1980s HBR: Why Japanese Factories Work

As a U.S. manufacturing manager pointed out, “U.S. managers analyze, rationalize, and agonize until their office walls are covered with paper before committing to a piece of equipment requiring an investment of $500,000—and therefore an annual depreciation charge of $50,000. Yet the process of evaluating and making recommendations regarding the training, compensation, and career path of a $50,000 a year (including benefits) engineer typically requires one-half of a piece of paper, reluctantly prepared in one-half hour once a year!” This difference in priorities is puzzling, particularly when one recognizes that a machine is simply the embodiment of an engineer’s skill.

(emphasis mine)

via Why Japanese Factories Work

Ad Scammers Need Suckers, and Facebook Helps Find Them – Bloomberg

Affiliates once had to guess what kind of person might fall for their unsophisticated cons, targeting ads by age, geography, or interests. Now Facebook does that work for them. The social network tracks who clicks on the ad and who buys the pills, then starts targeting others whom its algorithm thinks are likely to buy. Affiliates describe watching their ad campaigns lose money for a few days as Facebook gathers data through trial and error, then seeing the sales take off exponentially. “They go out and find the morons for me,” I was told by an affiliate who sells deceptively priced skin-care creams with fake endorsements…

via Ad Scammers Need Suckers, and Facebook Helps Find Them – Bloomberg

Opinion | The Conspiracy Theory That Says Trump Is a Genius – The New York Times

…QAnon was born last October, when someone claiming to have “Q” level security clearance started a cryptic thread on 4chan, the online message board and troll playground. It was titled, “The Calm Before the Storm,” a phrase Trump had recently used. Q posted hints, some in the form of questions, ostensibly meant to help clued-in Trump supporters understand what was really going on in Washington beneath the facade of chaos and incompetence. (“What is military intelligence? Why go around the 3 letter agencies?”)

From these clues, a sprawling community on message boards, YouTube videos and Twitter accounts has elaborated an enormous, ever-mutating fantasy narrative about the Trump presidency. In the QAnon reality, Trump only pretended to collude with Russia in order to create a pretext for the hiring of Robert Mueller, the special counsel, who is actually working with Trump to take down an inconceivably evil and powerful network of coup-plotters and child sex traffickers that includes Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and George Soros.
“QAnon points out that this is the beginning of the end for the Clintons,” said Jerome Corsi — a prominent proponent of the lie that Obama was born in Kenya — on a YouTube broadcast in January. He warned that the world would be forced to contend with “films of innocent children pleading for their lives while people are butchering them.” Once that happens, presumably, Trump will be revealed as a master of 12-dimensional chess who successfully distracted smirking elites with his buffoonery while he was quietly saving the world.

via Opinion | The Conspiracy Theory That Says Trump Is a Genius – The New York Times