The Eccentricity of Inbetweeness

Monday, August 1st 2011

The machinery of the brain is slowly being uncovered. Emotion, language, memory; they're being related to tangible, physical processes. Sure, the science seems to be in a nascent form. But it's expanding.

I use the phrase "machinery of the brain" advisedly. Once it was angels or demons. Now it's aliens and spaceships. Where once there was the spirit, now there's the mind and the brain. The scientific/engineering metaphor is now de rigeur. We've gone from the terminology of mysticism to the terminology of science and engineering.

Measuring Progress

Saturday, July 30th 2011

If you insist on targeting certain measurements, and estimate progress by those measurements, what you are measuring will probably improve.

But things may actually be getting worse.

Why?

The bureaucracy designed to measure progress will increase; adding extra work that didn't exist before - forms to fill in, meeting to attend, numbers to gather.

You can only really measure what you can, to some extent, predict. After all, you have to have some model of how things work and how they could improve to dream up targets and measurements.

So a problem arises. Targets of various kinds will narrow peoples' attention to meeting targets. They will not pay as much attention to the novel, the unpredictable, the hard to measure. Things the measurements don't take into account.

And there is, of course, the problem of people gaming the system. The call centre operator who hangs up on client to meet his "calls per hour" requirement being a classic example.

The only way to measure improvements in efficiency, therefore, is to measure the decrease in bureaucracy. And the only way to measure that is to put a system of measurements in place to ...

... oh, wait.

:-)

How Heros Describe Enjoying Themselves

Friday, July 29th 2011

By the Gods, my testicles are reaching their vibrationary peak!

The Future

Thursday, July 28th 2011

"I've seen the future and it eats humans," quoth the General, manfully chewing on a cigar.

Realists and Idealists

Wednesday, July 27th 2011

Let's imagine you have a series of blobs on your desk. You can move them around.

Blobs!

Funny People

Tuesday, July 26th 2011

The funniest people in the world don't realise they're funny.

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