At Work, Expertise Is Falling Out of Favor

“Minimal manning—and with it, the replacement of specialized workers with problem-solving generalists—isn’t a particularly nautical concept. Indeed, it will sound familiar to anyone in an organization who’s been asked to “do more with less”—which, these days, seems to be just about everyone. Ten years from now, the Deloitte consultant Erica Volini projects, 70 to 90 percent of workers will be in so-called hybrid jobs or superjobs—that is, positions combining tasks once performed by people in two or more traditional roles. Visit SkyWest Airlines’ careers site, and you’ll see that the company is looking for “cross utilized agents” capable of ticketing, … Read More

Beyond the ‘Matrix’ Theory of the Human Mind

“Already, we are being told that A.I. is making coders and customer service representatives and writers more productive. At least one chief executive plans to add ChatGPT use in employee performance evaluations. But I’m skeptical of this early hype. It is measuring A.I.’s potential benefits without considering its likely costs — the same mistake we made with the internet. I worry we’re headed in the wrong direction in at least three ways. One is that these systems will do more to distract and entertain than to focus. Right now, the large language models tend to hallucinate information: Ask them to … Read More

Why Frenemies May Be Hazardous to Your Health

Excerpt – We often think about relationships on a spectrum from positive to negative. We gravitate toward loving family members, caring classmates and supportive mentors. We do our best to avoid the cruel uncle, the playground bully and the jerk boss. But the most toxic relationships aren’t the purely negative ones. They’re the ones that are a mix of positive and negative. We often call them frenemies, supposed friends who sometimes help you and sometimes hurt you. But it’s not just friends. It’s the in-laws who volunteer to watch your kids but belittle your parenting. The roommate who gets you … Read More

“The Perfection Trap” decries what it calls a “hidden epidemic”

Thomas Curran finds some unusual culprits for the scourge of perfectionism “Mr [social psychologist at the London School of Economics Thomas] Curran distinguishes between three sorts of perfectionism. The first, which looks inward, is the relentless self-scolding of the workaholic or punctilious student. A second version, directed towards others, is commonly found in bosses who have unrealistic expectations of their staff and decry their supposed failings (he cites Steve Jobs as an example). The third and most troublesome kind is the form imputed to society: “an all-encompassing belief that everybody, at all times, expects us to be perfect”. Its victims … Read More

How to Find a Missing Person with Dementia

Excerpt – On the day she disappeared into Los Angeles, Paulikas was one of nearly five and a half million people in the U.S. with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia. (Today, that number is more than six million.) In becoming lost, she experienced one of the disease’s most common symptoms: the unravelling of the brain’s navigational systems. According to some estimates, more than sixty per cent of people with Alzheimer’s disease will wander away from home or a caregiver, or become lost when an abrupt bout of confusion propels them from an otherwise familiar setting. Such episodes … Read More

The Problem With How the Census Classifies White People

“Like people of Middle Eastern and North African origins, millions of other Americans have been funneled into one side of our country’s enduring binary of whiteness or the other. According to today’s census forms, Greeks, Irish, Italians, Slavs (who were systematically excluded for a century), and Jews—who are still the target of white-supremacist violence—are indistinct from people with Mayflower backgrounds. Being an unspecified “white” person has allowed many of us to blend in, when the most unifying thing we might do in this era of identity-driven polarization is acknowledge all the ways we are different. Today’s nationalist identity politics are … Read More

Our Obsession With Wellness Is Hurting Teens — and Adults

The clinical psychologist Lisa Damour offers an on-the-ground look at the mental health crisis teenagers are facing. “[New York Times’ Ezra Klein] [..] What has always been difficult about being a teenager? [Clinical psychologist and author of “The Emotional Lives of Teenagers” and “Under Pressure” Lisa Damour] Well, we have a few cardinal rules in psychology, and one is that change equals stress. And if you look at an 11-year-old, which is typically when we mark the beginning of adolescence, and you look at a, say, 17 or 18-year-old, so someone who’s pretty far down the line of being a … Read More

Cancer patients shouldn’t be responsible for out-of-pocket costs

“In 2023, just under 2 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer. Many will endure multiple CT and MRI studies and intensive medical care, including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy. Fortunately, advances in treatment and novel therapies have steadily improved survival following a cancer diagnosis. Cancer death rates have declined by 27% over the past 20 years. Unfortunately, many American cancer patients also face an unexpected adverse effect: financial toxicity. The costs of cancer are literally killing patients. But there is a clear solution. Patients diagnosed with cancer should not be responsible for any deductibles, copays, or other cost-sharing. [..] … Read More

What If Instead of Trying to Manage Your Time, You Set It Free?

“In her newest book, “Saving Time,” Jenny Odell, a visual artist and the author of the best-selling “How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy,” argues that standard ways of thinking about time — particularly regarding work and what time is owed and to whom — can obscure potentially more humane and expansive, less self-centered notions of time, views that go beyond restrictive notions of efficiency or work-life balance. “I’m really trying to work against an instrumental view of time,” says Odell, who is 37, “where it’s either something that is going to help you or hurt you.” [..] [Marchese] … Read More

Experiences with information blocking in the United States: a national survey of hospitals

“Data and Methods Data We used data from the American Hospital Association (AHA) IT [information technology] Supplement Survey fielded between April and September 2021, an annual survey of hospitals on their IT capabilities and experiences. The AHA IT supplement is sent to Chief Information Officers and completed by those individuals or their delegates. [..] We combined this data with information on hospital characteristics from the 2020 AHA Annual Survey, the most recent year available. [..] Perceived information blocking [..] For health IT developers, hospitals were asked if they had experienced information blocking via price; contractual language; artificial technical, process or resource … Read More