home cooked theory

productivity outside the enterprise

What does the smart office know?

Tamara Kneese and I are organizing a panel at 4S on the smart office. Please consider submitting a paper! Abstracts of 250 words are due March 1. More info at the meeting website. In the spirit of STS scholars who have studied configurations of non-human and human actors (Braidotti 2013, Haraway 2008, Hayles 1999, Sharp […]

Transit computing: From productivity to personal logistics

A summary of some recent work… The idea of productivity so crucial to both IT and workplace design relies on a notion of work that is over a century old. Scientific management eliminated wasted motion to drive efficiency in the factory and the office at a time when people worked in fixed hours and locations, […]

Data 1.0

For media studies* data is a key term because of the role it plays in orchestrating contemporary power relations through the collecting capacities of knowledge generating machines. In an information economy, data can provide both the record and the source of individual energy, self-enlightenment and collective opposition. Here are some qualities we ascribe to data. […]

Airport flash ethnography guide

If you are in transit over the next few weeks, help out our research project by sending some notes from the departure lounge! Below is a set of prompts to think with as you wait for your next connection. We would be so grateful to have your input for our archive. We are especially interested […]

Power out

When do you charge your mobile device, tablet and/or laptop? Do you have a ritual, or do you only do it when the power runs out? Are there places that you prefer to charge? Where? Why? Are you the kind of person who is always battling a red battery signal and dwindling percentages? Do you […]

The future of work and enterprise

Much of the buzz around new work patterns made possible by the ‘gig’ economy of Uber and Task Rabbit suggests that consumers are beginning to act like companies when it comes to managing their careers and employment. Since the great recession, a significant upswing in part time and independent contract work reflects a convergence of […]

Witnessing productivity in early time-motion studies

My 4S abstract… A century ago, Frank and Lillian Gilbreth’s time and motion studies created new standards for productivity by grouping together similar tasks in a streamlined workflow. Demonstration videos from the archives provide ‘before and after’ insight on the number of unnecessary motions removed from tasks as varied as bricklaying, card punching, pear washing, […]

Body cameras and ethical policing

Jason Wilson and I published an article in The Atlantic this past week addressing the push for police body cameras. As someone employed in the tech industry, I have been wondering how companies might take on a more prominent role in this area, for example, by offering some much needed thought leadership on the appropriate […]

This productive life

Here’s the blurb for the talk I’m giving at UCLA on Wednesday. I haven’t been airing much of this work while it’s still in progress, other than the occasional photo from the archives, but it’s the material for my new book, Counterproductive. This is the project I’ve been drawing on in some of the press […]

Counterproductive: From management to managing

The history of time management in the workplace draws on ideals of efficiency arising from the factory: a worker who comes to work, ‘clocks’ on and off, with discrete periods of separation and respite from the job. Extended to professional realms, the careful orchestration of activities through calendars and schedules allowed office workers the capacity […]

keep looking »
  • @melgregg

    One of many knockout passages in Temp, by @louishyman - important, deeply historical labor scholarship for our times pic.twitter.com/dfkxGyJv92

    About 2 days ago from Mel's Twitter via Twitter for iPhone

  • Currently reading

    Invisible Labor
  • Look Who