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Nominal Me

I'm falling in love with my camera and taking photos everywhere I go. That, combined with my passions for politics, sports, religion and other things we all agree on, makes this blog persist.


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Location: Astoria, New York, United States

I'm born in Manhattan and raised in Queens.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Do People Matter At Work?


Are Human Beings Just Another Kind of Data?

The December issue of CIO magazine has a great editorial by Professor James Hoopes of Babson College called "The Dehumanized Employee" that suggests that things are moving that way.

The article begins by noting that the work done by historical management guru Frederick W. Taylor (1856-1915), who was known to "squeeze the last ounce of effort out of workers" in factories by using stopwatches and other techniques, may have been a portent of things to come a century later in the IT (information technology) space.

IT tools like e-mail were going to make American workers lives easier, as was the improvements in factories decades ago, but things have not always turned out that way.

Hoopes writes:

"IT can be used not only to liberate human beings but to control them. In industries employing unskilled workers, such as retailing, IT has created top-down control to a degree that Taylor could only have dreamed of. Instead of working for small organizations, many retail employees work for giant firms that dwarf even the behemoths of the industrial era."



If you can relate to this movie, you may already be data.

IT, Hoopes continues, changes the dynamic of the worldwide workforce and its relationship with management:

"Thanks to IT and the instantaneous global reach of today's large companies, many of the management decisions affecting employees are made from a great geographical and organizational distance, which offers managers the temptation to ignore the human beings affected by their decisions."

Technology is advancing to the point where even jobs normally done by the office can now be controlled remotely:

"Even so, technological developments now on the horizon seem likely to increase, not decrease, restrictive top-down management. New sensor technology such as radio frequency identification (RFID) devices will inexpensively monitor truck drivers, salespeople, field service technicians and other offsite personnel who have traditionally worked out of their bosses' sight. As such employees are monitored with increasing intensity by new technology, the amount of "management by stress" in American workplaces seems likely to rise."

That is, if they are still working. Even proponents of RFID admit that it will cost at least some people their jobs.

At the very least, according to some, IT makes it harder to protect your privacy.

Scary? Yes. But all change is.

We will have to adapt to this new world.

We have no choice.


BLOGS AND NEWS OF NOTE (UPDATES THROUGHOUT THE DAY)


Res Publica
is a good resource for finding help agencies relating to the Asian tsunami.

I found a newer, more updated, post on suggesting that George W. Bush is seriously ill.

The Ohio recount was much ado about nothing.

Check out a great new blog called "Don't Thank Me, Thank My Recruiter"

WSJ Reports that obesity is a growing problem among women in Arab countries...because Arabs want overweight women (subscription required).

Here's the year in sports...or at least the year it could have been.

More blogwar: Conservative blogger The Elitist Pig seems to have been banned by liberal lesbian blogger Sisters Talk. Why can't we all just get along?

Winds of Change discussed a New York Times photo of a man in Sri Lanka wearing a Bin Ladin shirt.

Here's an Indian blog tracking the tsunami damage...and another one with international contributions.

5 Comments:

Blogger Janet said...

I used to relate to Office Space all too well. Then I got out. Damn the man, that's what I say. Damn the man.

Wednesday, 29 December, 2004  
Blogger Angry Dan said...

Thats an interesting view on GWB's supposed illness.
It makes much more sense than the previous conspirators theory regarding the bulge in his jacket at the debates being a reciever that gave him answers.

Now, if some ballsy reporter would only ask him directly on live TV...

Wednesday, 29 December, 2004  
Blogger Nominal Me said...

I think Bush just wears a bullet-proof vest. The simple answer is usually the best one. But that story is damn interesting.

Wednesday, 29 December, 2004  
Blogger Jackie Chiles said...

In answer to your question, no. They're too busy blogging.

Wednesday, 29 December, 2004  
Blogger Nominal Me said...

Maybe blogging is our portal to the Matrix.

Woah.

Wednesday, 29 December, 2004  

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