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Summer reading lists

#1
I've noticed that tech titans only rarely include fiction in their summer reading lists.
These are the books that early Facebook investor Marc Andreessen thinks everyone should read right now
Bill Gates and Warren Buffett's reading lists also showed a noticeable lack of fiction.
Is this trend new? Didn't the kings and queens of old read fiction to get a sense of the lives of regular people? Do the kings and queens of today not care about the lives of regular people - they only care about understanding analytic decision making strategies?
There is a disturbing trend in which people put a lot of unwarranted faith in analytics and look down on the more human types of thinking represented by fiction.
 
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Amber

Benefactor
#4
Ha! You should see how their bottom bottomest level employees are generally treated.

What about the trend towards multi-tasking? That's going to cause a few middle aged bottom level workers to stand on a building with a rifle someday in the not too distant future. Which is a comment that clearly applies more to those countries where we must have our guns.

Or the continued trend towards do nothing, mean nothing emails, reports, and policies. Employees often don't get hard copies of policies anymore. They are told they have five minutes to read a policy and check a box in an intranet webpage. They are then responsible for following those policies while the policies themselves aren't always easy to find on corporate intranets.

Of course, we all know we shouldn't sign something without reading it. But you have five minutes. You're the bottom of the bottomest. How precious can you afford to be with your signature?

The company I worked for changed how satisfaction was measured from a scale that had ten increments to one that had two increments. For example, instead of being able to receive an A+, A, B, B+ (so on and so forth), employees could receive an A+ or an F. This information was then used to calculate raises, shift choices, etc. etc. and et cetera. There should have been rioting in the streets. The truth is, no one noticed at first. We thought it strange that our scores were trending downward. We went to several meetings where we were told how to bring our scores up.

It wasn't easy for me to find out. It's hard to say whether the middle managers were aware of the new binary scoring or whether they simply were staying closed mouthed about it. Either way, the significance of the information was lost on them.

Just take a moment to contemplate how serene I was when being told it didn't matter. Anyway....

So it's not only that we now live in a world where we're checking boxes in place of signing things or that lower level employees are being told to multi-task while still being responsible for accuracy and productivity-- all of which is measured by a statistic few people understand and which even upper level management doesn't question. The statistic and numbers which are adhered to so stringently, the computer systems which are meant to take the place of employee minds, are not understood. We think they're smarter than us when they aren't. We think the numbers mean one thing when in actuality, they tend to be imprecise measures of subtleties. Being human is all about nuance and subtlety.

Yeah. I think they need to read more fiction.
 
#5
@Amber said. We think they're smarter than us when they aren't.

They're inferior. Second rate. But also cunning in a very low kind of way. Someone very senior has likely brought in some hugely reputable, TED star, some invisible consultant huckster-twat to do an abracadabra (hatchet job) This twat has innovated a 'solution' for 'saving money' - intricately and deliberately over-designed to ensure no-one understands the new rules but everyone 'fails', and is thereby kept on the back foot, reluctant to raise their head above any parapet. You got an F. Help. No grade lower. Next step, the door. Evil, actually. Abusive. It's war on their own employees. Classic divide and rule. This very expensive hireling has been briefed, has come up with this wrecking ball of a plan and scarpered with the money. Not management, not accountable, but the consultant will be made the scapegoat if senior management don't deliver the shareholders the savings as promised. The consultant gets paid enough to live with with.

The middle managers have also been treated like mushrooms, kept in the dark and had shit shovelled on them from above. It's the Emperor's New Clothes. Down with gurus-for-hire. BT use them. Carillion used them. They're everywhere, nobodies shitting from a great height and leaving others to eat where they shat. They are the enemies of the employees wherever they are used, and they are the enemies of customer service.
 
#6
Escapism - fiction - shows the possibilities afforded by other worlds, other lives, other imaginations, other approaches.

It encourages blue-sky thinking.

It encourages creativity.

The most successful people are often those who use their creativity to find imaginative solutions to problems and to find new ideas.

Dismissing the importance and usefulness of fiction is a sign of a closed mind, in my opinion.

So there.
 
#7
@Amber said. We think they're smarter than us when they aren't.

They're inferior. Second rate. But also cunning in a very low kind of way. Someone very senior has likely brought in some hugely reputable, TED star, some invisible consultant huckster-twat to do an abracadabra (hatchet job) This twat has innovated a 'solution' for 'saving money' - intricately and deliberately over-designed to ensure no-one understands the new rules but everyone 'fails', and is thereby kept on the back foot, reluctant to raise their head above any parapet. You got an F. Help. No grade lower. Next step, the door. Evil, actually. Abusive. It's war on their own employees. Classic divide and rule. This very expensive hireling has been briefed, has come up with this wrecking ball of a plan and scarpered with the money. Not management, not accountable, but the consultant will be made the scapegoat if senior management don't deliver the shareholders the savings as promised. The consultant gets paid enough to live with with.

The middle managers have also been treated like mushrooms, kept in the dark and had shit shovelled on them from above. It's the Emperor's New Clothes. Down with gurus-for-hire. BT use them. Carillion used them. They're everywhere, nobodies shitting from a great height and leaving others to eat where they shat. They are the enemies of the employees wherever they are used, and they are the enemies of customer service.
....from a great height. Very funny. :)
 
#9
Living in Cornwall, the land of seagulls, which aren't really sea gulls anymore, as so many live inland foraging for food in towns, I have personal experience of these crapping sky pirates. Research has shown that gulls rival crows for their ability to remember human faces. I don't know if personal enmity was involved in an incident I witnessed one summer's day, while enjoying a wonderful fish and chips lunch in a Looe restaurant.

Opposite the first floor dining room was a bakery, which had a couple of occupied herring gull nests on the roof. Streets are narrow in Cornish fishing villages, so the birds were only about 15' away from where I sat. Gulls are notorious for swooping down to snatch snacks from holidaymakers' hands, and I observed one mother bird focusing on a family of tourists approaching beneath her, who were all eating ice-cream cones. Instead of readying herself for flight, this gull shuffled her bottom towards the guttering, poking it out into the air. She kept glancing down, adjusting her rump, then letting rip with a perfectly-timed spirtle of hot white guano—that landed with a splat on the father's head!

He swore, shaking his fist, abandoning his freshly-topped ice-cream, while the herring gull squawked a laugh of triumph, flapping her wings in a feathery clap. I've included this gull in my WIP, where a homicidal art gallery owner is haunted by a seagull nesting on his roof, which appears to be following him.
 
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