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The efficiency paradox : what big data can't…
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The efficiency paradox : what big data can't do (udgave 2018)

af Edward Tenner

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"A bold challenge to our obsession with efficiency--and a new understanding of how to benefit from the powerful potential of serendipity. Algorithms, multitasking, the sharing economy, life hacks: our culture can't get enough of efficiency. One of the great promises of the Internet and big data revolutions is the idea that we can improve the processes and routines of our work and personal lives to get more done in less time than ever before. There is no doubt that we're performing at higher levels and moving at unprecedented speed, but what if we're headed in the wrong direction? Melding the long-term history of technology with the latest headlines and findings of computer science and social science, The Efficiency Paradox questions our ingrained assumptions about efficiency, persuasively showing how relying on the algorithms of platforms can in fact lead to wasted efforts, missed opportunities, and above all an inability to break out of established patterns. Edward Tenner offers a smarter way of thinking about efficiency, revealing what we and our institutions, when equipped with an astute combination of artificial intelligence and trained intuition, can learn from the random and unexpected."--"Bold challenge to our obsession with efficiency--and a new understanding of how to benefit from the powerful potential of serendipity"--… (mere)
Medlem:9abriel_C
Titel:The efficiency paradox : what big data can't do
Forfattere:Edward Tenner
Info:New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2018.
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
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Nøgleord:Ingen

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The Efficiency Paradox: What Big Data Can't Do af Edward Tenner

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The Law of Diminishing Returns Strikes Back

The Efficiency Paradox can be seen in the example of Amazon.com. At first, the convenience of ordering online was a huge productivity boon for consumers. But as Amazon pursued its expansion to make every part of life more productive, free shipping has turned consumers into impulse buyers. Instead of piling up orders to save on shipping and packaging, we order nearly daily, resulting in a huge overhang of cardboard boxes and sealed air pouches we cannot recycle profitably – or at all. Similarly, thanks to the internet, travel has become so complicated that middlemen – travel agents – have made an impressive comeback from extinction. The Internet of Things requires a whole new layer of security measures just so your fridge can order more milk. “Progress toward greater efficiency is wasteful,” says Edward Tenner.

Efficiency builds in rigidity. You cannot stray from the straight and narrow. Serendipity is banished from the premises. The closest serendipity comes is finding out someone you know is in the same restaurant. It doesn’t help meeting new people at the next table, also staring down at their phones. Tenner has filled the book with endless examples from endless industries, from education to health to high tech. It’s easy to find examples. We live with them all day.

There are two problems with the book. First, it is almost entirely top line. Tenner skims a phone book’s worth of examples. And though his choices are interesting, many of them are debatable and less than thoroughly examined. The second problem is that this applies to pretty much everything ever touched by Man. The “old skills” have been disappearing for centuries. Life continues to become far too complicated for us to master all the manual skills we’ve dropped. Life is not really any easier. We’ve simply traded off skills for convenience. All our ”labor-saving” devices have translated into chronic, eternal stress. Studies continually show people are much happier and relaxed without fitbit and facebook.

And the point Tenner never makes is why all this is happening at all. The answer is capitalism. It is an unstoppable race to squeeze efficiency out of every aspect of life. Capitalism means more and more gadgets, services and automation. It means robot doctors, faceless meetings and the shortest distance between two points, even if the road is gravel. Because there’s a buck to be made.

Tenner concludes with the hope that analog will be able to coexist with digital, because both have much to offer.

It’s not that simple.

David Wineberg ( )
1 stem DavidWineberg | Dec 8, 2017 |
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"A bold challenge to our obsession with efficiency--and a new understanding of how to benefit from the powerful potential of serendipity. Algorithms, multitasking, the sharing economy, life hacks: our culture can't get enough of efficiency. One of the great promises of the Internet and big data revolutions is the idea that we can improve the processes and routines of our work and personal lives to get more done in less time than ever before. There is no doubt that we're performing at higher levels and moving at unprecedented speed, but what if we're headed in the wrong direction? Melding the long-term history of technology with the latest headlines and findings of computer science and social science, The Efficiency Paradox questions our ingrained assumptions about efficiency, persuasively showing how relying on the algorithms of platforms can in fact lead to wasted efforts, missed opportunities, and above all an inability to break out of established patterns. Edward Tenner offers a smarter way of thinking about efficiency, revealing what we and our institutions, when equipped with an astute combination of artificial intelligence and trained intuition, can learn from the random and unexpected."--"Bold challenge to our obsession with efficiency--and a new understanding of how to benefit from the powerful potential of serendipity"--

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