Category Archives: Organizations

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 […]

w/r/t the Supreme Court

I would say, as I have said again and again, that they don’t give a shit about the law. The best way to explain the Supreme Court is to start with the politics, and assume that they can make up any old shit that sounds plausibly legalistic in order to defend their ideological positions. People […]

Organizational Jurisdiction, or Apple’s iPhone Breast Problem

As a now-finished-with-breastfeeding friend noted to me, nobody knows what to do with breasts. What she means is that breasts – nursing breasts, actually – occupy a space in between OB/Gynecology and Pediatrics. This is immediately understood by any of the adult, childbearing, breastfeeding women in the contemporary Western world, and particularly by anyone who […]

Dave Eggers, deep sea writing, and lemonade

Two things about this old interview from March strike me as worth more attention. The first is the role of technology and its pernicious effects on long-form writing: He thinks it’s possible that his huge appetite for work – for juggling a publishing company with philanthropy and writing – comes from a sense of how […]

Why are some organizations so much better than others?

I have in mind retail stores at the moment, but it seems like this is a basic question with no great answer. We should have an answer, though. In New York City, these stores are Fairway Market, B&H Photo, Jack Rabbit Sports. Abt Electronics and Appliances, in Glenview, outside Chicago, is the same way. I […]

Capitalist capture, objectivity, and blogs

I would suggest that ‘objective journalism’ has always been something of an overstatement, an aspiration rather than a set of workable practices. Like ‘objective science’, there are – at minimum – choices of what to study and how to study them. Objective journalism has become something of a farce in the 21st century death-by-a-thousand-cuts age […]

DADT and ROTC – it's Alinsky

I know, the combination of these two acronyms and Alinsky will end up making me a target for right-wing nutjobs. I should add ACORN for the fun of it, but I don’t even think that organization exists anymore… With the seemingly impending end of ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ (which, incidentally, was conceived of in large […]

Asshole corporate doublespeak

from their website: AMERICAN EXPRESS ANNOUNCES REENGINEERING PLAN TO GENERATE $800 MILLION COST BENEFIT from the New York Times: American Express to Cut 4,000 Jobs, Saving $175 Million

Something New – Markets and Art

As an experiment in sociology and blogging, Jenn (from and I have put together a brief video on culture and markets, the beginning of what we hope will be a conversation at the intersection of culture, sociology, and economics. We’ll work on the lighting and switch off the big-head/small-head, but we hope you like […]

That's the way to run a culture?

I don’t think this is totally true, but on the other hand, I don’t think it’s totally not true, either. Bateson apparently spins a nice yarn. But it’s got me thinking about whether this kind of planning is actually as good an idea as it is presented to be. I mean, let’s say that Ma […]