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Fred Phillips's Page


  • Our University President Was Sooo Stupid….

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Our University President Was Sooo Stupid….

    How stupid was he? He shut down the Center for Groundwater Research. I quote him: “You don’t need to grind water. It’s a liquid.” He closed our renowned Digital Signal Processing program. He was then unable to process, when faculty flashed him a certain digital signal. Next to go was the knoc...

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    April 19, 2017

  • Autonomous Vehicles: The Deal Killer

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Autonomous Vehicles: The Deal Killer

    A chain saw, sporting all the safety interlocks, might still kill you if you use it carelessly. You’re self-confident and you suffer the usual optimism bias. read more

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    July 12, 2016

  • The Magic Number 3? Maybe Not.

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    The Magic Number 3? Maybe Not.

    Whenever there’s a task to be done or governance to be exercised, we tend to organize for it in threes. A single power center is unworkable, as it can easily lead to dictatorship. Two is not so good either, as a disagreement can lead to indefinite and unrefereed deadlock. Three gives us “checks...

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    July 12, 2016

  • Publishing In An International Scholarly Journal: Tips From An Editor

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Publishing In An International Scholarly Journal: Tips From An Editor

    These tips will help researchers for whom English is a second language, and who work at universities and research institutes where the international publishing culture is still young.  read more

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    April 22, 2016

  • Partisanship, Simplicity-Seeking, And Maladaptation

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Partisanship, Simplicity-Seeking, And Maladaptation

    “Malicious,” “diatribe,” and “preposterous” are words recently thrown at me. (How remarkable that I lived nearly 60 years before drawing this kind of vitriol. Maybe I haven’t been assertive enough!) When a scientific question has political implications, people have trouble separating the scienc...

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    April 12, 2016

  • The Flying Professor - Part I: Don't leave home without these

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    The Flying Professor - Part I: Don't leave home without these

    Courses, speeches, and client meetings take me to faraway places, sometimes on short notice. Here are some hard-won tips about this kind of traveling. Google "packing lists" to find advice on how to fill your suitcase. I won't go there. Instead, this entry, Part I, lists only essential items yo...

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    April 12, 2016

  • The Flying Professor -Part II: Before you leave home

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    The Flying Professor -Part II: Before you leave home

    Part I listed often-overlooked things that when taken along make your trip comfortable, safe, and productive. Part II looks at tasks you’ll find helpful to do before leaving for the airport. As before, I do not get kickbacks from any products mentioned.Twelve to 24 hours before departing for pl...

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    April 12, 2016

  • Money For Startups: Endangered Specie?

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Money For Startups: Endangered Specie?

    For innovative and high-tech startups that need financing, a worldwide drought is in the offing.Coming shortage of equity investmentThe Global Entrepreneurship Monitor reports a surge in early-stage entrepreneurial activity worldwide in 2011. Over 12 percent of US adults started a business in t...

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    April 12, 2016

  • Why The Future Of E-business Is R-business

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Why The Future Of E-business Is R-business

    I make the case for replacing business executives with robots.*† This is no smart-ass slur on the intellects of executives. A transformation of business soon will be upon us. In the transformed enterprises, robots will take on more and more business decisions. Humans will retain a smaller but s...

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    April 12, 2016

  • Taking Headhunters To The Woodshed

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Taking Headhunters To The Woodshed

    I started a new job this spring. After a long search in a tough market, I landed my dream job as a senior professor and administrator at a top research university – a university that did not retain a headhunter for its search.Talks at other schools had progressed to first or second interviews b...

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    April 12, 2016

  • Social Engineering

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Social Engineering

    Prior to World War II and dating back to the 1890s, the phrases “social technology” and “social engineering” carried strong connotations of central planning. This became particularly true in the Soviet Union, where the terms appeared in various tracts. read more

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    April 12, 2016

  • Ten Commandments For Tech Companies

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Ten Commandments For Tech Companies

    1. Thou shalt not screw thine early adopters. They made thou what thou art, even showing patience with thine inattention to upward compatibility. Yea, though they paid high early prices, thou hast refused them free upgrades. Now as they glance at their boxes of obsolete connectors, power source...

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    April 12, 2016

  • Why Government Appears Inefficient

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Why Government Appears Inefficient

    Three reasons why government can look less efficient than it really is:1. Cherry-picking in privatization. Let’s suppose we could rank government agencies or services in descending order of productivity: 1, 2, 3, and so on, with agency 1 being the most efficient and productive. As a reality che...

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    April 12, 2016

  • Guns

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Guns

    I’m going to go out on a limb, and write about guns. Specifically, handguns and so-called “assault weapons.”I’m not going to opine about what the law should or shouldn’t be, but only about the personal advisability of owning these kinds of firearms.Likewise I make no comment about shotguns and ...

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    April 12, 2016

  • Fists Of Fitness

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Fists Of Fitness

    It’s curious, all the press attention lavished on this recent article1 in Jour. Evolutionary Biology. Noting the differing proportions of human hands versus those of other primates, Michael Morgan and David Carrier of the University of Utah concluded human hands are better suited for making f...

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    April 12, 2016

  • Our Dying Business Schools

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Our Dying Business Schools

    American business schools, R.I.P. read more

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    April 12, 2016

  • Big Data

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Big Data

    Nothing boosts the prospects of page hits on a blog – or funding of a grant proposal – like the phrase “big data.” Why are we enamored with “big data”? read more

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    April 12, 2016

  • Two Whacks To Technology’s Dark Side

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Two Whacks To Technology’s Dark Side

    It’s banal to mention that technology is a two-edged sword. That it solves practical problems and creates new ones. That it makes our lives more comfortable and more complex, and stresses and at the same time sustains our social relationships. Today we’ll go beyond these commonplaces to explore...

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    April 12, 2016

  • Theory Of Externalities, And Why We’ve Come To Hate Tech Companies

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Theory Of Externalities, And Why We’ve Come To Hate Tech Companies

    Google buses yuppifying San Francisco. Facebook creepily profiling us. iCloud giving up our pubes to hacker paparazzi. We poured our faith and money into these companies, and now we feel like jilted lovers. Apple once made “the computer for the rest of us.” OK, we always knew Google wanted wor...

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    April 12, 2016

  • The Resource Curse: Science Cities Suffer

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    The Resource Curse: Science Cities Suffer

    I just returned from the Asian Science Park Association conference in Shiraz, Iran.[1] One Science Park official asked me, “Companies in our park cannot get any cooperation from the big petrochemical firms. What can we do?” read more

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    April 12, 2016

  • Cui Bono? B-corporations And The University

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Cui Bono? B-corporations And The University

    California and Arizona recently began registering ‘benefit corporations.’ A small California non-profit university with which I’m acquainted has commenced the transition to for-profit, b-corp status. read more

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    April 12, 2016

  • Ah, Cuba

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Ah, Cuba

    Ah, Cuba. My father’s college roommate’s mother – are you following so far? – was a travel agent, and had gone on one of these agent junkets to Havana. She danced with the dictator Batista at a formal ball, and returned to the US with stars in her eyes. When my parents married, nothing would do...

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    April 12, 2016

  • Companies In Rehab (And Governments. And Universities.)

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Companies In Rehab (And Governments. And Universities.)

    A guy messes up his life, and the lives of those around him. We send him for rehabilitation: A jail term, AA meetings, community service, anger management classes, or restitution to victims. read more

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    April 12, 2016

  • 12 Common Mistakes In Empirical Social Science

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    12 Common Mistakes In Empirical Social Science

    Management students entering my thesis prep course without having been involved in research before, or taken a probability course, reliably make these mistakes. Many students go on to do empirical quantitative theses, meaning that their misconceptions about sampling and analysis will come back ...

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    April 12, 2016

  • Machine translation poetry

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Machine translation poetry

    Nonsensical but oddly beautiful Bing and Google translations from Facebook posts in a variety of languages: 袁嘟嘟第一次以老公的身分參加部門聚會,泡完湯好舒服 read more

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    April 12, 2016

  • Ten Commandments For Airlines

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Ten Commandments For Airlines

    Following my Ten Commandments for Tech Companies – which changed their behavior not one whit – I offer these shalt-nots for US airlines. read more

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    April 12, 2016

  • What Business Discipline To Major In?

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    What Business Discipline To Major In?

    You may find these remarks cynical. You may find them helpful. Strategy read more

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    April 12, 2016

  • Risk Management Turned Upside Down

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Risk Management Turned Upside Down

    A true story. To protect the innocent – and the writer – I’ll use no names. The president of a large, multi-national engineering and construction firm decided to attract more contracts by reducing customers’ risks. A sound decision, yes?  It was what he did (which was to offer fixed-price contr...

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    April 12, 2016

  • Qualitative Research: Lessons From Rashomon

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Qualitative Research: Lessons From Rashomon

    In Akira Kurosawa's timeless 1950 masterpiece (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt004287 read more

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    April 12, 2016

  • Who Has The Most Babies, Wins: A System Analysis Of America’s Angst

    Fred Phillips posted a blog post

    Who Has The Most Babies, Wins: A System Analysis Of America’s Angst

    Facebook traffic and news items tell us a lot of Americans of northern European extraction are anxious and even fearful about the prospect that White Americans will soon be a minority. A subset seems further offended by court decisions bestowing civil rights on gay people. Another subset is inf...

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    April 12, 2016

  • fred.phillips@stonybrook.edu

    Fred Phillips is now a member of Berrett-Koehler Community

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