jm + bureaucracy   10

Rule by Nobody
'Algorithms update bureaucracy’s long-standing strategy for evasion.'
The need to optimize yourself for a network of opaque algorithms induces a sort of existential torture. In The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy, anthropologist David Graeber suggests a fundamental law of power dynamics: “Those on the bottom of the heap have to spend a great deal of imaginative energy trying to understand the social dynamics that surround them — including having to imagine the perspectives of those on top — while the latter can wander about largely oblivious to much of what is going on around them. That is, the powerless not only end up doing most of the actual, physical labor required to keep society running, they also do most of the interpretive labor as well.” This dynamic, Graeber argues, is built into all bureaucratic structures. He describes bureaucracies as “ways of organizing stupidity” — that is, of managing and reproducing these “extremely unequal structures of imagination” in which the powerful can disregard the perspectives of those beneath them in various social and economic hierarchies. Employees need to anticipate the needs of bosses; bosses need not reciprocate. People of color are forced to learn to accommodate and anticipate the ignorance and hostility of white people. Women need to be acutely aware of men’s intentions and feelings. And so on. Even benevolent-seeming bureaucracies, in Graeber’s view, have the effect of reinforcing “the highly schematized, minimal, blinkered perspectives typical of the powerful” and their privileges of ignorance and indifference toward those positioned as below them.
algorithms  bureaucracy  democracy  life  society  via:raycorrigan  technology  power 
25 days ago by jm
Before the World Forgets Antarctica's First Great Author: The Fascinating Life and Death of Nick Johnson
RIP. "Big Dead Place" is a fantastic document of "M*A*S*H on ice", as the London Times called it, and one of my favourite books. See also http://feralhouse.com/nick-johnson-rip/ for another eulogy from his publishers
big-dead-place  nick-johnson  rip  eulogies  books  reading  history  antarctica  exploration  raytheon  bureaucracy 
may 2016 by jm
Inside the sad, expensive failure of Google+
"It was clear if you looked at the per user metrics, people weren’t posting, weren't returning and weren’t really engaging with the product," says one former employee. "Six months in, there started to be a feeling that this isn’t really working." Some lay the blame on the top-down structure of the Google+ department and a leadership team that viewed success as the only option for the social network. Failures and disappointing data were not widely discussed. "The belief was that we were always just one weird feature away from the thing taking off," says the same employee.
google  google+  failures  post-mortems  business  facebook  social-media  fail  bureaucracy  vic-gundotra 
august 2015 by jm
IT Change Management
Stephanie Dean on Amazon's approach to CMs. This is solid gold advice for any company planning to institute a sensible technical change management process
ops  tech  process  changes  change-management  bureaucracy  amazon  stephanie-dean  infrastructure 
october 2014 by jm
Microsoft’s Downfall: Inside the Executive E-mails and Cannibalistic Culture That Felled a Tech Giant
"They had a great lead, they were years ahead. And they completely blew it. And they completely blew it because of the bureaucracy."
microsoft  bureaucracy  stack-ranking  hr  culture 
july 2012 by jm
Dylan Collins asks: has Ireland peaked as an Internet hub?
based on Twitter's surprise move passing over Dublin for London, and how to fix it: "launch the Internet Visa, an aggressive program that allows all Irish Internet companies to recruit from anywhere in the world. Reduce the red tape (combine all permit and visa documentation), guarantee a turnaround time measured in days (a small number) and avoid all the mistakes the UK has made with its Startup Visa initiative. Bring the talent from everywhere outside the EU to Ireland. Ireland doesn’t scale organically. So it needs to in-source. We need to be honest about our shortcomings and tackle them with something which will make HR Directors smile. Imagine a country with all the existing advantages of Ireland plus the ability to hire anyone in the world you wanted. Who in their right mind wouldn’t establish their European base there?" He's dead right, this is a massive problem for the Irish tech industry right now
ireland  bureaucracy  red-tape  twitter  tech  business  visas  work  government  dylan-collins 
april 2011 by jm
HEA now requiring all research positions obtain its approval before hire
regardless of the source of the funding, be it external EU grants with no HEA/exchequer input.  pretty stupid stuff (via Brian Lucey)
hea  grants  ireland  bureaucracy  academia  research  postdocs  funding  jobs  from delicious
february 2011 by jm
More Best of the Email - The Daily WTF
the "45-hour workweek vs 80-hour vacation" one is a bureaucratic classic
email  via:eoin  funny  daily-wtf  bureaucracy  hr  health-and-safety  omgwtfbbq  from delicious
march 2010 by jm
Op-Ed Contributor - Microsoft’s Creative Destruction - NYTimes.com
MS internal politics routinely torpedoed cool new projects. surprise, surprise. 'Engineers in the Windows group falsely claimed [ClearType] made the display go haywire when certain colors were used. The head of Office products said it was fuzzy and gave him headaches. The VP for pocket devices was blunter: he’d support ClearType and use it, but only if I transferred the program and the programmers to his control.'
cleartype  microsoft  software  bureaucracy  politics  culture  management  corporate  nytimes  from delicious
february 2010 by jm
amazing quote from Symantec CTO
Mark Bregman: “I don’t let my IT department near my laptop.”
laptop  it  bureaucracy  symantec  via:b1ff  heh  funny  irony  from delicious
september 2009 by jm

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