rvenkat + bureaucracy   23

The policy consequences of cascade blindness | Behavioural Public Policy | Cambridge Core
One way to reduce waste and to make a system more robust is to allow its components to pool resources. For example, banks might insure each other or share a common capital reserve. Systems whose resources have been pooled in this way are highly prevalent in such diverse domains as finance, infrastructure, health care, emergency response and engineering. However, these systems have a combination of characteristics that leave them vulnerable to poor decision-making: non-linearity of risk; obvious rewards combined with hidden costs; and political and market incentives that encourage inadequate safety margins. Three studies demonstrate a tendency for managers of such systems to underestimate the probability of cascading failures. We describe a series of behaviorally based policy interventions to mitigate the resulting hazards.
risk_assessment  bureaucracy  administrative_state  complex_system  public_policy  for_friends 
yesterday by rvenkat
I Worked With Avital Ronell. I Believe Her Accuser. - The Chronicle of Higher Education


-- links too many to list, containing opinions of Zizek, Butler defending Ronell. I will be charitable and say,"Nice magic trick, guys!". Mostly a waste of time; useful if you are into learning argot of 21st century post-modernist, gender, queer and intersectional thought.
academia  education  university  bureaucracy  via:cottom 
11 weeks ago by rvenkat
Rapid-onset gender dysphoria in adolescents and young adults: A study of parental reports

Recruitment information with a link to a 90-question survey, consisting of multiple-choice, Likert-type and open-ended questions, was placed on three websites where parents had reported rapid onsets of gender dysphoria. Website moderators and potential participants were encouraged to share the recruitment information and link to the survey with any individuals or communities that they thought might include eligible participants to expand the reach of the project through snowball sampling techniques. Data were collected anonymously via SurveyMonkey. Quantitative findings are presented as frequencies, percentages, ranges, means and/or medians. Open-ended responses from two questions were targeted for qualitative analysis of themes.


There were 256 parent-completed surveys that met study criteria. The adolescent and young adult (AYA) children described were predominantly female sex at birth (82.8%) with a mean age of 16.4 years. Forty-one percent of the AYAs had expressed a non-heterosexual sexual orientation before identifying as transgender. Many (62.5%) of the AYAs had been diagnosed with at least one mental health disorder or neurodevelopmental disability prior to the onset of their gender dysphoria (range of the number of pre-existing diagnoses 0–7). In 36.8% of the friendship groups described, the majority of the members became transgender-identified. The most likely outcomes were that AYA mental well-being and parent-child relationships became worse since AYAs “came out”. AYAs expressed a range of behaviors that included: expressing distrust of non-transgender people (22.7%); stopping spending time with non-transgender friends (25.0%); trying to isolate themselves from their families (49.4%), and only trusting information about gender dysphoria from transgender sources (46.6%).


Rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD) describes a phenomenon where the development of gender dysphoria is observed to begin suddenly during or after puberty in an adolescent or young adult who would not have met criteria for gender dysphoria in childhood. ROGD appears to represent an entity that is distinct from the gender dysphoria observed in individuals who have previously been described as transgender. The worsening of mental well-being and parent-child relationships and behaviors that isolate AYAs from their parents, families, non-transgender friends and mainstream sources of information are particularly concerning. More research is needed to better understand this phenomenon, its implications and scope.

--- and the administrative and bureaucratic stupidity that followed
debates  nature-nurture  social_influence  contagion  social_networks  sociology_of_science  gender_studies  social_construction_of_ignorance  university  academia  bureaucracy 
11 weeks ago by rvenkat
Seeing without knowing: Limitations of the transparency ideal and its application to algorithmic accountability - Mike Ananny, Kate Crawford, 2018
Models for understanding and holding systems accountable have long rested upon ideals and logics of transparency. Being able to see a system is sometimes equated with being able to know how it works and govern it—a pattern that recurs in recent work about transparency and computational systems. But can “black boxes’ ever be opened, and if so, would that ever be sufficient? In this article, we critically interrogate the ideal of transparency, trace some of its roots in scientific and sociotechnical epistemological cultures, and present 10 limitations to its application. We specifically focus on the inadequacy of transparency for understanding and governing algorithmic systems and sketch an alternative typology of algorithmic accountability grounded in constructive engagements with the limitations of transparency ideals.

-- Some of Sunstein's works discuss this albeit with a focus on governance and regulation by _the administrative state_
algorithms  ethics  bureaucracy  platform_studies  agnotology  kate.crawford 
march 2018 by rvenkat
Isomorphism through algorithms: Institutional dependencies in the case of Facebook - Robyn Caplan, danah boyd, 2018
Algorithms and data-driven technologies are increasingly being embraced by a variety of different sectors and institutions. This paper examines how algorithms and data-driven technologies, enacted by an organization like Facebook, can induce similarity across an industry. Using theories from organizational sociology and neoinstitutionalism, this paper traces the bureaucratic roots of Big Data and algorithms to examine the institutional dependencies that emerge and are mediated through data-driven and algorithmic logics. This type of analysis sheds light on how organizational contexts are embedded into algorithms, which can then become embedded within other organizational and individual practices. By investigating technical practices as organizational and bureaucratic, discussions about accountability and decision-making can be reframed.
platform_economics  institutions  algorithms  rational_choice  bureaucracy  cybernetics  platform_studies  dana.boyd 
march 2018 by rvenkat
The Captured Economy - Brink Lindsey; Steven Teles - Oxford University Press
For years, America has been plagued by slow economic growth and increasing inequality. Yet economists have long taught that there is a tradeoff between equity and efficiency-that is, between making a bigger pie and dividing it more fairly. That is why our current predicament is so puzzling: today, we are faced with both a stagnating economy and sky-high inequality.

In The Captured Economy , Brink Lindsey and Steven M. Teles identify a common factor behind these twin ills: breakdowns in democratic governance that allow wealthy special interests to capture the policymaking process for their own benefit. They document the proliferation of regressive regulations that redistribute wealth and income up the economic scale while stifling entrepreneurship and innovation. When the state entrenches privilege by subverting market competition, the tradeoff between equity and efficiency no longer holds.

Over the past four decades, new regulatory barriers have worked to shield the powerful from the rigors of competition, thereby inflating their incomes-sometimes to an extravagant degree. Lindsey and Teles detail four of the most important cases: subsidies for the financial sector's excessive risk taking, overprotection of copyrights and patents, favoritism toward incumbent businesses through occupational licensing schemes, and the NIMBY-led escalation of land use controls that drive up rents for everyone else.

Freeing the economy from regressive regulatory capture will be difficult. Lindsey and Teles are realistic about the chances for reform, but they offer a set of promising strategies to improve democratic deliberation and open pathways for meaningful policy change. An original and counterintuitive interpretation of the forces driving inequality and stagnation, The Captured Economy will be necessary reading for anyone concerned about America's mounting economic problems and the social tensions they are sparking.

book  bureaucracy  governance  regulation  administrative_state  critique 
january 2018 by rvenkat
The effectiveness of government bureaucracy: A study of the Ghanaian civil service - IGC
-- comparable findings from Indian civil service exist. By far, the biggest hurdle faced in India are intrusions and influence by the political class on projects big and small.
africa  bureaucracy  management  governance  via:noahpinion 
january 2018 by rvenkat
AUTOMATING INEQUALITY by Virginia Eubanks | Kirkus Reviews
-- As long as they are open, transparent and regulated, I see no problem with an automated bureaucracy. I understand the concerns but I am becoming increasingly numb to this monotonous tone of the critics. Then again, bureaucracy is never known to operate under openness, transparency and sensible regulations to go along with it.

Technology has been mostly good to humankind and there is no reason to expect that *this* is going to be any different. But who knows, maybe civilization will end in a catastrophic *core dump*...
book  algorithms  machine_learning  big_data  automation  ethics  inequality  critical_theory  phobia  sociology_of_technology  bureaucracy  governance  regulation  via:zeynep 
december 2017 by rvenkat
Inside Trump’s Cruel Campaign Against the U.S.D.A.’s Scientists | Vanity Fair
-- By far, the most justifiably sympathetic profiles of bureaucrats in the federal government. The article reminds me of all the good work done by career bureaucrats of the Indian Civil Service.

-- exemplary old fashioned journalism.
administrative_state  bureaucracy  united_states_of_america  governance  regulation  american_machine  via:? 
december 2017 by rvenkat
Yale Law Journal - Stuck! The Law and Economics of Residential Stagnation
America has become a nation of homebodies. Rates of interstate mobility, by most estimates, have been falling for decades. Interstate mobility rates are particularly low and stagnant among disadvantaged groups—despite a growing connection between mobility and economic opportunity. Perhaps most importantly, mobility is declining in regions where it is needed most. Americans are not leaving places hit by economic crises, resulting in unemployment rates and low wages that linger in these areas for decades. And people are not moving to rich regions where the highest wages are available.

This Article advances two central claims. First, declining interstate mobility rates create problems for federal macroeconomic policymaking. Low rates of interstate mobility make it harder for the Federal Reserve to meet both sides of its “dual mandate”: ensuring both stable prices and maximum employment. Low interstate mobility rates also impair the efficacy and affordability of federal safety net programs that rely on state and local participation, and reduce wealth and growth by inhibiting agglomeration economies. While determining an optimal rate of interstate mobility is difficult, policies that unnaturally inhibit interstate moves worsen national economic problems.

Second, the Article argues that governments, mostly at the state and local levels, have created a huge number of legal barriers to interstate mobility. Land-use laws and occupational licensing regimes limit entry into local and state labor markets. Different eligibility standards for public benefits, public employee pension policies, homeownership subsidies, state and local tax regimes, and even basic property law rules inhibit exit from low-opportunity states and cities. Furthermore, building codes, mobile home bans, federal location-based subsidies, legal constraints on knocking down houses, and the problematic structure of Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy all limit the capacity of failing cities to “shrink” gracefully, directly reducing exit among some populations and increasing the economic and social costs of entry limits elsewhere.

Combining these two insights, the Article shows that big questions of macroeconomic policy and performance turn on the content of state and local policies usually analyzed using microeconomic tools. Many of the legal barriers to interstate mobility emerged or became stricter during the period in which interstate mobility declined. While causation is difficult to determine, public policies developed by state and local governments more interested in guaranteeing local population stability than ensuring successful macroeconomic conditions either generated or failed to stymie falling mobility rates. The Article concludes by suggesting how the federal government could address stagnation in interstate mobility.
migration  cities  economic_geography  bureaucracy  law  regulation  labor  policy  critique  political_economy  via:noahpinion 
october 2017 by rvenkat
The Administrative State: Law, Democracy, and Knowledge by Adrian Vermeule :: SSRN
This is a chapter for the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of the United States Constitution. I provide and compare three organizing frameworks for the administrative state. The first examines its constitutionality, the second its democratic credentials, the third its epistemic and technocratic capacities. After describing each, I examine their interaction, and suggest that the administrative state is the setting for an endlessly shifting series of alliances between and among constitutionalists, democrats and technocrats.
democracy  administrative_state  bureaucracy  collective_cognition  law  review 
february 2017 by rvenkat

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