Monday, November 15, 2021

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2021

 How 12th-century Genoese merchants invented the idea of risk Psyche

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2021 - MIT Technology Review: “This list marks 20 years since we began compiling an annual selection of the year’s most important technologies. Some, such as mRNA vaccines, are already changing our lives, while others are still a few years off. Below, you’ll find a brief description along with a link to a feature article that probes each technology in detail. We hope you’ll enjoy and explore—taken together, we believe this list represents a glimpse into our collective future…”

Money Illusion in the Twenty-First Century Peter Dorman, Econospeak

Tech Republic - Employee experiences of enterprise software have huge impact on user adoption: “A Gartner survey of professionals who use tech products and services in their day-to-day work reveals that 60% report being frustrated with business software in the past 24 months. Those very same users, the report said, can kick off a word-of-mouth chain reaction that influences software adoption across an entire company. The Gartner survey of non-tech professionals found that it’s common for users to share their opinions of software with those around them. Forty-two percent said that they’ve complained to peers after a negative, and the same percentage also reported that experience to IT.  Positive feelings are still shared, though not as frequently: 38% said they have recommended apps to peers after a good experience. In addition, 10% said they share their opinions in the form of software reviews on social media or other websites, and 25% said they share their experiences with their managers. 

In addition to having increased influence over purchasing and adoption rates, the study also found that 24% of users said their IT teams let them choose most of the software they use, which Gartner research vice president Craig Roth describes as “the democratization and consumerization of IT,” which has “resulted in employees who have more discretion over what software they use and how they use it,” Roth said. Far from being a problem, Roth said, this study can serve as a barometer by which to gauge how users respond to new software. ” IT needs to understand that users can and will resist using software that annoys them. But they can also be your best advocates if treated well,” Roth said…”

PopSci - How to get all your emails in one place – “Don’t waste time switching between apps and accounts. If you want to spend as little time as possible checking email, set up a virtual siphon that will pull messages from all your accounts into one place. Instead of flicking between different apps and devices, get your accounts to pipe emails directly to a single dashboard, ready for reading and sorting. Here’s how to go about it, whether you prefer using your smartphone or your computer…”

Management by Metrics Is Upending Newsrooms and Killing Journalism Jacobin 

Articles of Note

The humanities have a chronic morale problem. Is that because the field’s tenured professors are trapped in jobs they no longer want?  

New Books

"Postmodernism may be a historical fact, but it finds history itself a bore," says Terry Eagleton. "The past is simply a collection of styles to be Recycled 

Essays & Opinions

“I shun father and mother and wife and brother when my genius calls me,” boasted Emerson, who was extremely dependent on his family 

Porch Cameras And Facebook Groups Are Turning Streets Into Surveillance StatesPorch Cameras And Facebook Groups Are Turning Streets Into Surveillance States

 UK Considering Legislation That Would Imprison Internet Trolls.

If you ever need a reminder of how important freedom of speech is, all you need to do is look across the pond. The United Kingdom, which doesn’t have a First Amendment, has slowly seen citizens’ free speech rights eroded—and now may soon start imprisoning people for being trolls on the internet.

At question is pending legislation called the “Online Safety Bill,” which ostensibly punishes social media companies that allow harassment. Yet it may be expanded to include new criminal penalties for individuals who engage in mean speech online.

“Trolls could face two years in prison for sending messages or posting content that causes psychological harm under legislation targeting online hate,” the Times of London reports. “The Department for Culture, Media & Sport has accepted recommendations from the Law Commission for crimes to be based on ‘likely psychological harm.’ The proposed law change will shift the focus on to the ‘harmful effect’ of a message rather than if it contains ‘indecent’ or ‘grossly offensive’ content, which is the present basis for assessing its criminality.”

In 2018, when British cops were threatening social media critics after the NHS banished 23-month-old Alfie Evans to the Spartan hillside, British ex-pat Charles C.W. Cooke tweeted, “Michael Brendan Dougherty pointed out to me that police in the U.K. spend all their time on Twitter threatening people with jail time for frivolous things, and now I can’t stop seeing it.”

As a wise woman once wrote, “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them.”