Nuclear powered submarines to keep an eye on the “wolf warrior”
The submarines will be patrolling the waters, keeping an eye out for the ‘wolf warrior”.
The submarines will be patrolling the waters, keeping an eye out for the ‘wolf warrior”.
“Too many companies don’t know how to walk the walk of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Getting to Diversity shows them how.”—Lori George Billingsley, former Global Chief DEI Officer, Coca-Cola Company In an authoritative, data-driven account, two of the world’s leading management experts challenge dominant approaches to increasing workplace diversity and provide a comprehensive account of what really works. Every year America becomes more diverse, but change in the makeup of the management ranks has stalled. The problem has become an urgent matter of national debate. How do we fix it? Bestselling books preach moral reformation. Employers, however well intentioned, follow guesswork and whatever their peers happen to be doing. Arguing that it’s time to focus on changing systems rather than individuals, two of the world’s leading experts on workplace diversity show us a better way in the first comprehensive, data-driven analysis of what succeeds and what fails. Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev draw on more than thirty years of data from eight hundred companies as well as in-depth interviews with managers. The research shows just how little companies gain from standard practice: sending managers to diversity training to reveal their biases, then following up with hiring and promotion rules, and sanctions, to shape their behavior. Almost nothing changes. It’s time, Dobbin and Kalev argue, to focus on changing the management systems that make it hard for women and people of color to succeed. They show us how the best firms are pioneering new recruitment, mentoring, and skill training systems, and implementing strategies for mixing segregated work groups to increase diversity. They explain what a difference ambitious work–life programs make. And they argue that as firms adopt new systems, the key to making them work is to make them accessible to all—not just the favored few. Powerful, authoritative, and driven by a commitment […]
There is an entrenched relationship between the consulting industry and the way business and government are managed today which must change. Mariana Mazzucato and Rosie Collington show that our economies’ reliance on companies such as McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company, PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY stunts innovation, obfuscates corporate and political accountability and impedes our collective mission of halting climate breakdown. Mariana Francesca Mazzucato is an economist with dual Italian–American citizenship. She is a professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London and founding director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. Rosie Collington is a PhD candidate at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, where she researches the political economy of outsourcing. The ‘Big Con’ describes the confidence trick the consulting industry performs in contracts with hollowed-out and risk-averse governments and shareholder value-maximising firms. It grew from the 1980s and 1990s in the wake of reforms by both the neoliberal right and Third Way progressives, and it thrives on the ills of modern capitalism, from financialization and privatisation to the climate crisis. It is possible because of the unique power that big consultancies wield through extensive contracts and networks – as advisors, legitimators and outsourcers – and the illusion that they are objective sources of expertise and capacity. To make matters worse, our best and brightest graduates are often redirected away from public service into consulting. In all these ways, the Big Con weakens our businesses, infantilises our governments and warps our economies. Mazzucato and Collington expertly debunk the myth that consultancies always add value to the economy. With a wealth of original research, they argue brilliantly for investment and collective intelligence within all organisations and communities, and for a new system in which public and private sectors […]
Denis Muller, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Advancing Journalism, The University of Melbourne News Corporation is cutting its staff by 5% globally, including in Australia, after its news media division recorded a second-quarter earnings decline of 47%. The decision inevitably reopens questions about the future of the company’s newspapers, particularly once Rupert Murdoch is gone. The company’s chief executive officer, Robert Thomson, said a surge in interest rates and inflation caused the earnings decline, and that these effects were “more ephemeral than eternal”. However, structural complications in the corporation suggest these “ephemeral” factors are only part of the problem. “Eternal” factors – such an interesting word where Murdoch is concerned – include the performance of the tabloid newspapers that have played a pivotal role in the development of the organisation. It casts a large shadow over the organisation’s future direction and structure. A glimpse of this has emerged since the public became aware in October 2022 of a proposal to reunite News Corp, which is the newspaper division of the empire, with Fox Corp, which focuses on television and streaming services. The two were split in 2013 to quarantine Fox from the taint of scandal arising from the phone-hacking in the UK, perpetrated by News International, a subsidiary of News Corp. The reunification proposal ran into strong resistance from the market for two reasons. First, there were misgivings among shareholders in News Corp about the business merits of Fox Corp, and vice-versa. Second, there were lingering reputational concerns hanging over from the hacking scandal. In January 2023 it was announced that reunification would not proceed, at least for now. As if to reinforce the relative strengths and weaknesses of the News and Fox divisions, in the same quarter that the newspapers showed such a dramatic earnings decline, Foxtel Group’s subscriber base grew 10%, and the subscriber […]
International Woman’s Day/International Day of Women and Girls in Science, 11 February 2023 and to celebrate www.asiamanufacturingnewstoday.com and www.themirrorinspires.com interviewed Lim Xin Lan, senior Power Engineer CHINT, Asia. Why did you choose to become a power engineer? My love for numbers led me into Engineering. When I was pursuing my Honours in Electrical Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, I developed an interest in power engineering. In my twenties, I foresaw how I could empower the world as a power engineer. I wanted to make an impact to society at large by ensuring the safe transmission of reliable electricity – a fundamental human need. It has been about a decade since I graduated from school, and I have never once looked back at my decision. Till today, I’m still motivated by my role as I always find meaning in what I do. There can’t be many female power engineers? My undergraduate cohort consisted of about 100 students, and they were mostly male. While the number of female power engineers in the industry today is still outnumbered by men, gender should not be a qualifying factor for this profession. If anything, the small number of female engineers in the industry as a whole represents an opportunity for more women to break into this field. Power engineers, whether male or female, should be driven by a strong sense of intuition, and importantly, a passion to solve real world problems such as the electrification of underserved areas in the world, and to ensure the safety of the end users. What is it exactly that you do? In a nutshell, critical thinking is what I do on a daily basis. I recommend the right solutions to businesses and governments worldwide to ensure the safe transmission of reliable electricity, and at the same […]
– Jill Lepore A brilliant, revelatory account of the Cold War origins of the data-mad, algorithmic twenty-first century, from the author of the acclaimed international bestseller, These Truths. The Simulmatics Corporation, founded in 1959, mined data, targeted voters, accelerated news, manipulated consumers, destabilised politics, and disordered knowledge–decades before Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Cambridge Analytica. Silicon Valley likes to imagine it has no past but the scientists of Simulmatics are the long-dead grandfathers of Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. Borrowing from psychological warfare, they used computers to predict and direct human behaviour, deploying their “People Machine” from New York, Cambridge, and Saigon for clients that included John Kennedy’s presidential campaign, the New York Times, Young & Rubicam, and, during the Vietnam War, the Department of Defense. Jill Lepore, distinguished Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer, unearthed from the archives the almost unbelievable story of this long-vanished corporation, and of the women hidden behind it. In the 1950s and 1960s, Lepore argues, Simulmatics invented the future by building the machine in which the world now finds itself trapped and tormented, algorithm by algorithm. “A person can’t help but feel inspired by the riveting intelligence and joyful curiosity of Jill Lepore. Knowing that there is a mind like hers in the world is a hope-inducing thing.” –George Saunders “Everything Lepore writes is distinguished by intelligence, eloquence, and fresh insight. If Then is that, and even more: It’s absolutely fascinating, excavating a piece of little-known American corporate history that reveals a huge amount about the way we live today and the companies that define the modern era.” –Susan Orlean “Data science, Jill Lepore reminds us in this brilliant book, has a past, and she tells it through the engrossing story of Simulmatics, the tiny, long-forgotten company that helped invent our data-obsessed world, in which prediction is seemingly […]
(By Cariola Carabel) We live in a world of pesticide-drenched food, polluted air, water containing all sorts of unnatural chemicals and drug residues, poisonous homes… Pesticides are biocides and will quickly kill you in large doses, and slowly and accumulatively over time. We also live under dubious medical regimes – even untested and coercive gene therapy, some say, that will irredeemably alter our health and perhaps even our genes. But surely no one is actually trying to poison us, are they? Is this a necessary trade-off for having enough food? There is no historical reason to think that small farms cannot produce enough food for the population. In capitalism, scarcity is artificially maintained for economic reasons. In an important 4-decade-long study done on US farming, organic small-scale farming was in fact found to be more profitable that industrial farming, and had similar yields. During times of drought, yields were even 40% higher. Other long-term studies have found similar results. Additional findings are that organic soil has bacteria and fungi that keep plants healthy and able to defend themselves from pests, and that soil becomes progressively healthier, unlike the soil depletion that results from industrial farming. India’s massive famines from the 18th Century onwards occurred at a time when England was importing foods from India, and at times even stockpiling in order to increase prices. The English government at the same time prohibited other regions in India from helping those where hunger was rife, a custom that dated back more than 2000 years (the Kautilya treatise), sustaining in Parliament that aid would in the long term make India weaker and less able to fend for itself. In the mid-19th Century, it was common economic wisdom that government intervention in famines was unnecessary and even harmful. The market would restore a proper […]
by Paddy Manning A book about power, apprenticeship, and succession in the first family of media. And yes, another Murdoch book. An heir apparent to the first global media dynasty, Lachlan Murdoch has been waiting to run his father Rupert’s empire all his life. In this riveting first biography of a little-understood but hugely influential figure, acclaimed journalist Paddy Manning asks: can the dutiful son hang onto the empire, or will the third generation of Murdoch moguls prove the last? Despite a life in the spotlight, Lachlan’s personality, politics, and business acumen remain enigmatic. Is he the ultra-conservative ideologue media reports maintain, or a free-thinking libertarian, as some friends suggest? After emerging victorious from the Murdoch family’s turbulent succession wars, Lachlan is stepping up at a time of unprecedented instability. What can we expect from his time at the helm, and does he have what it takes to chart a future for this century-old company? This is a book about the good, the bad, and the ugly of the global media world, and about America in the age of Trump and Murdoch. It is a book about power, apprenticeship, and succession.
-Max Fisher New York Times reporter Max Fisher’s book is a scathing account of the manifold ills wrought by social media. He explores toxic misogyny, recounting the unsavory particulars of “GamerGate,” in which a woman video game developer was subjected to “collective harassment” after false allegations that she slept with a journalist in exchange for a positive review of her game. Other examples of the dark side of social media include anti-Muslim hate speech in Myanmar proliferating on Facebook, the spread of anti-vaccine rhetoric during the pandemic, and efforts by Russia to interfere with U.S. elections. Fisher also breaks down the tactics used by social media companies to get users to spend more time online, among them notifications that are meant to set off feel-good dopamine releases in the brain, a tactic similar to the “intermittent variable reinforcement” used by casinos. There’s no shortage of books lamenting the evils of social media, but what’s impressive here is how Fisher brings it all together: the breadth of information, covering everything from the intricacies of engagement-boosting algorithms to theories of sentimentalism, makes this a one-stop shop. It’s a well-researched, damning picture of just what happens online.
McKinsey & Company is the most prestigious consulting company in the world, earning billions of dollars in fees from major corporations and governments who turn to it to maximize their profits and enhance efficiency. McKinsey’s vaunted statement of values asserts that its role is to make the world a better place, and its reputation for excellence and discretion attracts top talent from universities around the world. But what does it actually do? In When McKinsey Comes to Town, two prizewinning investigative journalists have written a portrait of the company sharply at odds with its public image. Often McKinsey’s advice boils down to major cost-cutting, including layoffs and maintenance reductions, to drive up short-term profits, thereby boosting a company’s stock price and the wealth of its executives who hire it, at the expense of workers and safety measures. McKinsey collects millions of dollars advising government agencies that also regulate McKinsey’s corporate clients. And the firm frequently advises competitors in the same industries, but denies that this presents any conflict of interest. In one telling example, McKinsey advised a Chinese engineering company allied with the communist government which constructed artificial islands, now used as staging grounds for the Chinese Navy—while at the same time taking tens of millions of dollars from the Pentagon, whose chief aim is to counter Chinese aggression. Shielded by NDAs, McKinsey has escaped public scrutiny despite its role in advising tobacco and vaping companies, purveyors of opioids, repressive governments, and oil companies. McKinsey helped insurance companies’ boost their profits by making it incredibly difficult for accident victims to get payments; worked its U.S. government contacts to let Wall Street firms evade scrutiny; enabled corruption in developing countries such as South Africa; undermined health-care programs in states across the country. And much more. Bogdanich and Forsythe have penetrated the veil of secrecy […]