Thomas Pope: Efficiency, variety key as dirt track changes
Motor sports editor, Published on: 2004-04-10
The Fayetteville Observer (N.C.)

Steve Core is operating under some basic guidelines in his first year as race director at Fayetteville Motor Sports Park’s dirt track:

1. “The word ‘can’t’ isn’t in my vocabulary. The word ‘why?’ is.”
2. If there’s not a problem, there’s no opportunity.
All achievements were once considered impossibilities.


Core, the track’s technical director the past two years, is trying to reverse a legacy of one-groove racing and shows that spill over into Sunday morning. Late-running events and infrequent passing have shrunk the track’s fan base over the years, but Core is hoping to win them back with efficiency and more on-track action.

NASA Tech Briefs, October 2002
Page 66

To test the skates’ performance on the ice, the new polishing tool was brought to the Pettit National Ice center in Milwaukee, WI, for glide tests in September 2001. The tests showed a nearly 15% improvement in unassisted glide over conventionally sharpened speedskates. Further research continued over the next few months.

“It wasn’t until about three weeks before the Olympics started that we finally hit on the design that worked well and we rushed out to Salt Lake city to work with Finn (Halvorsen) and the skaters,” said Lyons. With the Olympics just a few weeks away, it was time to let the skaters use the polishing tool. Speekskater Chris Witty, who won the only tow speed-skating medals in Nagano, was willing to try the new polishing tool.

Kevin Pelton: Measuring Offensive Efficiency, Mar 18, 2004

One of the things people often say about NBA statistical analysts is that we have yet to find the underrated statistic teams can take advantage of, a la on-base percentage in baseball. I would disagree. Getting on-base is fundamental to scoring in baseball, but not nearly so key as making shots is in basketball. And while the role of scoring efficiently has always been recognized, measuring it has been a little more complicated.

In my analysis, I typically include what I call true shooting percentage (TS%) to evaluate scoring efficiency. Whatever name this goes by (shooting efficiency, scoring efficiency, points per shot), the general idea is the same—points scored divided by shooting possessions, field goals attempted plus some multiplier times free throws attempted. In my calculations, I use .44 as the free-throw multiplier while doubling the number of possessions used so the numbers I report relatively follow the same familiar scale as field-goal percentage.

Fukuyama, Francis. The Great Disruption
New York: 1999. ISBN 068484530X
Page 4

People associate the information age with the advent of the Internet in the 1990s, but the shift away from the Industrial era started more than a generation earlier with the deindustrialization of the rust Belt in the United States and comparable moves away from manufacturing in other industrialized countries. This period, from roughly the mid-1960s to the early 1990s, was also marked by seriously deteriorating social conditions in most of the industrialized world. Crime and social disorder began to rise, making inner-city areas of the wealthiest societies on earth almost uninhabitable.

Briskin, Alan, The Stirring Of Soul In The Workplace
Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco 1996
ISBN 0787902810
Page 97

The vision implicit in mechanization is control; control the variables of the process and you ensure the desired final product. Efficiency, as a concept, draws its basic meaning from this vision, where both things and human labor are broken down into their pieces. How one stands or stoops or swings one’s arm can be studied, and this information becomes useful for an engineer of human beings. And when you engineer the body’s actions, you cannot help but touch the soul.

Braverman, Harry  Labor and Monopoly Capital
New York: Monthly Review Press, 1974
ISBN 0853453403
Page 207

Each advance in productivity shrinks the number of workers who are available to be utilized in the struggles between corporations over the distribution of the surplus, expands the use of labor in wasteful employment or no employment at all, and gives to all society the form of an inverted pyramid resting upon an ever narrower base of useful labor. Yet no matter how rapidly productivity may grow, no matter how miraculous the contributions of science to this development, no satisfactory level can ever be attained.

Margrit Kennedy and Declan Kennedy, Interest
Philadelphia: 1995 ISBN 0865713197
Page 48

Right now, society pays twice if a laborer is replaced by a machine. It loses the income tax—as incomes of machines are not taxed—and subsequently pays unemployment benefits to the laid-off laborer.

Ernest Braun, The Aims Of Progress
London: Earthscan Publications, 1995
ISBN 185383243X
Pages 22-7

The same characteristics of bigger, faster, more efficient, less labour intensive, more automatic, more convenient, closer to ideal performance, apply to all examples of technology that come to mind. Never in the history of technology have humans reverted to the use of an in inferior technology when a superior one had become

Borgmann, Albert, Technology And The Character Of Contemporary Life
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984
ISBN 0226066282
Page 66

What has happened to the engineer’s order? The engineer reduces a problem to its essential functions and realizes the latter in the most efficient way possible. Such isolating of functions seems to be a purifying, liberating, and rational affair. It eliminates the ballast of tradition, site, commitment, and fixity. But ends cannot be kept firm when means are relativized, nor can problems remain articulate when their context is erased. Ends and problems so treated are attenuated to commodities until they almost disappear and there is nearly nothing.

Daniel J. Boorstin, The Republic of Technology: Reflections on Our Future Society
New York: Harper and Row, 1978
Page 4.

For most of human history, the norm has been continuity. Change was news. Daily lives were governed by tradition. The most valued works were the oldest.... The Republic of Technology is a world of
obsolescence. Our characteristic printed matter is not a deathless literary work but today’s newspaper that makes yesterday’s newspaper worthless. Old object simply become second hand—to be ripe for the next season’s recycling.... Most novel of all is our changed attitude toward change. Now nations seem to be distinguished not by their heritage or Rapidly “developing” nations are those that are most speedily obsolescing their inheritance.

Ellul, Jacques, The Technological Bluff
Grand Rapids, MI:
William Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990
Page 290

Once we buy a thing we have to realize that it is ready to be thrown away. The unconscious process is at root what Iribarne has called the “cycle of the better”: the more expensive it is, the better it is! The more recent it is, the better it is! In food, clothes, clothes, hygiene, or care, the infinite cycle which pushes up normal usage is almost solely responsible for the waste that we see. This cycle is the cycle of the better -- a conviction created by advertising but which once created, like a conditioned reflex, finally functions on its own and without stimulus.

Tom Bender, The Heart Of Place
Page 104

Conventional economics is more truly finance rather than economics. What it measures is not the actual economic costs, but a measure of them after they have been twisted out of recognition through the financial rules, legislation and taxation promulgated by special interest to escape payment of costs and to divert profit into their pockets. It has been demonstrated again and again that our current economic patterns are far from the most “efficient” in terms of production and distribution. They are efficient only in centralization of profit and power.

Buchanan, Allen E.,  Economics—Moral And Ethical Aspects Ethics, Efficiency, And The Market
New Jersey, 1985: ISBN 0847673952
Page 6

For the same reason that productivity is inadequate for overall efficiency assessments, neither the growth rate, nor the rate of capital accumulation is by itself a satisfactory measure of a system’s efficiency, unless we divorce the concept of efficiency from that of well-being.

Page 19

Buyers and sellers must struggle with various logistical problems, including those involving transportation and communication costs. Strategic behavior (for example, bluffing with lower offers than one is prepared to pay or threatening to withdraw from the bargaining process) are also transaction costs. Further, if the total costs of the legal system as far as it is involved with the drafting, interpretation, and enforcement of contracts is included, transaction costs are enormous.

Barbarba Ward, The Rich Nations And The Poor Nations
New York: Norton, 1962
Library of Congress Card Number 6211387
Page 30

… The aftermath of the Wars of Religion was to turn educated opinion to the examination of material things in which, it was hoped, the clash of dogma could be left behind. As a result, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, all over Western Europe, especially in Britain, the inventors and experimenters set to work to explore matter and improve technology. They revolutionized the use of iron. They transformed textile machinery. they invented the steam engine. The age of the railways and the factory system opened up ahead.

Jerry Mander, In The Absence of the Sacred
1991 ISBN 0871567393
Page 95

The main point to understand in all this is that efficiency of television in influencing and controlling the populace does not result so much from any premeditated conspiracy by the military or corporations as it does from a de

facto conspiracy of technical factors. As is the case with computers, TV technology is more efficient and more effective as an instrument of centralized control than it is for any other use.

Covey, Stephen R.  The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989
Page 101

Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.

Peter F. Drucker,  Making For The Future
1992: ISBN 0525934146
Page 98

But the first question in increasing productivity in knowledge and service work has to be: What is the task? What do we try to accomplish? Why do it at all? The easiest—but perhaps also the greatest—increases in productivity in such work come from redefining the task, and especially from eliminating what needs not be done.

Harrington Emerson, The Twelve Principles Of Efficiency
The Engineering Magazine Co.
New York, 1919
Page 149

I have been asked why “co-operation” was not to be considered as one of the twelve basic principles of efficiency. Common ideals striven for by a disciplined organization, supernal common sense which forgets the little for the sake of the larger achievements, necessarily result in co-operation, even as the bees, having accumulated a full store of honey, seem to obey a queen, who “as it happened with many a chief among men, appearing to give orders, is himself obliged to obey commands, far more mysterious than those he issues to his subordinates.”

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
New York: 1958 5812451
Page 23

As the machinery of mass production is made more efficient it tends to become more complex and more expensive—and so less available to the enterpriser of limited means. Moreover, mass production cannot work without mass distribution; but mass distribution raises problems which only the largest producers can satisfactorily solve.

Fromm, Erich. To Have or to Be
New York: 1976. ISBN 0060113790,
Page 148

The aim of the marketing character is complete adaptation, so as to be desirable under all conditions of the personality market. The marketing character personalities do not even have egos (as people in the nineteenth century did) to hold onto, that belong to them, that do not change. For they constantly change their egos, according to the principle: “I am as you desire me.”

Those with the marketing character structure are without goals, except moving, doing things with the greatest efficiency; if asked why they must move so fast, why things have to be done with the greatest efficiency, they have no genuine answer, but offer rationalizations, such as, “in order to create more jobs,” or “in order to keep the company growing.”