Author Archives: Peter

Oh, So You Are a Sociologist in the Corporate World. What Is It You Do?

Oh hello you, you must still have me on some sort of RSS feed! It’s been almost two years since I started working at Intel, and I’m a truly a sociologist in the wild. Here’s a short, incomplete list of things I’ve done in my current job, over the past two years. Let me be […]

Scurvy and Insights Research

I. Intel recently ran an internal marketing conference, where a research firm shared with us a dozen or so technology trends, each with potential to “disrupt” our business. To narrow down discussion about these trends, we were asked to “vote” on which of these trends we thought were most important. And then we could focus […]

Commensuration, xkcd

Frequency counts.

Market implications of world building

So what am I up to, now that I’m not writing ASA papers, doing article reviews, and teaching students? Why, I’m supporting teams in Intel by providing analysis and arguments about their technologies. To wit, the whale. More specifically, an augmented reality Leviathan that Intel showcased at the CES trade show in Las Vegas this […]

Technology rules everything around me

My new organization has a thing, which is that everything has a technological solution. When you have a hammer, etc. This leads to sometimes funny situations: Me: It seems like we create new problems by introducing technology, then we come up with clever technologies to solve those problems. Co-worker: Oh? Me: Yeah, like those soda […]

Staff Economist

There is something wildly ironic about the fact that I’ve spent a good decade trying to convince sociologists that we don’t need to be ‘more like economists’ in order to do good work. And in my new role, all of my colleagues routinely refer to me as the economist on our team. One went so […]

Netflix encounters

You know, with complaints about how email pulls context out of conversations, I’m delighted to report that the Netflix insta-support manages to convey perky perky perky…And for what it’s worth, I suppose I’m beginning to internalize some good user experience language! Netflix Customer Service You are now chatting with: Catherine Netflix Catherine: Hey there! Thanks […]

On leaving academic life

tl;dr version: I’ve left my job as a sociology professor to go work at Intel’s Interaction and Experience Lab. I wish I had a pithy, epic post about the stagnation of the social sciences (which I think may possibly be the case, but holy cats must we over and over and over again romanticize and […]

Changing the world…but mostly not

A recent July 2013 article in the Guardian caught me eye (and no, not the incredibly depressing one about how the NSA continues to monitor massive swaths of the internet), about how a reporter is using Google Glass to cover protests in Istanbul, is worth a read. I especially liked the use of a quadrocopter, […]

Nope, not that blurred

Let’s start with Jay Smooth’s discussion about how to tell people they sound racist. His point is that when you tell someone they are a racist person you will inevitably be drawn into a conversation about their motivations, intentions, past actions. People will ‘vouch’ for them, and you will lose what you want to say. […]