepie


A YouTuber named Isaiah Photo relates how he lost his job (or a major client) because of his “fun” videos making fun of (or with) Pewdiepie.


At about 3:40 he reports that a client said it didn’t want to work with someone “associated” with Pewdiepie, who was perceived as a “racist” or “anti-Semitic”.  That is certainly false objectively, but Wikipedia gives a little bit of an idea why some people have this impression (see a couple of sentences under "Media Controversies").

Later in the video Isaiah talks about the possibility that the Christchurch attack aggravated the situation, which might not have otherwise happened.

Seriously, there have been deplatformings (as by Patreon) against persons merely because of their perceived "associations" with other groups or persons thought to be connected to white supremacy or neo-Nazism, but nearly always these supposed connections (with a very few exceptions) are false. Very few high profile speakers in the US, UK. etc. actually advocate ethno states. And Donald Trump does not.

There is a problem of  "dumbing down" as companies have to deal with the gullibility of a rather illiterate public in understanding social media. 
    
I’ve talked about my own issues with “conflict of interest” in my own self-publishing and the workplace (esp. Feb. 4, 2014).