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Intelligence on Efficiency is an attempt to give ‘efficiency’ a face. We want to make it tangible and discussable. It explores different aspects and directions across different fields and from different angles. It is an ongoing research project – seemingly asynchronous and fragmented. Yet it follows but one distinct question: What is efficiency about?

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data Hans Rosling smiling. Copyright Martin Kjellberg. (image via petapixel.com)

Hans Rosling – The Best Data You’ve Ever Seen

0:15 About 10 years ago, I took on the task to teach global development to Swedish undergraduate students. That was after having spent about 20 years together with African institutions studying hunger in Africa,so I was sort of expected to know a little about the world. And I started in our medical university, Karolinska Institute, an undergraduate course called Global Health. But when you get that opportunity, you get a little nervous. I thought, these students coming to us actually have the highest grade you can get in Swedish college systems — so, I thought, maybe they know everything I’m going to teach them about. So I did a pre-test when they came. And one of the questions from which I learned a lot was this one: “Which country has the highest child mortality of these five pairs?”

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efficiency & effectiveness (image via weareint.io)

How effective is being efficient? – Of Value, Creativity and Innovation

As you can see below MindNode is a tool that makes mind mapping easy. The guys from IdeasOnCanvas write that “Mind Maps are a visual representation of your ideas, starting with a central thought and growing from there.” And our thoughts did indeed grow. When we started we wanted to deconstruct efficiency and soon enough found two promising clues which we would investigate further. This was the aspect of value in the first place and secondly a link to creativity.

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Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee Big Data: The Management Revolution (image via bryancallen.com)

Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson – Big Data: The Management Revolution

“There’s much wisdom in that saying, which has been attributed to both W. Edwards Deming and Peter Drucker, and it explains why the recent explosion of digital data is so important. Simply put, because of big data, managers can measure, and hence know, radically more about their businesses, and directly translate that knowledge into improved decision making and performance.

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CU Law professor Paul Ohm. (Photo by Glenn Asakawa/University of Colorado) THE UNDERWHELMING BENEFITS OF BIG DATA (image via www.dailycamera.com)

Paul Ohm – The underwhelming Benefits of Big Data

“The cloud is a hodgepodge, and Paul Schwartz, in his rich Article, Information Privacy in the Cloud, tackles many different parts of the confusing combination, giving meaning to mush in his characteristically careful style. Consider his thoughts on the changes being wrought to information privacy law by the move to “networked intelligence in the cloud.” This expression refers, at least in part, to what others have been calling “Big Data,” the trendy moniker for powerful new forms of data analytics. Professor Schwartz weighs the benefits of Big Data techniques against the risks they pose to privacy. Better than some others, he takes care to point to the benefits that truly matter. Too many commentators have too often overstated the benefits of Big Data, inflating studies and praising the merely trivial.

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Paul_M._Schwartz INFORMATION PRIVACY IN THE CLOUD (image via commons.wikimedia.org)

Paul M. Schwartz – Information Privacy in the Cloud

“Cloud computing is the locating of computing resources on the Internet in a fashion that makes them highly dynamic and scalable. This kind of distributed computing environment can quickly expand to handle a greater system load or take on new tasks. Cloud computing thereby permits dramatic flexibility in processing decisions—on a global basis.

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Elizabeth Anderson Beyond Homo Economicus: New Developments in Theories of Social Norms (image via http://www-personal.umich.edu/~eandersn/norms.pdf)

Elizabeth Anderson – Beyond Homo Economicus: New Developments in Theories of Social Norms

“For more than a century, Homo economicus has exclusively populated the theoretical world of economics. This model of the rationally self-interested actor has also come to dominate substantial subfields of political science, sociology, law, and philosophy. However, many theorists doubt whether this model can explain most social phenomena unless it is supplemented with more socially sophisticated elements, such as so- cial and ethical values, altruism, and desires for social status. Among these theorists are Avner Ben-Ner and Louis Putterman, who have published the results of such supplementation by various contributors in Economics, Values, and Organization. The contributors ask: Why and when do people cooperate? How do social norms evolve? How do values and incentives interact and influence social organizations and market outcomes?

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Michel_Foucault the subject and power (image via www.ub.edu)

Michel Foucault – The Subject and Power

“A writer in a well-known French newspaper once expressed his surprise: “Why is the notion of power raised by so many people today? Is it such an important subject? Is it so independent that it can be discussed without taking into account other problems?” This writer’s surprise amazes me. I feel skeptical about the assumption that this question has been raised for the first time in the twentieth century. Anyway, for us it is not only a theoretical question but a part of our experience. I’d like to mention only two “pathological forms” —those two “diseases of power”— fascism and Stalinism.

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Harrington Emerson The Twelve Principles of Efficiency (image via en.wikipedia.org)

Harrington Emerson – The Twelve Principles of Efficiency

Harrington Emerson’s earlier book “Efficiency as a Basis for Operation and Wages” appeared originally in 1908, and a third edition, revised and enlarged, is being reissued almost in parallel with this second and later work on “The Twelve Principles of Efficiency.” The relations between the first and second presentations of the subject thus become clear. The former sets forth a new view of the whole industrial problem and of the relations and proportions of the factors entering into it. It is the declaration of a philosophy. This latter work, stronger even than its predecessor, and more specific in statement, reduces the doctrine of efficiency to a code upon which to base rules of practice.

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