Category Archives: Technology

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

The screwdriver

I think about Witold Rybczynski’s book One Good Turn (which is a history of the screwdriver and the screw) more than is healthy for a person. Discussing his possible candidates for ‘tool of the millenium,’ Rybcyynski contemplates the power saw: “Does one of my carpenter’s tools qualify as the millennium’s best? I discount power tools. […]

Incrementalism, exploration, exploitation

A friend/colleague/friend tweeted this from an IBM ‘innovation discovery client briefing’, from IBM research in Switzerland: “Incrementalism is the enemy of innovation.” -Nick Negraponte Which, ok, part of Negraponte’s gig is to go to things like an IBM innovation discovery client briefing. Sounds nice. But the other part of this is the actual assertion. Is […]

Paying for it

Oliver Reichenstein’s take on ‘business class’ for news is really interesting. The working analogy is airline ticketing, distinguishing between coach and business class: online news still doesn’t make enough money it seems. Some newspapers try to tackle the financial problem by erecting pay walls. “You want information? You pay!” But, as many have noted before, […]

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 […]

Lateral thinking and business intelligence, pt. 1

If you have a couple of hours to spare, there are far worse things you can do than to watch the 10-part D&D extravaganza, Acquisitions Incorporated (pt one is here. First, it will raise your nerd cred so high you won’t ever be forgiven by your spouse/students/friends who ever thought that maybe, just maybe, you […]

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 […]