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pages: 284 words: 92,688

Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons


Airbnb, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, dumpster diving, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, Googley, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, pre–internet, quantitative easing, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, tulip mania, Y Combinator, éminence grise

“You’d try to do something, like run a query, and the system would just blow to shit. Every day there was an outage.” But Halligan knew how to sell. Among his first hires were a head of marketing and a head of sales. Those guys assembled an old-fashioned phone sales operation, with an army of low-paid telemarketers who would badger companies into signing up for a one-year subscription. The salespeople targeted small business owners, whose needs were relatively simple and who were, typically, not very tech savvy. Eventually some customers would become disenchanted with the software and refuse to renew for a second year. By then HubSpot’s telemarketers would have found new customers to replace the ones who were leaving. By 2011, HubSpot had about five thousand customers. That year, the company raised a new round of funding and used the money to acquire a company with good engineers.

I can’t tell if the people around me actually believe this rubbish we’re being fed. They seem to, but maybe they’re just playing along. As for me, I am completely transfixed. I’ve never seen or heard anything like this. Have you ever received a call from one of those annoying telemarketers and wondered what it must be like on his end of the phone? How many people are in the room where he is sitting? How does he talk people into buying whatever he’s selling? How did he learn how to do this? How does he rationalize what he does? The online version of that telemarketer’s world is the one that I’ve now entered. I’m in the Land of Spam, learning how to send email to lists of names in the hope that some teeny tiny percentage of the recipients will open my message and buy something. It’s appalling, but also fascinating. I have to learn more.

He stands ten feet away from me, wearing a headset and reciting variations of that script, again and again, all day long, in a booming voice. He laughs, he roars, he cracks himself up. He asks questions, gets hung up on, dials again. All. Day. Long. There are dozens more like him in this room. This is the telemarketing center, and it reminds me of the boiler-room operations you see in the movies, with people arranged in rows, some standing, some sitting, packed in close to each other, barking into headsets. Imagine Glengarry Glen Ross, but instead of four sales guys there are a hundred, and they are all in their early twenties, all talking at once, all saying the same things, over and over again. To be sure, the telemarketers at HubSpot are not selling penny stocks or fake real estate. They are selling a real product. I don’t see anything fraudulent or illegal in what they are doing. It’s just tacky and low-tech.

pages: 731 words: 134,263

Talk Is Cheap: Switching to Internet Telephones by James E. Gaskin


Debian, packet switching, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, telemarketer

The marketing trend is to sell the entire router so the broadband phone service is sure you'll be getting a new router that has some extra Internet Telephony support features built in. 4.1.3. Adding Extension Phones Everyone loves extension phones because we hate to jump up and start running when we hear the phone. Call us spoiled by the cell phones in our pockets, but running from room to room to answer a wrong number isn't much fun. When we get a wrong number, or worse, a telemarketer, we don't appreciate our impromptu exercise program because then we're too out of breath to curse at the telemarketer. Unfortunately, your broadband phone must be plugged into your broadband router or telephone adapter, and you only have one of those units. Certain digital phones can be plugged directly into your Ethernet network, but you probably don't have Ethernet RJ-45 ports all over your house, either. Answer? Go cordless. Not just so you can carry the phone around the house, but because new cordless phones include optional handsets that you can put all over the house.

(VoicePulse now offers this service, which they call Line Unavailable Forwarding.) 911 Dialing Not exactly the same as the 911 that the telephone company provides, but close. (See "911 Support," later in this chapter). Refer-A-Friend Convince a friend to sign up for your broadband phone service, and your service will reward you. Check out Table 5-1 for more details. VoicePulse offers Telemarketer Block, which may be worth changing your phone service for, all by itself. Lingo offers Automatic Call Rejection, which refuses calls with numbers blocked out or listed as anonymous, common tricks of telemarketers. Packet8 offers call blocking of anonymous calls as well. One way for companies to get more business is to encourage their happy customers to become salespeople. Car dealers call these "bird dog fees" (at least in Texas) when you send them a new customer. For the hunting-impaired, bird dogs flush out the game, and you're flushing out new customers for the salesperson.

The marketing trend is to sell the entire router so the broadband phone service is sure you'll be getting a new router that has some extra Internet Telephony support features built in. 4.1.3. Adding Extension Phones Everyone loves extension phones because we hate to jump up and start running when we hear the phone. Call us spoiled by the cell phones in our pockets, but running from room to room to answer a wrong number isn't much fun. When we get a wrong number, or worse, a telemarketer, we don't appreciate our impromptu exercise program because then we're too out of breath to curse at the telemarketer. Unfortunately, your broadband phone must be plugged into your broadband router or telephone adapter, and you only have one of those units. Certain digital phones can be plugged directly into your Ethernet network, but you probably don't have Ethernet RJ-45 ports all over your house, either. Answer? Go cordless. Not just so you can carry the phone around the house, but because new cordless phones include optional handsets that you can put all over the house.

pages: 310 words: 82,592

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It by Chris Voss, Tahl Raz


banking crisis, Black Swan, clean water, cognitive bias, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, framing effect, friendly fire, iterative process, loss aversion, market fundamentalism, price anchoring, telemarketer, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment

And because these accusations often sound exaggerated when said aloud, speaking them will encourage the other person to claim that quite the opposite is true. ■Remember you’re dealing with a person who wants to be appreciated and understood. So use labels to reinforce and encourage positive perceptions and dynamics. CHAPTER 4 BEWARE “YES”—MASTER “NO” Let me paint a scenario we’ve all experienced: You’re at home, just before dinner, and the phone rings. It is, no surprise, a telemarketer. He wants to sell you magazine subscriptions, water filters, frozen Argentine beef—to be honest, it doesn’t matter, as the script is always the same. After butchering your name, and engaging in some disingenuous pleasantries, he launches into his pitch. The hard sell that comes next is a scripted flowchart designed to cut off your escape routes as it funnels you down a path with no exit but “Yes.”

Then she smiled. “You get the next position.” At that time, there were five other people aiming for the same slot, people who had psychology degrees, experience, and credentials. But I was on the road to the next hostage negotiation training course at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, ahead of everybody else. My career as a negotiator had officially begun. “NO” IS PROTECTION Think back to the telemarketer at the beginning of this chapter. The obvious reply to his question—“Do you enjoy a nice glass of water?”—is “Yes.” But all you want to do is scream, “No!” After a question like that you just know the rest of the phone call is going to be painful. That, in a nutshell, distills the inherent contradictions in the values we give “Yes” and “No.” Whenever we negotiate, there’s no doubt we want to finish with a “Yes.”

Gun for a “Yes” straight off the bat, though, and your counterpart gets defensive, wary, and skittish. That’s why I tell my students that, if you’re trying to sell something, don’t start with “Do you have a few minutes to talk?” Instead ask, “Is now a bad time to talk?” Either you get “Yes, it is a bad time” followed by a good time or a request to go away, or you get “No, it’s not” and total focus. As an exercise, the next time you get a telemarketing call, write down the questions the seller asks. I promise you’ll find that your level of discomfort correlates directly to how quickly he pushes you for “Yes.” My colleague Marti Evelsizer was the one who first opened my eyes to why “No” was better than “Yes.” Marti was the FBI’s Crisis Negotiation Coordinator in Pittsburgh at the time. She was a dynamo and a negotiating genius, which earned her huge respect both within the Bureau and with the local police.

pages: 1,631 words: 468,342

Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson


biofilm, Broken windows theory, clean water, deskilling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Indoor air pollution, indoor plumbing, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Own Your Own Home, sensible shoes, spice trade, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer

These restrictions leave many permitted uses of automatic dialing machines, but none that poses a threat to the peace and privacy of the home. The FCC’s rules on telemarketing are otherwise rather soft. When you are solicited, if you tell the telemarketer that you want to get off its list, it is required to put you on a “do-not-call” list, which is good for ten years, and to stop calling you. But this doesn’t stop a dozen other telemarketers from calling you; each one has to be informed individually. You will not even be put on the do-not-call lists of a telemarketer’s affiliates unless you specifically request this. Moreover, the rule regarding the “do-not-call” list does not apply to nonprofit organizations or calls that are not made for a “commercial” purpose. The FCC regulations also prohibit telemarketing before 8:00 A.M. and after 9:00 P.M., but this does not help people who work at night and sleep during the day, napping babies, sick people, and people who are just busy or troubled or whose dinner has been interrupted too many times.

The regulations do usefully oblige the person making the call to provide his or her name, the name of the person or organization on whose behalf the call is made, and a telephone number or address at which that person or organization can be reached. A second federal act, the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act of 1994 (sometimes called the “Telemarketing Act”), aims primarily at preventing fraud, but its provisions bear upon privacy issues as well. The FTC has prescribed rules enforcing this act that, among other things, forbid telemarketers to call someone repeatedly or continuously with the intent to annoy, abuse, or harass him or her; to call someone who has previously stated that he or she does not wish to receive calls from the telemarketer; to call before 8:00 A.M. or after 9:00 P.M.; or to fail promptly to disclose the identity of the seller, that the purpose of the call is to sell something, and the nature of what is being sold. (By the way, unless you tell the telemarketers never to call again, they can call you as often as they like so long as they do not intend to annoy, abuse, or harass you.)

We should not need to unlist our telephone numbers to enjoy peace and privacy and to be protected from those who want us to buy products that are advertised as available in far too many other places as it is. Besides, even unlisting your number does not guarantee immunity. Telemarketers get hold of it one way or another, and once it is on someone’s computer database, it tends to circulate. Moreover, fraud and high-pressure tactics in telemarketing have become scandalous, resulting in a number of high-profile prosecutions. Yet, for reasons that are hard to comprehend, the laws protecting us from harassment and invasion of privacy through our own telephones are not so effective as they should be, and there is reason to fear that improvement will be slow in coming. In the meantime, some telephone companies are working on a technological solution to the problem of telemarketing calls, at least for those who have Caller ID. (See page 775.) For example, some companies have created a service that screens calls that block Caller ID information and calls that show up on Caller ID as “unknown.”

pages: 247 words: 62,845

VoIP Telephony with Asterisk by Unknown


call centre, Debian, failed state, framing effect, packet switching, telemarketer

Asterisk can be used for many things and has features includin Private Branch Exchange (PBX) Voicemail Services with Directory Conferencing Server Packet Voice Server Encryption of Telephone or Fax Calls Heterogeneous Voice over IP gateway (H.323, SIP, MGCP, IAX) Custom Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system Soft switch Number Translation Calling Card Server Predictive Dialer Call Queueing with Remote Agents Gateway and Aggregation for Legacy PBX systems Remote Office or User Telephone Services PBX long distance Gateway Telemarketing Block Standalone Voicemail System Many of the world's largest telephone companies have committed to replacing their existing circuit switched systems with packet switched voice over IP systems. Many phone companies are alread transporting a significant portion of their traffic with IP. Many calls made over telephone compan equipment are already being transported with IP. Packet switched voice over IP systems are in principle as efficient as a synchronous circuit switched systems, but only recently have they had the potential to achieve the same level of reliability as the public switched telephone network or proprietaryPBX equipment.

SoftHangup: Soft Hangup Applicatio StopMonitor: Stop monitoring a channe StopPlaytones: Stop playing a tone lis StripLSD: Strip Least Significant Digit StripMSD: Strip leading digit SubString: Save substring digits in a given variabl Suffix: Append trailing digit System: Execute a system comman Transfer: Transfer caller to remote extensio VoiceMail: Leave a voicemail messag VoiceMail2: (deprecated) Leave a voicemail messag VoiceMailMain: Enter voicemail syste VoiceMailMain2: (deprecated) Enter voicemail syste Wait: Waits for some tim WaitForRing: Wait for Ring Applicatio WaitMusicOnHold: Wait, playing Music On Hol Zapateller: Block telemarketers with SI ZapBarge: Barge in (monitor) Zap channe ZapRAS: Executes ZaptelISDN RAS application Here are the the same applications listed by group. General commands ADSIProg: Load Asterisk ADSI Scripts into phon Authenticate: Authenticate a use ChangeMonitor: Change monitoring filename of a channe GetCPEID: Get ADSI CPE I SendDTMF: Sends arbitrary DTMF digit SendImage: Send an image fil SendURL: Send a URL System: Execute a system comman Transfer: Transfercaller to remote extension Wait: Waits for some tim WaitForRing: Wait for Ring Applicatio WaitMusicOnHold: Wait, playing Music On Hol Billin NoCDR: Make sure asterisk doesn't save CDR for a certain cal ResetCDR: Reset CDR dat SetAccount: Sets account cod Asterisk cmd SetCDRUserField: Set CDR User fiel Asterisk cmd AppendCDRUserField: Append data to CDR User fiel Call management (hangup, answer, dial, etc) Answer: Answer a channel if ringin Busy: Indicate busy condition and sto Congestion: Indicate congestion and sto Dial: Place an call and connect to the current channel DISA: DISA (Direct Inward SystemAccess) Hangup: Unconditional hangu Caller presentation (ID, Name etc CallingPres: Change the presentation for the calleri LookupBlacklist: Look up Caller*ID name/number from blacklist databas LookupCIDName: Look up CallerID Name from local databas PrivacyManager: Require phone number to be entered, if no CallerID?

General commands ADSIProg: Load Asterisk ADSI Scripts into phon Authenticate: Authenticate a use ChangeMonitor: Change monitoring filename of a channe GetCPEID: Get ADSI CPE I SendDTMF: Sends arbitrary DTMF digit SendImage: Send an image fil SendURL: Send a URL System: Execute a system comman Transfer: Transfercaller to remote extension Wait: Waits for some tim WaitForRing: Wait for Ring Applicatio WaitMusicOnHold: Wait, playing Music On Hol Billin NoCDR: Make sure asterisk doesn't save CDR for a certain cal ResetCDR: Reset CDR dat SetAccount: Sets account cod Asterisk cmd SetCDRUserField: Set CDR User fiel Asterisk cmd AppendCDRUserField: Append data to CDR User fiel Call management (hangup, answer, dial, etc) Answer: Answer a channel if ringin Busy: Indicate busy condition and sto Congestion: Indicate congestion and sto Dial: Place an call and connect to the current channel DISA: DISA (Direct Inward SystemAccess) Hangup: Unconditional hangu Caller presentation (ID, Name etc CallingPres: Change the presentation for the calleri LookupBlacklist: Look up Caller*ID name/number from blacklist databas LookupCIDName: Look up CallerID Name from local databas PrivacyManager: Require phone number to be entered, if no CallerID? sen Ringing: Indicate ringing ton SetCallerID: Set CallerID SetCIDName: Set CallerID Name SoftHangup: Request hangup on another channe Zapateller: Block telemarketers with SI Database handling DBdel: Delete a key from the databas DBdeltree: Delete a family or keytree from the databas DBget: Retrieve a value from the databas DBput: Store a value in the databas Extension logic - strings, application integratio AbsoluteTimeout: Set absolute maximum time of cal AGI: Executes an AGI compliant applicatio Cut: String handling functio DigitTimeout: Set maximum timeout between digit EAGI: Executes an AGI compliant applicatio EnumLookup: Lookup number in ENU Goto: Goto a particular priority, extension, or contex GotoIf: Conditional got GotoIfTime: Conditional goto on current tim Macro: Macro Implementatio NoOp: No operatio Prefix: Prepend leading digits (Obsolete Random: Make a random jump in your dial pla Read: Read a variable with DTM ResponseTimeout: Set maximum timeout awaiting respons SetGlobalVar: Set variable to valu SetVar: Set variable to valu StripLSD: Strip trailing digit StripMSD: Strip leading digits (Obsolete SubString: Save substring digits in a given variable (Obsolete Suffix: Append trailing digits (Obsolete Sounds - background, musiconhold et BackGround: Play a file while awaiting extensio DateTime: Say the date and tim Echo: Echo audio read back to the use Festival: Say text to the use Milliwatt: Generate a Constant 1000Hz tone at 0dbm (mu-law Monitor: Monitor a channe MP3Player: Play an MP3?

pages: 121 words: 24,298

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield


delayed gratification, edge city, fear of failure, telemarketer

RESISTANCE ONLY OPPOSES IN ONE DIRECTION * * * Resistance obstructs movement only from a lower sphere to a higher. It kicks in when we seek to pursue a calling in the arts, launch an innovative enterprise, or evolve to a higher station morally, ethically, or spiritually. So if you’re in Calcutta working with the Mother Teresa Foundation and you’re thinking of bolting to launch a career in telemarketing. . . relax. Resistance will give you a free pass. RESISTANCE IS MOST POWERFUL AT THE FINISH LINE * * * Odysseus almost got home years before his actual homecoming. Ithaca was in sight, close enough that the sailors could see the smoke of their families’ fires on shore. Odysseus was so certain he was safe, he actually lay down for a snooze. It was then that his men, believing there was gold in an ox-hide sack among their commander’s possessions, snatched this prize and cut it open.

A PROFESSIONAL ACCEPTS NO EXCUSES * * * The amateur, underestimating Resistance’s cunning, permits the flu to keep him from his chapters; he believes the serpent’s voice in his head that says mailing off that manuscript is more important than doing the day’s work. The professional has learned better. He respects Resistance. He knows if he caves in today, no matter how plausible the pretext, he’ll be twice as likely to cave in tomorrow. The professional knows that Resistance is like a telemarketer; if you so much as say hello, you’re finished. The pro doesn’t even pick up the phone. He stays at work. A PROFESSIONAL PLAYS IT AS IT LAYS * * * My friend the Hawk and I were playing the first hole at Prestwick in Scotland; the wind was howling out of the left. I started an eight-iron thirty yards to windward, but the gale caught it; I watched in dismay as the ball sailed hard right, hit the green going sideways, and bounded off into the cabbage.

Working the Street: What You Need to Know About Life on Wall Street by Erik Banks


accounting loophole / creative accounting, borderless world, corporate governance, estate planning, greed is good, risk/return, rolodex, telemarketer

And the salesperson is always ready to sell the client his or her next bonds (Mercedes). 5 6 | W o r k i n g t h e St r e e t If you’ve got some leanings in this direction, and you like cars, it might be the place for you. RETAIL SALESPERSON OR TELEMARKETER? Retail salespeople, the ones who sell stocks and bonds to Mom and Dad, are like those dreaded telemarketers who call at dinner to try to sell you magazine subscriptions or long-distance calling plans. On Wall Street they are known, collectively and harshly, as the “great unwashed” (curiously enough the term seems to have stuck). These are the legions of cold-calling brokers who try to sell odd lots (small amounts of securities) by phoning unsuspecting people at home, reading off of manuscripts and making recommendations prepared by the research analysts. Their modus operandi is just like the telemarketer trying to sell you a subscription to Sports Illustrated or Vogue. You know the pitch: “You should buy this security [magazine] because it’s good value for your money.

pages: 386 words: 91,913

The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metal Age by David S. Abraham


3D printing, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, Deng Xiaoping, Elon Musk,, glass ceiling, global supply chain, information retrieval, Internet of things, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, reshoring, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Tesla Model S, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, Y2K

Chad Bray, “Regulator Fines Barclays Over the Pricing of Gold,” New York Times, May 23, 2014, 6. “Metal Bulletin, 60% of voters rejected MMTA-LME online pricing proposal,” November 30, 2009, accessed October 30, 2014, 7. Nigel Tunna, interview by David Abraham, Ganzhou, China, August 11, 2013. 8. In 1992, several Canada-based telemarketing companies sold indium directly to investors at inflated prices before going out of business several years later, after law-enforcement investigations in the United States and Canada. Robert D. Brown Jr., “Indium,” in Minerals Yearbook, Vol. 1, Metals and Minerals (Washington, DC: U.S. Bureau of Mines and U.S. Department of the Interior, 1996), accessed October 30, 2014, 9.

., 72 BHP Billiton, 58 Big Bertha gun, 160–61, 275n12 Big Data (Cukier and Mayer-Schönberger), 119 Bissel, Richard, 159 Bloomberg News: on CBMM, 42 on Colombian tungsten trade, 109 Boeing, 113, 128, 130–31 Boiridy, Mia, 85 Bombs, from airplanes, 279n33 Boogaart, Gerald van den, 33–35 Boron, 21, 26, 116, 121 Boston Consulting Group, 212 Boyle, Dominic, 163 Bre-X (exploration company), 59 Britain: export bans during WWI, 162–63 tungsten, actions on during WWII, 239n28 British Geological Survey, on Chinese production of critical materials, 236–37n18 Bronze, 157 Bronze Age, 12, 157, 274n7 Broxo company, 115 Bubar, Don, 55, 64 Bukit Merah, Malaysia, pollution in, 183 Burns, Stuart, 147 Business models, need for change in, 223–25 By-product production, 79–80 Cadmium, 3, 116, 148, 159, 167, 181, 258n3 Cadmium-tellurium thin films, 148–49 Calculators, 118–19 Canada: indium sales via telemarketing, 251n7 mining workforce, age of, 85 Carbon emissions, 152–53, 266n5, 281n2 Carnegie Mellon University, 211 Carneiro, Tadeu: on CBMM, 43, 46, 64–65 lack of investment worries, 54, 64 on niobium, 44 as spokesperson for CBMM, 41 on sustainability, 152, 153 Cars, 141–48 Cassiterites (tin ore), 105–6 Castilloux, Ryan, 116 Catalytic converters, 144–45 Caterpillar, 212, 223–24 CBMM (Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração), 39–46, 54, 62, 64–66, 152–53, 242n6 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), 158 Centronics, 214 Ceramics, in wireless networks, 124 Cerium, 2, 35, 74, 75, 104, 140–41 CERN, Large Hadron Collider, 81 CFLs (compact fluorescent lightbulbs), 150 Characteristics of rare metals, 3–4 Chicago Board of Trade, 101 Chicago Mercantile Exchange, 101 Chile, ore grade of lithium mines, 285n33 China: antimony production in, 289n16 CBMM ownership in, 42 coal demand in, 208 critical material production, 236–37n18 defense expenditures, 278n31 environmental issues, 153–54, 173–77, 281n2 export ban on rare earth, x, 212 Hong Kong, relationship with, 102 Japan, conflict with, x, 15, 22–25, 165 Jiangxi, ore processing in, 77, 82–85 low-energy lighting production in, 152 material production costs, 240n33 rare earth elements supply chain, control of, 32–37 rare earth permanent magnets in, 137 rare metal exchanges, 96–98 rare metals industry in, 194–200 refining in, 75, 82–85 regulatory environment, 99–101, 103–5, 202, 240n34, 288n11 steel demand in, 11 technology use in, 218 tungsten production in, 289n16 WTO membership of, 200–203 China Securities Regulatory Commission, 99, 101 Chinese Society of Rare Earths, 176 CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), 158 Circular economies, 225 Cisco, 218 Clean energy technologies, 290n27 Cloud storage, 122 CO2 emissions, 152–53, 266n5, 281n2 Coal, 149–50, 178, 207, 208 Cobalt, 3, 18–21, 25, 28, 78, 101, 121, 128, 147, 219, 235nn5–6, 260n15 Cohen, Ronald R., 179–80, 184 Colombia: mineral trading as funding for conflicts in, 109 tungsten production in, 48 Colorado School of Mines, 79, 86–87, 296n23 Committee on Natural Resources (U.S.

., 292n1 Gussack, David, 185 Gutenberg rut, 292n1 Habord, James, 29 Haig, Alexander, 19 Halada, Kohmei, 177–78, 179 Halliburton, 86–87 Hamano, Masaaki, 21 Hastings, Richard Norman (“Doc”), 210 Hatch, Gareth, 138, 147 Heavy metal, 175 Heavy rare earths, 57, 75, 194, 205 Hess Corporation, 86–87 High-performance materials, need for, 169, 171–72 High-tech products, 179, 215 High-tech supply chain, 33 Hiranuma, Hikaru, 187 Hitachi Corporation, 186–87, 189–90, 197 Hittites, weaponry, 157 Hong Kong, relationship with China, 102 Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx), 101–2, 253n21 Hotel e Termas de Araxá, 38 “How Forward Integration along the Rare Earth Value Chain Threatens the Global Economy” (Boogaart), 34 Hudson Metals, 93 Hunter, Duncan, 28–29 Hydraulic mining, 158 IEA (International Energy Agency), 124–25, 136, 208, 228–29 IFixit, 216 Illegal mining and trading, 102–12 Incandescent bulbs, 150 Incentives, for rare element production, 226 India: energy demand in, 208 recycling in, 191 steel production in, 64 Indium: characteristics of, 3 pricing of, as by-product production, 80 processing of, 78 telemarketing sales of, 251n7 trading of, 97, 103, 205 uses of, 2, 13, 123, 187, 264n33 Indonesia: defense expenditures, 278n31 illegal minerals trade in, 105–8 social media use in, 126–27 Industrial accidents, 70, 81 Industrial products, resource demands for, 179 Industrial recycling, 185–86 Infrastructure, technological innovation in, 217–18 Inner Mongolia, export controls supporting, 202 Inner Mongolia University of Science and Technology, 196 Innovation distortion, 140, 154 Integrated circuits, 117–18 Intel, 8, 168, 214 IntelliMet, 70 Intercontinental ballistic missiles, 279n33 Intermetallics, 205 International Energy Agency (IEA), 124–25, 136, 208, 228–29 International Materials Agency, need for, 229 Internet cafés, 126, 127 IntierraRMG, 51 Investments, in rare metals mining, 49–54 InvestorIntel Technology Metals Summit, 50–51 Investor types, 60–61 iPhone, 1–3, 10 Iridium, 144 Iron, 13, 20–21, 26, 29, 57, 71, 78, 157–58, 163, 176, 178, 189, 197, 200, 235n6, 294n14 Iron Age, 12, 13, 157 Iron Dome (Israeli weapon system), 13 Jaffe, Robert, 148, 208–9, 210, 212–13 Jaffe, Sam, 151 Jakarta, Indonesia, construction in, 10–11 Japan: CBMM ownership in, 42 China and, x, 15, 22–25, 36, 165 government policies, effects of, 227–28 minor metals trading in, 89–90 Osaka, pollution in, 181 rare metal security strategy, 203–5, 212 recycling possibilities in, 187 U.S. embargo against, 30 Japan Institute of Metals, 219 “Jesus Phone,” 1 Jet engines, 128 Jiangxi, China: ore processing in, 77, 82–85 pollution in, 173–75 Jiangxi Rare Earth Association, 198 Jobs, Steve, 1, 2, 3, 9 Johnson, Clarence “Kelly,” 155, 158 Johnson Matthey, 186 Junior mining companies, 49–54, 59.

pages: 651 words: 161,270

Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism by Sharon Beder


battle of ideas, business climate, centre right, clean water, corporate governance, Exxon Valdez, Gary Taubes, global village, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, oil shale / tar sands, price mechanism, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban planning

He advises: “Database management companies can provide you with incredibly detailed mailing lists segmented by almost any factor you can imagine.”27 Once identified, potential supporters have to be persuaded to agree to endorse the corporate view being promoted. Specialists in this form of organising use opinion research data to “identify the kinds of themes most likely to arouse key constituent groups, then gear their telemarketing pitches around those themes.”28 Telephone polls, in particular, enable rapid feedback so that the pitch can be refined: “With phones you’re on the phones today, you analyze your results, you can change your script and try a new thing tomorrow. In a three-day program you can make four or five different changes, find out what’s really working, what messages really motivate people, and improve your response rates.”29 Focus groups also help with targeting messages.

The picture is captioned: Don’t leave your future in her hands. Traditional lobbying is no longer enough. Today numbers count. To win in the hearing room, you must reach out to create grassroots support. To outnumber your opponents, call the leading grassroots public affairs communications specialists.34 In his promotion, Davies explains that he will use mailing lists and computer databases to identify potential supporters and telemarketers to persuade them to agree to have letters written on their behalf. In this way he is able to create the impression of a “spontaneous explosion of community support for needy corporations”.35 The practical objective of letter-writing campaigns is not actually to get a majority of the people behind a position and to express themselves on it—for it would be virtually impossible to whip up that much enthusiasm—but to get such a heavy, sudden outpouring of sentiment that lawmakers feel they are being besieged by a majority.

In 1992 Burson-Marsteller created an independent grassroots lobbying unit, Advocacy Communications Team, to counter activists that threaten corporations by organising “rallies, boycotts and demonstrations outside your plant”.37 Burson-Marsteller used their grassroots lobbying unit to create the National Smokers Alliance in 1993 on behalf of Philip Morris. The millions supplied by Philip Morris and the advice supplied by Burson-Marsteller’s Advocacy Communications Team allowed this ‘grassroots’ alliance to use full-page advertisements, direct telemarketing and other high-tech campaign techniques to build its membership to a claimed three million by 1995, and to disseminate its prosmoking message. The Alliance’s president is the Vice-President of Burson-Marsteller, and other Burson-Marsteller executives are actively involved in the Alliance.38 Burson-Marsteller is heavily involved in similar activities on behalf of clients who have been threatened by the rise of environmentalism.

pages: 527 words: 147,690

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman


23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, game design, global village, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, license plate recognition, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, pre–internet, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social graph, social web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, unpaid internship, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar

“Can Humans Fall in Love with Bots?” New Yorker. Nov. 19, 2013. 42 Suggest responses: BBC News. “Google Patents Robot Help for Social Media Burnout.” Nov. 22, 2013. 43 Robot sales pitch: Zeke Miller and Denver Nicks. “Meet the Robot Telemarketer Who Denies She’s a Robot.” Time. Dec. 10, 2013. 47 “The point of being”: Rob Horning. “Affective Privacy and Surveillance.” New Inquiry. April 30, 2013. 47 “There’s no such thing”: Author’s notes. Rhizome Seven on Seven conference. April 20, 2013. 48 “a giant scoreboard”: Rob Horning.

Besides digital assistants, there are precedents for this kind of program—out-of-office replies, canned/suggested responses to text messages, companies that promise to maintain your social-media presence after you die, remote personal assistants with whom our relationships are so mediated (by software and distance) that they essentially serve as bots. On many customer service lines, we already use our voices to navigate menus, and some telemarketing operations have advanced this practice, using robots to give a sales pitch before transferring the customer to a human sales associate. In recent years, apps that mimic your Twitter or Facebook posts, often in vaguely accurate but also amusingly bizarre ways, have become an Internet phenomenon. It’s the Turing test as entertainment. Soon, one might choose a Google bot that promises verisimilitude or one of these more ham-fisted creations that would entertain you and your friends with a funhouse-mirror version of your online persona.

See also cyber-libertarianism life-extension beliefs and research, 5 lifelogging, 136–40 Like, +1, or heart buttons and BuzzFeed listicles, 118–19 as commercial endorsement, 31–33, 34–35 data from, 8, 10, 294, 300 as de facto legal agreement, 26–27 and human nature, 24–26 as limp pat on the back, 52 as people rating system, 190–92 scoreboard function, 48 See also retweets and reblogs like economy, 35 liking studies, 24 linkbait, 104, 125, 125n LinkedIn, 35, 165, 181, 199, 323 Lippmann, Walter, 249 listicles, 114–15, 116–17, 118–19, 123, 261 ListiClock, 118 Lithium Technologies, 196 log-ins, 160, 165–66, 182 London, England, 306 Losse, Katherine, 6, 8, 12, 48, 129, 323, 327 Luddism and Luddites, x, 48 lurkers, 49 Lyft, 235 Lyon, David, 129, 316 MAC (media access control) address, 99 MAC address identifications, 306 Madrigal, Alexis, 25 Maimonides, 179–80 manipulation to obtain free labor, 260–63, 264–65 pricing based on purchaser’s ability to pay, 318 Manjoo, Farhad, 65, 262 Marconi, Guglielmo, 2, 3 market inefficiencies, 234, 235, 240, 243, 245 marketing boosting likes with prizes, 32 celebrity-driven campaigns, 89, 93–94 consumers joining companies in marketing process, 32–33, 34–35, 58–60 Facebook slogan, 12 follower services, 85–87, 88–89 liking studies, 24 marketing as journalism, 27–28 telemarketing, 43 tradition of deception, 92–94 and viral media, 68–69 See also advertising market intelligence, 35–36, 216–17 MarketPsy Capital, 37 Mastering the Internet project, Britain, 314 Master Switch, The (Wu), 67 Matlin, Chadwick, 119 McCoy, Terrence, 68 McDonaldization of Society, The (Ritzer), 270 McGillvary, Caleb “Kai,” 70 Mechanical Turk, 90, 226, 228, 229–30 Medbase2000, 318–19 MediaBrix, 304 media recommendations, 202 Mediated (Zengotita), 120 memes advertisers appropriation of, 60 amplifiers for, 88–89 false stories, 107–8, 109, 111, 113 of Hilton and Kardashian, 67 inflationary rhetoric for, 102–3 and informational appetite, 322 from local newscasts, 69–72 Old Spice guy as, 93 as one greedy industry meeting another, 84–85 poverty and urban crime, 72–73 reworking and corrections, 105, 106–7 unemployed college graduate’s story, 220–26 Memoto Mini Camera, 137–38 messaging apps, 156, 259 Messenger smartphone app, 177 metadata, 131 Metal Rabbit Media, 213 metrics advertising, 97–99 audience, 95–96, 101–2, 103 biometric tools, 305–6 Facebook, 152, 358–59 followers, 53 hits at a Web site, 102 influence scores, 194, 197–98 page views, 98, 102 as reminder of how well others are doing, 152–53 Twitter, 87, 96–97, 348–49 unique visitors, 96, 102 for Upworthy, 102 See also page views micro-fame, 149–50, 152, 196–97, 206 Microsoft, 195, 296, 311–12 micro-targeting listicles, 118–19 micro-work.

pages: 306 words: 78,893

After the New Economy: The Binge . . . And the Hangover That Won't Go Away by Doug Henwood


accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, capital controls, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, credit crunch, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, deskilling, ending welfare as we know it, feminist movement, full employment, gender pay gap, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, labor-force participation, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, manufacturing employment, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Naomi Klein, new economy, occupational segregation,, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, union organizing, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, Y2K

Computers have made some of our jobs more interesting; I couldn't have produced this book, from concept to camera-ready copy, as completely or as quickly twenty years ago, nor could I have pubHshed a credible looking newsletter w^ith up-to-date economic stats w^ithout a staff 68 After the New Economy of editors, number-crunchers, and artists. But for lots of people—like the U.S.'s 5 million telemarketers—the computer means sitting in a cubicle and having your output monitored by the boss. Computers have allowed financiers to develop complex new financial instruments and trade them at Ughtning speed—which is good news for the principals, but is it good for most of society? The net has allowed people around the world to make contact with each other in completely unprecedented ways—but computers have also allowed governments to spy on us and marketers to profile us in unprecedented ways.

A standard definition of IT jobs includes the categories that the BLS calls electrical and electronics engineers, computer speciaHsts, and operations research analysts. These accounted for 2% of employment in 2000, and will account for 3% in 2010. Since they are slated to increase their share, they're also responsible for a lager share of total growth—10%. A selection of more mundane old economy jobs—retail salespersons, cashiers, telemarketers, truck drivers, and office clerks, who on balance earn a third of what IT workers do—accounts for the same share of growth, and will make up 10% of the workforce in 2010. So the American economy hasn't been producing only burger-flipper jobs. It produces a fair number of high-end jobs, a lot of low-end jobs, but not much in the middle. And what do people Hke Reich mean by "skills" anyway? If the ruHng class were seriously worried about illiteracy, they'd spend more money on education.

Clothaire, 146 Reagan, Ronald, 8 recessions, political purpose, 182 regionahzation, 159 Reich, Robert, 71,74 retail trade, 64-66 Riflcin, Jeremy, 68 Robinson, Joan, 235 Robinson, William, 175-176 Rockefeller, David, 232 Rubin, Robert, 218 ruling class, global, 174—178 Russell, Marta, 100 sad militants, 185 Sakakibara, Eisuke, 228 Index Sale, Kirkpatrick, 168 Salomon Smith Barney, 197 scale, economic, 167-168 Scandinavia, very wired, 6 Schama, Simon, 23 Schrager, Ian, 233 Schwab, Klaus, 175-178 Seattle, anti-WTO protests, 32,160 sex, Gilder on, 11—13 sexual preference and pay, 100 sex discrimination, 94—101 international comparisons, 101—102 Shakespeare, 188 shareholder activism, 214 Shiller, Robert, 6-8,25-27,194 Shiva, Vandana, 162,168-169 Shorrock.Tim, 171 Sichel, Daniel, 57 Silicon Valley, income distribution, 105 Silicon Valley Toxics CoaUtion, 232 Sinai, Allen, 4 Singhne, Peter, 18 Skilhng, Jeffirey, 33 skills, job, 73-77 returns to, 86—87 skin shade and pay, 99 Smith, Adam, 109-110, 163,173 Smith, Patti, 183 Smith, Paul, 6 social democracy, 139-143,182 social movements, new, 179 Social Security, 227 Solow, Robert, 3 sovereignty, 170 space, shrinkage of, 146 speedup, 215, 229 Spencer, Herbert, 37 state, retreat of, 150-152 Stigbtz, Joseph, 193 Stiroh,Kevin,51,57 stock market 1990s bubble, history, 188-189 analysts' role, 194—200 anomalies, 194 book value, defined, 233 brokers' fees and salaries, 201-202 and corporate profitability, 203—204 and corporate restructuring, 214-215 economics of, 187-188,192-195 and evolution of the corporation, 212-217 excess volatiHty, 194 happiness of investors, 212 and managers' pay, 216—217 and pop culture, 187 psychology of, 25—26 trading frequency and returns, 190—191, 234,239 wisdom of, 35 see also finance stock options, 216—217 and wealth distribution, 126—127 stock ownership, distribution of, 24, 122-124 stress, management by, 25 stylish shoes, 165 Summers, Lawrence, 5,231 surveillance, 68,77—78 Survey of Consumer Finances, 118—119 Survey of Income and Program Participation, 118 symbolic analysts, 71,72 synergy vs. conflict, 197-200 Taylorism, 78 technology not evil, 2 and social movements, 179 telecommunications industry, 196—198 telegraph, 7 telemarketers, 68, 189 269, 31 dme, acceleration of, 146 Tocqueville, Alexis de, 82,139 Tompkins, Doug, 161-162 total factor productivity. See Productivity transnational capitalist class, 175—176 transnational corporations. See multinational corporations transparency, 223 Triplett, Jack, 51,55 tulip-bulb mania, 23 unemployment, political uses of, 206—207 U.S. Agency for International Development, 163 U.S.

pages: 238 words: 46

When Things Start to Think by Neil A. Gershenfeld


3D printing, Ada Lovelace, Bretton Woods, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, Dynabook, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, invention of movable type, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, means of production, new economy, Nick Leeson, packet switching, RFID, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, the medium is the message, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush

Abstracting money from its legacy as a thing will make it easier for still smarter things to manipulate it, helping them better act on our desires. WHY ... should things think? the rights of people are routinely infringed by things, and vice versa • dumb computers can't be fixed by smart descriptions alone • useful machine intelligence requires experience as well as reasoning • we need to be able to use all of our senses to make sense of the world Rights and Responsibilities Telemarketing. Thirteen unlucky letters that can inflame the most ill-tempered rage in otherwise well-behaved people. The modern bane of dinnertime: "click ... uhh . . . Hello ... Mr. Gersdenfull, how are you today?" Much worse than I was a few minutes ago. The most private times and places are invaded by calls flogging goods that have an unblemished record of being irrelevant, useless, or suspicious. Answering these calls is a pointless interruption, listening to the answering machine pick them up is almost as bad, and shutting off the phone eliminates the calls that I do care about.

My wife and I spent a few years getting to know each other before we moved in together, making sure that we were compatible. I wasn't nearly so choosy about my telephone, although I certainly wouldn't tolerate from a spouse many of the things it does. The phone summons me when I'm in the shower and can't answer it, and when I'm asleep and don't want to answer it; it preserves universal access to me for friend and telemarketing foe alike. Letting the phone off the hook because it has no choice in whether to ring or not is akin to the military excuse that it's not responsible for its actions because it's only following orders. Bad people won't go away, but bad telephones can. A telephone that can't make these distinctions is not fit for polite company. If a computer is connected to the telephone it's probably used for e-mail, and if it's used for e-mail there's probably too much of it.

., 171, 172 Santa Fe Institute, 118 Satellites, communications, 99-100 Science-The Endless Frontier, 172 search engines, 134 security versus privacy, 57 224 + semiconductor industry, 72 Sensormatic, 153 Shannon,C~ud~5, 128,176,188-90 shoe, computer in a, 50, 52, 102-3, 179 shoplifting tags, 153 Shor, Peter, 158, 159 Silicon Graphics, 140 Simon, Dan, 158 skepticism about technological advances, 122 Small, David, 22-23 Smalltalk, 138 smart cards, 81, 152 smart money, 77-91 cryptography and, 80-81 as digital information, 80 distinction between atom-dollars and bit-dollars, 83-85 freeing money from legacy as tangible asset, 79, 91 global currency market, 83 linking algorithms with money, 86-88 paying-as-you-go, 82 precedent for, 80 standards for, 88-91 smart name badges, 206 Smith, Joshua, 144, 170-71 sociology of science, 119 software, 7, 53, 156 belief in magic bullets, 121 CAD, 73 for children, 138 remarkable descriptions of, 108-9 upgrades, 98, 108-9 Soviet Union, 121-22 speech recognition, 140 spirit chair, 169-70, 179, 193, 202 spread-spectrum coding techniques, 165, 166 standards: computer, 88-90, 126 smart money, 88-91 Stanford Research Institute, 139 INDEX Stanford University, 54 Starner, Thad, 47, 57-58 Steane, Andy, 159 Steelcase, 202, 203, 204 Stradivarius, designing digital instrument to compete with, 32-33,39-42 Strickon, Joshua, 55 Sumitomo, 77 supercomputers, 151, 177, 199 surveillance, 57 Swatch Access watches, 152 Szilard, Leo, 176 technology: Bill of Things' Rights, 104 Bill of Things Users' Rights, 102 daily use of, 58 freedom of technological expression, 103 imposing on our lives, 95, 100-2 invisible and unobtrusive, 44, 200, 211 jargon, 107-22 mature, 10 musical instruments incorporating available, 38 wisdom in old technologies, 19, 24 telemarketing, 95, 101 telephones, 175 access to phone numbers, 100 invasion in our lives, 95, 101 satellite, 99-100 smart cards, 81 widespread dissemination of, 99 television, 10, 99, 202 high-definition, 6 Termen, Lev, 144 Tetzel, Johann, 96 "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom," 161 thermodynamics, 175, 176 Things That Think, 202-7 privacy and, 207-10 stratification of society and, 210-11 INDEX 3D graphics interface, 141-42 3D printer, 64-65, 70-71 3001: The Final Odyssey (Clarke), 51 Toffoli, Tomaso, 132 transistors: invention of the, 175 study of, 179 Turing, Alan, 127-28, 131, 135, 166 Turing test, 128, 131, 133-34, 135 281, 210-11 Underkoffler, John, 145-46 U.S.

pages: 235 words: 62,862

Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders, and a 15-Hour Workweek by Rutger Bregman


autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Branko Milanovic, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Graeber, Diane Coyle, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, George Gilder, happiness index / gross national happiness, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, income inequality, invention of gunpowder, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, precariat, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wage slave, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey

Rich without Lifting a Finger Perhaps, but not in every profession. Imagine, for instance, that all of Washington’s 100,000 lobbyists were to go on strike tomorrow.2 Or that every tax accountant in Manhattan decided to stay home. It seems unlikely the mayor would announce a state of emergency. In fact, it’s unlikely that either of these scenarios would do much damage. A strike by, say, social media consultants, telemarketers, or high-frequency traders might never even make the news at all. When it comes to garbage collectors, though, it’s different. Any way you look at it, they do a job we can’t do without. And the harsh truth is that an increasing number of people do jobs that we can do just fine without. Were they to suddenly stop working the world wouldn’t get any poorer, uglier, or in any way worse. Take the slick Wall Street traders who line their pockets at the expense of another retirement fund.

David Graeber, an anthropologist at the London School of Economics, believes there’s something else going on. A few years ago he wrote a fascinating piece that pinned the blame not on the stuff we buy but on the work we do. It is titled, aptly, “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs.” In Graeber’s analysis, innumerable people spend their entire working lives doing jobs they consider to be pointless, jobs like telemarketer, HR manager, social media strategist, PR advisor, and a whole host of administrative positions at hospitals, universities, and government offices. “Bullshit jobs,” Graeber calls them. They’re the jobs that even the people doing them admit are, in essence, superfluous. When I first wrote an article about this phenomenon, it unleashed a small flood of confessions. “Personally, I’d prefer to do something that’s genuinely useful,” responded one stockbroker, “but I couldn’t handle the pay cut.”

This results in scenarios where, on the one hand, governments cut back on useful jobs in sectors like healthcare, education, and infrastructure – resulting in unemployment – while on the other investing millions in the unemployment industry of training and surveillance whose effectiveness has long been disproven. The modern marketplace is equally uninterested in usefulness, quality, and innovation. All that really matters is profit. Sometimes that leads to marvelous contributions, sometimes not. From telemarketers to tax consultants, there’s a rock-solid rationale for creating one bullshit job after another: You can net a fortune without ever producing a thing. In this situation, inequality only exacerbates the problem. The more wealth is concentrated at the top, the greater the demand for corporate attorneys, lobbyists, and high-frequency traders. Demand doesn’t exist in a vacuum, after all; it’s the product of a constant negotiation, determined by a country’s laws and institutions, and, of course, by the people who control the purse strings.

pages: 1,199 words: 332,563

Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition by Robert N. Proctor


bioinformatics, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, facts on the ground, friendly fire, germ theory of disease, index card, Indoor air pollution, information retrieval, invention of gunpowder, John Snow's cholera map, language of flowers, life extension, New Journalism, optical character recognition, pink-collar, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, speech recognition, stem cell, telemarketer, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Upton Sinclair, Yogi Berra

An even bigger response followed the company’s 1993–94 Marlboro Adventure Team promotion, during which smokers were invited to call 1–800 MARLBORO to obtain free brand-linked merchandise after accumulating “Marlboro Miles” (for smoking that brand). The response was one of the largest in the history of telemarketing, generating 900,000 calls in the first forty-five minutes and 2.5 million during the first four hours. Nearly 10 million smokers participated in the frenzy, which Philip Morris marketers characterized as “the largest promotion in consumer products history.” Some 4 million orders were placed and 11 million items shipped.76 Telemarketing on such a scale requires complex and coordinated management. In 1993, for example, just to receive calls and process orders for its Marlboro Adventure Team promotion, Philip Morris established a new 450,000-square-foot “fulfillment facility” in Lafayette, Indiana, staffed by 350 employees, and a new Customer Service Telemarketing Facility in Kankakee, Illinois, with a staff of 25 to handle phone orders.

The companies sometimes kept logs of such calls, and these, too, reveal the persistence of ignorance even in the face of long-established medical wisdom. The background here is that like many other large corporations, tobacco manufacturers often receive thousands of calls per day from consumers. In 1997, for example, R. J. Reynolds received 260,000 calls to its consumer relations department, plus an additional 400,000 calls via its outside telemarketing contractors.74 Philip Morris fields an even larger volume, which can increase dramatically during periods of special promotions. At the turn of the millennium the company was receiving three to four million consumer-initiated calls per year, most of which were responses to promotions.75 Calls are handled in a number of different ways, according to what the company hopes to gain from such communications.

YAC responded to over 400,000 phone calls to the company that year, handling also certain aspects of computer security. YAC was the largest fulfillment vendor in the country at the time, with 250 separate packaged goods accounts. Three of YAC’s facilities in 1997 had operators constantly standing by, with up to 350 staffers taking calls for the Camel maker. Brown & Williamson’s operations were on a smaller scale, but in the 1990s the company contracted with the Cognos Corporation to handle its telemarketing and data processing, including help with assembling logs of calls to the company. Though tobacco companies may receive millions of calls and emails in any given year, only a tiny fraction are recorded and preserved in the online archives. Phone logs are generally low on the industry’s priorities for retention, which is why they don’t usually survive for very long. Phone and mail logs are typically held for only a year prior to destruction,78 and those few that have survived are probably just the result of either bureaucratic accident or the chance timing of a subpoena.

pages: 401 words: 108,855

Cultureshock Paris by Cultureshock Staff


Anton Chekhov, clean water, haute couture, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, indoor plumbing, Louis Pasteur, QWERTY keyboard, Skype, telemarketer, urban renewal, young professional

They are closed on Sundays. 7 e: La Grande Épicerie de Paris; 38 rue de Sèvres; tel: 9e: Galeries Lafayette Gourmet; 40 boulevard Haussmann; tel: Ordering Groceries Online You can order groceries online for home delivery from supermarkets, as well as from Picard, the frozen food specialist described on page 216, and Telemarket, a longestablished grocery ordering service. See also the section on ‘Eating Out at Home’ below. Auchan; website: Carrefour; website: Picard; website: Telemarket; website: Monoprix; website: Groceries for Homesick Anglophones Don’t Americans need an Oreo once in a while and don’t the English pine for Hobnobs? The shops below specialise in items from Anglophone countries. Make sure the products have not expired, although packaged goods can last longer than the date indicated.

pages: 299 words: 83,854

Shortchanged: Life and Debt in the Fringe Economy by Howard Karger


big-box store, blue-collar work, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, delayed gratification, financial deregulation, illegal immigration, labor-force participation, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, low skilled workers, microcredit, mortgage debt, New Journalism, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, payday loans, predatory finance, race to the bottom, Silicon Valley, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, underbanked, working poor

For example, leaner businesses meant less face-to-face contact with clients and less personalized budgeting advice. Agencies began to focus exclusively on revenue-generating DMPs rather than on non-revenue-generating financial services. Through aggressive marketing, newer CCAs occasionally crossed the line into deceptive practices, such as falsely claiming that involuntary fees were voluntary; providing customer bonuses for referrals; and paying for incentive-based telemarketing and spam e-mail. The newer agencies also charged high fees—typically a full month’s DMP payment—to set up an account. In contrast, traditional NFCC member agencies may offer one-on-one budget counseling for $13 a session, and charge a $15-per-month DMP fee plus $25 for setting up a new account.6176 Because many newer CCAs deal solely with CCIs that pay a Fair Share reimbursement, they place only a portion of customers’ unsecured debt into a DMP, leaving them to manage other creditors on their own.

Meanwhile, most state and federal regulators appear to be asleep at the switch.”48 Abuses by unethical consumer credit counseling agencies are in many ways the most reprehensible in the fringe economy. Drawn to the nonprofit status of CCAs, financially desperate consumers are led to believe they will find a safe harbor and an advocate who is sympathetic to their plight. Instead, they often encounter “credit counselors”—many of which are simply telemarketers who read from a prepared script—hungry for a commission and ready to sign them up for a DMP.49 Cynically, the “credit counselor” knows full well that most consumers will not be able to handle the high monthly DMP payments. For consumers with few resources and limited incomes, paying 9% instead of 17% on a $15,000 credit card debt will not make much difference. They simply can’t afford to repay the debt, regardless of the interest rate.

Since many of these clients are desperate to get their lives back on track, they are willing to undertake a sizeable DMP obligation, even though they’re unsure how they will meet their other expenses. This explains why so many “non-profits” grab the money at the front end by requiring a “voluntary contribution” equal to a one-month DMP payment.191 Credit counseling is a national rather than statewide industry, since CCAs routinely use telemarketing and the Internet to reach millions of consumers across the United States. Although some states license CCAs, it’s essentially a futile task to regulate the thousand or more agencies that operate nationally. In many ways, the Internet has created a national economy for CCAs that supersedes state regulations. Creditor funding through Fair Share reimbursements effectively makes CCAs “soft” debt collectors rather than charities.

pages: 186 words: 49,251

The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry by John Warrillow


Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, barriers to entry, call centre, cloud computing, discounted cash flows, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, Network effects, passive income, rolodex, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, software as a service, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, subscription business, telemarketer, time value of money, Zipcar

It was at MarketingSherpa that she learned the power of getting customers to buy something small as a precursor to selling them something large. MarketingSherpa used to offer its case studies for $7 each. “Everyone assumed we made tons of money from selling $7 articles,” Holland told me, “but the reality is, the one-shot article business was a small part of our company.” MarketingSherpa’s real moneymaker was the conferences. Holland employed a full-time telemarketer who called people who had ordered a $7 case study. First, the telemarketer would ensure that the customer had received the case study and then would follow up with an invitation to a live event on the same topic. “We ended up selling 900 tickets to a $1,500 conference just because we called someone who bought a $7 article.” Holland has even done testing to isolate the ideal time to upgrade a customer who has recently become a subscriber.

pages: 200 words: 72,182

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich


business process, full employment, housing crisis, income inequality, McMansion, place-making, telemarketer, union organizing, wage slave, women in the workforce, working poor, zero day

I rule out various occupations for one reason or another: hotel front-desk clerk, for example, which to my surprise is regarded as unskilled and pays only $6 or $7 an hour, gets eliminated because it involves standing in one spot for eight hours a day. Waitressing is also something I'd like to avoid, because I remember it leaving me bone-tired when I was eighteen, and I'm decades of varicosities and back pain beyond that now. Telemarketing, one of the first refuges of the suddenly indigent, can be dismissed on grounds of personality. This leaves certain supermarket jobs, such as deli clerk, or housekeeping in the hotels and guest houses, which pays about $7 and, I imagine, is not too different from what I've been doing part-time, in my own home, all my life. So I put on what I take to be a respectable-looking outfit of ironed Bermuda shorts and scooped-neck T-shirt and set out for a tour of the local hotels and supermarkets.

This might not make Maine an ideal setting in which to hunker down for the long haul, but it made it the perfect place for a blue-eyed, English-speaking Caucasian to infiltrate the low-wage workforce, no questions asked. As an additional attraction, I noted on my spring visit that the Portland-area business community was begging piteously for fresh employable bodies. Local TV news encouraged viewers to try out for a telemarketing firm offering a special “mothers' shift”; the classic rock station was promoting “job fairs” where you could stroll among the employers' tables, like a shopper at the mall, playing hard to get. Before deciding to return to Maine as an entry-level worker, I downloaded the help-wanted ads from the Portland Press Herald's Web site, and my desktop wheezed from the strain. At least three of the thousand or so ads I scanned promised “fun, casual” workplace environments, and I pictured flannel-shirted teams bantering on their afternoon cider-and-doughnut breaks.

pages: 252 words: 73,131

The Inner Lives of Markets: How People Shape Them—And They Shape Us by Tim Sullivan


Airbnb, airport security, Al Roth, Andrei Shleifer, attribution theory, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Brownian motion, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, continuous double auction, deferred acceptance, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, experimental subject, first-price auction, framing effect, frictionless, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, helicopter parent, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, late fees, linear programming, Lyft, market clearing, market design, market friction, medical residency, multi-sided market, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel,, pez dispenser, pre–internet, price mechanism, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, proxy bid, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, school choice, school vouchers, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, technoutopianism, telemarketer, The Market for Lemons, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, two-sided market, uranium enrichment, Vickrey auction, winner-take-all economy

The unemployed stay unemployed as much by choice as necessity, turning down job offers as they patiently scout out more promising opportunities: maybe something with a shorter commute, higher pay, or greater prospects for career advancement. In Akerlof’s view, this was hard to reconcile with extended stretches that many Americans spend without a job, despite a willingness to do just about anything for pay.7 Lots of people do scan the want ads looking for something better than the burger-flipping or telemarketing opportunities that immediately present themselves. But this view of unemployment ignored many of the brutal job market realities experienced by the long-term unemployed that he felt a model should be able to explain. That’s what led him back to the market for lemons, which was a more satisfying framework for understanding why the labor market doesn’t work for so many people. (It wasn’t Akerlof’s last word on why the labor market falls so far short of the Arrow-Debreu ideal, but it was at least a model that he found to be a lot more satisfying than anything that preceded it.).

As the scientific management pioneer Frederick Taylor once put it: “Hardly a competent workman can be found who does not devote a considerable amount of time to studying just how slowly he can work and still convince his employer that he is going at a good pace.” 5. Eli Berman, “Sect, Subsidy, and Sacrifice: An Economist’s View of Ultra-Orthodox Jews,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 115, no. 3 (2000). 6. Diego Gambetta, Codes of the Underworld: How Criminals Communicate (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009). 7. “Maine Attorney General Stops Telemarketing of Dubious Baldness, Psoriasis, and Weight-Loss Products,” Quackwatch, November 2003, 8. “Return to Spender,”, last updated April 25, 2011, 9. Paul Milgrom and John Roberts, “Price and Advertising Signals Product Quality,” Journal of Political Economy 94, no. 4 (1986): 796–821. 10.

pages: 532 words: 139,706

Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta


23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bioinformatics, Burning Man, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, death of newspapers, disintermediation, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, spectrum auction, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, X Prize, yield management

What would happen if advertisers expected measured results from the $3 million spent for each thirty-second ad for NBC’s 2009 Super Bowl, or for the approximately $60 billion spent on television advertising in the United States each year? Or the estimated $172 billion spent in the United States on advertising, and the additional $227 billion spent on marketing, including public relations, direct mail, telemarketing, and sales promotions? “That’s the worst kind of business model in the world,” he said—the worst, that is, if you’re an old-school ad man. “You don’t want to have people know what works. When you know what works or not, you tend to charge less money than when you have this aura and you’re selling this mystique.” For sixty years, network television sold much of its advertising in an “up-front” each spring and summer after the new fall shows were announced.

This was about 36 percent of the estimated $445 billion spent globally on advertising. Yet ad spending was less than half of what was spent on what is euphemistically now called “marketing.” A media campaign no longer consisted of buying ads on the three networks and a few other places; now a campaign might combine ads on TV and in magazines, a viral effort online, search ads, in-store sales promotions, telemarketing, polling, public relations—all of which was more expensive. The increased expense, and spending, spurred media buying agencies to merge into su peragencies, such as Irwin Gotlieb’s Group M. These media buyers now had enormous clout, which they exercised over traditional media companies that relied on advertising. While advertising in most traditional media was declining or growing incrementally, online advertising was soaring.

If we use the Internet for phone calls, they wondered, why can’t all telephones have a single number? Why do we need multiple answering machines? Why do we need to switch phone numbers when we move? Why do we need to wait to listen to phone messages? Why can’t we convert them to text messages instead? Why can’t we record phone conversations if the other party consents? Why can’t our phones block telemarketing calls or make sure certain people are screened out? Because it’s over the Internet, why can’t most calls be free? For its beta test, in 2007, Google introduced for a relatively small group a service that would work as Google Voice does. It was called GrandCentral, the name of a start-up Google acquired a few years earlier. With their regular phones, in the initial GrandCentral pilot project, users called into a voice mail service, then pushed a button to get a dial tone.

pages: 268 words: 112,708

Culture works: the political economy of culture by Richard Maxwell


1960s counterculture, AltaVista, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, business process, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, intermodal, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, Network effects, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, structural adjustment programs, talking drums, telemarketer, the built environment, Thorstein Veblen, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban renewal, Victor Gruen, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce

Advertisers get more fine-grained information about how users respond to ads on the Web as well, including click-through rates to the advertisers’ site by keyword purchased from a search engine, domain type, time, region, and so on. The abundance of infor216 The Web mation generated by the clickstream means that companies can generate leads and target repeated appeals (in ads or E-mails) more cheaply and effectively than through direct mail or telemarketing.52 But wait, as the late-night TV commercials tell us, there’s more. The Web lends itself to other forms of market research as well. Polls, surveys, and online forums devoted to particular products offer free focus groups, where entertainment companies figure out which soap-opera characters and potential plot lines appeal most to audiences, or software firms learn how consumers react to their latest release.53 Products and ads are constantly being tested.

Once a client invests in a campaign, software can evaluate the performance of banner ads in real time, allowing advertisers to redesign campaigns on the fly, or redeploy ads to pages that deliver the highest response rates. Programs also assess editorial content on pages in real time, permitting advertisers to match their ads with “complimentary and appropriate editorial.”55 This flexibility is available far more cheaply and quickly than in broadcasting or even direct mail and telemarketing.56 All of this underscores how commercial forces can take advantage of the Web’s interactivity to turn users’ pursuit of knowledge, community, and play to economically productive ends. How should we understand the nature of users’ contribution to value creation? This question raises one of the foundational debates in the political economy of communication, which can only be sketched out briefly here.

pages: 303 words: 93,545

I'm a stranger here myself: notes on returning to America after twenty years away by Bill Bryson


illegal immigration, millennium bug, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, telemarketer

Of course, shopping has been the national sport in America for decades, but three significant retailing developments have emerged in recent years to elevate the shopping experience to a higher, giddier plane. They are: •Telemarketing. This is an all-new business in which platoons of salespeople phone up complete strangers, more or less at random, generally at suppertime, and doggedly read to them a prepared script promising a free set of steak knives or AM-FM radio if they buy a certain product or service. These people have become positively relentless. The possibility that I would buy a time-share in Florida over the telephone from a stranger is about as likely as the possibility that I would change religious affiliation on the basis of a doorstep visit from a brace of Mormons, but evidently this feeling is not universal. According to the New York Times, tele-marketing in America is now worth $35 billion a year. That figure is so amazing that I cannot think about it without getting a headache, so let us move on to retail development number two.

pages: 534 words: 15,752

The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy by Sasha Issenberg


air freight, Akira Okazaki, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, call centre, Deng Xiaoping, global supply chain, haute cuisine, means of production, Nixon shock, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, telemarketer, trade route, urban renewal

“It was nowhere near enough,” says Puglisi. “You’re used to catching 400 tonnes, and when the allocation comes and it’s 150 tonnes, well, you couldn’t survive.” The quota holders were quickly forced to decide whether they wanted to stay in the tuna business; those who saw a future looked to expand their share. Puglisi sat down with the government’s published list of quota holders and started, with a telemarketer’s diligence, calling up boat owners and asking them if they were interested in selling. In small amounts, sometimes as little as five tonnes at a time, he accumulated 1,200 tonnes over several months for a total of $1.7 million. Prices started at under $700 per tonne. The quota, however, offered only the right to catch fish, not a guarantee of finding them, and in the years after the quota system was implemented, catches fell precipitously.

pages: 289 words: 99,936

Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age by Virginia Eubanks


affirmative action, Berlin Wall, call centre, cognitive dissonance, desegregation, Fall of the Berlin Wall, future of work, game design, global village, index card, informal economy, invisible hand, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, low-wage service sector, microcredit, new economy, post-industrial society, race to the bottom, rent control, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, telemarketer, Thomas L Friedman, trickle-down economics, union organizing, urban planning, web application, white flight, women in the workforce, working poor

All held advanced degrees, and one was a COBOL programmer who had excelled in computer science in the age of punch cards. In addition, one member of WYMSM was a systems administrator. If we relax the definition of IT-based work enough to correct for its innate class and gender bias by including data entry, insurance claims and processing, and telemarketing, more than a dozen more YWCA residents were engaged in high-tech labor. More than half of the residents I interviewed held jobs in data entry, call center customer service, telemarketing, telephone operating, and claims processing, and many of them had held several of these jobs over the years. Others identified significant computer and technological skills that were required for their work in the social service, secondary education, administrative, consumer service, and health care occupations.

pages: 362 words: 99,063

The Education of Millionaires: It's Not What You Think and It's Not Too Late by Michael Ellsberg


affirmative action, Black Swan, Burning Man, corporate governance, financial independence, follow your passion, future of work, hiring and firing, job automation, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Peter Thiel, profit motive, race to the bottom, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Ballmer, telemarketer, Tony Hsieh

As a result of getting into real estate, Eben discovered something that would later prove to be central to his life: he learned how to educate himself in sales and marketing. He got started when he attended a workshop by a real estate sales and marketing trainer named Joe Stumpf, in Eugene, Oregon. “I immediately recognized I had to somehow work for this guy and soak up his knowledge. But I didn’t know how I was going to do that—here he was, leading big group workshops all over the country, and I was barely scraping by. “So I started calling up his outbound telemarketers. These guys are trying to sell you on something, so they’ll talk to anyone! I told them about my experience at the workshop and became friendly with them. Once, I found this set of Tony Robbins tapes at Goodwill for ten bucks, and I knew one of the guys I was talking to there would like it, so I packed the tapes up and sent them to him. Things like that. “One day, they sent me some audiotapes of Joe.

Rather, such jobs provided valuable exposure to the values of work and industry, opportunities for meeting mentors and others who could advance their career prospects, and a stream of income and savings that helped them live independently, which often became initial capital for ventures that eventually made them affluent. Nearly every person I feature in this book started out their working lives in low-status “dead-end” jobs, from fast food to waiting tables to door-to-door sales and telemarketing to manual labor. But they sure didn’t stay there. Why not? In a wonderful book called 50 Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School: Real-World Antidotes to Feel-Good Education by Charles Sykes, Rule 15 is: “Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping. They called it opportunity.” Sykes writes: “You live in a country with extraordinary opportunity and income mobility: if you start at the bottom, that doesn’t mean you will stay there.

pages: 313 words: 94,490

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath, Dan Heath


affirmative action, availability heuristic, Barry Marshall: ulcers, correlation does not imply causation, desegregation, Menlo Park, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, telemarketer

I just don’t like organized religion.” The profile goes into much greater depth: Sam and Samantha’s tastes in pop culture, their preferences about social events, and so on. What does “Saddleback Sam” accomplish for church leaders? Sam forces them to view their decisions through a different lens. Say someone proposes a telemarketing campaign to local community members. It sounds as if it has great potential to reach new people. But the leaders know from their research that Sam hates telemarketers, so the idea is scratched. And thinking about Saddleback Sam and Samantha isn’t limited to church leaders. There are hundreds of small ministries at the Saddleback Church: grade school classes, Mother’s Day Out programs, a men’s basketball league. All are led by volunteer members who don’t receive day-to-day direction from paid church staff.

Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes


Donald Trump, index card, Indoor air pollution, Maui Hawaii, telemarketer

o Exercise Figure out what the impact areas are in your business. Typically if you are running a department, your department is the impact area. But if you're a CEO or general manager of a medium or large company. you may have many impact areas. To make identifying them easier, here is a list of 15 impact areas from another CEO I worked with: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. Outside sales Inside telemarketing team Marketing activities Customer service CRM (customer relationship management) Purchasing and suppliers Shipping and receiving Inventory control Accounts receivable Personnel Technology Partner relations/vendors Partner relations/ affiliates Export sales California initiative This last initiative was to attack a new market. What initiatives do you or should you have? Now list your areas of impact.

I'm with XYZ Gazette and we'd love to come and talk to you about your advertising." If the prospect was not "buying now," this was a very short conversation: "No thanks. I'm not interested." It's the same in the circulation department of every newspaper in America: they are all tactical. "Hi. I'm with the City Chronicle. We have a special right now for subscribers." If you're not someone who reads newspapers, you're hanging up on these poor tactical telemarketers. A strategist might devise an approach that would make you want to read a newspaper. But that's another project, so let's stick with the ad sales example for a moment. Becoming a Brilliant strategist 67 Picture yourself as the owner of a small-town ad agency, a body shop, a haircutting salon, or a restaurant-all mainstay advertisers every community newspaper should have. With my program the call from the sales rep now went something like this: Hi.

Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern



What I’m trying to say is that what makes you up, it’s always been around, and it always will be around. So really the only thing you should worry about is the part you’re at right now. Where you got a body and a head and all that bullshit. Just worry about living, dying is the easy part.” Then he put down his spoon, looked at me, and stood up. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to do one of the best things about being alive: take a shit.” On Telemarketer Phone Calls “Hello?…Fuck you.” On My Interest in Smoking Cigars “You’re not a cigar guy…. Well, the first reason that jumps out at me is that you hold it like you’re jerking off a mouse.” On Entertaining the Notion of Getting a Tattoo “You can do what you want. But I can also do what I want. And what I’ll be doing is telling everyone how fucking stupid your tattoo is.”

pages: 889 words: 433,897

The Best of 2600: A Hacker Odyssey by Emmanuel Goldstein


affirmative action, Apple II, call centre, don't be evil, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, information retrieval, late fees, license plate recognition, optical character recognition, packet switching, pirate software, place-making, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RFID, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, spectrum auction, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, Y2K

You will then hear the caller’s name as they have recorded it and you will have the options of accepting the call, denying the call, playing a “sales call refusal” to the caller, or sending the call to your Home Voice Mail, if you subscribe to 669 94192c16.qxd 6/3/08 3:35 PM Page 670 670 Chapter 16 it. The “sales call refusal” is pretty useful. If the caller is stupid enough to identify that they are a telemarketer, you can have this announcement played to them. It will inform the caller that you do not accept telephone solicitations and wish to be placed on their Do Not Call list. I have never had a telemarketer attempt to ring my line through Call Intercept, although with the new National Do Not Call List, some of these phone solicitors may become desperate. I should note that Call Intercept may not interact well with certain Verizon services as well as some types of phone calls. You cannot have Anonymous Call Rejection active on your line with Call Intercept.

The guy greeting me outside my dorm room happened to be the area manager of security for the local telephone company. “Are you Brent?” he queried. “Yesss,” I said. The phone cop turned around to face the door. He knocked two or three times. Immediately the door flew open and the barrels of small hand guns were pointed at me, wielded by men dressed in what you might call “land warrior nerd” attire. They were wearing telemarketer headsets and I heard the cracking of walkie-talkies. I don’t remember the specifics. All I know is that I was facing the other way, my hands against the wall up above my head. “What is this?” I asked. They frisked me and my friend. “Do you have any weapons? Any knives? Guns?” “No,” I said, flabbergasted. On cue, an agent flashed his ID. It wasn’t the FBI after all. It was the Secret Service.

Yeah, I started selling junk from the last year’s shows too. Helped finance my life. Doom, Doom II, Quake, and Heretic were all played on a 386 with no sound card. And beat. I either got lucky a lot, saved a lot, or used the cheat codes a lot. Regardless, I won. Then came phone phreaking. I never really took part, but I played enough to build my own advanced Rock Box without the aid of others. Loved to blast the random telemarketer who called. Seems they call much more now. I remember that 1-800-4249096 and 9098 were the White House Press Line and the Department of Defense hotline. One still works. You play to figure out which. I memorized the touch tones so that I could tell you what number or numbers you dialed. That always seemed to freak people out. I’m drifting from the real purpose of this article. Let me jump back to the present time.

pages: 394 words: 110,352

The Art of Community: Building the New Age of Participation by Jono Bacon


barriers to entry, collaborative editing, crowdsourcing, Debian,, Firefox, game design, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Jono Bacon, openstreetmap, Richard Stallman, Skype, social software, software as a service, telemarketer, web application

Instead, turn everything on its head. What would make the worst possible cell phone? Maybe it ignores all calls? Or maybe it only accepts calls from telemarketing companies? Maybe the buttons are too small? How about really short battery life? When you ask these kinds of questions in a brainstorming session, it almost always breaks the ice and gets people talking. Such ridiculous questions generate a lot of fun discussion, laughing, and ludicrous ideas. Make sure you write every one of these nuggets of madness down. After your group has exhausted their initial pool of ideas, you should now invert each idea again. How do we make sure that our phone accepts all calls? How can it avoid calls from telemarketing companies? How can we make sure the buttons are the right size and not too small? How can we improve battery life? Aside from the benefits of getting your group brainstorming, this approach is an excellent method in building defenses against the infuriation of normal life.

pages: 422 words: 131,666

Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back by Douglas Rushkoff


affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, banks create money, big-box store, Bretton Woods, car-free, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, computer age, corporate governance, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, easy for humans, difficult for computers, financial innovation, Firefox, full employment, global village, Google Earth, greed is good, Howard Rheingold, income per capita, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, loss aversion, market bubble, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Milgram experiment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, peak oil, place-making, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, principal–agent problem, private military company, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, RFID, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, social software, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, union organizing, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Victor Gruen, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Y2K, young professional

According to Acxiom, I’m probably a shooting star: “thirty-six to forty-five, married, wakes up early and goes for runs, watches Seinfeld reruns, travels abroad, no kids yet, but undergoing fertility treatments.” The specificity of detail is scary, as is the ability of the corporation’s computer program to reduce human activity and aspiration to predetermined, quantifiable measurements. The data from companies like Acxiom are responsible for the offers that arrive in our mailboxes, as well as the language that’s used in them. This is the data a telemarketer’s computer uses to direct him to which of a hundred different possible scripts to use when speaking to each of us. The company doesn’t really know anything about any one of us in particular. They don’t really care to know. All they need to do is look at our behaviors and then compare them with everyone else’s. If they determine that people who travel between six and eight miles to work in the morning will be more likely to vote Republican if their cars have two doors, and Democratic if they have four, then this is all that matters.

pages: 288 words: 16,556

Finance and the Good Society by Robert J. Shiller


bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, financial innovation, full employment, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, income inequality, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, loss aversion, Louis Bachelier, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market design, means of production, microcredit, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Occupy movement, passive investing, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, profit maximization, quantitative easing, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Simon Kuznets, Skype, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Vanguard fund, young professional, Zipcar

One is repeatedly reminded of the stark reality that all those millions of other people in one’s country do not know or care about you. Philanthropy in today’s world is made doubly unrewarding by the typical giving process. A paid caller for some philanthropic organization telephones at dinner time, beginning to read from a script that has been carefully worded by professional marketers. The paid consultants who write these scripts have years of experience with telemarketing. The scripts are such a powerful force that local governments in the United States require that charities register their scripts with the attorney general or the charitable trust division. The script is designed to elicit a cash contribution, by one tactic or another. Readers are likely very familiar with the typical response when one hesitates to promise a particular dollar amount: “I need to enter a minimum amount that you are prepared to give,” perhaps with the additional explanation that the organization needs to set its budget.

See also stock markets Nietzsche, Friedrich, 221, 236 Noelle, D. C., 59 nonconsequentialist reasoning, 181 nonprofit organizations: asset accumulation (trapped capital), 122–23, 205; boards, 120; child sponsorship, 200; donor recognition, 234; executive compensation, 121, 122; future of, 123; in housing market, 52; number of, 122; participation, 205–6; purposes, 122, 203; roles, 119, 120–21, 123; telemarketing, 198. See also philanthropy North Korea, 190 Novemsky, Nathan, 161 Nunn, Sam, 192 NYSE. See New York Stock Exchange O’Brien, John, 56 Occupy Wall Street, xiv, xv, 92, 187 O’Donnell, Lawrence, Jr., 91 olive oil options and futures, 76–77, 79, 246n6 (Chapter 9) Oneal, John, 228–29 Open Yale online courses, xiii, 241n1 (preface) options: demand for, 78–80; in everyday life, 76; future of, 80; history, 76–77, 79; markets, 75, 77–79; prices, 78–79; regulation of, 80; use of, 35.

Multicultural Cities: Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles by Mohammed Abdul Qadeer


affirmative action, call centre, David Brooks, deindustrialization, desegregation, edge city,, Frank Gehry, game design, ghettoisation, global village, immigration reform, Jane Jacobs, knowledge economy, market bubble, McMansion, new economy, New Urbanism, place-making, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Skype, telemarketer, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, urban planning, urban renewal, working-age population, young professional

Given the demographic reality of an increasing ethnic population and relative shrinking of the number of Anglo-European consumers, many mainstream supermarkets and stores are stocking ethnic goods. There are Halal meat shelves, racks of spices, and frozen foods of different nationalities in the supermarket chains of the three cities. Ethnic products are being integrated into mainstream commerce. Recently, corporate telemarketers have started using ethnic languages and salutations to target ethnic consumers. For example, telephone and Internet service providers in Toronto use ethnic speakers to promote their offerings. The same is true in New York and Los Angeles. All in all, consumer markets of the three cities are segmented along ethnic lines to some extent, though open to outside influences. There is some indication that ethnic consumers show a preference for ethnic stores and service suppliers if those are readily accessible and competitive in price.

., 172, 289n9 Switzerland, 78–9 symbolic interactionalism, 150 synagogues, 59, 78 Syrians, 93–4 Taiwanese: and Chinese economies, 118, 119, 258; in Chinese enclaves, 62, 70, 116; economic niches, 122; immigration, 113; media, 159; Index 353 political representation, 180; selfemployment rates, 102, 105, 111; transnational economies, 93, 116, 189 Tajbakhsh, K., 274 Tamils, 46, 259 Tammany Hall, 176 Target stores, 162 Taric mosque (Toronto), 79 taxi services, 74, 91, 94, 97, 103, 106, 122, 145, 249 Taylor, C., 24, 209, 237 technology industries, 89, 97, 98 telemarketing, 110 Temecula City (California), 225 temporary workers, 42, 54 terrorism, 20, 52, 78–9, 97, 265 Thompson, R., 114 Thrift, N., 29 Tim Hortons, 162 tokenism, 185 tolerance, 28, 52, 151, 154, 169, 293n23 Toronto: about, 9, 62–3, 87, 97, 98t, 143, 252; Chinese economies, 113–15, 117, 118–19, 287n54; consumer markets, 110; and diversity, 81, 191; earnings by ethnicity, 108; ethnic economic niches, 91, 97, 101–2, 105–6, 123; ethnic economies, 74; ethnic enclaves, 60–1, 62–7, 65, 72, 115, 132, 134, 142; ethnic groups, 10, 44, 45t, 46, 63; ethnic malls, 75; governance structure, 182, 183; housing, 66; iconic symbols, 260–1; immigrant demographics, 10, 44–6, 45t; integrated neighbourhoods, 73, 139, 140; as majority-minority city, 44–6, 45t, 113; as multicultural city, 5, 11, 252–4; opportunity structures, 97, 98t, 99, 100, 115, 118–19; places of worship, 79; polarization in, 106; political representation in, 181–5, 192, 193, 206, 296n22, 296nn24–5, 296–7n29; social organization, 129, 147, 148–9; and social sustainability, 86; statistics, 9, 10, 44, 45t, 46, 97, 98t, 183–4, 200; and transnationalism, 93.

pages: 207 words: 52,716

Capitalism 3.0: A Guide to Reclaiming the Commons by Peter Barnes


Albert Einstein, car-free, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, corporate social responsibility, dark matter, diversified portfolio,, hypertext link, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, jitney, new economy, patent troll, profit maximization, Ronald Coase, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra

If anything is a “tragedy of the commons,” this is it (though here, again, the commons is victim, not cause). Here are a few statistics that confirm what everyone knows. Children in America see, on average, one hundred thousand television ads by age five; before they die they’ll see another two million. In 2002, marketers unleashed eighty-seven billion pieces of junk mail, fifty-one billion telemarketing calls, and eighty-four billion pieces of email spam. In 2004, a Yankelovich poll found that 65 percent of Americans “feel constantly bombarded with too much advertising and marketing.” Advertising isn’t just an occasional trespass of one person against another; it’s a continuous trespass of relatively few corporations (the one hundred or so that do the most advertising) against all the rest of us.

pages: 199 words: 43,653

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal


Airbnb, AltaVista, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance,, framing effect, game design, Google Glasses, Inbox Zero, invention of the telephone, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Oculus Rift, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QWERTY keyboard, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Toyota Production System, Y Combinator

[lv] If any component of this formula is missing or inadequate, the user will not cross the “Action Line” and the behavior will not occur. Let’s walk through an example Fogg uses to explain his model. Imagine a time when your mobile phone rang but you didn’t answer it. Why not? Perhaps the phone was buried in a bag, making it difficult to reach. In this case your inability to easily answer the call inhibited the action. Your ability was limited. Maybe you thought the caller was a telemarketer, someone you did not want to speak to. So, your lack of motivation influenced you to ignore the call. Or, maybe the call was important and within arm’s reach, but the ringer on your phone was silenced. Despite having both a strong motivation and easy access to answer the call, it was completely missed because you never heard it ring — in other words, no trigger was present. In the previous chapter, we covered triggers, so now let’s dive deeper into the other two components of the Fogg Behavior Model: motivation and ability.

pages: 135 words: 49,109

Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America by Linda Tirado


payday loans, Plutocrats, plutocrats, quantitative easing, telemarketer, unpaid internship

(To be fair to Wal*Mart, my friends weren’t actually let go because they wouldn’t wiggle enough. They can’t prove causation. It’s just that they didn’t start getting demerits until they stopped wiggling.) At work, I’m often told what words to say, and I will be written up if I deviate from the script or combine two steps to save time. In retail, we must acknowledge a customer who comes within a set radius of us with a certain tone and tenor in our voices. In telemarketing, our every word might be scripted. In fast food, we’re typically given three greetings to choose from. At one large fast-food chain (let’s call it LFC for short), the choices were these: 1) Welcome to LFC, how can I help you? 2) Welcome to LFC, would you like to try a delicious chicken meal today for only $4.99? 3) Welcome to LFC, what can we make fresh for you today? The company even sent in undercover customers to make sure we stayed on script.

pages: 168 words: 50,647

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


Airbnb, barriers to entry, Black Swan, call centre, cloud computing, Elon Musk,, 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

This acceleration, however, was different than the one that had come in the 1980s. Because of these improving global education standards and communication technologies, many of the jobs being outsourced were not blue-collar, manual labor jobs, but so-called white-collar jobs. They were jobs in information technology, such as computer systems analysts and software engineers, or were what could be called “IT-enabled” jobs (e.g. telemarketers and bookkeepers). Any job that could be done purely over the Internet, even ones that required advanced degrees, began moving overseas in 2001. Since then, the trend isn’t just continuing—it’s speeding up. Globalization vs. Innovation: Hyatt Hijacking Shan Zhai is a Chinese term used to describe the culture and practice of producing fake and imitation products, services, and brands. Michael Zakkour, an American living in China, relates his experience with Shan Zhai after he stayed at the “Hiyatt Hotel” on a trip to Dongguan, an industrial city in the Guangdong Province.

Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life by Steve Martin


Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, Saturday Night Live, telemarketer

My father enjoyed dealing with fan-mail requests and used his real estate expertise to help manage my vacation home. In the 1990s, my father’s attitude toward me began to soften. I had written Picasso at the Lapin Agile, a play set in 1905 about a hypothetical meeting between Picasso and Einstein. My father flipped over it, bragging to his friends and telling me I should win a Pulitzer Prize. He was laughing more, too, enjoying pranks on telemarketers and mail solicitors, and he exhibited his charitable streak by delivering Meals on Wheels, a service that provides food to the elderly. I began to appreciate him more as his humor started to shine through. Though he was experiencing disturbing health issues, he took my twenty-five-year-old nephew, Rusty, to a car dealer to help him negotiate a price. After a few offers and counteroffers, the dealer looked at the purchase order and said, “I don’t know, I’m not really comfortable with this.”

pages: 172 words: 46,104

Television Is the New Television: The Unexpected Triumph of Old Media in the Digital Age by Michael Wolff


barriers to entry, disintermediation, hiring and firing, Joseph Schumpeter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, the medium is the message

On the one hand, there is the influential, the prestigious, the culturally significant, a business and medium of value, need, originality, and exclusivity. On the other hand, there’s the cheap, crass, and low, a constant and immediate arbitrage between what you spend to create the medium against the short-term sales it produces. One side of the business produces content meant to stand on its own (the content is the asset), another side makes the circulars, direct mail, advertorial, freestanding inserts (the junk in Sunday papers), telemarketing calls, crap magazines, and cable ads that in the end only justify the creation of the ad rather than any independent-value content. It’s all media, but with fundamentally different models and to a different effect. Facebook’s value as a technology company may seem high, but its actual value comes from the enormity of its meaningless, undifferentiated traffic. It has no other product it can sell than some ads next to complaints about neighbors’ dogs, party pics, and humblebrags.

pages: 177 words: 56,657

Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone


Albert Einstein, Elon Musk, fear of failure, job-hopping, Mark Zuckerberg, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, telemarketer

I revolutionized the sales game when I was thirty years old and am still doing it today. I’ve created best-selling audio and video programs and have written books, all related to sales and growing a business. Being a sales genius also meant I could talk about different topics within sales, including closing the sale, customer service, customer control, follow-up, cold-calling, running a telemarketing team, long sales cycles, retail sales, Internet sales, webinars, selling from the stage, real estate sales, insurance sales, and on and on. Once I had this list, I came up with a short statement of who I am and why I dominate this particular area of expertise. My statement was “I am the Godfather of Sales. No one is better, no one is more current, no one is more effective or relevant than me.

pages: 187 words: 55,801

The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market by Frank Levy, Richard J. Murnane


Atul Gawande, call centre, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deskilling, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, hypertext link, index card, job automation, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, pattern recognition, profit motive, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, speech recognition, talking drums, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, working poor

A farmer who could read still had to be entrepreneurial to risk trying the new techniques. In today’s economy, reading and math are similarly enabling—necessary for economic success but not sufficient. Begin with reading. If all a person can do is to follow written directions, he or she is limited to the kinds of tasks that can be expressed in rules-based logic. An example is making heavily scripted telemarketing calls. While these jobs require the ability to read, they typically pay only $6 to $8 an hour and they are increasingly vulnerable to both outsourcing abroad and computer-generated marketing messages. At the same time, a person who cannot read is lost in the computerized workplace. Reading well is essential for people to be able to acquire the knowledge needed to excel at expert thinking. A case in point is the transformation from the mechanical carburetor in automobile engines to computer-controlled fuel injection.

pages: 224 words: 64,156

You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier


1960s counterculture, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, call centre, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, digital Maoism, Douglas Hofstadter, Extropian, follow your passion, hive mind, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Conway, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Long Term Capital Management, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, social graph, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog

Despite some attempts, it doesn’t look as if the industry is able to agree on how to make this happen, so this annoyance seems to define a natural role for government. It is strange to have to point this out, but given the hyper-libertarian atmosphere of Silicon Valley, it’s important to note that government isn’t always bad. I like the “Do not call” list, for instance, since it has contained the scourge of telemarketing. I’m also glad we only have one currency, one court system, and one military. Even the most extreme libertarian must admit that fluid commerce has to flow through channels that amount to government. Of course, one of the main reasons that digital entrepreneurs have tended to prefer free content is that it costs money to manage micro-payments. What if it costs you a penny to manage a one-penny transaction?

Learning Node.js: A Hands-On Guide to Building Web Applications in JavaScript by Marc Wandschneider


database schema,, Firefox, Google Chrome, node package manager, telemarketer, web application

Working with Processes var output = []; async.forEachSeries( questions, function (item, cb) { // 2. rl.question(item, function (answer) { output.push(answer); cb(null); }); }, function (err) { // 3. if (err) { console.log("Hunh, couldn't get answers"); console.log(err); return; } fs.appendFileSync("answers.txt", JSON.stringify(output) + "\n"); console.log("\nThanks for your answers!"); console.log("We'll sell them to some telemarketer immediately!"); rl.close(); } ); The program performs the following tasks: 1. It initializes the readline module and sets up the stdin and stdout streams. 2. Then, for each question in the array, you call the question function on readline (using async.forEachSeries because question is an asynchronous function) and add the result to the output array. 3. Finally, after all the questions have been asked and async calls the results function, you either print the error if there was one or append the user’s output to the answers.txt file and then close the readline object to exit the program.

pages: 168 words: 9,044

You're Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing by John Scalzi


non-fiction novel, Occam's razor, place-making, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, telemarketer

But now, 15 years into the whole "writing career" thing, I'm here to tell you that I was cruelly deceived by my own attempts at sloth: Turns out writing—if you actually want to make a living from it, and I do—really is actual work. Naturally when I discovered this I was appalled and dismayed, but since at the time I was too far into the writing hole to be qualified to do any other sort of work that didn't involve a price check or reading a telemarketing script (which is even more like real work than what I was doing), I had no choice but to continue . Fortunately, overall things have turned out pretty well for me so far with this writing thing I've got going. By the end of 2006 I'll have published eleven books, fiction and non-fiction both, and aside from that I'll have written just about every sort of commercial writing there is to write save for a movie script (that's a special sort of hellish endeavor I suspect I would need to start drinking in order to contemplate).

pages: 270 words: 79,992

The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele


3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart,, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, pirate software, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

Qtd. in Christopher Matthews, Hardball: How Politics is Played—Told by One Who Knows the Game (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1999), 155. 11. John Aldrich, “The Invisible Primary and Its Effects on Democratic Choice.” PS: Political Science and Politics 42, no. 1 (2009): 33–38. 12. 13. 14. 15.; see also 16. In John Tedesco and Andrew Paul Williams, The Internet Election: Perspectives on the Web in Campaign 2004 (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2006). 17. Qtd. in James Barnes, “For Now, the Joke’s on the Establishment,” National Journal 30 Aug. 2003. 18.

pages: 924 words: 241,081

The Art of Community by Jono Bacon


barriers to entry, collaborative editing, crowdsourcing, Debian, DevOps,, Firefox, game design, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Jono Bacon, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, openstreetmap, Richard Stallman, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, software as a service, telemarketer, union organizing, VA Linux, web application

Instead, turn everything on its head. What would make the worst possible cell phone? Maybe it ignores all calls? Or maybe it only accepts calls from telemarketing companies? Maybe the buttons are too small? How about really short battery life? When you ask these kinds of questions in a brainstorming session, it almost always breaks the ice and gets people talking. Such ridiculous questions generate a lot of fun discussion, laughter, and ludicrous ideas. Make sure you write down every one of these nuggets of madness. After your group has exhausted their initial pool of ideas, you should invert each idea again. How do we make sure that our phone accepts all calls? How can it avoid calls from telemarketing companies? How can we make sure the buttons are the right size and not too small? How can we improve battery life? Aside from the benefits of getting your group brainstorming, this approach is an excellent method in building defenses against the infuriation of normal life.

pages: 358 words: 95,115

NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman


affirmative action, Columbine, delayed gratification, desegregation, impulse control, index card, job satisfaction, lake wobegon effect, meta analysis, meta-analysis, randomized controlled trial, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, theory of mind

The more kids hear that message, the more quickly they will take this lesson to heart. The other reason children lie, according to Talwar, is that they learn it from us. Talwar challenged that parents need to really consider the importance of honesty in their own lives. Too often, she finds, parents’ own actions show kids an ad hoc appreciation of honesty. “We don’t explicitly tell them to lie, but they see us do it. They see us tell the telemarketer, ‘I’m just a guest here.’ They see us boast and lie to smooth social relationships.” Consider how we expect a child to act when he opens a gift he doesn’t like. We expect him to swallow all his honest reactions—anger, disappointment, frustration—and put on a polite smile. Talwar runs an experiment where children play various games to win a present, but when they finally receive the present, it’s a lousy bar of soap.

pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen


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

Citing a paper by Oxford University’s Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne that predicts that 47% of all American jobs might be lost in the next couple of decades,40 the Atlantic’s Derek Thompson speculates on “which half” of the workforce could be made redundant by robots. Of the ten jobs that have a 99% likelihood of being replaced by networked software and automation over the next quarter century, Thompson includes tax preparers, library technicians, telemarketers, sewers in clothing factories, accounts clerks, and photographic process workers.41 While it’s all very well to speculate about who will lose their jobs because of automation, Thompson says, “the truth is scarier. We don’t have a clue.”42 But Thompson is wrong. The writing is on the wall about both the winners and the losers in this dehumanizing race between computers and people. We do indeed have more than a clue about its outcome.

pages: 193 words: 98,671

The Inmates Are Running the Asylum by Alan Cooper


Albert Einstein, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Menlo Park, natural language processing, new economy,, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, urban planning

Dexter has a pager, two cell phones, a pocket computer, and a wireless modem stashed in the pockets of his double-breasted suit as he walks between sound stages. He is a master of technology, and he can solve any problem. His colleagues are always calling him over to help find lost files for them, but he is really too busy for those time-wasting exercises. Clint is holding on line three! Roberto is a telemarketing representative for J. P. Stone, the mail-order merchant of rugged outdoor clothing. He sits in a carrel in a suburb of Madison, Wisconsin, wearing a telephone headset and using a PC to process phoned-in orders. Roberto doesn't know a thing about high technology or computers, but he is a steady, conscientious worker and has a wonderful ability to follow complex procedures without difficulty. After a few days of training, he has become one of J.

Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson


impulse control, Mason jar, Saturday Night Live, telemarketer, Y2K

So I always assumed that the day I got engaged I’d be naked, covered in rose petals, and sleeping with the brother of the man who’d kidnapped me. And also he’d be a duke. And possibly my stepbrother. Then one of us would get stabbed with a broken whiskey bottle and/or raped. Turns out the only part I was right about was that one of us was going to get stabbed. IT WAS 1996, and Victor and I were still in college. At night he worked as a deejay, and I worked as a phone prostitute in telemarketing. We’d been living together for about a year when Victor decided it was time to get married, and (just to make it all rock-star romantic) he decided to propose on air. The only problem was that if he was on air he wouldn’t be there to physically make me say yes, and so instead he took the night off and set up a recording that would make it sound like he was calling in to the radio show to talk to the guy filling in for him.

pages: 377 words: 110,427

The Boy Who Could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz by Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig


affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, deliberate practice, Donald Trump, failed state, fear of failure, Firefox, full employment, Howard Zinn, index card, invisible hand, John Gruber, Lean Startup, More Guns, Less Crime, post scarcity, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, semantic web, single-payer health, SpamAssassin, SPARQL, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, unbiased observer, wage slave, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor

The fund-raising consultant looks up their phone number in the phonebook or on Google, along with any other basic info they can find or glean about the donor, and prints it out on a piece of paper (a call sheet). This is called “prospecting.” A stack of such sheets is always kept in a binder and whenever a candidate gets a free moment, they are dragged to a closet with a phone and forced to do their call time. This is the real substance of the fund-raising consultant’s job: forcing the candidate to do the most humiliating and degrading and torturous work of the campaign—to become a telemarketer. The closet is typically kept far away from campaign headquarters and contains nothing besides the binder and the phone (step one: no distractions). Then the fund-raising consultant uses every psychological tactic in the book to sit there and force the candidate to make calls. And, eventually, they do—with all the results you’d expect. (“How did you get this number?” people demand. “I don’t know,” the candidate lies, “my fund-raising consultant gave it to me.”)

pages: 398 words: 108,889

The Paypal Wars: Battles With Ebay, the Media, the Mafia, and the Rest of Planet Earth by Eric M. Jackson


bank run, business process, call centre, disintermediation, Elon Musk, index fund, Internet Archive, iterative process, Joseph Schumpeter, market design, Menlo Park, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, telemarketer, The Chicago School, Turing test

Besides aiding sellers in finally closing their Billpoint accounts, I reasoned that flooding the eBay corporate headquarters switchboard would also provide the auction giant’s staff with a vocal display of customer discontent. In addition to the e-mail, Sacks and I enlisted the help of April Kelly to manage an outbound call project to our high volume sellers. April was an entrepreneurial manager from our Omaha office who had supervised the telemarketing campaign in support of our debit card launch earlier in the year. Even though PayPal didn’t have a formal outbound call group—we still didn’t have enough customer service personnel to answer inbound calls at some peak times—April was a leading proponent of finding ways to turn our Omaha office into a profit center by helping customers learn more about new features. Her first outbound team had helped us increase debit card activation rates substantially, so with Peter’s blessing Sacks secured the resources necessary for her to participate in this crucial effort.

pages: 317 words: 107,653

A Place of My Own: The Architecture of Daydreams by Michael Pollan


A Pattern Language, back-to-the-land, Benoit Mandelbrot, dematerialisation, Frank Gehry, interchangeable parts, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, place-making, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, The Great Good Place, urban renewal

I told Charlie that the first millworker I’d taken them to, a giant, dour Swede named Tude Tanguay, had taken one look at the drawing of the awning window and pronounced it worthless. Tude guessed it might be possible to design an in-swinging window that didn’t let in the rain, but he was sure of one thing: This wasn’t that. “Architects,” Tude had growled, adopting the tone of voice other people reserve for the words “termites” or “telemarketers.” “Fellow who drew this doesn’t even show a drip edge,” he pointed out, pushing the blueprint aside. “Get me a better detail, then we’ll talk.” Charlie acknowledged he needed to come up with a system to prevent water from seeping under the sash and promised to get me a sketch right away. Very gingerly, I asked him if maybe we shouldn’t reconsider the whole approach. Couldn’t we find stock windows that would give us at least part of what we wanted, for a lot less money and with some assurance they wouldn’t leak?

pages: 366 words: 107,145

Fuller Memorandum by Stross, Charles


Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Beeching cuts, British Empire, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, congestion charging, dumpster diving, finite state, Firefox, HyperCard, invisible hand, land reform, linear programming, peak oil, security theater, sensible shoes, side project, telemarketer, Turing machine

"Is it something in the water?" I poke at the Options set up in OFCUT admiringly. He's done a thorough job of porting it--this is almost as tightly integrated as the old version I used to have on my Treo, before they pulled it because it violated our RoHS waste disposal statement. HALF AN HOUR LATER, MY OLD AND UNWANTED MOTOROLA rings. I pick it up and see WITHHELD on the display. Which means one of two things: a telemarketer, or work, because I've put my unclassified desk phone on call divert. "Yes?" "Bob?" It's Andy, my onetime manager. Nice guy, when he's not stabbing you in the back. "What's up? You know I'm on--" "Yes, Bob. Er, it's about Mo." I sit down hard. "She's flying into London City from Amsterdam on KL 1557"--my heart starts up again--"and I think it would be a really good idea if you were to meet her in.

CultureShock! Egypt: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette (4th Edition) by Susan L. Wilson


air freight, anti-communist, call centre, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, land reform, RAND corporation, telemarketer, trade route

MANAGING YOUR MONEY: BANKS For a listing of Egyptian banks, addresses and phone numbers go to: Some Egyptian banks have Internet sites, for example: „ Banque Misr Website: „ Alwatany Bank of Egypt Website: „ Banque du Caire Website: Emergency Numbers (Cairo) „ „ „ American Express (24 hour customer service) Tel: (02) 2480-1530 Visa Card (Lost Cards) Tel: (toll free in Cairo) 510-0200-866-654-0128 (outside Cairo) 02-510-0200-866-654-0128 Western Union Money Transfer Tel: (02) 2755-5165 (Heliopolis); (02) 2796-2151 (Garden City) Website: (Click “Find A Location”) Resource Guide 311 TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS Train information/reservations Tel: (02) 2575-3555 Country and City Codes The country code for Egypt is 20 Selected City Codes Cairo Alexandria Aswan Luxor Hurghada 2 3 97 95 65 Telephone Service „ „ „ Mobinil (Their mobile numbers always start with ‘012’) Nile City Bldg. 2005C, Cornishe El-Nil, Ramlet-Boulaq Customer Service: 16110 (from any line); 110 (from a Mobinil line) Website: Vodafone Egypt (formerly Click GSM. Their mobile numbers always start with ‘010’) Vodafone C2 Bldg., Cairo Telemarketing: (02) 2529-4444 (Sun to Thurs 9am to 5pm) Customer Service: 16888 (from any line) Telecom Egypt (Landline service) Call centre: 111 (24 hours daily) Important Telephone Numbers „ International Operator 120 For Telephone Complaints „ HQ (Troubleshooting) 188 312 CultureShock! Egypt INTERNET CAFÉS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS „ „ „ „ Internet Egypt 2 Midan Simon Bolivar, Ground Floor, Garden City, Cairo Tel: 19665; fax: (02) 2794-9611 Email: Website: At Internet Egypt, you can get free through DSL service (at a reasonable rate) and it has four cybercafés throughout Cairo.

pages: 309 words: 95,644

On Writing Well (30th Anniversary Edition) by William Zinsser


affirmative action, Alistair Cooke, Donald Trump, feminist movement, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, New Journalism, telemarketer, Thomas L Friedman

It’s also what stockholders want from their corporation, what customers want from their bank, what the widow wants from the agency that’s handling her social security. There is a deep yearning for human contact and a resentment of bombast. Recently I got a “Dear Customer” letter from the company that supplies my computer needs. It began: “Effective March 30 we will be migrating our end user order entry and supplies referral processing to a new telemarketing center.” I finally figured out that they had a new 800 number and that the end user was me. Any organization that won’t take the trouble to be both clear and personal in its writing will lose friends, customers and money. Let me put it another way for business executives: a shortfall will be experienced in anticipated profitability. Here’s an example of how companies throw away their humanity with pretentious language.

pages: 349 words: 95,972

Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford


affirmative action, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Basel III, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Erdős number, experimental subject, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Frank Gehry, game design, global supply chain, Googley, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, Inbox Zero, income inequality, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, microbiome, out of africa, Paul Erdős, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Turing test, urban decay

• • • Sometimes it is wise not to improvise. If you never speak in public but must say something at a wedding, and your highest ambition is not to embarrass yourself, then the risk-reward calculation is likely to point to writing a script. But if you are delivering a talk that should be informal and interactive, yet you are reading out a backdrop of bullet-point slides, you’ve cast a vote of no confidence in yourself—just as a telemarketing script is the micromanagers’ vote of no confidence in their junior staff. So what does it take to successfully improvise? The first element, paradoxically, is practice. Comedians and musicians must also practice their craft until much of what they do is entirely unconscious. “Reflection and attention are of scarcely any service in the matter,” wrote the pianist and teacher Carl Czerny, back in 1839.

pages: 319 words: 103,707

Against Everything: Essays by Mark Greif


1960s counterculture, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, citizen journalism, collateralized debt obligation, crack epidemic, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, Desert Island Discs, Donald Trump, income inequality, informal economy, Ponzi scheme, postindustrial economy, Ronald Reagan, technoutopianism, telemarketer, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, white flight

Of course, teen pregnancy didn’t lead to car keys; quite the opposite, as when we saw new mother Farrah unable, despite begging and tears, to get her mom to help her lease a Ford Focus so she could get out of the house sometimes on her own. Early pregnancy was declassing. Even this unusually wealthy-ish cheerleader had to surrender plans for college, eliminate her social life, and spend her time caring for the kid. Her after-school telemarketing job, shown in the first minutes of the program, at the end seemed like a lifetime fate. Or the teen could hand the baby over to a nice wealthy couple in their mid-to-late thirties, as Catelynn did on the season finale. I don’t know if either tale was cautionary. It all seems grim; yet the pregnancy series, as much as the party series, is unavoidably, unbelievably watchable, not in the manner of PBS-style vitamin-rich sociological documentary, but Technicolored.

pages: 271 words: 83,944

The Sellout: A Novel by Paul Beatty


affirmative action, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, desegregation, El Camino Real, haute couture, illegal immigration, Lao Tzu, late fees, p-value, publish or perish, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, telemarketer, theory of mind, War on Poverty, white flight

Even though she was exhausted and growing more and more despondent with each bumpy rise and fall of the worn-out suspension, she preferred to stand rather than to sit next to me. They come to L.A. aspiring to be white. Even the ones who are biologically white aren’t white white. Laguna Beach volleyball white. Bel Air white. Omakaze white. Spicolli white. Brett Easton Ellis white. Three first names white. Valet parking white. Brag about your Native American, Argentinian, Portuguese ancestry white. Pho white. Paparazzi white. I once got fired from a telemarketing job, now look at me, I’m famous white. Calabazas white. I love L.A. It’s the only place where you can go skiing, to the beach and to the desert all in one day white. She held on to her vision rather than sit next to me, not that I blamed her, because by the time the bus hit Figueroa Boulevard, there were a number of people on board whom I wouldn’t have chosen to sit next to, either. Like the insane fucker who repeatedly pressed the “Stop Requested” button.

pages: 327 words: 88,121

The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community by Marc J. Dunkelman


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Broken windows theory, call centre, clean water, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Brooks, delayed gratification, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global village, helicopter parent, if you build it, they will come, impulse control, income inequality, invention of movable type, Jane Jacobs, Khyber Pass, Louis Pasteur, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Nate Silver, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Richard Florida, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban decay, urban planning, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

And because our more basic needs are met by a more limited pool of labor, a greater proportion of the American workforce—most of whom, in previous eras, would likely have toiled on farms and assembly lines—have been empowered to earn their livings by satisfying more fleeting demands. The guy who once might have worked in a steel mill now earns a living making custom window treatments. The woman who once would have done backbreaking labor on the family farm now works in the relative comfort of a telemarketing call center. Say what you will about which job you’d prefer in a perfect world, two things are true: food and steel satisfy a more basic need than window treatments and customer service, and the latter two jobs are significantly less taxing and dangerous. It wasn’t always obvious that things would turn out this way. In fact, John Maynard Keynes, arguably the most influential economist of the twentieth century, predicted decades ago that gains in productivity would drive the expansion of leisure.5 He worried about what the average worker would do with the extra time.

pages: 318 words: 93,502

The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Going Broke by Elizabeth Warren, Amelia Warren Tyagi


business climate, Columbine, declining real wages, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, financial independence, labor-force participation, late fees, McMansion, mortgage debt, new economy, New Journalism, payday loans, school choice, school vouchers, telemarketer, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

In addition, under the current SSDI guidelines, the disability must be so severe that the individual is unable to perform any job anywhere in the entire country, not just the job for which the worker is trained and has spent a lifetime building skills and qualifications. This means that someone who had worked for decades as an electrician or as a surgeon, but who developed a disability that prevented him from performing those duties, would not receive a single dime if he were deemed well enough to work as a telemarketer or a toll collector. The SSDI program could be modified to provide a sliding benefit depending on the level of disability (akin to many private disability policies), and temporary benefits could be offered while the worker undergoes retraining. Universal, state-sponsored disability benefits would be ideal to fill the gap in the safety net. But families don’t have to sit back and wait for the government to take action; they can purchase insurance in the private market, either through their employers or on their own.

pages: 407 words: 136,138

The Working Poor: Invisible in America by David K. Shipler


Bonfire of the Vanities, call centre, David Brooks, full employment, illegal immigration, late fees, low skilled workers, payday loans, profit motive, Silicon Valley, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, working poor

Furthermore, the time limit under the law was approaching—she had only a year and a half before her welfare payments would stop—so she scrambled to find employment. From time to time, she earned under the table by caring for children in her apartment in public housing. She applied for a bank teller’s position but then learned that the only openings were an hour’s commute, a trip she couldn’t make with two children of her own at home—kids who were not doing well in school. She applied for a telemarketing job, but smelled a rat when they asked her to spend $120 for “supplies,” including the smoke alarms she was to sell. She seemed to be spinning her wheels, sliding from one idea to the next with no forward motion. She could improve her typing and get an office job, she figured, or work in the insurance industry, perhaps in a billing department. That was especially appealing: She thought it would be nice to send out collection notices instead of receiving them.

pages: 568 words: 162,366

The Oil and the Glory: The Pursuit of Empire and Fortune on the Caspian Sea by Steve Levine


Berlin Wall, California gold rush, cuban missile crisis, facts on the ground, failed state, indoor plumbing, Khyber Pass, megastructure, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil rush, Potemkin village, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, telemarketer, trade route

Even though the value of their stock fell with the collapse of the Mack deal, the fees generated from the Nixon-approved private contracts meant that Giffen and Huhs were still multimillionaires, and new clients continued to pour in. Paul Proehl received no commission, even though it was his encounter with the Mack executive that had led to Satra’s sudden rise. Oztemel made amends by telling him to buy a Mercedes-Benz and charge it to the company. So he did—an aqua gray sedan with black leather seats. Meticulously dressed, with a telemarketing personality, Giffen trolled for new clients wherever high-powered businessmen from America gathered. One of his favorite hunting grounds was the U.S.-USSR Trade and Economic Council (USTEC), a pioneering association formed by Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev to faciliate business activity. There was already a mystique about Soviet trade. American blue bloods like oil scion David Rockefeller and steel magnate Cyrus Eaton were flocking to Moscow on perceived missions of peace, believing that trade would reduce the chance of superpower military confrontation, and basking in the public adulation of American businessmen seen as able to crack the Kremlin.

pages: 468 words: 150,206

Food Revolution, The: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World by John Robbins, Dean Ornish M. D.


Albert Einstein, carbon footprint, clean water, complexity theory, double helix, Exxon Valdez, food miles, laissez-faire capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, profit motive, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Rosa Parks, telemarketer

I started reading it and I couldn't put it down. I was especially impressed with the chapters on genetic engineering. Robbins explains the situation better than anyone I've ever heard. For the hundreds of thousands of people like me, whose lives have been forever changed by Robbins' work, The Food Revolution is a MUST READ. The word revolution is normally reserved in our society for guerrillas and telemarketers. THIS revolution is ours. It's a simple choice in the foods we eat that will have a radical effect on the world around us." Adam Werbach, Former President, Sierra Club "Beautifully written, The Food Revolution is a remarkable book by a remarkable man. It opened both my eyes and my heart. This is indeed a book that can save our lives." Riane Eisler, author of The Chalice and the Blade and Tomorrow's Children "The environmental health movement has become one of the most powerful grassroots movements of our time.

pages: 298 words: 43,745

Understanding Sponsored Search: Core Elements of Keyword Advertising by Jim Jansen


AltaVista, barriers to entry, Black Swan, bounce rate, business intelligence, butterfly effect, call centre, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, correlation does not imply causation,, first-price auction, information retrieval, inventory management, life extension, linear programming, megacity, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, PageRank, place-making, price mechanism, psychological pricing, random walk, Schrödinger's Cat, sealed-bid auction, search engine result page, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, sentiment analysis, social web, software as a service, stochastic process, telemarketer, the market place, The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Vickrey auction, yield management

Place.╇ Place is where a product or service is actually sold in the marketplace. It is the location where the customer can purchase the product. A business can sell a product in many different places, and sometimes a small change can have a dramatically positive effect on sales. There are a variety of such places in the marketplace, including both physical and virtual. Some businesses sell directly via a salesperson. Others sell via telemarketing efforts. Some companies are primarily brick-and-mortar stores or sell in the retailer establishments of other businesses. Others are primarily catalogs or mail-order operations, whereas others sell at trade shows. Some sell in joint ventures with other similar products or services. Some companies use manufacturers’ representatives or distributors. Or course, many businesses sell via the Internet.

pages: 543 words: 157,991

All the Devils Are Here by Bethany McLean


Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, Black-Scholes formula, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, financial innovation, fixed income, high net worth, Home mortgage interest deduction, interest rate swap, laissez-faire capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Northern Rock, Own Your Own Home, Ponzi scheme, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, telemarketer, too big to fail, value at risk

Greenberg did not give up, however; eventually, AIG managed to smuggle Shabani out of the country, at a cost to the company of about a million dollars. 2 Rackson sued because he claimed that he alone was never paid by Sosin. 3 ACC calls Parker a “disgruntled former employee” and notes that an arbitrator decided against his claim for wrongful dismissal. The arbitrator did not opine on Parker’s allegations of fraud. But he wrote that “there is no evidence that anything that happened to Parker in terms of his employment was connected” to his reporting of problems. 4 The case was scheduled to go to trial in October 2010, shortly before the publication of this book. 5 In response, Fannie hired a telemarketing company, which blanketed the Hill with tens of thousands of letters protesting the bill. Some of them turned out to be from dead people. When asked how much the campaign cost, Fannie said that information was “proprietary.” 6 It should be noted that although both Spitzer and the SEC would soon bring charges against Greenberg, he has never gone to trial for any alleged wrongdoing. Although five people were convicted in the Gen Re case, including an AIG executive, Greenberg was not a part of that case, even though he was an unindicted coconspirator.

pages: 446 words: 138,827

What Should I Do With My Life? by Po Bronson


back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, clean water, double entry bookkeeping, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, high net worth, job satisfaction, Menlo Park, microcredit, new economy, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, telemarketer, traffic fines, young professional

She gave advice, but did not put herself in a position to take action. She’s long thought it would make sense for her to take her business skills back to the arts, but she fears that arts administration will be boring. So she stays on the bus, and soon she’s not the young prodigy anymore. I have this term I use now and then: “Phi Beta Slacker.” If a traditional slacker hops between temping, waitressing, working at record stores, telemarketing, and more temping, Phi Beta Slackers hop between esteemed grad schools, fat corporate gigs, and prestigious fellowships, looking like they have their act together but really having no more clue where they’re headed than anyone else. And while slackers are not lazy by nature—they actually want to work, just not at the wrong thing or for the wrong reason—Phi Beta Slackers have a great gift for the world, if they can figure out what it is, or defuse whatever is holding them back.

pages: 390 words: 115,769

Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World's Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples by John Robbins


clean water, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, Donald Trump, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, land reform, life extension, Maui Hawaii, meta analysis, meta-analysis, randomized controlled trial, Silicon Valley, telemarketer

Twenty-five percent of American households today consist of one person living alone; half of American marriages end in divorce (affecting tens of millions of children); more than a third of all U.S. births are to unmarried women, many of whom are not in committed relationships.3 Even within many families and marriages that are intact, there is profound disconnection and loneliness. There sadly seems to be something about the direction of modern Western civilization itself that undermines a sense of community and makes it harder to sustain positive relationships. A few years ago, when the Unitel Corporation moved a hundred telemarketing jobs out of Frostburg, Maryland, the company’s vice president, Ken Carmichael, explained that the move was made because the area’s residents weren’t pushy enough on the phone. The problem, he said, was “the culture and the climate in western Maryland, one of helping your neighbor and being empathetic and those sorts of things.”4 The trend toward isolation is taking place all over the industrialized world.

pages: 598 words: 134,339

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier


23andMe, Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, Benjamin Mako Hill, Black Swan, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, congestion charging, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, experimental subject, failed state, fault tolerance, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Firefox, friendly fire, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hindsight bias, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, linked data, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, national security letter, Network effects, Occupy movement, payday loans, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, stealth mode startup, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero day

Despite this, society continues to function, because the honest, positive, and beneficial uses of our infrastructure far outweigh the dishonest, negative, and harmful ones. The percentage of the drivers on our highways who are bank robbers is negligible, as is the percentage of e-mail users who are criminals. It makes far more sense to design all of these systems for the majority of us who need security from criminals, telemarketers, and sometimes our own governments. By prioritizing security, we would be protecting the world’s information flows— including our own—from eavesdropping as well as more damaging attacks like theft and destruction. We would protect our information flows from governments, non-state actors, and criminals. We would be making the world safer overall. Tor is an excellent example. It’s free open-source software that you can use to browse anonymously on the Internet.

pages: 458 words: 137,960

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline


Albert Einstein, call centre, dematerialisation, fault tolerance, financial independence, game design, late fees, pre–internet, side project, telemarketer, walking around money

My mom once told me that my dad had given me an alliterative name, Wade Watts, because he thought it sounded like the secret identity of a superhero. Like Peter Parker or Clark Kent. Knowing that made me think he must have been a cool guy, despite how he’d died. My mother, Loretta, had raised me on her own. We’d lived in a small RV in another part of the stacks. She had two full-time OASIS jobs, one as a telemarketer, the other as an escort in an online brothel. She used to make me wear earplugs at night so I wouldn’t hear her in the next room, talking dirty to tricks in other time zones. But the earplugs didn’t work very well, so I would watch old movies instead, with the volume turned way up. I was introduced to the OASIS at an early age, because my mother used it as a virtual babysitter. As soon as I was old enough to wear a visor and a pair of haptic gloves, my mom helped me create my first OASIS avatar.

pages: 570 words: 115,722

The Tangled Web: A Guide to Securing Modern Web Applications by Michal Zalewski


barriers to entry, business process, defense in depth, easy for humans, difficult for computers, fault tolerance, finite state, Firefox, Google Chrome, information retrieval, RFC: Request For Comment, semantic web, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, web application, WebRTC, WebSocket

In Internet Explorer, setting and reading third-party cookies is blocked by default, except for session cookies accompanied by a satisfactory P3P header. P3P (Platform for Privacy Preferences)[220] is a method to construct machine-readable, legally binding summaries of a site’s privacy policy, be it as an XML file or as a compact policy in an HTTP header. For example, the keyword TEL in an HTTP header means that the site uses the collected information for telemarketing purposes. (No technical measure will prevent a site from lying in a P3P header, but the potential legal consequences are meant to discourage that.) Note The incredibly ambitious, 111-page P3P specification caused the solution to crumble under its own weight. Large businesses are usually very hesitant to embrace P3P as a solution to technical problems because of the legal footprint of the spec, while small businesses and individual site owners copy over P3P header recipes with little or no understanding of what they are supposed to convey.

pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

In order to be convincing, conversational software on a bank website might need to answer about 150,000 different questions—a capability that is now easily within the range of computing and storage systems. Despite their unwillingness to confront the human job-displacement question, the consequences of Capper and Zakos’s work are likely to be dramatic. Much of the growth of the U.S. white-collar workforce after World War II was driven by the rapid spread of communications networks: telemarketers, telephone operators, and technical and sales support jobs all involved giving companies the infrastructure to connect customers with employees. Computerization transformed these occupations: call centers moved overseas and the first generation of automated switchboards replaced a good number of switchboard and telephone operators. Software companies like Nuance, the SRI spin-off that offers speaker-independent voice recognition, have begun to radically transform customer call centers and airline reservation systems.

pages: 311 words: 130,761

Framing Class: Media Representations of Wealth and Poverty in America by Diana Elizabeth Kendall


Bernie Madoff, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, call centre, David Brooks, declining real wages, Donald Trump, employer provided health coverage, ending welfare as we know it, framing effect, Georg Cantor, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, haute couture, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, lump of labour, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, telemarketer, The Great Good Place, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, working poor

Airing from 1988 through 1997 on network television and still available on DVD and via global syndication, Roseanne has no doubt influenced 9781442202238.print.indb 142 2/10/11 10:46 AM Tarnished Metal Frames 143 viewers’ ideas about what it means to be white trash, portraying the working-class lifestyle as a mixture of tasteless behavior and the genuine love and respect that members of the Conner family show toward each other. Over the show’s nine-year run, Roseanne held several working-class jobs, including factory worker, hair washer at a beauty salon, magazine telemarketer, and waitress at the local mall. The family’s acceptance of its “white-trash” status was made clear to television audiences through comments the Conners made to each other as well as on a website (, which once pictured a small metal house trailer with the door wide open, chairs and flowers out front, giving the general impression that visitors were welcome. In this symbolic gesture, Roseanne aligned herself not only with the concept of white trash but with that of trailer park trash.

pages: 377 words: 115,122

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain


8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, call centre, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, game design, hive mind, index card, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, traveling salesman, Walter Mischel, web application, white flight

By the final, most complicated set, the extroverts were much more likely than the introverts to abandon the task altogether. Introverts sometimes outperform extroverts even on social tasks that require persistence. Wharton management professor Adam Grant (who conducted the leadership studies described in chapter 2) once studied the personality traits of effective call-center employees. Grant predicted that the extroverts would be better telemarketers, but it turned out that there was zero correlation between extroversion levels and cold-calling prowess. “The extroverts would make these wonderful calls,” Grant told me, “but then a shiny object of some kind would cross their paths and they’d lose focus.” The introverts, in contrast, “would talk very quietly, but boom, boom, boom, they were making those calls. They were focused and determined.”

pages: 455 words: 138,716

The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap by Matt Taibbi


banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, butterfly effect, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Edward Snowden, ending welfare as we know it, forensic accounting, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, illegal immigration, information retrieval, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, naked short selling, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, regulatory arbitrage, short selling, telemarketer, too big to fail, War on Poverty

“We’re talking about a New Jersey statute,” Bowe said. “And if the intent of that New Jersey statute was to apply to the conduct in this case then the New Jersey Court should apply it without doing a balancing test to determine whether or not some other state has a bigger interest or not.” Hansbury shrugged, seeming unimpressed. When speaking to Bowe, he acted like a man taking a sales call from a telemarketer. I’d seen the same phenomenon at more than one white-collar fraud case. If judges in regular criminal courts treat everything that comes out of the mouth of a defense lawyer like a ploy to get some definitely guilty scoundrel out of trouble, in civil trials involving financial companies, they treat plaintiff’s counsel like parasites trying to use the courts to wrangle money out of hardworking, successful people.

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert


index card, nuclear winter, Socratic dialogue, telemarketer

But then I wonder—with all my restless yearning, with all my hyped-up fervor and with this stupidly hungry nature of mine—what should I do with my energy, instead? That answer arrives, too: Look for God, suggests my Guru. Look for God like a man with his head on fire looks for water. 50 The next morning in meditation, all my caustic old hateful thoughts come up again. I’m starting to think of them as irritating telemarketers, always calling at the most inopportune moments. What I’m alarmed to find in meditation is that my mind is actually not that interesting a place, after all. In actuality I really only think about a few things, and I think about them constantly. I believe the official term is “brooding.” I brood about my divorce, and all the pain of my marriage, and all the mistakes I made, and all the mistakes my husband made, and then (and there’s no return from this dark topic) I start brooding about David . . .

pages: 405 words: 121,531

Influence: Science and Practice by Robert B. Cialdini


Albert Einstein, attribution theory, bank run, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, desegregation, experimental subject, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, Ralph Waldo Emerson, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds

The American investigators defined collaboration as “any kind of behavior which helped the enemy,” and it thus included such diverse activities as signing peace petitions, running errands, making radio appeals, accepting special favors, making false confessions, informing on fellow prisoners, divulging military information, etc. READER’S REPORT 3.1 From a Sales Trainer in Texas * * * The most powerful lesson I ever learned from your book was about commitment. Years ago, I trained people at a telemarketing center to sell insurance over the phone. Our main difficulty, however, was that we couldn’t actually SELL insurance over the phone; we could only create a quote and then direct the caller to the company office nearest their home. The problem was callers who committed to office appointments but didn’t show up. I took a group of new training graduates and modified their sales approach from that used by other salespeople.

pages: 405 words: 130,840

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt


crack epidemic, delayed gratification, feminist movement, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Lao Tzu, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Peter Singer: altruism, placebo effect, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Waldo Emerson, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, the scientific method, ultimatum game, Walter Mischel

U S E T H E F O R C E , L U K E In offering reciprocity as the best word to guide one's life, C o n f u c i u s was wise. Reciprocity is like a magic wand that can clear your way through the jungle of social life. But as anyone w h o has read a Harry Potter hook knows, magic wands can be used against you. Robert Cialdini spent years studying the dark arts of social influence: He routinely answered ads recruiting people to work as door-to-door s a l e s m e n and telemarketers, and went through their training programs to learn their techniques. He then wrote a manual23 for those of us who want to resist the tricks of "compliance professionals." Cialdini describes six principles that salespeople use against us, but the most basic of all is reciprocity. People who want something from us try to give us something first, and we all have piles of address stickers and free postcards from charities that gave them to us out of the goodness of their marketing consultants' hearts.

pages: 455 words: 116,578

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg


Atul Gawande, Checklist Manifesto, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, delayed gratification, desegregation, game design, haute couture, impulse control, index card, meta analysis, meta-analysis, patient HM, pattern recognition, randomized controlled trial, rolodex, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, telemarketer, Tenerife airport disaster, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, Walter Mischel

At the core of that system were computer programs much like those Andrew Pole created at Target, predictive algorithms that studied gamblers’ habits and tried to figure out how to persuade them to spend more. The company assigned players a “predicted lifetime value,” and software built calendars that anticipated how often they would visit and how much they would spend. The company tracked customers through loyalty cards and mailed out coupons for free meals and cash vouchers; telemarketers called people at home to ask where they had been. Casino employees were trained to encourage visitors to discuss their lives, in the hopes they might reveal information that could be used to predict how much they had to gamble with. One Harrah’s executive called this approach “Pavlovian marketing.” The company ran thousands of tests each year to perfect their methods.9.20 Customer tracking had increased the company’s profits by billions of dollars, and was so precise they could track a gambler’s spending to the cent and minute.9.21, 2 Harrah’s, of course, was well aware that Bachmann had declared bankruptcy a few years earlier and had walked away from $20,000 in gambling debts.

pages: 559 words: 155,372

Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio Garcia Martinez


Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Web Services, Burning Man, Celtic Tiger, centralized clearinghouse, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, financial independence, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hive mind, income inequality, interest rate swap, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Network effects, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social web, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, urban renewal, Y Combinator, éminence grise

., the person who just shopped for a specific pair of shoes on Zappos). But either way, Facebook didn’t make the match of user and message, and at most decides secondary things like how often the ad is seen in general, or which of two ads addressed to you is seen that particular instant. In this sense, ads on Facebook are no different from phone calls or emails. We receive commercial versions of both in the form of spam and telemarketing calls. And yet, when we get a penis-enlargement email, nobody blames Google for providing Gmail, does he? Nor do you blame AT&T for the marketing call that distracted you from Game of Thrones. The only difference is that while people commonly make phone calls and write emails, few if any people address and post an ad. Like infants who haven’t learned object permanence yet, the Facebook whiners see an ad, the Facebook logo, and assume it’s all connected.

pages: 479 words: 144,453

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari


23andMe, agricultural Revolution, algorithmic trading, Anne Wojcicki, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, Chris Urmson, cognitive dissonance, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, European colonialism, experimental subject, falling living standards, Flash crash, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, glass ceiling, global village, invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Kevin Kelly, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, mutually assured destruction, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, too big to fail, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, ultimatum game, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

In September 2013 two Oxford researchers, Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, published ‘The Future of Employment’, in which they surveyed the likelihood of different professions being taken over by computer algorithms within the next twenty years. The algorithm developed by Frey and Osborne to do the calculations estimated that 47 per cent of US jobs are at high risk. For example, there is a 99 per cent probability that by 2033 human telemarketers and insurance underwriters will lose their jobs to algorithms. There is a 98 per cent probability that the same will happen to sports referees, 97 per cent that it will happen to cashiers and 96 per cent to chefs. Waiters – 94 per cent. Paralegal assistants – 94 per cent. Tour guides – 91 per cent. Bakers – 89 per cent. Bus drivers – 89 per cent. Construction labourers – 88 per cent. Veterinary assistants – 86 per cent.

The Fugitive Game: Online With Kevin Mitnick by Jonathan Littman


Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, centre right, computer age, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Kevin Kelly, Menlo Park, profit motive, Silicon Valley, Steven Levy, telemarketer

Live bands jam in one room, while strippers bump and grind in another. Then there's the VIP room, where the celebrities lounge in sixties beanbags and get high without being hassled for autographs. Eric wants a favor. How can she refuse? She's forgiven him for the manacles, the handcuffs, the gag, and the alligator clips. And she remembers the night Eric warned her about the phone tap on Spiegel's telemarketing boiler room operation. Erica and Henry's excon bank robber buddies worked his phone lines selling suckers on fictitious gold mines and phony office products. If not for Eric, she and Spiegel would surely have been busted for the three dozen phone lines running into Spiegel's house and the $150,000 in unpaid long distance bills. Sure, the Secret Service agents roughed them up a bit, even threatened to beat Spiegel if she wouldn't spill the beans, but Erica knew they didn't have any evidence.

Culture and Prosperity: The Truth About Markets - Why Some Nations Are Rich but Most Remain Poor by John Kay


Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, California gold rush, complexity theory, computer age, constrained optimization, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, equity premium, Ernest Rutherford, European colonialism, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, failed state, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, George Gilder, greed is good, haute couture, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, late capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nash equilibrium, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock,, popular electronics, price discrimination, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, second-price auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, transaction costs, tulip mania, urban decay, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, yield curve, yield management

Moreover, the telephone company could profit not only from the extra telephone use that this created, but by persuading businesses to pay to have their numbers displayed more prominently. The yellow pages activities were spun off when AT&T was broken up. Yellow Pages became a business in its own right, and it attracted competitors, who would encourage people to use· their directories by providing more convenient listings. Other firms developed annotated lists of telephone customers to sell to those irritating telemarketeers. New technologies offered opportunities for CD-ROM and Internet-based directories and alternative number information services. Today a whole range of competitive businesses are engaged in the differentiated supply of the most boring information of all-lists of telephone numbers. The first maps were products of art and scholarship. The world grew (more of it was known) and shrank (access to it was easier).

pages: 624 words: 127,987

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


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,, 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

Obtaining small Commitments makes it more likely people will choose to act Consistently with them later. Salespeople are often taught to do what they can to encourage their customers to start saying yes as soon as possible. By getting a “foot in the door,” they increase the probability that their prospect will take further action. That’s why so many activists use opening questions like “Do you care about child safety?” or “Do you care about the environment?” when telemarketing or collecting signatures on a petition. Most people do care about these things, so the reply is automatic and swift. Once you’ve said you care about something, however, it would be rude of you to refuse their request—it’s inconsistent with your previous statement. Obtain a small Commitment, and you’ll make it far more likely that others will comply with your request. SHARE THIS CONCEPT: Incentive-Caused Bias It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

The Future of Technology by Tom Standage


air freight, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Clayton Christensen, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, disintermediation, distributed generation, double helix, experimental economics, full employment, hydrogen economy, industrial robot, informal economy, interchangeable parts, job satisfaction, labour market flexibility, market design, Menlo Park, millennium bug, moral hazard, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, railway mania, rent-seeking, RFID, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart grid, software as a service, spectrum auction, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, technology bubble, telemarketer, transcontinental railway, Y2K

The fancy stuff In September, icici OneSource, an Indian bpo company which has so far concentrated on call-centre work, took a 51% stake in Pipal Research, a firm set up by former McKinsey employees to provide research services for consultants, investment bankers and company strategy departments. Mr Roy of Wipro Spectramind says that his firm is moving from basic call-centre work – helping people with forgotten passwords, for instance – to better-quality work in telesales, telemarketing and technical support. Wipro Spectramind is also spreading into accounting, insurance, procurement and product liability. “We take the raw material and convert it,” says Mr Roy, his eyes gleaming. “That is our skill – to cut and polish the raw diamonds.” The top end of the market is more interesting still. Viteos, an Indian start-up, pays new mba graduates in Bangalore $10,000 a year to administer American hedge funds, work that involves reconciling trades and valuing investments for a demanding set of customers.

pages: 666 words: 181,495

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy


23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business process, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, discounted cash flows, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, El Camino Real, fault tolerance, Firefox, Gerard Salton, Google bus, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Googley, HyperCard, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, optical character recognition, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Potemkin village, prediction markets, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, search inside the book, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, trade route, traveling salesman, Vannevar Bush, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

Some of these were as simple as paying expense money (known as “red pockets,” typically fees that exceeded cab fare) to reporters attending press conferences. Google angered the local press by not paying. More complicated were fees paid to managers of Internet cafés. A substantial percentage of Chinese users accessed the net in these basement operations, smoky parlors that looked like a cross between a telemarketing boiler room and a video poker casino, with hundreds of terminals active at any hour. The large companies that franchised these establishments preloaded the computers with their chosen software, and Google and Baidu paid for the privilege of being the default search engine. But often the managers of individual cafés would take money under the table to replace one search engine with another. Google generally avoided such arrangements.

Analysis of Financial Time Series by Ruey S. Tsay


Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, Black-Scholes formula, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, compound rate of return, correlation coefficient, data acquisition, discrete time, frictionless, frictionless market, implied volatility, index arbitrage, Long Term Capital Management, market microstructure, martingale, p-value, pattern recognition, random walk, risk tolerance, short selling, statistical model, stochastic process, stochastic volatility, telemarketer, transaction costs, value at risk, volatility smile, Wiener process, yield curve Google Search Web FindBestStuff com Coffee Cooking Tips Recipes & Food and Drink Wine & Spirits Elder Care Babies & Toddler Pregnancy Acne Aerobics & Cardio Alternative Medicine Beauty Tips Depression Diabetes Exercise & Fitness Hair Loss Medicine Meditation Muscle Building & Bodybuilding Nutrition Nutritional Supplements Weight Loss Yoga Martial Arts Finding Happiness Inspirational Breast Cancer Mesothelioma & Cancer Fitness Equipment Nutritional Supplements Weight Loss Credit Currency Trading Debt Consolidation Debt Relief Loan Insurance Investing Mortgage Refinance Personal Finance Real Estate Taxes Stocks & Mutual Fund Structured Settlements Leases & Leasing Wealth Building Home Security Affiliate Revenue Blogging, RSS & Feeds Domain Name E-Book E-commerce Email Marketing Ezine Marketing Ezine Publishing Forums & Boards Internet Marketing Online Auction Search Engine Optimization Spam Blocking Streaming Audio & Online Music Traffic Building Video Streaming Web Design Web Development Web Hosting Web Site Promotion Broadband Internet VOIP Computer Hardware Data Recovery & Backup Internet Security Software Mobile & Cell Phone Video Conferencing Satellite TV Dating Relationships Game Casino & Gambling Humor & Entertainment Music & MP3 Photography Golf Attraction Motorcycle Fashion & Style Crafts & Hobbies Home Improvement Interior Design & Decorating Landscaping & Gardening Pets Marriage & Wedding Holiday Fishing Aviation & Flying Cruising & Sailing Outdoors Vacation Rental Copyright © 2007 FindBestStuff Advertising Branding Business Management Business Ethics Careers, Jobs & Employment Customer Service Marketing Networking Network Marketing Pay-Per-Click Advertising Presentation Public Relations Sales Sales Management Sales Telemarketing Sales Training Small Business Strategic Planning Entrepreneur Negotiation Tips Team Building Top Quick Tips Book Marketing Leadership Positive Attitude Tips Goal Setting Innovation Success Time Management Public Speaking Get Organized - Organization Book Reviews College & University Psychology Science Articles Religion Personal Technology Humanities Language Philosophy Poetry Book Reviews Medicine Coaching Creativity Dealing with Grief & Loss Motivation Spirituality Stress Management Article Writing Writing Political Copywriting Parenting Divorce Analysis of Financial Time Series Analysis of Financial Time Series Financial Econometrics RUEY S.

pages: 1,336 words: 415,037

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, card file, centralized clearinghouse, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, desegregation, Donald Trump, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index fund, indoor plumbing, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, NetJets, new economy, New Journalism, North Sea oil, paper trading, passive investing,, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, shareholder value, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, telemarketer, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration, Y2K, zero-coupon bond

He gave speeches; he wrote articles; he wrote editorials; he gathered people at parties and gave little lessons; he testified in lawsuits; he appeared in television documentaries and did television interviews and took journalists along with him on trips; he went around to colleges and taught classes; he got college students to come and visit him; he gave lessons at the openings of furniture stores, the inauguration of insurance telemarketing centers, and dinners for would-be customers of NetJets; he gave locker-room talks to football players; he spoke at lunches with Congressmen; he educated newspaper folk in editorial board meetings; he gave lessons to his own board of directors; and, above all, he put on the teacher’s robes in his letters to and meetings with his shareholders. Berkshire Hathaway was his “Sistine Chapel”—not just a work of art, but an illustrated text of his beliefs, which was why Munger referred to it as Buffett’s “didactic enterprise.”

pages: 2,045 words: 566,714

J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax by J K Lasser Institute


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, asset allocation, collective bargaining, distributed generation, employer provided health coverage, estate planning, Home mortgage interest deduction, medical malpractice, medical residency, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, passive income, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, rent control, telemarketer, transaction costs, urban renewal, zero-coupon bond

What apparently won the decision for the couple was evidence that (1) the husband did not have access to a computer at the university, and (2) the state office in which the wife worked did not have funds to buy a computer. The court held that the use of the computer was necessary for them to properly do their jobs, and as the purchase of a computer spared their employers from having to provide them with computers, the purchase was for the employers’ convenience. In a later case, a telemarketing sales manager was allowed a first-year expensing deduction for a home computer and printer used to prepare reports. The key to winning the deduction was her supervisor’s testimony that as a mid-level manager, she could not enter the office after regular hours to use a company computer, and that she was able to keep up with the volume of sales reports she was required to submit by using her home computer and accessing information via modem