/blog > archive > November 2011

uglytopretty1

[NOTE: per some of the comments, it looks like the visuals accompanying the two linked stories misled me as to how the algorithm described below works. It doesn’t show you what changes were done; it merely tells you how much change occurred. Still a big step for transparency, but not as dramatic as I took it to be.] Check out these amazing before-and-after images. Hany Farid of Dartmouth has developed an algorithm that enables him to un-re-touch  (de-touch?) photoshopped images to amazing effect Now, as the transparency guy I know that I’m supposed to wring my hands about how such photo manipulation obscures reality, encouraging our superficial preference for appealing images over objective truth. Okay, done. Consider my hands wrung. To that extent, consider what you’re reading to be the latest in a series of pieces that includes, oh,  this one. Moreover, I’m supposed to congratulate the whistle-blowing Mr. Farid…

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TransparencyRevolutionLogo

Last week’s experiment with an evening show worked out great, so we’ve decided to move the show from our old weekday time slot to 7 PM PST / 11 PM EST — every night. Starting next week we’ll be presenting the best of the Transparency Revolution every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings with a brand new show every Wednesday. Here’s the lineup for this week: Tuesday An encore of last week’s show: economist Arnold Kling talks about whether middle-class jobs are disappearing and what, if anything, we can do about it. Listen to internet radio with PhilBowermaster on Blog Talk Radio Access the BTR show page here. Wednesday Your host reflects on days that come only once in a 100 years and opportunities that come only once in 6 million years. Listen to internet radio with PhilBowermaster on Blog Talk Radio Access the BTR show page here. Thursday Dr….

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Brooklyn-Bridge

Kay S. Hymowitz at City Journal steps us through the economic rebound that Brooklyn has experienced over the past few decades, particularly the industrial district known as Dumbo (“Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.”) From the late 90’s through today, Brooklyn has become the home to many new businesses — very different from the businesses that were once found there: For all its appeal, Dumbo would never have become such a glamorous destination without the influx of twentysomething digerati to buy its condos and work in its lofts. These settlers needed modestly priced, cool environments in which to start their businesses, and in the late nineties, Dumbo was both those things. Dumbo is now home to many start-ups, particularly digital-media marketing and communications firms with whimsical or artisanal names like Carrot Creative, Huge, Brooklyn Digital Foundry, Big Spaceship, and SawHorse Media. Etsy, the hugely popular online marketplace of handmade goods—the…

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penelopetrunk

Penelope Trunk has some thoughts on meaningful work: At its core, meaningful work is helping people. But that makes you think you need to save children dying in Africa. But, really, you can push papers for multinational conglomerates and feel like you’re doing good for the world. She says down to covering the basics, making sure your job doesn’t suck — that’s right, according to Penolope we are responsible for that — and making a difference in people’s lives. That can occur in any setting. That’s a pretty simplistic formula, but I think it’s spot on. I would add that that in order to be meaningful, a job needs to feel like it’s going somewhere. It doesn’t need to be heading towards a huge promotion or a big raise — although going after those things is fine — but it does need to seem to add up to something. Looking…

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Andy Porter at Fistful of Talent says counter-offers are always a bad idea. They’re bad for the company and they’re bad for the individuals who accept them. How so? Well, for the employee it’s a matter of too little too late. By the time you’ve got a job offer in hand, things have probably gone past the point where the company make it all better with a little extra money. The money is nice, but any and all other problems that had you looking in the first place are probably still there. Generally it’s better to take the new offer you have and make a fresh start. For the company, it’s important to remember that a counter-offer rarely happens in a vacuum. Once employees get the idea that they can snare some additional compensation by putting themselves on the market, they will do so. This is dangerous because of the…

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arnoldkling

[Note: The Transparency Revolution audio edition airs at a special time this week. Let us know how you like the change.] This week we examine some potentially disturbing trends related to employment. The unemployment rate has been pretty consistent over the past couple of years, and normally we think of that number as being linked to the economy overall. If the economy is good, there are a lot of jobs. If the economy is bad, there are fewer jobs. While that’s obviously still true, there may be more at work. Our guest says that the economy itself may be undergoing a major restructuring — and that has some potentially very serious consequences for the job market of the future. (More on this here.) About Our Guest Arnold Kling earned his Ph.D in economics from MIT in 1980. He was an economist on the staff of the Federal Reserve Board from…

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happy_employees

What are the three things employees want most from work? Derek Irvine at TLNT distills the results of a recent Mercer survey about employee, engagement, and overall satisfaction and comes up with three major items. The list is not terribly surprising, but interesting: Meaningful work – They don’t expect that every moment of every day at work will change the world, but they do want to know that what they do every day contributes to something bigger. A sense of progress – None have put it better than Teresa Amabile in her research and book The Progress Principle – there is no better contributor to employee engagement than making progress on meaningful work. Recognition – Give employees the big picture view and a sense of ongoing progress with recognition of their efforts within the context of how they’re contributing achieving your strategic goals. That second item gets overlooked all too…

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postwareoffice

Employment trends suggest massive economic restructuring, demanding new approaches to career planning and skill development. The clerical positions that have been a mainstay of the US economic picture for more than half a century may be on the endangered species list, according to one top economist. “The economy is in a state of transition, in which the middle-class jobs that emerged after World War II have begun to decline,” writes Arnold Kling in The American. “These trends serve to limit the availability of well-defined jobs. If a job can be characterized by a precise set of instructions, then that job is a candidate to be automated or outsourced to modestly educated workers in developing countries.” Kling, who served for seven years as an economist on the staff of the Federal Reserve Board, states that technology is driving job obsolescence at an unprecedented rate. He argues that workers who want to…

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starfield

Thanksgiving comes a week early as host Phil Bowermaster reflects on days that come only once in a 100 years and opportunities that come only once in 6 million years. Are you ready for a future that surpasses your plans, your expectations, even your hopes? If you’re not, now is the time to start getting ready! Listen to internet radio with PhilBowermaster on Blog Talk Radio   Join us live Wednesday November 16 at 2PM EST / 11 AM PST or access the show archive via the player above. If you’re having trouble with the player you can also listen at our page on Blog Talk Radio. Our music is Semi-Funk by Kevin MacLeod  Read More…

superheroes

Yes, there is plenty of work out there for those who don’t mind getting their hands dirty. Not all work is paid, you know. Unpaid internships can be an important stepping-stone for college students looking to enter the world of employment. Volunteering is a great way to sharpen existing skills and learn new ones; it also provides excellent opportunities for networking and, of course, brings many benefits to your community. And let’s not forget about donning spandex and a mask and using your special powers to fight crime. The job doesn’t pay, but it’s very rewarding. What’s that, you say? That doesn’t happen? Nobody really does that? Guess again, my friends… And, here, check this one out. Okay, Knight Warrior’s heart is in the right place and all, and I have no inclinations towards super-villianhood (and in fact I’ve never even been in a fight as an adult), but I…

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