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20 NOVEMBER 2016

Alex Gendler: how to recognize a dystopia

"The genre of dystopia – the 'not good place'– has captured the imaginations of artists and audiences alike for centuries. But why do we bother with all this pessimism? Alex Gendler explains how dystopias act as cautionary tales – not about some particular government or technology, but the very idea that humanity can be molded into an ideal shape."

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Aldous Huxley • Alex Gendler • Animal Farm (1954)artificial intelligence • aryan • atomic energyBlade Runner (1982)brave new world • Brave New World (1932) • cautionary talecommunist systemconcentration campdemocracydepletion of natural resourcesDr Strangelove (1964) • drudgery • dystopia • dystopian fiction • dystopian literature • dystopian science fictioneugenicsfactory workerfascismfree willgas chambergenetic engineering • Gullivers Travels (1726) • H G Wells • humanitys future • impoverished masses • impoverishment • industrial ageindustrial revolution • industrial warfare • It Cant Happen Here (1935) • Jack London • Jonathan Swift • mass entertainment • mass media ageMetropolis (1927) • modern anxieties • nightmare world • Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)nuclear war • oligarchy • oppressionoverpopulationparadise • perfect world • political structures • povertyprogress narratives • resource depletion • science fiction • Sinclair Lewis • slumsocial rolessocial structures • space colony • space travelspeculative fiction • squalor • surveillance state • TED-Ed • The Handmaids Tale (1985) • The Iron Heel (1908) • The RepublicThe Time MachineThomas Moretotalitarianism • tyrannical oligarchy • tyranny of modernismutopia • V for Vendetta (2006) • Watchmen (2009) • We (1924) • Westworld (1973) • WW1WWII • Yevgeny Zamyatin

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
28 OCTOBER 2014

Fredrick Winslow Taylor and the Myth of Efficiency

"[Fredrick Winslow] Taylor sought to precisely measure the movements of factory workers and their timings to make them as efficient as humanly possible. This made him beloved by executives and detested on the factory floor, and it also made him one of the world's first management consultants. In a recent article in The New Yorker, 'Not So Fast,' the historian Jill Lepore takes a hard look at Taylor and his claims for scientific management. According to new research, he was a better salesman than consultant. Many of his facts were made up, and most of his results never materialized. We now know that Lillian Gilbreth, an early proponent of scientific management, had serious doubts about the movement she helped proselytize.

All this is important because Taylor, with his system of scientific management, was the father of efficiency. From scientific management we get the lust for efficiency in business. It became part of the dogma of business schools, almost none of which existed before his time. Business schools from their earliest days have promoted efficiency and the handling of business as something like industrial engineering. From operations to finance, from marketing to sales, business school education has focused on narrowing problems, identifying resources and working to get the most out of the least."

(Adam Hartung, 16 October 2009, Forbes)

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20th century • Adam Hartung • business education • business efficiency • business growth • business inertia • business leaders • business leadership • business management • business school education • business schools • Clayton Christensencompetitive advantagecost-cutting • cultural myth • customer demand • customer satisfactiondehumanisationdisruptive innovationdogmaefficiency • efficiency in business • factory floor • factory workerForbesFordismFrederick TaylorGary Hamel • history of technology • ideationincremental improvementsincremental innovationindustrial engineering • innovation resources • Jill Lepore • legacy businesses • Lillian Gilbrethman machine • management consultant • manufacturingmanufacturing industries • measuring movement • order and control • organisation leadership • organisational problems • price wars • products and services • Rakesh Khurana • scientific management • taylorism • The New Yorkerwaste prevention • what organisations do

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
17 APRIL 2014

British Pathe releases 85,000 films on YouTube

"Newsreel archive British Pathé has uploaded its entire collection of 85,000 historic films, in high resolution, to its YouTube channel. This unprecedented release of vintage news reports and cinemagazines is part of a drive to make the archive more accessible to viewers all over the world.

'Our hope is that everyone, everywhere who has a computer will see these films and enjoy them,' says Alastair White, General Manager of British Pathé. 'This archive is a treasure trove unrivalled in historical and cultural significance that should never be forgotten. Uploading the films to YouTube seemed like the best way to make sure of that.'

British Pathé was once a dominant feature of the British cinema experience, renowned for first–class reporting and an informative yet uniquely entertaining style. It is now considered to be the finest newsreel archive in existence. Spanning the years from 1896 to 1976, the collection includes footage–not only from Britain, but from around the globe–ofmajor events, famous faces, fashion trends, travel, sport and culture. The archive is particularly strong in its coverage of the First and Second World Wars.

Alastair White continues: 'Whether you're looking for coverage of the Royal Family, the Titanic, the destruction of the Hindenburg, or quirky stories about British pastimes, it'll be there on our channel. You can lose yourself for hours.'

This project is being managed by German company Mediakraft, which has been responsible for numerous past YouTube successes. The company will be creating new content using British Pathé material, in English and in foreign languages."

(The British Pathé Archive, 17 April 2014)

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1896 • 1976 • Alastair White • amateur photographerarchival materialarchiveBritish filmBritish PatheBritish Royal Family • cinemagazine • cosmeticscultural collecting organisationscultural heritagedigitisation project • Edward Curtis • factory girlfactory workerfilm archive • film collection • filmed news stories • First World War • footagehair styling • heat exchanger • heat pump • Hindenburg disaster • historic filmhistorical collection • holiday camp • Mediakraft • national cultural heritage onlinenews reportnewsreel • newsreel archive • pastimes • Playboy Bunny • Playboy Club • promotion and dissemination • RMS Titanic • sea travel • Second World Warshort subjectssocial history • Titanic disaster • travelogue • vintage films • WWIWWIIYouTubeYouTube channel

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
09 JANUARY 2013

Samsara: a visual meditation on modern living

"Expanding on the themes they developed in BARAKA (1992) and CHRONOS (1985), SAMSARA explores the wonders of our world from the mundane to the miraculous, looking into the unfathomable reaches of man's spirituality and the human experience. Neither a traditional documentary nor a travelogue, SAMSARA takes the form of a nonverbal, guided meditation. Through powerful images, the film illuminates the links between humanity and the rest of nature, showing how our life cycle mirrors the rhythm of the planet.

The filmmakers approach non verbal filmmaking with an understanding that it must live up to the standard of great still photography, revealing the essence of a subject, not just its physical presence. SAMSARA was photographed entirely in 70mm film utilizing both standard frame rates and with a motion control time–lapse camera designed specifically for this project. This camera system allows perspective shifts to reveal extraordinary views of ordinary scenes. The images were then transferred through the highest resolution scanning process available to the new 4K digital projection format that allows for mesmerizing images of unprecedented clarity. SAMSARA will be a showpiece for the new, high–resolution 4K digital projection, the HD format, as well as standard digital and film projection."

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2011 • 4K digital projection • 70mm film • assembly line • Baraka (1992) • cabinet of curiosities • Chronos (1985) • desertdocumentary filmethnographic film • ever turning wheel of life • factoryfactory workerfood productiongrotesquely beautiful imagery • guided meditation • human experience • human robotics • humanityindustrial ageindustrialisationintensive agricultureintensive farminginterconnectedness • life-cycle • Lisa Gerrard • manufactoriesmanufacturing processes • Marcello De Francisci • Mark Magidson • mesmerising images • Michael Stearns • modern centres • modern living • modern technology • motion control time-lapse • natural world • non verbal filmmaking • production linerhythm of the planet • Ron Fricke • rubbish • Samsara (2011) • spirituality • Super Panavision 70 • sweeping landscapes • tableau vivanttimelapse • timelapse photography • traffic congestiontravelogue • visual meditation • visual patternwordless

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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