Frederick Winslow Taylor

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pages: 387 words: 110,820

Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell

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barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, cognitive dissonance, computer age, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, deskilling, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, fear of failure, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, greed is good, Howard Zinn, income inequality, interchangeable parts, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge economy, loss aversion, market design, means of production, mental accounting, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price discrimination, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Victor Gruen, washing machines reduced drudgery, working poor, yield management

As one scholar put it, “Except for Whitney’s ability to sell an undeveloped idea, little remains of his title as father of mass production.” The real hero here was Simeon North, a steady and humble maker of scythes and other small agricultural implements who pioneered both interchangeable parts and its corollary, mass production. Using a manufacturing technique that would later be linked to efficiency expert Frederick Winslow Taylor, North broke down the gun-building process into a series of basic tasks and distributed the work among a group of semiskilled laborers. This radical departure from traditional gun making led to a cheaper and more consistently reliable product. As North reported in 1808, “To make my contract for pistols advantageous for the United States and to myself I must go to a great proportion of the expense before I deliver any pistols.

And it was not just brick-and-mortar chains that got the bruising. Shopping through mail-order-house catalogs carried such a powerful stigma that Sears shipped merchandise shrouded in plain brown wrappers. As the new century emerged, a crescendo of critics voiced alarm at the growing trend toward Cheap, in particular as it applied to the production of America’s most iconic object: the automobile. Even efficiency guru Frederick Winslow Taylor seemed to think things had gone too far when he scoffed at the mass-produced Model T Ford as “very cheaply and roughly made.” Henry Ford, who famously pioneered the moving assembly line in 1914, could only marvel at this criticism. His assembly plant in Highland Park, Michigan, dubbed the “Crystal Palace” for its abundant windows, was a model of scientific management. As did North before him, Ford broke each step of his production process into individual tasks and assigned workers to perform just one.

A Vuitton bag, however, is marked up as much as thirteen times. 5 in the same terms as he to them: Clifford Geertz, “Bazaar Economy.” 6 illustrates the problem with a thought experiment: George A. Akerlof, “The Market for ‘Lemons’: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 84, no. 3 (1970): 488-500. CHAPTER ONE: DISCOUNT NATION 7 or generate even as much power as a horse: Robert Kanigel, The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency (New York: Viking, 1997), 95-96. Kanigel shared his thoughts on the importance of mass manufacture on price over a drink at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston. 8 for firepower in the latter half of the eighteenth century: Merritt Roe Smith, “Eli Whitney and the American System of Manufacturing,” in Carroll W.


pages: 239 words: 70,206

Data-Ism: The Revolution Transforming Decision Making, Consumer Behavior, and Almost Everything Else by Steve Lohr

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23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bioinformatics, business intelligence, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, David Brooks, East Village, Edward Snowden, Emanuel Derman, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Google Glasses, impulse control, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of writing, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, obamacare, pattern recognition, payday loans, personalized medicine, precision agriculture, pre–internet, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, The Design of Experiments, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

a method pioneered by Cynthia Dwork: A technical overview of the approach is described in her April 2008 paper, “Differential Privacy: A Survey of Results.” http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/74339/dwork_tamc.pdf. seeks to reverse engineer what marketers do with big data: Arvind Narayanan’s descriptions and quotes come from an interview on March 3, 2014. “The algorithms should be made public”: An interview on March 2, 2014, with Marc Rotenberg. 11: The Future Frederick Winslow Taylor was deceptively slight: Information and quotes from Taylor’s writing come from Robert Kanigel’s The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency (Viking, 1997). It is the definitive biography of Taylor and his times. what the historian Alfred D. Chandler Jr. called managerial capitalism: Chandler won the Pulitzer Prize in history for his chronicle of the rise of modern business management up to the 1970s, The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business (Belknap Press/Harvard University Press, 1977).

Yet what Felten and I are doing are small tactical steps to frustrate some facet of the data-gathering industry. Do such things really make any difference? Probably not. You can avoid some tracking mechanisms, but trying to become a privacy survivalist seems a fool’s errand. As a practical matter, there is no opt-out from the big-data world. Nor would most of us want to. 11 THE FUTURE: DATA CAPITALISM As towering historical figures go, Frederick Winslow Taylor was deceptively slight. He stood five feet nine and weighed about 145 pounds. But the trim mechanical engineer was an influential pioneer of data-driven decision making, an early management consultant whose concept of “scientific management” was widely embraced a century ago on factory floors and well beyond. Taylor applied statistical rigor and engineering discipline to redesign work for maximum efficiency; each task was closely observed, measured, and timed.


pages: 515 words: 132,295

Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business by Rana Foroohar

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3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, bank run, Basel III, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour mobility, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vanguard fund

(New York: Doubleday, 1990), 62 (emphasis added). 16. Dodge v. Ford Motor Co., 170 N.W. 668 (1919). 17. Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services calculated that American nonfinancial companies held $1.82 trillion in cash at the end of 2014. See Vipal Monga, “Record Cash Hoard Concentrated Among Few Companies,” Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2015. 18. Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York: Harper, 1913), 59. 19. Frederick Winslow Taylor, Shop Management (New York: Harper, 1912), 99 and 104. 20. Robert R. Locke and J. C. Spender, Confronting Managerialism: How the Business Elite and Their Schools Threw Our Lives out of Balance (London: Zed Books, 2011). 21. Ibid., 5. 22. Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management, 7. 23. David Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest, 20th anniversary ed.

In 2015 alone, American firms have paid a record $1 trillion back to investors in the form of buybacks and dividends, more than ever before in history, even as wages have remained stagnant and business investment in capital goods, factories, worker training, and other growth-enhancing things has flagged. Dodge v. Ford not only established a legal justification for shareholders’ rights above anyone else’s; it also set a terrible precedent for labor relations that would haunt American business. It was a precedent that chimed with another major business idea of the era: Taylorism. THE PRINCIPLES OF SCIENTIFIC (MIS)MANAGEMENT Even before Henry Ford was battling the Dodge brothers, Frederick Winslow Taylor, a mechanical engineer from Philadelphia, was gaining fame and fortune for his ideas about how to improve American industry. Those ideas, which came to be known as “efficiency theory” or, as critics put it, “Taylorism,” were laid out in his seminal work, The Principles of Scientific Management, published in 1911. Like the Dodge brothers, Taylor didn’t think much of labor. His theories were built around the notion that workers were a lazy and rather stupid bunch who needed to be managed closely if the American economy was to become more efficient.

“The day of the truly professional general management man isn’t here yet, but it’s not far away. That man will be trained for management in general, rather than in any one phase of business. He’ll learn his technique in school, rather than on the job,” proclaimed a 1952 issue of BusinessWeek that looked at the rise of this new paradigm.29 It was the era of the rational manager, after all. Just as Frederick Winslow Taylor had used numerical efficiency to whip factory production and workers into shape, business schools using the same operational research methodology employed by the Defense Department would make management “scientific” and churn out the cadres of corporate followers so famously captured by William H. Whyte in his 1956 book The Organization Man. These managers were loyal and hardworking but learned to never rock the boat or question those above them.


pages: 278 words: 83,468

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

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3D printing, barriers to entry, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, continuous integration, corporate governance, experimental subject, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Network effects, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, pull request, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, transaction costs

http://ericri.es/thetoyotaway Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation, Revised and Updated by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones. http://ericri.es/LeanThinking The People’s Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century by Steven Watts. http://ericri.es/ThePeoplesTycoon The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency by Robert Kanigel. http://ericri.es/OneBestWay The Principles of Scientific Management by Frederick Winslow Taylor. http://ericri.es/ScientificManagement Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change by Kent Beck and Cynthia Andres. http://ericri.es/EmbraceChange Toyota Production System: Beyond Large-Scale Production by Taiichi Ohno. http://ericri.es/TaiichiOhno The idea of the Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop owes a lot to ideas from maneuver warfare, especially John Boyd’s OODA (Observe-Orient-Decide-Act) Loop.

The best way to achieve mastery of and explore these ideas is to embed oneself in a community of practice. There is a thriving community of Lean Startup meetups around the world as well as online, and suggestions for how you can take advantage of these resources listed in the last chapter of this book, “Join the Movement.” 13 EPILOGUE: WASTE NOT This year marks the one hundredth anniversary of Frederick Winslow Taylor’s The Principles of Scientific Management, first published in 1911. The movement for scientific management changed the course of the twentieth century by making possible the tremendous prosperity that we take for granted today. Taylor effectively invented what we now consider simply management: improving the efficiency of individual workers, management by exception (focusing only on unexpectedly good or bad results), standardizing work into tasks, the task-plus-bonus system of compensation, and—above all—the idea that work can be studied and improved through conscious effort.


pages: 204 words: 54,395

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

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affirmative action, call centre, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, deliberate practice, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, George Akerlof, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, knowledge worker, performance metric, profit maximization, profit motive, Results Only Work Environment, side project, the built environment, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs

Harnessing this second drive has been essential to economic progress around the world, especially during the last two centuries. Consider the Industrial Revolution. Technological developments steam engines, railroads, widespread electricity played a crucial role in fostering the growth of industry. But so did less tangible innovations in particular, the work of an American engineer named Frederick Winslow Taylor. In the early 1900s, Taylor, who believed businesses were being run in an inefficient, haphazard way, invented what he called scientific management. His invention was a form of software expertly crafted to run atop the Motivation 2.0 platform. And it was widely and quickly adopted. Workers, this approach held, were like parts in a complicated machine. If they did the right work in the right way at the right time, the machine would function smoothly.

In other words, to fully understand human economic behavior, we have to come to terms with an idea at odds with Motivation 2.0. As Frey writes, Intrinsic motivation is of great importance for all economic activities. It is inconceivable that people are motivated solely or even mainly by external incentives. How We Do What We Do If you manage other people, take a quick glance over your shoulder. There's a ghost hovering there. His name is Frederick Winslow Taylor remember him from earlier in the chapter? and he's whispering in your ear. Work, Taylor is murmuring, consists mainly of simple, not particularly interesting, tasks. The only way to get people to do them is to incentivize them properly and monitor them carefully. In the early 1900s, Taylor had a point. Today, in much of the world, that's less true. Yes, for some people work remains routine, unchallenging, and directed by others.


pages: 86 words: 27,453

Why We Work by Barry Schwartz

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Atul Gawande, call centre, deskilling, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, if you build it, they will come, invisible hand, job satisfaction, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Toyota Production System

As we will see later, Smith’s view of human beings was far more subtle, complex, and nuanced than what is captured in the quotes above. He did not believe that “man at work” told the full story, or even the most important story, about human nature. But in the hands of Smith’s descendants, much of the nuance and subtlety was lost. More than a century later, Smith’s views about work guided the father of what came to be called the “scientific management” movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor. Taylor used meticulous time and motion studies to refine the factory, as envisioned by Smith, so that human laborers were part of a well-oiled machine. And he designed compensation schemes that pushed employees to work hard, work fast, and work accurately. Not long after that, Smith’s view was echoed in the thinking of the major figure in the psychology of the mid-twentieth century, B.


pages: 409 words: 145,128

Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City by Peter D. Norton

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clean water, Frederick Winslow Taylor, garden city movement, invisible hand, jitney, new economy, New Urbanism, Ralph Nader, Silicon Valley, smart transportation, Thorstein Veblen, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban renewal

Chandler, The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business (Belknap, 1977), 377–500; Stephen Skowronek, Building a New American State: The Expansion of National Administrative Capacities (Cambridge University Press, 1982); Morton Keller, Regulating a New Economy: Public Policy and Economic Change in America, 1900–1933 (Harvard University Press, 1990). 43. For the basic early postulations of scientific management see especially Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (Harper and Row, 1947) and Frank B. Gilbreth, Motion Study (D. Van Nostrand, 1911). Of the very extensive historical work on scientific management in American industry, see especially Samuel Haber, Efficiency and Uplift: Scientific Management in the Progressive Era (University of Chicago Press, 1964), Daniel Nelson, Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Rise of Scientific Management (1980), and Robert Kanigel, The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency (Viking, 1997). 44. Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad 118 U.S. 394 (1886). 45. See especially Samuel Haber, Efficiency and Uplift: Scientific Management in the Progressive Era (University of Chicago Press, 1964). 46.


pages: 828 words: 232,188

Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy by Francis Fukuyama

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Atahualpa, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, British Empire, centre right, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, invention of the printing press, iterative process, knowledge worker, land reform, land tenure, life extension, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, means of production, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, new economy, open economy, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, Port of Oakland, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, price discrimination, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

Individuals like Dorman Eaton, Woodrow Wilson, and Frank Goodnow, author of a series of influential books on public administration, cast existing American institutions in a very negative light and suggested European models as alternatives.20 These intellectuals then organized or legitimated a series of new civil society organizations, such as the New York Municipal Research Bureau, which generated policy proposals for reform, the American Social Science Association, which made civil service reform on a “scientific” basis a top priority, and the Bar Association of the City of New York, formed in 1870 to defend the professional integrity of its members.21 They would come to invoke the principles of Frederick Winslow Taylor’s “scientific management,” an approach that was seen as the cutting edge of modern business organization, as guidelines for a revamped American public sector.22 Much as the self-interest of the reformers was a basis of their activism, there was an important ethical dimension to this struggle as well. The attack on patronage and bossism took on a highly moralistic tone, with individuals across the country arguing passionately against the evils of the existing system.

Civil service reform in the late nineteenth century was promoted by academics and activists like Francis Lieber, Woodrow Wilson, and Frank Goodnow, who had a great deal of faith in the ability of modern natural science to solve human problems. Wilson, like his contemporary Max Weber, distinguished between politics and administration. Politics was a domain of final ends subject to democratic contestation, whereas administration was a realm of implementation that could be studied empirically and subjected to scientific analysis. A similar intellectual revolution had been going on in the business world, with the rise of Frederick Winslow Taylor’s doctrine of “scientific management,” which used among other things time-and-motion studies to maximize the efficiency of factory operations. Many of the Progressive Era reformers sought to import scientific management into government, arguing that public administration could be turned into a science and protected from the irrationalities of politics. They hoped that the social sciences one day could be made as rigorous as the natural sciences.2 After the experiences of the twentieth century, this early faith in science, and the belief that administration could be turned into a science, seems naïve and misplaced.

Among Goodnow’s books are Comparative Administrative Law: An Analysis of the Administrative Systems, National and Local, of the United States, England, France and Germany, 2 vols. (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1893); and Politics and Administration: A Study in Government (New York: Macmillan, 1900). 21. Skowronek, Building a New American State, p. 53; Knott and Miller, Reforming Bureaucracy, pp. 39–40. 22. Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York: Harper, 1911). See the discussion of Taylorism in Fukuyama, Trust, pp. 225–27. 23. Edmund Morris, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (New York: Modern Library, 2001), pp. 404–405. 24. Skowronek, Building a New American State, p. 53. 25. Robert H. Wiebe, The Search for Order: 1877–1920 (New York: Hill and Wang, 1967), p. 165. 26. For an overview of the social backgrounds of the reformers, see Blaine A.


pages: 342 words: 94,762

Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy

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algorithmic trading, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, blood diamonds, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, impulse control, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Long Term Capital Management, Menlo Park, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nick Leeson, paper trading, Paul Graham, payday loans, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, six sigma, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, statistical model, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, upwardly mobile, Walter Mischel

According to Zimbardo and Boyd, “The transition from event time to clock time profoundly changed society, especially economic relations. We transitioned from an event-based and product-based economy to a time-based economy in which we are paid per unit sold, if hourly, or lump sum, if salaried.”3 For many of us, clock time dictates what we do at work. The importance of clock time in the workplace can be traced back to Frederick Winslow Taylor. In 1909, Taylor, a former lathe operator, engineer, and management consultant, published The Principles of Scientific Management, a book advocating the use of time as a tool for improving workplace efficiency.4 Taylor argued that companies should replace rules of thumb for accomplishing tasks with precise instructions based on scientific analysis of the timing of tasks. He told factory managers to break jobs into parts and use stopwatches to time their workers and determine how long each part should take.

Riley, “Examining Potential Demographic Trends in the Opinions of Undergraduate Journalism Professors Concerning the Topic of Technological and Traditional Journalism Skills and Theories,” master’s thesis, Scripps College of Communication, Ohio University, August 2011, p. 14. Chapter 12 1. Tamar Avnet and Anne-Laure Sellier, “Clock Time Versus Event Time: Temporal Culture or Self-Regulation?” Working Paper Series, December 20, 2010, http:/ssrn.com/abstract=1665936. 2. Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd, The Time Paradox: The New Psychology of Time That Will Change Your Life (Free Press, 2008), p. 30. 3. Zimbardo and Boyd, The Time Paradox, pp. 38, 40. 4. Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (1909). 5. See, for example, Heather Menzies, No Time: Stress and the Crisis of Modern Life (Douglas & McIntyre, 2005). 6. Mark Aguiar and Erik Hurst, “Measuring Trends in Leisure: The Allocation of Time over Five Decades,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 112(2007): 969–1006. According to the HarrisInteractive annual poll of work and leisure time, from 1980 until recently the median weekly work hours for Americans has held in the range of forty-seven to fifty-one.


pages: 308 words: 84,713

The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

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Airbnb, Andy Kessler, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, business process, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, High speed trading, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Once a manufacturer had broken an intricate process into a series of well-defined “simple operations,” it became relatively easy to design a machine to carry out each operation. The division of labor within a factory provided a set of specifications for its machinery. By the early years of the twentieth century, the deskilling of factory workers had become an explicit goal of industry, thanks to Frederick Winslow Taylor’s philosophy of “scientific management.” Believing, in line with Smith, that “the greatest prosperity” would be achieved “only when the work of [companies] is done with the smallest combined expenditure of human effort,” Taylor counseled factory owners to prepare strict instructions for how each employee should use each machine, scripting every movement of the worker’s body and mind.29 The great flaw in traditional ways of working, Taylor believed, was that they granted too much initiative and leeway to individuals.

Bates, “Clinical Decision Support and the Law: The Big Picture,” Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law and Policy 5 (2012): 319–324. 24.Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (New York: Henry Holt, 2010), 161–162. 25.Lown and Rodriguez, “Lost in Translation?” 26.Jerome Groopman, How Doctors Think (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2007), 34–35. 27.Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (New York: Modern Library, 2000), 840. 28.Ibid., 4. 29.Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1913), 11. 30.Ibid., 36. 31.Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 147. 32.Harry Braverman, Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1998), 307. 33.For a succinct review of the Braverman debate, see Peter Meiksins, “Labor and Monopoly Capital for the 1990s: A Review and Critique of the Labor Process Debate,” Monthly Review, November 1994. 34.James R.


pages: 353 words: 91,520

Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era by Tony Wagner, Ted Dintersmith

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affirmative action, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bernie Sanders, Clayton Christensen, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, immigration reform, income inequality, index card, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, new economy, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, school choice, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, unpaid internship, Y Combinator

Mann was instrumental in getting Massachusetts to adopt tax-supported elementary public education, and set the stage for the scaling of a new kind of education in the United States. At the end of the nineteenth century, America needed to educate large numbers of immigrants and refugees from farms for basic citizenship and for jobs in a growing industrial economy. As work-flow experts like Frederick Winslow Taylor formulated efficient means of production, the level of expertise of workers in the production chain narrowed. The economy needed single-task interchangeable employees, not skilled artisans. And we needed schools to teach the surging numbers of factory workers the basic skills needed for jobs in our emerging cities—to follow orders, be punctual, and perform rote tasks. We also wanted these future trained laborers to have basic citizenship literacy skills (the so-called three R’s).

When was the last time you used the word raconteur in your daily conversation? Does coming up with the right cookie-cutter answer about the author’s tone reflect anything important? When is the last time you had to solve for the exponent in a higher-order expression? Time pressure plays a big role in a student’s test performance. Yet how often in life are we given forty-five minutes to complete a life-shaping task? In the world of Frederick Winslow Taylor, the industrial engineering pioneer who pushed for enforced standardization of behavior to wring every ounce of efficiency from an assembly line, time constraints mattered. But Taylor is dead, and so is the assembly line. Yet our kids live with the time pressure of these high-stakes tests. Unless, of course, they belong to one of the growing number of affluent families who game the system by investing the resources required to get their child eligible for extended time.


pages: 317 words: 87,566

The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being by William Davies

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1960s counterculture, Airbnb, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, corporate governance, dematerialisation, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gini coefficient, income inequality, invisible hand, joint-stock company, market bubble, mental accounting, nudge unit, profit maximization, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, theory of mind, urban planning

This was viewed as a matter of national economic priority: variations in national economic output were attributed to differences in the physiology and nutrition of rival national workforces.21 As one study suggested, maybe Britain’s economic advantage over Germany was that its workers ate more meat, whereas the latter’s ate more potatoes. The science of ergonomics developed to study and photograph bodies in motion, in the attempt to spot precisely where energy was being wasted. The muscles, and even the blood, were examined, to try and understand how entropy afflicted the human body in the workplace. This was the context into which the mechanical engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor launched his career as the world’s first management consultant. Taylor was born into a prominent and wealthy Philadelphia family, with roots stretching back to Edward Winslow, one of the passengers on the Mayflower. This heritage was crucial. It was his eminent family name which granted him privileged access to the industrial firms of the city, in ways that would be decisive for his career.

Rather than ironic management speak, which twists words to manipulate emotions in the expectation that this will yield greater output, a more honest reflection on the problems of occupational ill-health would question the hoarding of status and reward by a small number of senior managers. Instead, traditional forms of management and hierarchy are rescued by the new ubiquity of digital surveillance, which allows informal behaviour and communication to be tracked, analysed and managed. Rather than the rise of alternative corporate forms, we are now witnessing the discreet return of the ‘scientific management’ style of Frederick Winslow Taylor, only now with even greater scientific scrutiny of bodies, movement and performance. The front line in worker performance evaluation has shifted into bodily-monitoring devices, heart-rate monitoring, and sharing of real-time health data, for analysis of stress risks. Strange to say, the notion of what represents a ‘good’ worker has gone full circle since the 1870s, from the origins of ergonomic fatigue studies, through psychology, psychosomatic medicine and back to the body once more.


pages: 326 words: 106,053

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

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AltaVista, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, Cass Sunstein, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, experimental economics, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Howard Rheingold, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, interchangeable parts, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, lone genius, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market clearing, market design, moral hazard, new economy, offshore financial centre, Picturephone, prediction markets, profit maximization, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Yogi Berra

That’s become more true as the kind of work most Americans do has changed. On an old-fashioned assembly line, it’s possible that top-down coordination was the best solution (although Toyota’s transformation of auto production suggests otherwise). But in service businesses or companies whose value depends on intellectual labor, treating workers as cogs will not work (which isn’t to say that companies won’t try). The efficiency expert Frederick Winslow Taylor, in the early 1900s, described the good worker as someone whose job was to do “just what he is told to do, and no back talk. When the [foreman] tells you to walk, you walk; when he tells you to sit down, you sit down.” This approach would fail today. Yet even as companies at least acknowledge the potential benefits of decentralization, what’s notably missing is any sense that bottom-up methods of the kind we’ve seen in this book might be useful in transforming the way companies solve cognition problems, too.

See also William Joyce, Nitin Nohria, and Bruce Roberson, What Really Works: The 4 + 2 Formula for Sustained Business Success (New York: HarperCollins, 2003). Alfred P. Sloan, My Years with General Motors (New York: Doubleday, 1964). The definitive Western account of the Toyota Production System can be found in James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones, and Daniel Roos, The Machine That Changed the World: The Story of Lean Production (New York: HarperCollins, 1991). Keller, Rude Awakening: 101. Frederick Winslow Taylor is cited in Stephan H. Haeckel, Adaptive Enterprise (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1999): 30. Rakesh Khurana, Searching for a Corporate Savior (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002). As an example, this article claims that Chambers has “created more shareholder value” than virtually any other high-tech CEO; see http://www.edgewater.com/site/news_events/in_the_news_articles/042501_VARBusiness.html.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

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Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kevin Kelly, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

So, it can track where workers travel in an office, and recognize whom they’re talking to by communicating with other people’s badges. It can also measure how well they’re talking to them—by recording things like how often they make hand gestures and nod, and the energy level in their voice.” Other companies are developing Google Glass-style “smart glasses” to accomplish similar things. A little more than a century ago, Frederick Winslow Taylor introduced scientific management to American factories. By tracking and measuring the activities of workers as they went about their work, Taylor believed, companies could determine the most efficient possible routine for any job and then enforce that routine on all workers. Through the systematic collection of data, industry could be optimized, operated as a perfectly calibrated machine.

Never has a communications system played so many roles in our lives—or exerted such broad influence over our thoughts—as the internet does today. Yet, for all that’s been written about the net, there’s been little consideration of how, exactly, it’s reprogramming us. The net’s intellectual ethic remains obscure. ABOUT THE same time that Nietzsche started using his typewriter, an earnest young man named Frederick Winslow Taylor carried a stopwatch into the Midvale Steel plant in Philadelphia and began a historic series of experiments aimed at improving the efficiency of the plant’s machinists. With the approval of Midvale’s owners, he recruited a group of factory hands, set them to work on various metalworking machines, and recorded and timed their every movement as well as the operations of the machines. By breaking down every job into a sequence of small, discrete steps and then testing different ways of performing each one, Taylor created a set of precise instructions—an “algorithm,” we might say today—for how each worker should work.


pages: 840 words: 202,245

Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present by Jeff Madrick

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Bretton Woods, capital controls, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, desegregation, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Akerlof, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, inventory management, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shock, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, technology bubble, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, union organizing, V2 rocket, value at risk, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

He warned that Europe was being threatened by the rise of the American multinational company—not because of America’s technological advances, but because of its organizational discipline. It could produce the lowest-cost products, distribute them worldwide, and market them aggressively, winning market share across the world. Costs were cut sharply through repetitive assembly-line techniques at rapid speeds, and the adoption of the so-called scientific management principles of Frederick Winslow Taylor. Taylor’s major work, The Principles of Scientific Management, had been published in 1911. Time and motion studies were Taylor’s early tools and became the butt of many a future joke, including in silent movies featuring Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Workers were cogs in a machine, and even executives were above all conformists, implementing preset formulas and directions from above.

., In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies (New York: Harper & Row, 1982), pp. 34–35; Louis Kraar, “Japan’s Automakers Shift Strategies,” Fortune, August 11, 1980, p. 109. 3 “THERE WAS SIMPLY A PROFOUND HUNGER”: Author interview with Jay Lorsch, Harvard Business School, June 2006. 4 AMERICA’S SEEMING BUSINESS FAILURE: Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber, The American Challenge (New York: Atheneum, 1967). 5 TAYLOR’S MAJOR WORK: Robert Kanigel, The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency (New York: Penguin, 1997). 6 IN THE PAST, THE CEOS OF MAJOR: As a twenty-four-year-old business reporter, I did my first cover story for BusinessWeek on the subject back in 1971. I did not fully anticipate the dangers of the trend I perceived. “The Rise of the Financial Man,” Business Week, September 14, 1971. 7 IF WORK COULD PROVIDE SUCH SELF-ESTEEM: Douglas McGregor, The Human Side of Enterprise (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1960). 8 “BUT THE MILITARY MODEL”: Author interview with Tom Peters, June 11, 2007. 9 GENERAL INTELLIGENCE, BCG BELIEVED: Walter Kiechel III, The Lords of Strategy: The Secret Intellectual History of the New Corporate World (Boston: Harvard Business Press, 2010), in general, pp. 13–30. 10 PETERS AND WATERMAN WERE SKEPTICAL: Tom Peters, “Tom Peters’ True Confessions,” Fast Company, November 2001. 11 “PROFESSIONALISM IN MANAGEMENT”: Peters and Waterman, In Search of Excellence, p. 29. 12 AMERICAN MANAGEMENT HAD TO GET OUT: Robert H.

., prl.1, prl.2, 3.1, 7.1, 10.1, 17.1 swaps, 16.1, 17.1, 17.2, 19.1 Sword, William, 4.1, 4.2 Taft, Robert takeovers, corporate, 4.1, 4.2, 8.1, 11.1, 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 13.1, 13.2, 13.3, 13.4, 14.1, 14.2, 15.1, 16.1, 16.2, 16.3, 17.1, 19.1 Tannin, Matthew, 19.1, 19.2, 19.3, 19.4 taxation: brackets for, 3.1, 9.1, 10.1, 10.2, 11.1, 11.2; capital gains, 14.1; corporate, 9.2, 9.3, 14.2, 15.1, 15.2, 17.1, 17.2, 18.1, 18.2; credits for, 2.1, 3.2, 9.4, 9.5; cuts in, prl.1, 2.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 6.1, 7.1, 7.2, 9.6, 9.7, 9.8, 10.3, 11.3, 11.4, 11.5, 11.6, 11.7, 14.3, 14.4, 19.1; deductions for, 9.9, 9.10, 14.5, 17.3, 18.3, 18.4; increases in, 3.9, 14.6, 14.7, 14.8; interest equalization, 11.8, 15.3; “negative income,” 42, 2.3; payroll, 3.10, 11.9, 14.9; personal income, ix–x, prl.1, prl.2, prl.1, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 3.11, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, 7.7, 7.8, 7.9, 10.4, 10.5, 10.6, 11.10, 11.11, 11.12, 11.13, 14.10, 14.11, 14.12, 19.2; populist revolt against, ix–x, prl.1, 7.10, 10.7; progressive, itr.1, prl.1, prl.2, prl.3, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 19.3; property, prl.1, 7.11, 10.8; regressive, 11.14, 14.13; revenues from, 3.12, 6.2, 10.9, 11.15, 14.14, 14.15, 19.4; shelters from, 15.4, 15.5 Tax Reduction Task Force Tax Reform Act (1986) Taylor, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Robert technology, x, 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 4.1, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 12.1, 14.1, 14.2, 14.3, 15.1, 15.2, 15.3, 15.4, 16.1, 17.1, 17.2, 17.3, 17.4, 17.5, 17.6, 17.7, 17.8, 17.9, 17.10, 18.1, 18.2, 19.1, 19.2, 19.3, 19.4; see also computers TED spreads, 19.1, 19.2, 19.3 Tele-Communications, 8.1, 8.2, 12.1 Telecommunications Act (1996) telecommunications industry, 4.1, 8.1, 8.2, 17.1, 17.2, 17.3, 17.4, 19.1, 19.2 television, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 7.1, 7.2, 8.1, 8.2, 10.1, 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 13.1, 13.2, 17.1, 17.2, 17.3 Tenenbaum, L.


pages: 391 words: 22,799

To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise by Bethany Moreton

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affirmative action, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Gilder, global village, informal economy, invisible hand, market fundamentalism, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, price anchoring, Ralph Nader, RFID, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, walkable city, Washington Consensus, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, Works Progress Administration

With a peculiarly blinkered approach to orÂ�gaÂ�niÂ�zaÂ�tions in the abstract, he encouraged nonhierarchical management for clients as distinct as a Catholic sisterhood and the Business Roundtable, a lobbying consortium comprising the CEOs of the nation’s 200 largest corpora107 TO SERVE GOD AND WAL - Â�M ART tions that was responsible for many notable antilabor and deregulation victories of the conservative ascendancy.27 Greenleaf ’s work grew out of longstanding traditions in management theory. Since the initial military-Â�inspired breakthroughs of Taylorization at the turn of the twentieth century, reÂ�finements on sciÂ�enÂ�tific management had proceeded from the analogy between a worker and a machine. The regime of mass production valued human effort in proportion to its efÂ�fiÂ�ciency and predictability. “Schmidt,” Frederick Winslow Taylor’s pseudonym for the “first-Â�class laborer,” embodied this breakthrough in the 1911 ur-Â�text of sciÂ�enÂ�tific management: “He worked when he was told to work, and rested when he was told to rest,” limned Taylor in the cadences of Genesis, “and at half-Â�past five in the afternoon had his 47½ tons [of pig iron] loaded on the car.”28 Taylor understood his system as a branch of mechanical engineering, a logical extension of€the machine itself.29 As the ruling machines of the American workplace changed, so the analogy changed with them.

The company actively promoted this association in training materials 305 NOTES TO PAGES 107 – 1 1 0 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. today; see Dunnett and Arnold, “Falling Prices, Happy Faces,” 83; Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2001), 157. “Promise,” 122. Don M. Frick, Robert K. Greenleaf: A Life of Servant Leadership (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2004), 293. Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York: W.W. Norton, 1967), 47. Daniel Nelson, Managers and Workers: Origins of the New Factory System in the United States, 1880–1920 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1975), 65. Herbert A. Simon, quoted in Stephen P. Waring, Taylorism Transformed: Scientific Management Theory Since 1945 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991), 66.


pages: 514 words: 153,092

The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes

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anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, collective bargaining, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Frederick Winslow Taylor, invisible hand, Mahatma Gandhi, Plutocrats, plutocrats, short selling, Upton Sinclair, wage slave, Works Progress Administration

Hoover believed that action was necessary to make the country live up to its potential. Coolidge had long ago determined that the world would do better if he involved himself less. Finally, there was a difference in temperament. Hoover strewed around phrases about individuality, but he could not control his own sense of agency. He was by personality an intervener; he liked to jump in, and find a moral justification for doing so later. People like Frederick Winslow Taylor, the great efficiency expert, and Herbert Hoover, the great engineer, had done so well in the private sector. Bringing some of them into government might allow some of that knowledge to rub off. Coolidge by contrast believed that the work of life lay in holding back and shutting out. He conducted his official life according to his own version of the doctor’s Hippocratic Oath—first, do no harm.

Jackson, Robert H. That Man: An Insider’s Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Edited by John Q. Barrett. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. Jeansonne, Glen. Gerald L. K. Smith: Minister of Hate. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1997. Joslin, Theodore G. Hoover off the Record, 1934. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran, 1937. Kanigel, Robert. The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency. New York: Penguin, 1997. Kindleberger, Charles P. The World in Depression: 1929–1939, revised edition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986. Kirk, Russell, ed. The Portable Conservative Reader. New York: Penguin, 1996. Klein, Maury. Rainbow’s End: The Crash of 1929. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2001. Knepper, Cathy D. Greenbelt, Maryland: A Living Legacy of the New Deal.


pages: 168 words: 50,647

The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-To-5 by Taylor Pearson

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, Black Swan, call centre, cloud computing, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Hangouts, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, means of production, Oculus Rift, passive income, passive investing, Peter Thiel, remote working, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, Thomas Malthus, Uber and Lyft, unpaid internship, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

A new product that takes Nike years of product development to create can be copied and reproduced at a tenth of the cost within weeks by knock-off manufacturers. I’ve talked to people in China that have seen it happen. The technologies that we now take for granted were incredibly difficult to develop the first go around. Before the 20th century, the discipline of management, managing people, as we understand it today, was non-existent. The father of management, Frederick Winslow Taylor, was credited by later famed management consultant Peter Drucker for having created “the tremendous surge of affluence in the last seventy-five years which has lifted the working masses in the developed countries well above any level recorded, even for the well-to-do.”11 Winslow Taylor’s scientific management consisted of replacing rule-of-thumb methods with a scientific method—applying scientific efficiency to tasks, the selection of employees, the supervisions of each worker, and division of work.


pages: 222 words: 74,587

Paper Machines: About Cards & Catalogs, 1548-1929 by Markus Krajewski, Peter Krapp

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business process, double entry bookkeeping, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, index card, Index librorum prohibitorum, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Jacques de Vaucanson, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge worker, means of production, new economy, paper trading, Turing machine

However, in 1914, the global turn of events—that is, the outbreak of World War I—galvanizes the mental labor of nation-states into a different scientific and economic mode. In the German Reich, this is reflected in the test for index cards as a catalog technology when, in 1914, they replace the bound catalog of the Royal Library in Berlin to collect and order everything by objective keywords.1 Even before the war, Ostwald’s energetic economy2 connects with the adoption after 1913 of scientific management as pioneered by Frederick Winslow Taylor, particularly by his German translator Rudolf Roesler.3 Roesler emphasizes that both proposals “are applicable with the same right and with the same success to all areas of human activity.”4 The central point of their interaction and mutual reinforcement lies in the search for efficiency, for increased achievement. The energetic imperative suggests avoiding wasting energy (W), and moreover seeks to increase it.


pages: 252 words: 70,424

The Self-Made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value by John Sviokla, Mitch Cohen

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Cass Sunstein, Colonization of Mars, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Elon Musk, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, global supply chain, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, paper trading, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart meter, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, young professional

Before Harrison’s invention, sea captains could only identify latitude by measuring the angle of the sun at noon, when it reached its apex, but without an accurate timepiece they had no way to measure longitude, and so quite literally had no idea where in the world they were at any given moment. Armed with a chronometer, sea captains could now navigate with more accuracy, avoid dangerous routes, and effectively decrease the length of their journeys. Harrison’s invention changed the business of seafaring—and set the British on a path to extreme value creation in trade. Fast-forward nearly two hundred years and Frederick Winslow Taylor, the father of scientific management, was using time and motion studies to develop ideas to help businesses improve their productivity. Time measurement also made possible the digital computer, which samples itself billions of times a second and records its data through binary impulses—on or off—within a defined window of time. We offer these examples because they show how business innovators of the past have leveraged time as a tool, a source of invention or advantage, or at least as a dynamic factor in their ideation.


pages: 247 words: 81,135

The Great Fragmentation: And Why the Future of All Business Is Small by Steve Sammartino

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, Elon Musk, fiat currency, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, haute couture, helicopter parent, illegal immigration, index fund, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market design, Metcalfe's law, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, too big to fail, web application

It’s affecting every person, not just the fortunate few in developed economies. What it means for business Business can’t simply try to implement industrial-era strategies in emerging markets. The technology revolution means that many industrial-era ideas and markets will be leap-frogged by developing economies. Notes 1 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2011/10/18/more-mobile-phones-than-toothbrushes and also www.chartsbin.com/view/1881 2 Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management: http://books.google.com.au/books?id=HoJMAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA3&redir_esc=y CHAPTER 3 The social reality: beyond the surface of social media Social media is only a small part of the change we’re living through; it’s a surface indicator or a symptom of the times. The fact that all of it has been enabled by an omnipresent and ultra-cheap space race in technology tells us much more about why it matters.


pages: 209 words: 80,086

The Global Auction: The Broken Promises of Education, Jobs, and Incomes by Phillip Brown, Hugh Lauder, David Ashton

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affirmative action, barriers to entry, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, collective bargaining, corporate governance, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, glass ceiling, global supply chain, immigration reform, income inequality, industrial robot, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market design, neoliberal agenda, new economy, pensions crisis, post-industrial society, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, winner-take-all economy, working poor

Taylor, Principles of Scientific Management (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1911), chap. 2, p. 6. http://www.archive.org/details/ principlesofscie00taylrich. Peter Drucker argues, “Few figures in intellectual history have had greater impact than Taylor. And few have been so willfully misunderstood and so assiduously misquoted.” Drucker, Post-Capitalist Society, 31. See Robert Kanigel, The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency (London: Abacus 1997), 9. Frederick W. Taylor quoted in Robert Kanigel, The One Best Way, 473. Frederick W. Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management, chap. 2, p. 4. http:// www.archive.org/details/principlesofscie00taylrich Ibid., 2. http://www.archive.org/details/principlesofscie00taylrich See Kanigel, The One Best Way, 460. Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management, chapter 2, p. 4. http://www. archive.org/details/principlesofscie00taylrich Kanigel, The One Best Way, 282.


pages: 585 words: 165,304

Trust: The Social Virtue and the Creation of Prosperity by Francis Fukuyama

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barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, business climate, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate governance, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, double entry bookkeeping, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Gilder, glass ceiling, global village, hiring and firing, industrial robot, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, mittelstand, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, transfer pricing, traveling salesman, union organizing

The implication is that if Germany is to meet future challenges of global competitiveness, it needs to become not necessarily a less communitarian economy but a less statist one. CHAPTER 22 The High-Trust Workplace If asked to compare the traditional American manufacturing workplace with its high-trust, team-oriented German counterpart, or with the low-trust, bureaucratically regulated French model, most people would say it resembled the latter. Frederick Winslow Taylor, after all, was an American, and the low-trust industrial system he created was regarded around the world as a uniquely American vision of modernity. The legalism of the Taylorite factory, its pretensions to universality, and the carefully enumerated rights in job control unionism all echo aspects of American constitutional law. The growing complexity of job classifications and their ramification throughout the workplace anticipate the spread of legal relationships in broader American society.

Things could, of course, be otherwise; already in the United States there is talk of “children’s rights,” civil suits involving parents and children, and other attempts to extend the legal system into family relations. 9On this point, see Alan Fox, Beyond Contract: Work, Power and Trust Relationships (London: Faber and Faber, 1974), pp. 30-31. 10On this shift in paradigms, see Maria Hirszowicz, Industrial Sociology: An Introduction (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1982), pp. 28-32. 11Charles Sabel, Work and Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), pp. 31-33. 12Joan Campbell, Joy in Work, German Work: The National Debate, 1800-1945 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), pp. 131-132; Hans-Joachim Braun, The German Economy in the Twentieth Century (London: Routledge, 1990), p. 50. 13Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York: Harper Brothers, 1911). Taylor gave his first lecture on scientific management in 1895. See Alfred D. Chandler, The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1977), p. 275. 14For an overview of Taylor and his later critics, see Hirszowicz (1982), p. 53. 15Fox (1974), p. 23. 16For a description of labor-management relations in the wake of the spread of mass production, see William Lazonick, Competitive Advantage on the Shop Floor (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1990), pp. 270-280. 17Alvin W.


pages: 851 words: 247,711

The Atlantic and Its Enemies: A History of the Cold War by Norman Stone

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affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, British Empire, central bank independence, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, illegal immigration, income per capita, interchangeable parts, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, labour mobility, land reform, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, North Sea oil, oil shock, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, V2 rocket, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Yom Kippur War, éminence grise

One trouble was that those who could not manage, taught, and sometimes preached. Real managers have better things to do, and asking them about theories of management is equivalent to asking a first-class golfer to lecture on ballistics. There was even around 1900 a group of men who wanted to make business academically respectable and Harvard acquired a business school that its founders expected to rival the law school. Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915) invented the time-and-motion study, in which white-coated experts studied the performance of the workforce, and, with slide-rules, criticized. Early on, the application of these methods caused demoralization and in the Ford plant at Dearborn turnover of the workforce stood at 900 per cent a year. Taylor’s claim was to ‘mathematize’ everything, and though himself a failure as a manager of men, he was the ancestor of the management consultant, and even the originator of a notion that management could be learned from books as distinct from experience.

Sweden: automobile industry and Finland health care and Kurdish nationalism Lutheran Church price and wage control sterilization of Lapps ‘Swedish model’ taxation trade with Germany trade unions Swindon Switzerland Sydney Syria: Egyptian-Syrian union Kurdish population Öcalan in Soviet aid Yom Kippur War (1973) Szamuely, Tibor Szasz, Thomas, The Myth of Mental Illness Szklarska Poręba Tadzhikistan Tadzhiks Taiwan: Chiang Kai-shek’s mausoleum economic power Kuomintang (Nationalist) government land reforms US relations with Talbott, Strobe Talebani, Celal Talleyrand, Charles Maurice de Tamerlane Tanzania Taraki, Nur Mohammed Targowice, Convention of (1792) Tarnovsky, A. A. Tashkent Tătărescu, Gheorghe Tatars Tatarstan Taut, Bruno Tawney, R. H. Taylor, A. J. English History 1914-1945 Taylor, Frederick Winslow Taylorism Taylor, Maxwell Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilich Teamsters (labour union) Tebbit, Norman, Baron Tefal (corporation) Teheran conference (1943) Teitelboim, Volodia TeleCommunications Inc. telephones television: in Britain cable television in Eastern Bloc in France in Germany manufacture of sets news reporting and politics Teller, Edward Timişoara Tennessee Valley Authority terrorism: Irish in Italy Kurdish Palestinian Rome and Vienna airport attacks (1985) in West Germany Tet offensive (1968) Texaco (oil company) Texas TGWU (British Transport and General Workers Union) Thatcher, Sir Denis Thatcher, Margaret, Baroness: animus against background and character on Berlin Wall at Bicentenary celebrations in Paris budget of 1981 andservice combating of inflation core beliefs education policies and EEC/EU elected Conservative leader (1975) Falklands War (1982) and fall of communism fall from power foreign policy general election victories; (1979); (1983) and German reunification and Gorbachev international reputation and miners and nuclear power oratory skills and Pinochet Poll Tax privatization policy relationship with Reagan social policies tax cuts and trade unions and universities Westland affair (1986) Thébaud, Franck Thébaud, Fritz Theodoracopulos, Taki Thieu, Nguyen Van Third Man, The (film) ‘third way’ Thirty Years War Tho, Le Duc Thompson, Robert Thrace Thyssen (corporation) Tiananmen Square massacre (1989) Tibet Tientsin Tigris river Tikhonov, Nikolay Tildy, Zoltán Times, The move to docklands strike Timişoara Tiso, Mgr Jozef Tito, Josip Broz Tobin, James Tocqueville, Alexis de Todd, Emmanuel Toffler, Alvin Tőkés, László Tokyo Tolbukhin, Fyodor Tomić, Radomiro Tonkin, Gulf of Tontons Macoutes Toussaint’Ouverture, François-Dominique Toyota (automobile manufacturer) Trabzon trade unions: Britain Chile China and communist takeover of eastern Europe cross-Atlantic co-operation Cuba Czechoslovakia France Holland Hungary Italy Poland post-war Germany and ‘Swedish model’ Turkey USA West Germany Transjordan Transylvania Trapeznikov, S.


pages: 336 words: 90,749

How to Fix Copyright by William Patry

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, barriers to entry, big-box store, borderless world, business intelligence, citizen journalism, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, haute cuisine, informal economy, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, lone genius, means of production, new economy, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, web application, winner-take-all economy

NOTES TO PAGES 253–256 a well-governed society, that universal opulence which extends itself to the lowest ranks of the people.” Smith’s faith in the division of labor providing wealth to all classes was naïve. He assumed that if large jobs were broken down into small jobs, workers would become experts in their own area, and would be more productive. Being more productive, they would be paid more. That isn’t what happened, at least at the industrial level, thanks to the efforts of Frederick Winslow Taylor, who took Smith’s theory but used it to deprive workers of knowledge of anything but the small task in front of them, tasks which were made repeatable and monotonous, thereby diminishing their skills. In addition, Taylor’s methods of using stop watches and other forms of quantification led to laborers producing more in less time for less pay. Some opulence. See Tyler Cowen, Creative Destruction: How Globalization is Changing the World’s Cultures 14–16 (Princeton University Press, 2002), for a discussion of the different ways the term diversity is used. http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/walt_whitman/quotes.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

Amazon, according to the ILSR report, is a job killer rather than job creator, having destroyed a net 27,000 jobs in the American economy in 2012.48 Even more chilling is Amazon’s heartless treatment of its nonunionized workforce, particularly its utilization of monitoring technologies to observe the company’s warehouse workers’ most minute activities. Simon Head, a senior fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University, argues that this makes Amazon, with Walmart, the “most egregiously ruthless corporation in America.” This shop-floor surveillance, Head says, is an “extreme variant” of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Taylorism—the scientific management system invented by Frederick Winslow Taylor, which Aldous Huxley savagely parodied as “Fordism” in Brave New World.49 Yet even without these monitoring technologies, work in the Amazon fulfillment centers is notoriously unpleasant. Nonunionized Amazon workers in Pennsylvania, for example, have been subjected to such high warehouse temperatures that the company has ambulances permanently parked outside the facility ready to speed overheated workers to the emergency ward.50 In its Kentucky delivery center, Amazon’s hyperefficient work culture has created what one former manager described as the “huge problems” of permanently injured workers.51 In Germany, Amazon’s second-largest market, 1,300 workers organized a series of strikes in 2013 over pay and working conditions as well as to protest a security firm hired to police the company’s distribution centers.52 In Britain, a 2013 BBC undercover investigation into an Amazon warehouse revealed disturbingly harsh working conditions that one stress expert warned could lead to “mental and physical illness” for workers.53 But I don’t suppose the libertarian venture capitalists care much about the many casualties of this war of the one percent—such as Pam Wetherington, a middle-aged woman at Amazon’s Kentucky operation who suffered stress fractures in both feet through walking for miles on the warehouse’s concrete floor, yet received no compensation from Bezos’s company when she could no longer work.54 Or Jennifer Owen, a ten-year veteran employee at the Kentucky warehouse who was summarily fired after returning to work from an Amazon-approved medical leave after a car accident.55 While Amazon is a nightmare for nonunionized workers like Wetherington and Owen, it has been a financial dream for investors like Tom Perkins’s KPCB, whose original $6 million investment would, by 2014, be worth around $20 billion.


pages: 349 words: 112,333

The Mark Inside: A Perfect Swindle, a Cunning Revenge, and a Small History of the Big Con by Amy Reading

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Frederick Winslow Taylor, glass ceiling, joint-stock company, new economy, shareholder value, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile

The nineteenth-century Industrial Revolution had transformed American business within and without its factory walls. Small, traditional family firms had merged and grown into large, articulated corporations that were distinguished by two deceptively simple innovations: they were made up of many different operating units, and they were managed by a hierarchy of salaried executives. What resulted was managerial capitalism, which prized efficiency above all else. Frederick Winslow Taylor pioneered the study and merciless exploitation of time as a managerial tool in his book The Principles of Scientific Management. By measuring the time it took to perform a given manufacturing task, a manager would set a standard for production that would then determine workers’ rates of pay, thus vastly increasing the output of each employee. Henry Ford pioneered the assembly line, vertical integration, and the $5 day, which effectively doubled the rate of pay for wage workers in 1914 and also spurred production.


pages: 385 words: 111,807

A Pelican Introduction Economics: A User's Guide by Ha-Joon Chang

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, discovery of the americas, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global value chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open borders, post-industrial society, precariat, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, working-age population, World Values Survey

These things are taken for granted by economists, but they are still something that not every producer gets right, especially in developing countries. The rise of Fordism, or the mass production system In addition to organizing the flow of work more efficiently, attempts have been made to make workers themselves more efficient. The most important in this regard was Taylorism, named after Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856–1915), the American engineer and later management guru. Taylor argued that the production process should be divided up into the simplest possible tasks and that workers should be taught the most effective ways to perform them, established through scientific analyses of the work process. It is also known as scientific management for this reason. Combining the moving assembly line with the Taylorist principle, the mass production system was born in the early years of the twentieth century.


pages: 341 words: 89,986

Bricks & Mortals: Ten Great Buildings and the People They Made by Tom Wilkinson

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Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, double helix, experimental subject, false memory syndrome, financial independence, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Google Glasses, housing crisis, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, urban planning

It is terrifying to me.’6 Complex actions were photographically dissected in Frank and Lillian Gilbreth’s ‘motion studies’: in long exposures small lights were attached to subjects’ hands in order to record actions, with the subjects themselves reduced to faceless blurs These ‘terrifying’ innovations were part of a new approach to work that developed around the turn of the twentieth century, pioneered by Ford, Frederick Winslow Taylor, whose systematic analysis and reorganisation of labour processes became known as Taylorism, and husband and wife team Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, inventors of the motion study. Ford claimed never to have read the work of Taylor (credibly enough – he wasn’t keen on books), but although there were differences in their approaches they shared the view that production could be optimised by dissecting the work process.


pages: 378 words: 110,518

Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason

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Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, capital controls, Claude Shannon: information theory, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, deglobalization, deindustrialization, deskilling, discovery of the americas, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, financial repression, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, Internet of things, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, low skilled workers, market clearing, means of production, Metcalfe's law, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, post-industrial society, precariat, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, supply-chain management, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Transnistria, union organizing, universal basic income, urban decay, urban planning, wages for housework, women in the workforce

The combined impact of skilled autonomy, ‘the rich associational life’ and rising social-democratic parties would force capitalism into a new adaptation. Having ‘met the machine and won’, the organized worker would, in the first half of the twentieth century, meet the scientific manager, the bureaucrat and – eventually – the guard at the concentration camp. 1898–1948: PICK UP A PIG AND WALK In 1898, in the freight yard of Bethlehem Steel in Pennsylvania, a manager called Frederick Winslow Taylor came up with a new solution to the century-old problem of skilled worker autonomy. ‘Pick up a pig and walk,’ Taylor told his labourers – a ‘pig’ being a lump of iron weighing 92lbs. By studying not just the time it took them to move the iron, but the detailed motion of their bodies, Taylor showed how industrial tasks could be made modular. Jobs could be broken down into learnable steps, and then allocated to workers less skilled than those currently doing them.


pages: 265 words: 15,515

Nomad Citizenship: Free-Market Communism and the Slow-Motion General Strike by Eugene W. Holland

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capital controls, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, deskilling, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, peak oil, price mechanism, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, slashdot, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, wage slave, working poor

[is to] ask whether it is integral to the process or outside the process, that is . . . whether it grows out of the actual circumstances, whether it is inherent in the situation.20 The concept of power-with thus designates both less and more than the mere ability to accomplish something: it highlights the specific quality of the “organization of the social field” entailed by the form of activity do­ ing the accomplishing. Follett was a contemporary of the other, more famous, turn-of-thecentury North American management theorist Frederick Winslow Taylor, and the stark contrast between their views is revealing. Following in Sir Francis Bacon’s footsteps, Taylor advocated replacing the rule-of-thumb procedures developed informally by workers themselves with formal rules developed independently of them by “scientific” managers.21 Where Fol­ lett endorsed a form of authority arising immanently from an internally differentiated but nonhierarchical group, Taylor insisted on a sharp, hier­ archical distinction between the managers, who would analyze the work process to formulate rules of procedure, and the workers, who would merely carry them out.


pages: 347 words: 112,727

Rust: The Longest War by Jonathan Waldman

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Anton Chekhov, computer age, David Brooks, Exxon Valdez, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Golden Gate Park, index card, Isaac Newton, Mason jar, pez dispenser, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Works Progress Administration, Y2K

His sixth book, Steel-Makers and Knotted String, was dedicated to Arthur, as “playmate schoolmate and workmate.” In it, he called his brother “a better workman, a better observer and a more resourceful experimentalist than I.” In 1901, at age thirty, Brearley was hired at Kayser, Ellison & Co. as a chemist to work on high-speed tool steels, which had been discovered three years earlier by a consultant for Bethlehem Steel named Frederick Winslow Taylor. Sidetracked from production problems, Taylor had begun looking at steels used to plane and bore ship plates and cannons. Ideal forging temperatures were still measured by color, and he found that steel, heated to just below dull cherry, came out strong, but the same steel, heated above that point, became weak. To his surprise, he found that if he heated it further—to salmon and yellow—the steel got superhard; so hard that machinists could run their cutting tools two or three times as fast as before, until the blades glowed red, at 1,000 degrees Celsius.


pages: 391 words: 97,018

Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline . . . And the Rise of a New Economy by Daniel Gross

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset-backed security, Bakken shale, banking crisis, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, demand response, Donald Trump, Frederick Winslow Taylor, high net worth, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, illegal immigration, index fund, intermodal, inventory management, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, LNG terminal, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk tolerance, risk/return, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, the High Line, transit-oriented development, Wall-E, Yogi Berra, Zipcar

And as declinists fingered their worry beads and warned of a permanent depression, the private sector was figuring how to do things better and faster, laying the groundwork for a stronger economy. The pursuit of efficiency has long been a hallmark of American economic success. Management consulting, it should be recalled, is an American invention and a field in which U.S. firms dominate. It started with Frederick Winslow Taylor, who may have been America’s first management consultant. Starting in the 1890s the inventor of “scientific management” walked around factories with a stopwatch, timing the activities of workers and suggesting ways they could speed up their processes. The efficiency revolution continued with Henry Ford, whose perfection of the assembly line at the vast River Rouge plant enabled him to transform the automobile from a custom-built toy for the 1 percent to a highly practical tool for the 99 percent.


pages: 332 words: 89,668

Two Nations, Indivisible: A History of Inequality in America: A History of Inequality in America by Jamie Bronstein

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, blue-collar work, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mortgage debt, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, obamacare, occupational segregation, Occupy movement, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price discrimination, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, strikebreaker, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, wage slave, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Workers encountered dangerous and unfenced machinery; even when safety measures were available, employers could claim that installing them was too expensive. Employers claimed that workplace injuries were due to worker negligence or failure to master the English language. Workers labored long hours, in uncomfortable postures, without sufficient meal breaks or bathroom breaks. Mechanical engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor’s innovation of “scientific management” introduced time–motion studies intended to find the “one best way” of performing every factory task; Taylorism made production efficient but deprived the worker of all autonomy of movement on pain of fines or dismissal.35 And most depressingly, the cost of adapting physically to the workplace was shifted onto the worker; there was no regulation to compel most workplaces to restrict work hours, provide rest and meal breaks, or install safety devices.36 By 1920, more than 5 million Americans belonged to labor unions, as contrasted with fewer than 500,000 only 20 years previously.37 Even during this moment of relative labor unrest, however, the workforce remained divided between men and women, between native-born and immigrant workers, and between the white workers and the black workers who were often used to break strikes.38 The American Federation of Labor emerged as the major overarching entity organizing male skilled workers.


pages: 324 words: 93,175

The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home by Dan Ariely

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Burning Man, business process, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, endowment effect, Exxon Valdez, first-price auction, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, happiness index / gross national happiness, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, Peter Singer: altruism, placebo effect, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, second-price auction, software as a service, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, young professional

But though they were very poor, and therefore but indifferently accommodated with the necessary machinery, they could, when they exerted themselves, make among them about twelve pounds of pins in a day. There are in a pound upwards of four thousand pins of a middling size. Those ten persons, therefore, could make among them upwards of forty-eight thousand pins in a day.1 When we take tasks and break them down into smaller parts, we create local efficiencies; each person can become better and better at the small thing he does. (Henry Ford and Frederick Winslow Taylor extended the division-of-labor concept to the assembly line, finding that this approach reduced errors, increased productivity, and made it possible to produce cars and other goods en masse.) But we often don’t realize that the division of labor can also exact a human cost. As early as 1844, Karl Marx—the German philosopher, political economist, sociologist, revolutionary, and father of communism—pointed to the importance of what he called “the alienation of labor.”


pages: 407 words: 103,501

The Digital Divide: Arguments for and Against Facebook, Google, Texting, and the Age of Social Netwo Rking by Mark Bauerlein

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Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, centre right, citizen journalism, collaborative editing, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, disintermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, pets.com, Results Only Work Environment, Saturday Night Live, search engine result page, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social graph, social web, software as a service, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technology bubble, Ted Nelson, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, web application

Never has a communications system played so many roles in our lives—or exerted such broad influence over our thoughts—as the Internet does today. Yet, for all that’s been written about the Net, there’s been little consideration of how, exactly, it’s reprogramming us. The Net’s intellectual ethic remains obscure. About the same time that Nietzsche started using his typewriter, an earnest young man named Frederick Winslow Taylor carried a stopwatch into the Midvale Steel plant in Philadelphia and began a historic series of experiments aimed at improving the efficiency of the plant’s machinists. With the approval of Midvale’s owners, he recruited a group of factory hands, set them to work on various metalworking machines, and recorded and timed their every movement as well as the operations of the machines. By breaking down every job into a sequence of small, discrete steps and then testing different ways of performing each one, Taylor created a set of precise instructions—an “algorithm,” we might say today—for how each worker should work.


pages: 340 words: 92,904

Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars by Samuel I. Schwartz

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, car-free, City Beautiful movement, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Enrique Peñalosa, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, if you build it, they will come, intermodal, invention of the wheel, lake wobegon effect, Loma Prieta earthquake, Lyft, Masdar, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nate Silver, oil shock, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, skinny streets, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, the built environment, the map is not the territory, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, Wall-E, white flight, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Zipcar

If you thought people just put one foot in front of another, think again. There’s a lot of empirical research on walking, and not just the way in which the thighbone is connected to the knee bone, a subject that was on my mind a lot after I had arthroscopic knee surgery in the summer of 2014. People have been measuring, analyzing, and modeling the way people walk ever since the original gurus of scientific management, Frederick Winslow Taylor and the husband-and-wife team of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth,k performed the first time-motion studies to see how best to organize assembly-line work at the end of the nineteenth century. Decades later, William H. Whyte—“Holly” to everyone who knew him—graduated from reporting on business organizations for Fortune and writing business bestsellers like The Organization Man (this million seller from 1956 is where the term groupthink was coined) to discover his true calling: describing the way people behaved and moved in public places.


pages: 423 words: 126,096

Our Own Devices: How Technology Remakes Humanity by Edward Tenner

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Bonfire of the Vanities, card file, Douglas Engelbart, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Network effects, optical character recognition, QWERTY keyboard, Stewart Brand, women in the workforce

Continuous backs, present even in some costly executive chairs today, tend to push the pelvis and sacrum forward and produce kyphosis.24 BATTLING FATIGUE It was World War I that brought concern about chairs to public attention—once more, not the furniture of managers and executives but the seating of workers, especially female workers. The early industrial engineers paid surprisingly little attention to furniture, probably because so many of their clients and employers were in heavy industry, where workers customarily stood. Until the late nineteenth century a factory worker was lucky to have an upturned box or a stool. Characteristically, Frederick Winslow Taylor, who gave his name to the efficiency movement, illustrated his speeches with a story of a laborer and his shovel. Even Taylor’s almost equally celebrated disciples, Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, introduced only one significant innovation, a chair elevated on a movable platform at a high desk to allow alternating sitting and standing positions. Illustrated in textbooks, this chair was never, apparently, produced.


pages: 429 words: 114,726

The Computer Boys Take Over: Computers, Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise by Nathan L. Ensmenger

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barriers to entry, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, deskilling, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Grace Hopper, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, loose coupling, new economy, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, performance metric, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, sorting algorithm, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the market place, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture, Y2K

Saba, “Letter to the Editor,” IEEE Computer 29, no. 9 (1996): 10; Edward Nash Yourdon, ed., Classics in Software Engineering (New York: Yourdon Press, 1979); Herbert Freeman and Phillip Lewis, Software Engineering (New York: Academic Press, 1980). 8. M. Douglas McIlroy, cited in ibid, 7. 9. Douglas McIroy, cited in Naur, Randall, and Buxton, Software Engineering, 7. 10. Ibid. 11. Brad Cox, “There Is a Silver Bullet,” Byte 15, no. 10 (1990): 209. 12. Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1911). 13. Richard Canning, “Issues in Programming Management,” EDP Analyzer 12, no. 4 (1974): 1–14. 14. Stuart Shapiro, “Splitting the Difference: The Historical Necessity of Synthesis in Software Engineering,” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 19, no. 1 (1997): 25–54. 15. Gerald Weinberg, The Psychology of Computer Programming (New York: Van Nostrand Rheinhold, 1971). 16.


pages: 565 words: 151,129

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism by Jeremy Rifkin

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business process, Chris Urmson, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, computer vision, crowdsourcing, demographic transition, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, global village, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labour mobility, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, phenotype, planetary scale, price discrimination, profit motive, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Stallman, risk/return, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social web, software as a service, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, working poor, Zipcar

An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals. London: Printed for A. Millar, 1751. Jackson, Tim. Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet. Washington, DC: Earthscan, 2009. Jean-Claude Debeir, Jean-Paul Deleage, and Daniel Hemery, In the Servitude of Power: Energy and Civilization Through the Ages. London: Zed Books, 1992. Kanigel, Robert. The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency. New York: Penguin, 1997. Keen, Andrew. The Cult of the Amateur. New York: Doubleday, 2007. Kellmereit, Daniel, and Daniel Obodovski. The Silent Intelligence: The Internet of Things. San Francisco: DND Ventures LLC, 2013. Keynes, John Maynard. The General Theory Of Employment, Interest, and Money. San Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1964. Kleindorfer, Paul R. and Wind Yorman with Robert E.


pages: 528 words: 146,459

Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost

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Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional

Not many of his discoveries found their way into the Difference Engine, but he succeeded in turning himself into the most knowledgeable economist of manufacturing of his day. In 1832 he published his most important book, an economics classic titled Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, which ran to four editions and was translated into five languages. In the history of economics, Babbage is a seminal figure who connects Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations to the Scientific Management movement, founded in America by Frederick Winslow Taylor in the 1880s. The government continued to advance Babbage money during the 1820s and early 1830s, eventually totaling £17,000; and Babbage claimed to have spent much the same again from his own pocket. These would be very large sums in today’s money. By 1833, Babbage had produced a beautifully engineered prototype Difference Engine that was too small for real table making and lacked a printing unit, but showed beyond any question the feasibility of his concept.


pages: 675 words: 141,667

Open Standards and the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks (Cambridge Studies in the Emergence of Global Enterprise) by Andrew L. Russell

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barriers to entry, borderless world, Chelsea Manning, computer age, Edward Snowden, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, open economy, packet switching, pre–internet, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, web of trust

Vail’s strategy was not only a clear response to the immediate problems facing AT&T, it was also an articulation of the organizational learning that had been occurring throughout American industry during the past several decades. The Bell ideology of standardization, distilled into the “universal service” slogan, shaped and limited the realm of the possible in a way that recalls a famous phrase written in 1911 by one of Vail’s contemporaries, Frederick Winslow Taylor: “The system must be first.”18 Through the ideology and rhetoric of universal service, Vail and his colleagues persuaded regulators to appreciate the value of an interconnected monopoly telephone system – one that operated more like a public utility than one of several firms in a competitive market. Vail’s slogan was, fundamentally, a critique of wasteful competition, adversarial regulation, and the existing hodgepodge of proprietary networks that precluded interconnection among all telephone users.


pages: 468 words: 123,823

A People's History of Poverty in America by Stephen Pimpare

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affirmative action, British Empire, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dumpster diving, East Village, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, index card, Jane Jacobs, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, payday loans, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, union organizing, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Bruns, Knights of the Road: A Hobo History (New York: Methuen, 1980), 43. 87 Ibid. 88 Quoted in ibid., 9. 89 Frank Tobias Higbie, Indispensable Outcasts: Hobo Workers and Community in the American Midwest, 1880–1930 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003), 30–31. 90 Patricia Cooper, “The ‘Traveling Fraternity’: Union Cigar Makers and Geographic Mobility, 1900–1919,” in Walking to Work (see note 48). As a machinist said to efficiency expert Frederick Winslow Taylor in 1914: “We don’t want to work as fast as we are able to. We want to work as fast as we think it’s comfortable for us to work. We haven’t come into existence for the purpose of seeing how great a task we can perform through a lifetime. We are trying to regulate our work so as to make it an auxiliary to our lives.” Daniel T. Rodgers, The Work Ethic in Industrial America, 1850–1920 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974 [1979]), 168. 91 Ann Banks, ed., First Person America (New York: Vintage, 1980 [1981]), 79. 92 Tully, Beggars of Life, 142. 93 See Jules Tygiel, “Tramping Artisans: Carpenters in Industrial America, 1880–1990,” and Cooper, “The ‘Traveling Fraternity,’” in Walking to Work (see note 48). 94 James D.


pages: 624 words: 127,987

The Personal MBA: A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume by Josh Kaufman

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Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, business process, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, hindsight bias, index card, inventory management, iterative process, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, loose coupling, loss aversion, market bubble, Network effects, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, place-making, premature optimization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, side project, statistical model, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, telemarketer, the scientific method, time value of money, Toyota Production System, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, Yogi Berra

The disconnect between the classroom and the working world makes sense when you realize that the concepts, principles, and techniques most business schools teach were designed for a very different world. Graduate schools of business started popping up at the end of the nineteenth century during the Industrial Revolution. The intent of early MBA programs was to train managers to be more scientific in an effort to make large operations more efficient. Frederick Winslow Taylor, the pioneer of “scientific management” techniques that now form the foundation of modern management training, used a stopwatch to shave a few seconds off the average time a workman took to load iron ingots into a train car. That should give you a good idea of the underlying mind-set of most business school management programs. Management was thought of mostly as an exercise in getting people to work faster and do exactly what they’re told.


pages: 523 words: 143,139

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths

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4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, constrained optimization, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, diversification, double helix, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, first-price auction, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Henri Poincaré, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, Lao Tzu, linear programming, martingale, Nash equilibrium, natural language processing, NP-complete, P = NP, packet switching, prediction markets, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert X Cringely, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, sorting algorithm, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, Thomas Malthus, traveling salesman, Turing machine, urban planning, Vickrey auction, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator

Keeping Found Things Found: The Study and Practice of Personal Information Management. Burlington, MA: Morgan Kaufmann, 2007. Kaelbling, Leslie Pack. Learning in Embedded Systems. Cambrige, MA: MIT Press, 1993. Kaelbling, Leslie Pack, Michael L. Littman, and Andrew W. Moore. “Reinforcement Learning: A Survey.” Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research 4 (1996): 237–285. Kanigel, Robert. The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency. New York: Viking Penguin, 1997. Kant, Immanuel. Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten. Riga: Johann Friedrich Hartknoch, 1785. ______. Kritik der praktischen Vernunft. Riga: Johann Friedrich Hartknoch, 1788. Karmarkar, Narendra. “A New Polynomial-Time Algorithm for Linear Programming.” In Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, 1984, 302–311.


pages: 540 words: 168,921

The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Doha Development Round, double entry bookkeeping, epigenetics, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Firefox, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, informal economy, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, land reform, Livingstone, I presume, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

The Model T made its appearance in 1908; it was elegant in design and engineering and available in any color, Ford announced, “as long as it was black.” More important, most middle-class Americans could afford one, including Ford’s workers, whom he started paying five dollars a day in 1914. His goal was for his men to earn wages high enough for them to buy what they produced. And buy they did. The scientific management of labor had already attracted the attention of Frederick Winslow Taylor, who carefully observed men working in the steel industry in the 1880s and 1890s. Taylor brought to his research the conviction that scientific management could blend the interests of bosses and workers. This was probably too much to be expected, but Taylor did describe how to make time and motion at the work site more precise and management more attuned to workers’ rhythms. He introduced the idea of rest breaks in the work schedule.


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

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1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, phenotype, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

The premise of a scientific measurement of people and their movements as a way of designing systems to accommodate or to train them goes back at least to the proportional guidelines of Vitruvius's Ten Books of Architecture (around 15 B.C.E.) and da Vinci's Vitruvian Man (1490); many other genealogical threads are not hard to identify. Foucault's genealogies of modernity painstakingly recount how typical and normative human bodies were served and served up by the design of disciplinary institutions of knowledge. By observing machine shops and workers and replanning how their bodily movements could be abstracted and optimized so as to be better incorporated with their laboring habitats, Frederick Winslow Taylor pioneered scientific management theory and the efficiency movement as the nineteenth century became the twentieth. Concurrently, Max Weber would identify a tendency toward depersonalized rationalization through the formulation of people into interchangeable bureaucratic components as a key sociological feature of industrial capitalism. Paul Lazarsfeld's audience studies for the Princeton Radio Project (which momentarily included Theodor Adorno on the team) was among many midcentury attempts to apply the scientific method to the deduction of typical patterns in consumer thought and behavior used as templates for the formulation of products and propagandas.


pages: 898 words: 266,274

The Irrational Bundle by Dan Ariely

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, air freight, Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, business process, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, endowment effect, Exxon Valdez, first-price auction, Frederick Winslow Taylor, fudge factor, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lake wobegon effect, late fees, loss aversion, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, Peter Singer: altruism, placebo effect, price anchoring, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, Schrödinger's Cat, second-price auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, young professional

But though they were very poor, and therefore but indifferently accommodated with the necessary machinery, they could, when they exerted themselves, make among them about twelve pounds of pins in a day. There are in a pound upwards of four thousand pins of a middling size. Those ten persons, therefore, could make among them upwards of forty-eight thousand pins in a day.1 When we take tasks and break them down into smaller parts, we create local efficiencies; each person can become better and better at the small thing he does. (Henry Ford and Frederick Winslow Taylor extended the division-of-labor concept to the assembly line, finding that this approach reduced errors, increased productivity, and made it possible to produce cars and other goods en masse.) But we often don’t realize that the division of labor can also exact a human cost. As early as 1844, Karl Marx—the German philosopher, political economist, sociologist, revolutionary, and father of communism—pointed to the importance of what he called “the alienation of labor.”

The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal by M. Mitchell Waldrop

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Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Apple II, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, fault tolerance, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pink-collar, popular electronics, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Wiener process

Fisher and Marshall Jon Fisher The Invention That Changed the World: How a Small Group of Radar Pioneers Won the Second World wtzr and Launched a Technological Revolution by Robert Buderi Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly and William Aspray Naked to the Bone: Medical Imaging in the Twentieth Century by Bettyann Kevles A Commotion in the Blood: A Century of Using the Immune System to Battle Cancer and Other Diseases by Stephen S. Hall Beyond Engineering: How Society Shapes Technology by Robert Pool The One Best wtzy: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency by Robert Kanigel Crystal Fire: The Birth of the Information Age by Michael Riordan and Lillian Hoddesen Insisting on the Impossible: The Life of Edwin Land by Victor K. McElheny Silzcon Sky: How One Small Start-up went over the Top to Beat the Big Boys into Satellite Heaven by Gary Dorsey City of Light: The Story of Fiber Optics by Jeff Hecht Visions of Technology: A Century of Vital Debate about Machines, Systems, and the Human World edited by Richard Rhodes PREFACE TO THE SLOAN TECHNOLOGY SERIES Technology is the application of science, engineering, and industrial organiza- tion to create a human-built world.