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The Rise of the Rogue Executive: How Good Companies Go Bad and How to Stop the Destruction by Cynthia J. Smith, Leonard R. Sayles

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Chapter 4. Black Boxes and Big Black Lies

The more than 2.5 million-year-long evolution of human technology has hit its black box phase.[1] “Black box” has long been applied to computer technologies because just as with a black box, we cannot see their workings.

We are all counting on electrons, invisible to the naked eye, to do our bidding. Most of us haven’t a clue regarding how electronic devices actually work. We take these technologies on faith in the notion that somebody, somewhere knows what they’re doing. Explaining the 1990s can’t be done without taking microelectronics into account, making the black box all the more mysterious. In the 1970s, 2,200 transistors on a processor was possible; 30 years later, it’s up to half a billion. When ...

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