Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban funds flopping study -
One of Cuban’s companies has provided $100,000 to Southern Methodist University for an 18-month investigation of the forces involved in basketball collisions. The goal is to figure out whether video or other motion-capture techniques can distinguish between legitimate collisions and instances of flopping. “The research findings could conceivably contribute to video reviews of flopping and the subsequent assignment of fines,” SMU biomechanics expert Peter G. Weyand, who leads the research team, said in a statement.
Why Men Work So Many Hours - Joan C. Williams - Harvard Business Review -
So here’s where we stand. If institutions are serious about advancing women, they’ll have to address the hours problem — that’s the only way to get a critical mass of women poised for leadership. But we’ll never address the hours problem until we open up a conversation about what drives it.
It’s not productivity. It’s not innovation. It’s identity. If you’ve lived a life where holidays are a nuisance, where you’ve missed your favorite uncle’s funeral and your children’s childhoods, in a culture that conflates manly heroism with long hours, it’s going to take more than a few regressions to convince you it wasn’t really necessary, after all, for your work to devour you.
The transition is now mostly led by emerging countries seemingly eager to get rid themselves as quickly as possible of the weight of the past. At a much faster pace than in the West, Latin America and Asia publishers take advantage of their relatively healthy print business to accelerate the online transition. These many simultaneous changes involve spectacular newsroom transformations where the notion of publication gives way to massive information factories equally producing print, web and mobile content. In these new structures, journalists, multimedia producers, developers (a Costa-Rican daily has one computer wizard for five journalists…) are blended together. They all serve a vigorous form of journalism focused on the trade’s primary mission: exposing abuses of power and public or private failures (the polar opposite of the aggregation disease.) To secure and to boost the conversion, publishers rethink the newsroom architecture, eliminate walls (physical as well as mental ones), overhaul long established hierarchies and desk arrangements (often an inheritance of the paper’s sections structure.) — In Bangkok, with the Fast Movers | Monday Note, by Frédéric Filloux (as pull-quoted by Nieman J’Lab). (via journo-geekery)
And the highest paid public employee in your state is…
I hate everything.
Free Airport Parking for Congress: A Reminder that the Rich Write the Rules » Sociological Images -
This little perk, saving congress members time and $22-a-day parking fees, is a great example of the way that privilege translates into being “above society.” The more power, connections, and money you have, the more likely you are to be able to break both the legal and social contract with impunity. Sometimes this just means getting away with breaking the law (e.g., the fact that, compared to the crimes of the poor and working classes, we do relatively little to identify and prosecute so-called “white collar” criminals and tend to give them lighter or suspended sentences when we do). But these perks are also often above board; they’re built into the system. And who builds the system again?
In other words, some of the richest people in the world get free parking at the airport because they’re the ones making the rules. I like this as a concrete example, but be assured that there is a whole universe of such rules and, like this sudden revelation about free parking, most of them go entirely unnoticed by most of us most of the time.
automation isn’t an inevitable result of capitalism. If the workforce is pliant enough and surplus value extraction high enough, a very low level of machinery will be deployed. This is the case with so-called artisanal mining in Africa, where individuals (often children) with meager tools hop into pits to scrape out minerals by hand. Automation has proven unprofitable enough that grocery stores are replacing self-checkouts with old-fashioned human beings again. — The Rise of the Machines | Jacobin
Automation’s prime function is to destroy the ability of workers to control the pace of work. The results are bloody. As Dan Georgakas and Marvin Surkin document in Detroit, I Do Mind Dying, while management attributed productivity gains in the auto industry to automation, black workers credited “niggermation”: the practice of forcing them to work at high speeds on dangerous machinery. Such shocking terminology underscores a crucial truth. Robots weren’t responsible for those cars; rather, it was brutalized black bodies. A 1973 study estimated that sixty-five auto workers died per day from work-related injuries, a higher casualty rate than that of American soldiers in Vietnam. Those who survived often suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. This bloodbath is directly attributable to the disempowering effects of automation. Had workers retained control, they wouldn’t have worked at such a deadly pace. — The Rise of the Machines | Jacobin
Why Are People with Health Insurance Going Bankrupt? « naked capitalism -
[T]here’s several levels of insurance coverage [available under ObamaCare:] 90/10, where the insurance company pays 90 percent, consumer pays 10 percent; 80/20; 70/30; 60/40. The subsidy provided by Obamacare to people who can’t afford insurance will only cover 70/30 plans. So when you get a serious illness, you’re paying 30 percent of the cost of that health care.
Now, what’s really bad about this is that prior to Obamacare, some of the state insurance regulators were pushing insurance coverers to a higher level, where they would provide more coverage rather than less. Obamacare has now put it into law that 60/40 is okay and 70/30 is what the government will pay for. And so the 80/20 and 90/10′s become less common. So you’re going to see more and more people with under-insurance and not going to see lack of insurance completely go away.
You don’t have that much time to work with. You are going to get a very few number of things done. You are going to get way fewer things done than you think you’re going to get done. And those things will take you much longer than you plan for. — How the Productivity Myth is Killing Your Startup — about work — Medium
Conservatives have realized that having a choke-hold on the narrative and maintaining constant pressure is the best way to ensure that, even if the facts eventually betray them, they’ll have framed the event to their advantage. The Newton massacre, which unequivocally concerned the ready availability of unnecessarily high-powered weapons, is now a marginal debate about maybe closing gun-show loopholes and never doing anything about mental healthcare deficiencies because that would be communism. But ask a conservative and he’ll insist that his views aren’t being represented in the mainstream media — because he’s incapable of understanding that a system in which liberals on television ineffectually call for change while “liberals” in Congress noisily twiddle their thumbs is the perfect mechanism for maintaining conservative policy. I’m using the term “conservative” in the broader sense of “conserving structures as they currently exist,” but given that the country’s been stumbling into Sharia for the better part of five years now, how does erecting such a system constitute anything other than a conservative victory? — Lawyers, Guns & Money (via abbyjean)