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Posts Tagged ‘William C. Deming

Caveat faber…

An e-waste processing center in Bangalore, India. Source: Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition

From PC World, a list of “The Most Dangerous Jobs in Technology“…  It won’t surprise readers to see “fixing undersea internet cables” or “communications-tower climbing” on the list.  But items like “mining ‘conflict minerals'” and “unregulated e-waste recycling” are reminders of facets of the technology industry of which we too rarely think.  Consider, for example, “internet content moderation”:

Think of the most disgusting things you’ve stumbled across online. Now imagine viewing the stuff that nightmares are made of–hate crimes, torture, child abuse–in living color, from 9 to 5 every day. That’s the work of Internet content moderators, who get paid to filter out that kind of material so you don’t have to see it pop up on a social network or photo-sharing site. Demand for the work is growing, especially as more Web-based services enable users to post pictures instantly from their mobile devices.

“Obviously it’s not the job for everyone,” says Stacey Springer, vice president of operations at Caleris. The West Des Moines, Iowa, company’s 55 content moderation employees scan up to 7 million images every day for some 80 different clients. “Some people might take it personally if they have a child and see images of children that might be sensitive to them, or if they see animal cruelty.”

Caleris content reviewers receive free counseling as well as benefits including health insurance, but for some the psychological scars don’t heal easily.

Contemplate the full list here.

As we think twice about replacing that iPhone, we might recall that it was on this date in 1888 that the first baby– Edith Eleanor McLean, who weighed 2 lb 7 oz at her pre-mature birth– was placed in a “hatching cradle””– or as now we call them, “incubator.”  Designed by Drs. Allan M. Thomas and William C. Deming, it became a public curiosity before it settled in regular use in neonatal care.  One of the most popular attractions at the 1904 World’s Fair, for example, was an “exhibit” of 14 metal-framed glass incubators, attended by nurses caring for real endangered infants from orphanages and poor families (whose care was funded by exhibit admission fees).

The World’s Fair in 1904 included “incubator babies” as one of the main attractions on the Pike. Source: neonatology.com

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