Surveillance: a win-win for Capital and Talent

The New York Times reported recently on a restaurant industry research study regarding “the impact of software monitoring employee-level theft and sales transactions at 392 restaurants in 39 states.”


“The impact, the researchers say, came not from firing workers engaged in theft, but mostly from their changed behavior. Knowing they were being monitored, the servers not only pulled back on any unethical practices, but also channeled their efforts into, say, prompting customers to have that dessert or a second beer, raising revenue for the restaurant and tips for themselves.”

—  “How Surveillance Changes Behavior,” New York Times, 26 August 2013.

This isn’t entirely surprising — the outcome can be understood in the context of panopticons and social behavior.

And this is what I intend to discuss at SXSW 2014: Capital vs. Talent.



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