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The Quantified Man
February 26, 2013 3:22 PM   Subscribe

The culture of hyper capitalism. "Our work is being re-quantified — in a big way — and Chris Dancy, a director in the office of the chief technology officer at BMC Software, thinks it’s time for employees to take these metrics into their own hands." [Previously on MF]

“If you can measure it, someone will,” he says, “and that somebody should be you".

Quantified Self
Douglas Rushkoff on quantification (listening)
posted by instinkt (24 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
So Tesco employees are not allowed to give a shit?
posted by srboisvert at 3:33 PM on February 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I wonder if they'd quantify their penis willingly.
posted by instinkt at 3:33 PM on February 26, 2013


It's astounding that anyone would send that data up for storage on a Google system. Track it yourself? Sure. Give it to Google? Um, no.
posted by spacewrench at 3:48 PM on February 26, 2013


OMG he sends emails and drinks coffee in office.
posted by Damienmce at 4:07 PM on February 26, 2013


On his death bed, he'll be able to look back at his life and say, "Why the hell did I waste so much time on the computer?"
posted by perhapses at 4:21 PM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


This sounds like this dystopia:

http://marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm
posted by jclarkin at 4:31 PM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


From the people who brought you management culture: personal management culture!

Fed up with bossy idiots telling you what to do? Now, you're the boss! Tell yourself you're a lazy worker! Spend all day crunching the stats on how hard you've been crunching the stats! Remove incentives like lounging in the sun, having a nice time with friends, and those "personal" toilet breaks - busy bees like you have got work to do!

Please note that your work will not be saved in the event of posthuman intelligences becoming rulers of mankind.
posted by The River Ivel at 4:45 PM on February 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


The fuck is wrong with people?
posted by uncleozzy at 5:01 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'll take any low profile work I can find if it keeps me away from this shit.
posted by Slackermagee at 5:16 PM on February 26, 2013


Don't forget that your jobseeker's allowance may require that you work for Tesco. For free.
posted by srboisvert at 5:21 PM on February 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I saw a presentation recently about oDesk, where they monitor independent contractor hours worked by taking constant screenshots of your desktop.

Technology has not yet even begun to distort and remake our working lives.
posted by ropeladder at 5:22 PM on February 26, 2013


Dancy automatically logs everything he does into a Google Calendar, providing him with a timeline of his accomplishments.

Define accomplishments.
posted by doublesix at 5:24 PM on February 26, 2013


Define accomplishments.

Logging things in Google Calendar?
posted by 23 at 5:39 PM on February 26, 2013


23: "Logging things in Google Calendar?"

The article says he's got sensors on his toilet, so "logging", full stop, may also be considered an accomplishment.
posted by notsnot at 5:55 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, just wait until school kids are forced into these infometrics, a socialized life of being measured starting in kindergarten, but hey high scores might be the new grade or maybe they'll even tie it to financial awards.
posted by Shit Parade at 6:06 PM on February 26, 2013


Oh dear god I need this quantification system for the annoying coworker I sit next to. I can make estimates of current statistics I'd like to collect:

Whining as a percent of total utterances: 95%
Time spent at work per week hung over: 20%
Time spent at desk texting daughter: 10%
Time spent at desk surfing the web and writing email: 60%
Time spent wandering around the office chatting and distracting people: 20%
Time spent actually doing her job: 10%
Weekly hours in office (out of 40 hour work week, 30 required): 25

Unfortunately very little of this can be easily quantified. Fortunately, our work on the computer is totally quantified, expressed in jobs processed per hour and total jobs completed. I do about 500 to 750 jobs per day, as do most of my coworkers. I estimate she does about 100. I spent all day today listening to her whine, while finding increasingly unconvincing reasons to not to ask our supervisor in a very general way to check everyone's metrics and see if there are any outliers.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:44 PM on February 26, 2013


On his death bed, he'll be able to look back at his life and say, "Why the hell did I waste so much time on the computer?" see exactly how he wasted it.
posted by cosmic.osmo at 6:49 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


This sounds like this dystopia:

http://marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm
posted by jclarkin at 4:31 PM on February 2
Thanks for linking that jclarkin, I always forget the name of that story, but it's pretty much required reading on this topic. I do find the ending a bit Utopian :)
posted by Joe Chip at 6:57 PM on February 26, 2013


Wow. I am regarded as a hyper-organized freak at work because I track work hours by project in a weekly summary document for myself. It's an easy way to push back on requests for things that don't make sense from a time/benefit standpoint and avoid getting pointless extra work.

Ima send that hypercapitalism link to people at work so I look normal in comparison.
posted by winna at 7:02 PM on February 26, 2013


I feel like this would greatly limit one's life. Yes, one's life.

No matter how many variables you track you cannot possibly track all variable in existence. This is perfectly fine if you are, say, conducting a scientific experiment where you realize that constructs and measures HAVE to be arbitrary and therefore can only be as close to reality as we can theoretically get them.

Life doesn't have to work that way. By selecting variables, even just at work, one limits one's scope to the things capable of being measured and perceived. This won't create better work or workers, just better work of a certain kind. This won't create better lives just high scores.


God, bet this guy hated the end of Mass Effect 3 because he didn't feel like he had won/beat the game.......
posted by sendai sleep master at 8:22 PM on February 26, 2013


Followup thought:

No man ever said on his deathbed, "I wish I had gotten better quantifiable metrics at the office."
posted by sendai sleep master at 8:24 PM on February 26, 2013


Oh so this is what BMC is currently up to while I am giving demos to their customers.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:46 PM on February 26, 2013


but i play work to get away from video games
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 7:22 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Follow-up Chat With Chris Dancy, The Quantified Man
posted by homunculus at 7:54 PM on February 27, 2013


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