But the most problematic aspect of the open office may be physical rather than psychological: simple noise. In laboratory settings, noise has been repeatedly tied to reduced cognitive performance.
Author and activist Noam Chomsky said that the congressional controversy over extending unemployment benefits is evidence that American politics has descended into madness.
“The refusal to provide very minimal living standards to people who are caught in this monstrosity — that’s just pure savagery,” Chomsky said during an interview with HuffPost Live. “There’s no other word for it.”
Chomsky is a leading American intellectual known at first for his academic work in the field of linguistics. He has since become an influential activist and progressive political thinker.
One of the social developments arising from the Iraq and Afghanistan debacles is the militarization of America’s police departments. Almost every week I read about SWAT teams armed with cast off military hardware breaking into homes all too often killing innocents. It isn’t just the weaponry it is also the attitude that such weaponry engenders in police many of whom already have authority issues. Here is one of maybe 15 stories I have read in the last month. Few in the mainstream media are covering this, but I think it is a major social trend with a long string of negative consequences.
The Absurdly Dangerous Militarization of America’s Police
JIM HIGHTOWER – Salon/AlterNet (U.S.)
“The solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything.”
Eric Schmidt, Patron of NSA Back Door Into Google
Phi Beta Iota: Apart from the obvious, that only open source encryption can be scrutinized by millions of minds, this also kills Microsoft, whose software is always 1.3 times what the hardware can comfortably support. Companies that are software pigs now, without encryption, will be comatose when they try to add encyrption to their kludge.
The future of search may not just be about Google and Bing. In the future of search, believe it or not, there are going to be a lot of people like you and me who will be providing much more helpful information guidance to specific requests than Google could ever do. I know this sounds probably unrealistic to you, but I think there are now many good indications that this likely going to happen much sooner than you expect. One of the key reasons why, human beings will start to reclaim this highly valuable search territory, is the fact that in the last few years we have slowly but deeply surrendered our ability to evaluate, decide and select what is “real” to Google’s own algorithms, in ways that can only be detrimental to us.
Power is energy that gets things done — or has obvious potential to do so.
Our most common conceptions of power — especially social power — involve our ability to cause things to happen that we want to have happen.
While this is definitely a major facet of power, a holistic, co-intelligence perspective suggests that there’s more to power than that.
What does power look like when we are working not just for what we want but for what others want as well — or when we join the power of the whole to satisfy the needs and aspirations of the whole?
Bossnapping: a form of lock-in where employees detain management in the workplace, often in protest against lay-offs and redundancies, and has especially been carried out in France. The term gained wide usage in the media following a series of bossnapping incidents in the spring of 2009 in France where workers used the tactic in the context of widespread labor unrest resulting from the late 2000 recession.
Where did the tactic originate? Of course, kidnapping senior people in the opponents orginization has been around as long as warfare itself, however. The popularization of using it to manipulate global media networks in a way that coerces a public company to change its behavior is new.
That method was perfected in the conflict sandbox of the Iraqi war back in 2004.
In 2004, Iraqi guerrillas began to target the employees of the business ventures that the US military outsourced operations to. It was very effective (it drove up the costs and radically reduced the scope/span/rate of reconstruction). The implication (as I wrote at the time) was that in order to this type of corporate disruption would eventually be used against executives as close to the boardroom as possible. That occurred and it was proven successful in later years.
We’ll see much more of this as the old economy begins to depopulate the protected bureaucracies where so many still work…
PS: France is early on this because they haven’t prosecuted anyone for the 2009 incidents and those events yielded positive outcomes for the union. I suspect the US would treat it as terrorism and shoot everyone involved.