You should go watch Jeff Hawkins TED talk on HTMs (hierarchical temporal memory) . It's old-ish (over 5 years), but he's referenced in the article and he founded the Redwood Neuroscience institute. You should be able to also find a white paper or two on HTMs. Jeff's theoretical model of the brain may have changed some in the last 5 years (I don't know, I haven't been paying attention), but HTMs were basically a hierarchical structure of nodes, with one layer feeding up to the layer above it. The nodes weren't traditional simple NN nodes. Each "node" was fairly complex and did two things: 1) it looked at the pattern of data on its inputs and assigned it a label (if it saw the same pattern again, it would get the same label), and 2) it kept track of the sequence of patterns overtime and the node's final output would be a value that represented the sequence with the highest probability. Nodes higher in the network would then take these values as their input, etc, etc. Higher nodes, when they determined "i think we're seeing a cat", could push down this prediction to lower nodes in order to help train the lower nodes (I think). Anyway, the point was that the "nodes" in Jeff's model were not simple NN nodes – they were complex (actually implemented as a bayesian network, iirc), and then these complex nodes were wired together into a hierarchy. Jeff does a great job of arguing that his model is actually more biologically accurate than simple NNs. Anyway, it's good to see these ideas getting some good funding behind them. They always seemed "right" to me.
On employee gets a task done in 2 hours and blows off the rest of the day pursuing their own interests. Another takes 4 hours, but comes back to get another task that they also complete the same day. Who's the rock star? The first guy is a prima-dona and should be fired. The first guy is who Yahoo will be more than happy if they decide to look for other employment. Who knows maybe that guy will land a job at a competitor. Even better –let them start destroying that company from the inside out.
Context matters. You say you wouldn't give a single fuck. Okay. It's your startup you've got $300k funding, five employees, and something like a 12 month runway to prove your business before you run out of money. Do you still not care if your team is wasting 75% of those 12 months? What you're describing is exactly what is broken about Yahoo!'s culture. Likely many people from the individual contributors up through management think like you. And guess what? Yahoo's got a limited runway to fix things and start becoming relavent again. And they have to figure out how to get people to realize that getting as much done as possible in an eight hour day is very important when you've got a limited runway.
I think what you state is exactly the problem, and PoolOfThought addressed it above. When they're working remotely, it's harder to tell that they only worked two hours and wasted six. They still finished their task, and you still think they're a rock star unless you somehow know that the task should have only taken a couple hours (which in our line of work its very hard to know). Maybe all your reports are awesome and immediately let you know/checkin as soon as they're done to get more work, but many people aren't that way. Can you still slack off at work? Sure. I know people that take off the afternoon to run errands for half the day when they finish a task in the morning. When you work from home, it's easier to do this habitually and then to rationalize it as okay because you're getting all your work done. You are, but you're also not getting as many assignments as you could.
Yes, all those self-righteous wannabe-rich. AKA: everyone.
When he gave his theory why the iPhone4 drops more calls than the 3GS he says its because people already had bumpers. How does a bumper help reception on the 3GS? The 3GS's antenna isn't external, so you can't touch it. Having a bumper or not wouldn't make any difference at all. Lame theory Steve.
by Foley, van Dam, et. al.