Mark Carrigan is a cool sociologist looking at various things like asexuality, technology and so on. Here’s from his latest – “+1 for Efficient Labour: Gamification, Capitalism and Intellectual Responsibility“;
Earlier this week, it was reported in a number of outlets that Tesco has been using armbands to monitor employees at a distribution center, enabling management to track moment to moment activity in a way which was previously impossible:
The armbands, officially known as Motorola arm-mounted terminals, look like something between a Game Boy and Garmin GPS device. The terminals keep track of how quickly and competently employees unload and scan goods in the warehouse and gives them a grade. It also sets benchmarks for loading and unloading speed, which workers are expected to meet. The monitors can be turned off during workers’ lunch breaks, but anything else—bathroom trips, visits to a water fountain—reportedly lowers their productivity score. Tesco did not respond to requests for comment, so it’s hard to know if the arm bands have been a success.
And Carrigan teases out further implications and questions – it is well worth a read!
He may be referring to an earlier version of this interesting looking course…
I left the following comment (I’ve amended it slightly)
Fascinating and of course deeply troubling. Three things
a) dumb Hollywood film with a bit of bite – “In Time” starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. Everyone has a clock tattooed on their wrist. The currency of the economy is time. If you hit zero, you die… (Logan’s Run meets Hayek, in other words) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1637688/ [Actually, I am being unfair to the director/writer – he has made some v. interesting films. S1mone, Gattaca etc]
b) the Panspectron
c) Andon Boards as a group level precursor for this