"Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid." -Heidi Lamarr
Adam Grant , 37 years old, "has been Wharton’s top-rated professor for seven straight years. He is a leading expert on how we can find motivation and meaning, and live more generous and creative lives. He has been recognized as one of the world's 10 most influential management thinkers and Fortune's 40 under 40."
But even he gets criticized.
"I don't know very many people who enjoy getting criticized,"
"It's something that we're all terrified of, or that we at least know we've gotten defensive and it hasn't gone well when other people have given us negative feedback.
"But if you look at the data, one of the biggest drivers of success, if you account for how motivated you are and you know how talented you are, is your ability to seek and use negative feedback," says Grant. "Because that really determines how close to your potential you become.
It is not only you being criticized. It can be your company, your product, your services or anything that's associated with you.
To understand the culture of a company before you join, ask people to tell you stories about things that happen there but wouldn't elsewhere. Then see what the common themes reveal about how much safety, fairness, and control people have.
This refers to a company I want to join because for us happiness is more important that a formal job description. Other questions will be then
Tell me stories about things that happen with your technology that wouldn't happen elsewhere?
Tell me stories about things that happen with your product that wouldn't happen elsewhere?
Tell me stories about things that happen with your customers that wouldn't happen elsewhere?
Your prospects considering your company they also seek happiness. They want beautiful stories
The Boring Story of Bluetooth
For illustration sake, Bluetooth is a household name used widely to connect devices.
The development of the "short-link" radio technology, later named Bluetooth, was initiated in 1989 by Nils Rydbeck, CTO at Ericsson Mobile in Lund, Sweden and by Johan Ullman. The purpose was to develop wireless headsets, according to two inventions by Johan Ullman, SE 8902098-6, issued 1989-06-12 and SE 9202239, issued 1992-07-24. Nils Rydbeck tasked Tord Wingren with specifying and Jaap Haartsen and Sven Mattisson with developing. Both were working for Ericsson in Lund. Invented by Dutch electrical engineer Jaap Haartsen, working for telecommunications company Ericsson in 1994.
This text is accurate, yet there is no pzazz, no Aha! and ultimately a reader does not know how Bluetooth works
It uses another technology called Frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS). The entry in Wikipedia says
This article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject. (January 2013)
This article may be too technical for most readers to understand
The Unique Story of Bluetooth
Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler was a model and actress from Austria. She starred in a very controversial movie, Ecstasy, where she appeared (in 1933) topless. The movies was banned in Nazi Germany and in United States
She married the third richest man in Austria, Friedrich Mandl an arms industrialist .
Lamarr accompanied Mandl to business meetings, where he conferred with scientists and other professionals involved in military technology. These conferences were her introduction to the field of science and nurtured her latent and unexpected talent. Lamarr never studied formally science.
She left her autocratic husband She writes about her marriage:
I knew very soon that I could never be an actress while I was his wife. ... He was the absolute monarch in his marriage. ... I was like a doll. I was like a thing, some object of art which had to be guarded—and imprisoned—having no mind, no life of its own
She meets in London the American movie mogul Louis B. Mayer of MGM who was searching Europe for talent. He offered her 125 dollars a week, She refused. She traveled on the same liner as Mayer and finally got a $500 offer a week.
In 1933 she became a naturalized US citizen and changed her name to Heidi Lamarr. She sold bonds during the war
Lamarr wanted to join the National Inventors Council, but was reportedly told by NIC member Charles F. Kettering and others that she could better help the war effort by using her celebrity status to sell war bonds.
She participated in a war bond-selling campaign with a sailor named Eddie Rhodes. Rhodes was in the crowd at each Lamarr appearance, and she would call him up on stage. She would briefly flirt with him before asking the audience if she should give him a kiss. The crowd would say yes, to which Heidi would reply that she would if enough people bought war bonds. After enough bonds were purchased, she would kiss Rhodes and he would head back into the audience. Then they would head off to the next war bond rally.
She had six husbands, six divorces three children and passed away on January 2000 at the age 85 in Florida
Heidi Lamarr the inventor
Although Lamarr had no formal training and was primarily self-taught, she worked in her spare time on various hobbies and inventions,
She set aside a whole room in her house dedicated to inventing, complete with a drafting table, proper light and an entire wall of engineering reference books. She created a new traffic signal, an improved tissue box, an aid to help the disabled get in and out of the bath, a fluorescent dog collar and a cube that would turn water into soda after it dissolved. None of these were nearly as successful or influential as spread spectrum technology.
During World War II, Lamarr learned that radio-controlled torpedoes, an emerging technology in naval war, could easily be jammed and set off course. She thought of creating a frequency-hopping signal that could not be tracked or jammed.
She contacted her friend, composer and pianist George Antheil, to help her develop a device for doing that, and he succeeded by synchronizing a miniaturized player-piano mechanism with radio signals. They drafted designs for the frequency-hopping system, which they patented. Antheil recalled:
We began talking about the war, which, in the late summer of 1940, was looking most extremely black. Heidi said that she did not feel very comfortable, sitting there in Hollywood and making lots of money when things were in such a state. She said that she knew a good deal about munitions and various secret weapons ... and that she was thinking seriously of quitting MGM and going to Washington, DC, to offer her services to the newly established Inventors' Council.
Their invention was granted a patent under US Patent 2,292,387 on August 11, 1942 (filed using her married name Heidi Kiesler Markey). However, it was technologically difficult to implement, and at that time the U.S. Navy was not receptive to considering inventions coming from outside the military. In 1962, (at the time of the Cuban missile crisis), an updated version of their design at last appeared on Navy ships.
In 1997, Lamarr and Antheil received the Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award and the Bulbie Gnass Spirit of Achievement Bronze Award, given to individuals whose creative lifetime achievements in the arts, sciences, business, or invention fields have significantly contributed to society. Lamarr was featured on the Science Channel and the Discovery Channel. In 2014, Lamarr and Antheil were posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
What does it mean for Bluetooth
Bluetooth is something that makes me exclaim: Gee, why didn't I think of it before? What you buy is something people tried to deliver for a century. until Ericsson's Nordic perseverance and belief in unbreakable technology made it happen.
This is the answer to Adam Grant clever question:
"Tell me stories about things that happen with your technology that wouldn't happen elsewhere."
I spent the all day and night reading about Facebook 2018, unable to place thoughts coherently. I had a writer block.
In January 2018, Mark Zuckerberg decided to (1) learn Mandarin, (2) to visit all the states in US. (3) to read at least a book a month and (4)decide how to fix best the company he founded.
What kind of fixing? This Mark does not say. In my interpretation is he wanted to police his own company to perfection.
George Soros, at Davos, Switzerland World Economic Forum
George Soros aged 88, remarried at the age of 83 for the third time,. His 3rd wife is from California. There is a 40 years age difference. Mr Soros said in an one-hour speech in February 2018
“Mining and oil companies exploit the physical environment; social media companies exploit the social environment,” said the Hungarian-American businessman, according to a transcript of his speech.
“This is particularly nefarious because social media companies influence how people think and behave without them even being aware of it. This has far-reaching adverse consequences on the functioning of democracy, particularly on the integrity of elections.”
In addition to skewing democracy, social media companies “deceive their users by manipulating their attention and directing it towards their own commercial purposes” and “deliberately engineer addiction to the services they provide”. The latter, he said, “can be very harmful, particularly for adolescents”.
Further we read
The business model of social media companies is based on advertising. Their true customers are the advertisers. But gradually a new business model is emerging, based not only on advertising but on selling products and services directly to users. They exploit the data they control, bundle the services they offer and use discriminatory pricing to keep for themselves more of the benefits that otherwise they would have to share with consumers. This enhances their profitability even further – but the bundling of services and discriminatory pricing undermine the efficiency of the market economy.
This means Mr.. Zuckerberg effort is futile. Fixing Facebook (or Google ) is impossible. There is a systemic"badness" in their mere existence
Facebook and Google effectively control over half of all internet advertising revenue. To maintain their dominance, they need to expand their networks and increase their share of users’ attention. Currently they do this by providing users with a convenient platform. The more time users spend on the platform, the more valuable they become to the companies.
Content providers also contribute to the profitability of social media companies because they cannot avoid using the platforms and they have to accept whatever terms they are offered.
Social Networks will disappear, concludes Mr Soros
HBR article What Marketers Should Know About Personality-Based Marketing November 2018
Communicators and marketers can now adopt a personalized approach to their work, ideally one based on behavioral science. But the execution lags behind the science while the claims of some marketers as to what personality marketing can do far exceed it. Moreover, public controversies like the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica story threaten personality marketing’s potential before it has really matured.
Marketing to someone you know, or you feel you know, makes sense. Marketing to a morph mass of people does not make sense
Until very recently, the assessment of psychological traits (also known as psychometrics) was almost inseparably tied to questionnaires. Ranging from just 10 to more than 300 questions, these questionnaires ask respondents about the extent to which they agree to statements such as “I am the life of a party” (Extroversion) or “I get chores done right away” (Conscientiousness).
So what they do now?
Only about five years ago, the newly established field of computational social science provided an answer: digital psychometrics. Instead of relying only on people’s responses to self-reported questionnaires, scientists started using people’s digital footprints—their Facebook Likes, Tweets, browsing histories, and more—to make inferences about their personality (with their consent). Studies compared large groups of individuals’ traditional personality questionnaire responses with those same people’s social media behavior to see if their personalities could be accurately inferred merely by decoding their digital footprints. Based on large datasets containing both people’s responses to traditional psychometric questionnaires and the information captured on their Facebook profiles researchers were able to identify empirical relationships between specific digital footprints and specific psychological traits.
Now it is not clear to me what Cambridge Analytica did that it was forced to close down. Even more puzzling to me is what Facebook did wrong and how it could have prevented Cambridge A to sin.
I assume if digital psychometrics are adopted it is impossible to ask every person on Facebook to agree to use their Likes
September 25, 2018
As reported in Atlantic Sundar Pichai Google CEO struggled to make sense of the questions Congress members put in front of him
Watching, the main take away was:
Power has been concentrated in systems that few understand, and even fewer can explain. Opaque machines, built by a tiny number of humans, generate the informational landscape for everyone else. The fallback position for technology companies is that, as Pichai said over and over, they build “neutral” systems designed to deliver “relevant”
The Explainer of Dreams tells story of Biblical Joseph who was sold as a slave by his brothers
The conflict between Joseph and his brothers (led by Judah) was the conflict between a spiritual tradition and a new worldliness, The brothers could not accept that a person can lead a worldly existence without becoming worldly, that a person can remain one with G‑d while immersed in the affairs between a community of shepherds and an entrepreneur.
In our times. Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella, Richard Brandon, Larry Page and many others are the spiritual descendants of the Biblical dreamers, the ones who knew. They have to surrender their Ego and win over as brothers the many shepherds from Washington, D.C.