The dispatches, articles, columns, and essays in The Atlantic’s December issue include:
They’re Watching You at Work
What happens when Big Data meets human resources? As Don Peck reports in this month’s cover story, the emerging practice of “people analytics” is transforming the way employers hire, fire, and promote people. New technologies are enabling HR departments to move away from qualitative-based hiring and management methods to quantitative, data-driven ones: the use of specialized “badges” that transmit detailed information about employees’ interactions as they go about their days, algorithms that assess workers’ potential, personality-revealing video games. Think Moneyball for the office. If that sounds scary, Peck explains why it’s actually a good thing—for businesses, and employees.
John Kerry Will Not Be Denied
When John Kerry succeeded Hillary Clinton as secretary of state in February, the consensus in Washington was that Kerry was a boring if not irrelevant man stepping into what was becoming a boring, irrelevant job. Yet his nine months at the State Department have been anything but boring—and no one can argue his lack of relevance: He has brokered a deal with Russia to remove chemical weapons from Syria, revived the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, started hammering out a post-withdrawal security agreement with Afghanistan, and embarked on a new round of nuclear talks with Iran. In a wide-ranging profile, David Rohde talks with the secretary of state, as well as those closest to him, to reveal a complex portrait of a man whose critics call him arrogant, undisciplined, and reckless, and yet whose relentless pursuit of negotiations might produce some of the most important diplomatic breakthroughs in years.