People-Skills Wanted

Like many I keep wondering if our use of technology is replacing human skills and making them redundant. The mere idea that this may not be quite so makes me, and hopefully others, stop and take notice. The idea comes from a paper “The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labor Market” by David Deming who is Assistant Professor of economics at Harvard, a paper being given a more public airing by being the subject of an article in the online site The paper comes from research that points out that until fairly recently, one needed hard skills in order to have Continue reading “People-Skills Wanted”

Quality and Quantity

Hayley Tsukuyama who writes about technology for the Washington Post commented in a recent article that the situation between advertisers and consumers is like an arms race, where everyone loses. 45 milllion people are using ad blockers, that is 15% of all U.S. Internet users, and a number that is rapidly growing, representing an increase of 48% between June 2014 and June 2015. A study by Adobe and PageFair says the use of ad blockers costs advertisers $22 billion in revenues. Consumers of course find the ads Continue reading “Quality and Quantity”

A Challenge to Amazon

Any media outlet considering itself important has felt the need to report on the NYT’s article describing what’s it’s like working for Amazon. As the Title reveals—Inside Amazon: Wrestling Ideas in a Bruising Workplace—it isn’t a picnic, but a high pressure, competitive, even brutal environment. The instance that was so ugly to me was about co-workers leaving messages on a worker’s supervisor’s voice mail containing some negative comment about that person, and by the language used Continue reading “A Challenge to Amazon”

Progress For Farm Workers

It does look like consumers’ demands for food that is produced ethically are beginning to make some difference. Costco, Wal-Mart, Ben & Jerry’s (now owned by Unilever) along with a number of other food producers are taking notice and in some cases accommodating the demands of farm labor groups. There are two million farmworkers in the United States who still toil in harsh conditions, conditions that includes no days off, bad housing, and of course no vacation days. Several groups have sprung Continue reading “Progress For Farm Workers”