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Economic Impact of Tech Understated, Study Says 87

Posted by kdawson
from the productivity-but-not-jobs dept.
narramissic writes "A report (available here) released this week by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a pro-technology think tank, claims that IT was responsible for nearly all of the US worker productivity growth between 1995 and 2002. But the creation of new jobs in IT will be modest, the study says. At a forum in Washington, D.C., the report's co-author and ITIF president Robert Atkinson warned lawmakers that there will be a 'significant cost to the economy if you hinder digital transformation' and called on the government to spur IT adoption in several industries, including health care, banking and transportation." The article also quotes an economist who is skeptical that this report's outsized claims for productivity gains have been proven.
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Economic Impact of Tech Understated, Study Says

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  • It is also very damaging to the environment.
    • Why is this modded troll? Electronics are very harmful to the environment. They're full of heavy metals and toxic chemicals, and there are toxic chemicals used in their production that aren't always disposed of properly. I guess pointing out uncomfortable truths is something most /. readers can't handle.

      Tech companies and communities are starting to catch on, however. Several manufacturers will take your old computer when you buy a new one, and my county (Lancaster, PA) offers free electronics and househol

      • and my county (Lancaster, PA) offers free electronics and household hazardous waste recycling to residents.


        I'm about 20 minutes from the border with Lancaster County, mind if I drop my old electronics at your place and you take care of them for me?

        • by Nef (46782)

          I'm only a couple minutes from Lancaster county and I wasn't aware of this. In fact I know quite a few people who live in Lancaster County who also aren't aware of this.

          Even funnier still, I live in Lebanon county where recycling is 'mandatory', yet I have to pay for the privilege of doing something mandatory. Waste Management hasn't said anything so far, and for the most part I just end up bringing recyclables to work but I'll be damned if I'm paying an extra $40 a quarter for them to pick up my mand

          • Depends on how you define transplant. I'm born and raised in PA, but I've lived in Williamsport, Clearfield, Harrisburg, State College, Wilkes-Barre, Harrisburg again, and now Lancaster. (Near F&M)

            And of all these places, Lancaster is the best by far.

          • I'm in Dauphin County and was born and raised here. Other than vacations, I spent two years away for my last two years of schooling.

            I pass through Lebanon County on my way to New York twice a year though I've been to LVC once or twice.

            I thought that my township had an electronic recycling program once or twice a year but I didn't see it last year and so far haven't seen it this year. Right now all I have is a 10+ year old monitor (from my 95 days) so I can hang on to it for now and even when I move until
        • They've never checked my ID when I've gone there, and I've dropped off a ton of stuff. As long as it's not a huge truckload, I'd say just bring it yourself. It's on Harrisburg Pike, right about halfway between the Park City Mall and F&M.

          They also take old paint, motor oil, and batteries.

  • Patents (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:39AM (#18361025)
    You want to stop hindering the digital transformation? Fine ... fix software patents. It seems like you can't create anything anymore without running into some obvious patent.
    • Re:Patents (Score:4, Insightful)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatmanNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:56AM (#18361215) Homepage Journal
      Software patents aren't the problem. They're a serious issue unto themselves (mostly because the Patent Office's own procedures are never followed) but the real issue is with the managers in the companies. No one sees technology as a good way to smooth and streamline their internal operations. If that happens, it's mostly a byproduct of whatever work is being done on the customer-facing portion of the business.

      The fact that you can build a smooth process internally to automate a great number of expensive processes (not to mention reduce the body count) tends to blow by the decision makers. They only think about it when they absolutely need something NOW. Which tends to result in a mess of Microsoft Access and Visual Basic "applications". Which they think is okay, because they don't realize the tremendous maintenece costs they're committing to.

      There honestly needs to be a bit more focus on developing strategies for using technology in business. Those strategies should then be taught as part of the MBA programs. They may not really "get" it, but at least they'll understand that using X technology has Y consequences and that you need to rely on trustworthy staff to find the best tradeoff.
      • by qwijibo (101731)
        There are no silver bullet strategies. Delegation should be taught as part of the MBA program. I mean delegating responsibility and authority, not the common approach of delegating the responsibility and micromanaging the authority. Delegate the creation and maintenance of the computer systems to people who have expertise in that field and have familiarity with the business's needs and priorities. The people who are in the best position to understand the long term maintenance issues are the people who a
      • Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by oneiros27 (46144)
        IT can't smooth and steamline operations. It can make it possible to do so, but it can't do it by itself.

        The types of solutions you're talking about isn't just a matter of dropping in a box, and suddenly everything's more efficient. It requires analysing the business processes, and determine where the issues are (and sometimes more importantly, why they're there).

        I can't remember who said it, but they made a statement to the effect of -- technology can only make things go faster; if you have a bad process
        • Yes, and no. IT obviously needs to be involved and understand the processes going on, but to say that the people who are doing the process need to be telling IT what the process needs to be is fundamentally flawed for a number of reasons.

          First, they don't understand the capabilities of the systems that could be brought in. Access applications are a prime example of what happens when a bunch of amatures get involved, because, in their minds, moving to access is a big step, because they don't understand its l
      • All those MS Access and VB applications cobbled together are an intrinsic part of a lot of small to medium size companies. The is one reason why Linux will have a hard time ever making much traction at the desktop level. A focused IT program will benefit Linux as well as moving a lot of the support to a true IT department, not whoever happens to be "good with computers." A lot of these MS Access and VB applications are put together by "power-users" (instead of IT) because that is what that they know.
    • Seriously? Are we really devoid of innovative digital solutions right now? And is the cause really software patents?

      Sure. There is a lot of work to be done to ensure stupid obvious patents related to software don't make it out of the world's patent offices...but, there is no evidence that software patents are currently having a real, deleterious effect on innovation in the software industry.
  • We've already seen that laws (copyright for instance) have difficulty keeping up with technology. The laws have always been reactive in that regard. Never mind the fact that internet technology can't effectively be legislated against by a single country or entity. I don't think they really have to worry about government hindering the advance of technology. If one government tries to, the advances will just take place somewhere else.
    • I don't think they really have to worry about government hindering the advance of technology. If one government tries to, the advances will just take place somewhere else.

      Which is bad for us here in the USA. I can't think of one country thats catching up though. Has China even invented One-Click shopping yet?
  • "...called on the government to spur IT adoption in several industries, including health care, banking and transportation."
    ...because, as we all know, modern health care and banking is completely conducted using paper transactions. Seriously, did this "study" float through a time rift from the 1960's?
    • by boristdog (133725)
      You'd be surprised at how little technology is used in MOST industries.

      A few years ago I contracted at a semiconductor manufacturing firm that kept equipment maintenance records ON PAPER, and later transferred them to Excel. I quickly remedied that situation.

      Last month I visited a bank that had to have all cash transactions written into a ledger.

      The work is out there, kids, you just have to find it.
      • ...records ON PAPER, and later transferred them to Excel. I quickly remedied that situation.

        By using OpenOffice?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by stratjakt (596332)
      A great deal of modern health care and banking is completely conducted using paper transactions. Why do you think the whole of the state, country, or world operates exactly like the little part of it that you see?

      Why does it take a check 7-10 days to be cleared? Is that the ping time between Bank of America and the issuing bank? No, but this system still works largely the same way it has for 1000 years. People, actual humans with eyes, check the numbers. I doubt this will change for a long time. Bank
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Red Flayer (890720)

        Why does it take a check 7-10 days to be cleared? Is that the ping time between Bank of America and the issuing bank? No, but this system still works largely the same way it has for 1000 years. People, actual humans with eyes, check the numbers. I doubt this will change for a long time. Bank brass doesn't like the idea of removing that human "safeguard".

        Not at all. People don't check the numbers, scanning equipment does that. Checks take 3-5 days to clear because your bank makes money off the float (the

        • by Tiroth (95112)
          That might be one motivation but it is hardly the whole truth. Until recently, banks were required to process the actual pieces of paper, so they needed to physically transfer the checks in order to clear them. Now they use an electronic process, but I'm certain that many small banks have not fully updated their systems yet.
          • Now they use an electronic process, but I'm certain that many small banks have not fully updated their systems yet.

            Under Check 21, banks (or intermediate handlers) truncate a check into an electronic image. Banks without the capability to handle checks fully electronically print an IRD (Image Replacement Document), a subsititute check, that they handle like the original check. This can then be truncated again by the next handler. What this means is that even though a small bank on the issuing side or the

        • by Rolgar (556636)
          Actually, it takes time because after the check is given to the bank, it has to clear the bank that the check is written against. If your bank allowed you to have full access to the funds before they had received the funds from the other bank, it would be a simple matter to have a buddy (or yourself) setup 2 fake accounts that cost a $50 deposit for each, and then write a check for $5000 from one account to the other, which you then take to the bank, deposit and instantly withdraw the $5000. By the time y
          • Maybe you've mistaken me for someone who doesn't work with the banking industry.

            Actually, it takes time because after the check is given to the bank, it has to clear the bank that the check is written against
            Which is extremely fast since Check 21 passed and was implemented -- did you miss the comments about electronic processing of checks? Check validation typically now takes less than an hour.
      • The last time I was at the hospital (~2 weeks ago) the nutritionist came around with a tablet PC to take the breakfast/lunch/dinner orders ;-p

        Oh yeah they had free wifi access all over the place too... very cool.

        This was a very progressive hospital I'm sure.
    • by Yoooder (1038520)
      lol, sounds as though they did. I'm a software engineer for a banking service provider that focuses on processing transactions, and our company was founded on bleeding edge technology 40+ years ago and continues to be driven entirely by technology. We run the gamut in technologies, from Big Iron to do the number crunching to .NET SOA applications for our customers with everything in between. Although, last time I went to the hospital I did still have to fill out hardcopies (yech)
    • Why are we still in an age where doctors transmit prescription info to pharmacists with a nearly ineligible scrawl? Why are pharmacists still taking classes to learn how to read these? Why is it still possible to administer prescription/hospital medication without a computerized check for excessive dosage, drug interactions, and medical condition interaction. (e.g., "Hey, you just prescripted 20 times the highest typical dosage. You sure about that?")

      Why does GE's health care division run ads bragging ab
      • The single biggest evidence is how popular culture perceives hospitals. Very, very rarely are they sleek places full of computers. Mostly, it's a place with mounds and mounds of paperwork and reams of filing cabinets and an old green-on-black terminal at the receptionist's desk.

      • You got the money, honey, we've got the time. It's not that hospitals don't want to automate, it's just that it's expensive. In the US, medicine is so highly regulated that you can't raise your prices to make money. So, if you're a small clinic or hospital that doesn't happen to do the big ticket items like surgery and cancer treatment, your SOL.

        What software that's out there is pretty dammned bad. I'm not sure why, but for smaller hospitals, we seem to be stuck in the late 1990's (And I'm looking at Y

      • by lawpoop (604919)
        "Why do doctors act like you're Satan if you ask questions based on knowledge you've gathered on the internet about your condition?"

        Probably because it sounds exactly like a secretary telling that all of the spyware got into her computer when the techs upgraded her monitor.

        Bodies are complex system and doctors study for a decade. We all know how silly it sounds when people who use their computers everyday try to diagnose their computer problems. Patients probably sound a million times sillier.
    • because, as we all know, modern health care and banking is completely conducted using paper transactions. Seriously, did this "study" float through a time rift from the 1960's?

      Health care is actually an interesting case. I've been on a couple of projects at health care firms. And, in both cases, the firms were heavily into technology. Many hospitals make large amounts of money in profit (even the 'non-profit' hospitals). So, they spend their money on technology. (At one of my projects, every single

      • by wytcld (179112)
        the inability to interface between systems

        Right. Doctors here in New England - and I assume across the country - have about half of their staff's time, and several hours a day of their own, spent in straightening things out between their own records and the systems of the insurers they need to collect from. Many are leaving practice because this is such a distracting, unrewarding diversion away from their core competency at delivering medical care. So every doctor's visit, you (and your insurer) have to pay
        • I think the greater crime is that this person spent four years in college and four years in medical school, plus a lot of residency time, and they're spending all that time doing what is essentially clerical work. How many more people could afford medical care, or could be seen by a doctor, if they weren't spending their time tracking down billing information.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Paulrothrock (685079)

      There's still too much paper in health care and banking.

      When I go to the doctor, I've got to fill out forms containing information that I've already filled out for that doctor or information that should be available to my doctor from other places I've filled it out. And I've got to fill out those forms on paper, which are then entered by someone else, increasing the rate of error.

      My wife works as a TSS and she still has about an hour of paperwork to fill out every week. To fulfill HIPA requirements, it ha

  • ITIF president Robert Atkinson warned lawmakers that there will be a 'significant cost to the economy if you hinder digital transformation'
    Exactly what is he talking about? Digital transformation? Is this just a buzzword for "progress" or "adopting new technologies"? Hell, the horseless carriage called. It wants its controversy back.
  • I'm much more productive at viewing pron at work now! No more magazines for me! Hooray for the web!!!!
  • "a pro-technology think tank, claims that IT was responsible for nearly all of the US worker productivity growth between 1995 and 2002" This changed in 2003 when IT employees found a way to circumvent "Appropriate Workplace Internet Usage" restrictions.
  • by Stu Charlton (1311) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @10:25AM (#18361549) Homepage
    The unwritten statement here that's implied by these sorts of studies is: "spend money on IT, increase productivity".

    Which we know is false. IT and computing is squandered everywhere. Huge ERP installations go tits up regularly. Large systems integrators waste gobs of company's cash by running projects with clueless hordes & over-assertive managers that somehow mask that something that should take 3 people x 3 months should take 90 people x 2 years.

    It also implies that IT vendors are responsible for the appropriate channeling of IT investment. This is like suggesting that weapons, communication, and transportation manufacturers should have been given credit for the Allied victory in WW2.

    Investing - in anything - requires thought and management. It is good management that leads to an increase in productivity. Technology and computing capacity are just a means.

    The paper is correct that technology can transform industries and markets, and that is a good source of productivity. But the catch is that there is no correlation between IT spending and transformation. Technology & computing capacity is "necessary but not sufficient" for transformation. Thus, it strikes me as a propaganda piece to squander billions with hardware & global services outsourcing.

    A great source is Paul Strassmann's [strassmann.com] profitability & productivity studies, which he has conducted since the 1980's. He has plotted spending vs. productivity or profitability, in what is the now famous "scatter plot": there is *NO* correlation between IT spending and productivity & profitability. Yes, one CAN gain increases in both of these in concert with IT (witness the work of Toyota's lean approach, or Wal-Mart's data warehouse), but I'd attribute that gain to smart management plus technology over just IT.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ranton (36917)
      FTA:

      it is unlikely that the I.T. industry will be producing jobs gains out of line with its size.
      Instead, the report contends, job gains will more and more come from industries that use information technology intelligently


      This study does not claim that just spending money on IT will increase productivity. It quite plainly says that using IT intelligently will increase productivity. I find it very hard to find a problem in this logic. In fact, I find it so obvious that I am suprised someone needed to do a
      • The problem is that too many executives don't care about the obvious, or even what their own good people tell them. Instead, they believe what they're told by expensive consultants and the studies those consultants produce.

        This isn't to say that consultants can't be valuable. Some consultants really do bring broad experience of things that work, deep thinking about what else could help, and an aptitude for identifying how to match those things up with the company hiring them. Such experience is hard to fi

      • by khallow (566160)
        Then you don't get the point of the study. No one intends to build unproductive IT infrastructure. But that's a common outcome.
        • by SRA8 (859587)
          Thanks for the clarification. Apparently the parent doesnt realize that failure is a possibility, not the goal.
    • by RonTheHurler (933160) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @11:29AM (#18362557)
      Digital technology DEFINITELY increases productivity, and decreases it too. It's all about the people, and what they do with it. It's not about spending money by any means.

      Case in point- Using almost exclusively freeware and extremely cheap hardware, I've been able to create and build a company that needs only TWO employees to run ( http://www.rlt.com/ [rlt.com] ). And it makes a good income for both of us. Both of us are IT capable. Both of us know how to use digital technologies to our advantage.

      Digital technology is the TOOL. Henry Ford said that if you need a tool, and you don't buy it, you end up paying for it anyway but you don't get to use it. Do tools make us more productive? Ask any carpenter to give up power tools and see what he says. By the same token, give a hopeless amateur a world-class workshop and the best materials to work with, and any chair he makes will still wobble. But give a master craftsman a hammer, a chisel and some scrap wood, and he'll make you a chair that will be sturdy, strong and will last a lifetime. It's all about the people, their skills, and their tools. I'd like to see any modern company try to compete without any computers in today's world.

      Want to be more productive? Make more money? YOU are the master carpenter! And mostly, your employers are the hopeless amateurs who are using you as the tool! When I finally figured that out, I started my own business and I've never looked back.

      As programmers and sysadmins, you have some incredible advantages over most MBAs. You have LOGIC. You are CREATIVE. You have a propensity for PROBLEM SOLVING. You can think through and visualize a plan of action from beginning to end. You can change course and re-program the system when requirements change. You know that very few, if any, projects are ever really finished. You're a hacker who knows how to shoot from the hip to get a job done on deadline, even if it isn't "elegant". You know that "Done" usually only means "it works at the moment and when it breaks, we'll fix it". Guess what, these qualities plus a willingness to try and fail then try again are what make entrepreneurs successful. Another advantage you have is that you won't have to hire some expensive tech guy to do your programming/sysadmin/DBA stuff for you. I can't count how many people have asked me who does my web sites. It's fun to watch the blank stare on their faces when I tell them "I did".

      In short, don't BE the tool, USE the tool. Skills first, equipment second.

      • Couldn't agree more with this post...so would the authors of the paper.
      • Using almost exclusively freeware and extremely cheap hardware, I've been able to create and build a company that needs only TWO employees to run ( http://www.rlt.com/ [rlt.com] )

        It shows...hehe, but seriously is there any reason why I should feel like I've taken a trip back to 1994 when I look at your website? How many potential sales are lost due to the amateurish website? If I were you I would invest a few bucks in a redesign or perhaps partner with a bigger retail outfit like Amazon. The business may be profi
        • Hah! What you don't know about marketing shows. I'm not trying to win any awards, and my customers aren't influenced by flash and dazzle. Yep, I've tried Amazon, and Ebay, and I even had a fancy web redesign done once on a bet. The designer lost- sales actually dropped, and I reverted back to the old one. I've also abandoned Amazon and Ebay- too expensive for too little returned. Cost efficiency is important too you know.

          First rule of small business- know your market! Your market IS your business. Great ser
          • by Teckla (630646)

            Robert T. Kiyosaki said, in his mega best seller Rich Dad, Poor Dad, "I'm not a best writing author, I'm a best SELLING author!" In response to a pulitzer prize winner who was criticizing his work.

            That book was almost entirely fiction. It's highly likely that comment and retort never even took place.

            Not to mention, the contents of the book are almost entirely complete and utter nonsense....

            • Perhaps. I'm in no position to challenge that claim. But how many months was that book in the NY Times best seller list? I agree that the contents were mostly fluff, but damn, authors (best selling authors) typically get 10% of the retail price in royalties. At $10/book, that's $1 to the author, times well over a million copies sold. And the hardback version was more than $10.

              So, the quote holds true whether it really happened or not. His book may have been terrible literature, the grammar was atrocious, an
              • by Teckla (630646)

                So, the quote holds true whether it really happened or not. His book may have been terrible literature, the grammar was atrocious, and he tended to be redundant, but the important thing to remember is that it SOLD well! Very well.

                I'm sure it did. "There's a sucker born every minute."

                So, to summarize, when starting your business use freeware, cheap hardware, develop or retail important skills, concentrate on what your market is/wants/expects, satisfy that, and ignore the naysayers and critics.

                Please know that I'm not criticizing your suggestions for starting a small business. I'm just criticizing "Rich Dad, Poor Dad". Nobody should waste their money on that nonsense.

        • Oh, I almost forgot - Craigslist.com "has all the visual appeal of a pipe wrench."
          I forget who said that, but they're obviously doing all right!

          Here's my personal favorite set of toys (that I sell) - http://www.exexeq.com/ [exexeq.com]

          How I love doing product evaluations!
      • by mcrbids (148650)

        Case in point- Using almost exclusively freeware and extremely cheap hardware, I've been able to create and build a company that needs only TWO employees to run ( http://www.rlt.com/ [rlt.com] [rlt.com] ). And it makes a good income for both of us. Both of us are IT capable. Both of us know how to use digital technologies to our advantage.


        Hear here!

        I've managed to build a company (as the CTO) that manages some 70 schools and school districts - grades, attendance, massive quantities of paperwork, etc.

        Our hardware is
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Agree with Ranton. I know Mr. Atkinson pretty well, and he is certainly not writing this as a simple "invest in IT" propaganda piece.

      The main idea is that IT has been the key driver of growth in productivity rates around the world (despite some stupid IT investment by companies/governments). However, his conclusion is not that the world should just spend indiscriminately on IT. Instead, companies and governments should take their investments in IT more seriously because of the value of intelligent IT inv
    • Agreed.

      From the summary:

      The article also quotes an economist who is skeptical that this report's outsized claims for productivity gains have been proven.

      I only glanced at the report, but there's good reason to be skeptical. It cites a lot of literature but does scant empirical work - if you look at the graphs they basically just take a bunch of time series datasets and line them up with each other. There's no good reason to believe that they show a causal relationship between the IT figures and the economic figures. Although they pose many plausible qualitative explanations, I don't really see any original research that tests

  • Fairly obvious? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ranton (36917) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @10:27AM (#18361583)
    Isnt it fairly obvious that technology is primarily responsible for our increase in productivity? I mean, where else would it come from? It isnt like our generation became more hard working than our parents.

    Computer technology was basically the one thing that changed in the 90s to increase worker productivity. I cannot even think of a number 2 contender. Doing work on computers instead of on paper leads to vast increases in productivity. And we are constantly getting better, even with side tracks such as Vista. ;-)

    I wonder if I could get money to do obvious studies. I am going to try to find out if having an active sex life makes people happier, or if eating more helps solve hunger.

    --
    • ...the level of indebtedness of the average Joe. It's easy to get somebody to work 60 hours a week if losing a job means losing everything he 'owns'.

    • by timeOday (582209)

      Isnt it fairly obvious that technology is primarily responsible for our increase in productivity?

      An MBA might think more about things like how industries are structured and how people are managed. An economist might think about fiscal policy, demographics, and the increasing numbers of women in the workplace over the last 50 years. A politician would probably think about unemployment numbers and maintaining consumer confidence so people will continue to spend (and keep pumping up the GDP on the treadmill

      • by ranton (36917)
        Im sorry, I did say during the 90s. I agree that over the last century there were many other factors. I was just saying that during the 90s the only thing that really changed was our increase in IT technology. The USSR had already collapsed by that point, and women had been in the workplace for decades.

        --
        • by timeOday (582209)
          I just mean the USSR as an extreme example. Consider all the acquisitions, divestitures, and restructuring of companies. Or Bush's controversial tax cuts, or globalization (NAFTA etc), or the slashing of benefits, or the move away from lifelong employment. At best I'm ambivalent about some of these changes, but isn't it possible that these actually do serve some economic purpose, as the people behind them seem to think?
  • ...screw in a light bulb?

    Can we increase that number and NOT take european length vacations, here in the states?
    • Why wouldn't we want to take European length vacations? I'd gladly take a month off every year and only have to work 35 hours a week.

    • by beerdini (1051422)
      IT personnel change a bulb...what are you talking about?

      You have to fill out a maintenance request, get supervisor approval, send the request to the maintenance department, just about when you forget about it somebody from maintenance finally comes in with the wrong light bulb, send request back through management to order the correct bulb, finally get the correct bulb, and just after you get used to working in the darker room the maintenance guy returns and actually changes the bulb.

      Total time: about a mon
  • About whether CS is obsolete.

    The argument is that since companies can buy most of the software they need "off the shelf", they don't need to hire CS grads to make new software for them.

    CS is really only obsolete when companies stop innovating. A company that innovates will, very probably in today's business environment, require new software to help it produce its innovative services and products.

    My opinion is that availability of CS talent is a limiting factor in innovation. Obviously it is possible for
  • Not only did the productivity grow, the jobs are easier to do. Even a slacker armed with computer is more productive, than his/her hardworking predecessor with only a desk (and, perhaps, a typewriter).

    We can visit /. for an hour a day and still be reasonably productive...

  • In the 1980s and early 1990s some economicits looked the economic return of buying large numbers of computers and networks and claimed they couldn't find it. This was called the "productivity paradox". The current study now says that computerization is the only factor generating economic return. Yet another interesting paradox?
  • by athloi (1075845)
    All money is made nowadays by shuffling stuff around in databases. It beats farming or manufacturing for comfort.
  • Nation moves from agrarian, to industrial, to information economy just as 50 or so sociologists have predicted in the last 100 years, suddenly becomes news, film at 11. Why would agrarian and industrial markets expand in a country where the labor and tax costs are higher? Quick! Protest the IMF/WTO!
  • ...the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a pro-technology think tank...

    Oh, goodness. They've already got a think tank?

    Next, the robots will be pushing for the right to vote!

    We're doomed!

    - RG>

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