Underused: Social Science Evidence for Public and Private Policy

The term “policy” has a semi-technical meaning for systems administrators and cybersecurity analysts. Because this meaning is relatively standardized (e.g., “group policy” for Windows networks), the underlying orchestration of business rules is easily grasped. For other organizational — and political — processes, it is less obvious. For instance, violations of group policy can be automatically audited. In a more positive vein, other behaviors, such as frequency of use for information or apps, can be measured at the group level. Two groups, one used as a control group, can test initiatives (“interventions”), such as the introduction of a new technology (e.g., Facebook at work) or new policy (e.g., outsourcing of a process previously performed in-house).

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  • Weather-related Unemployment in California
  • Unemployment in Chicago ~ 1930's
  • A Snapshot of Worldwide Unemployment

Knowledge Gigs Sans Knowledge Support

They used to be called white collar jobs. At some point the concept shifted to “knowledge worker,” though that idea seems to have lost some of its luster. Regardless, apart from maximizing earning potential, the goal of a college education — or that of  other time-intensive learning endeavors — is to land a position in a knowledge worker profession. In principle, such jobs are less likely to be automated out of existence, or to drift offshore to lower cost labor markets. But who is rating those prospective job opportunities on their true knowledge orientation? For a time, we did.

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Liberal Arts Meet Software Engineering

Pretty Good Product page via Garrison Keillor - screenshotGarrison Keillor’s regular joke about English majors is mostly spot on. But there may be some exceptions that he is overlooking.

Someone at the high profile brand Samsung has recognized the fact. In a post on Samsung Village, they write:

‘. . .We believe the most innovative software can be developed by someone who’s able to think out of the box, even someone who is a total stranger to engineering. Without any fixed ideas or stereotypes, wouldn’t you be able to imagine and create almost anything? That’s why we came up with a special recruiting program called the ‘Samsung Convergence Software Academy.’ Going beyond finding people who are already software experts, we decided to recruit university graduates, who have majored in liberal arts and with little knowledge in engineering, and help them become software experts!

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Applying for Financial Aid

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