Monday 2014-12-29

Automate This by Christopher Steiner

Hackernews fanboy summarizes /r/automate.

Steiner fails to grok that the future is not evenly distributed; it goes where it gets paid.

At Magnetar Capital, a large hedge fund in Evanston, Illinois, that manages $7 billion, senior executives rushed out of their offices to the firms trading floor after hearing a commotion. Everybody down here just started yelling, Buy, buy, buy, says a Magnetar trader. It didnt matter what you were trading just buy.
He found lodging in a two-room apartment on the Upper East Side with a monk who had been excommunicated by the church for drinking and womanizing.
The specialists didnt always call out his trades from the crowd because they simply didnt enjoy dealing with him. So the Hungarian decided to hire people whom he knew the specialists would like. The financial industry, as is the case with most high-paying fields, tends to be dominated by men who are wont to hire more men. So when Peterffy hired the tallest, prettiest, most buxom women he could find, the plan was more than a bit novel. The tactic worked miracles for his order flow. Suddenly, the specialists always took his trades. They put their arms around his traders, chitchatted, and recognized the blondes orders as fast as they were issued. The specialists were thinking, These dumb blondes, what do they know, right? Peterffy says.
Martin Sandberg, for one, a Swedish songwriter who goes professionally by the name of Max Martin, got his start in the 1990s when he wrote a series of No. 1 hits for Bon Jovi, the Backstreet Boys, and Britney Spears. Since 2008, hes written more than ten No. 1 hits and more than twenty Top 10 singles, including DJ Got Us Fallin in Love by Usher and I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry.
When a caller reached a personality much like their own, calls lasted about five minutes and the problem was resolved 92 percent of the time. Thats high-quality customer service by any measure. When a customers call landed with an agent with an opposite personality, however, the difference was amazing: ten-minute calls and a 47 percent problem resolution rate.
Where would our economy be without Silicon Valley and its software bots? As bad as the economy looked in 20082011, it would be far worse without the string of innovation that the Valley has continually dished out. We could likely even be better off had Wall Street not been sucking up so much of our countrys technical talent and the algorithms they built for so long.