People who work in the tech industry pride themselves on their long hours and work ethics. It may backfire, warns Michael Thomsen.

He cites studies that link sleep deprivation with declines in “divergent” thought, “weakened long-term memory, impaired decision-making abilities and lessened visuomotor performance.”

“How,” Thomsen asks, “can any work ethic connected to such dimming of cognitive function produce anything worth having? Any culture that celebrates the loss of sleep as a virtue must inevitably become a backwater of degraded thoughts and fragile idealism that can’t survive without the struts of venture capital, eager to inflate market value to the point of IPO or acquisition before moving on to the next dim widget that seems like it’s come from two years in the future but arrives seeming like salvage work from five years past.”

The wear is already showing he thinks - from Google’s “bizarre miscalculations,” to Facebook’s plan to produce an operating system for phones, to Twitter’s attempt to get into the music streaming business.

More on: Tech industry, Sleep

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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