Dark Princess

Wednesday, January 6th 2016

Dark Princess

Dark Prince

Tuesday, January 5th 2016

Dark Prince

Boko

Monday, January 4th 2016

Boko

Berrid Fenge

Saturday, January 2nd 2016

Berrid Fenge

Powerlords - Gods Amongst Men Theme Tune Lyrics

Friday, January 1st 2016

I have written about a grand project caled "Powerlords: Gods Amongst Men" before.

I have also subsequently found out the "Power Lords" already exist!

I care not! Originality is for weaklings!

Each episode starts with a load of annoying people doing annoying things. And then ends with the appearance of the Powerlords. And the shedding of blood.

Theme tune:

Bellowed from the mountain top,

You'd better heed that cry,

Wake up you fools!

Time to die!

See lightning strike,

Hear thunder roar,

Their will is steel,

Their words - the law.

... Powerlords ... Gods Amongst Men.

... Powerlords ... Gods Amongst Men.

Humbling trifling ancient Gods,

They laugh and they destroy,

They humble fearsome beasts,

And make maidens weep with joy.

See lightning strike,

Hear thunder roar,

Their will is steel,

Their words - the law.

... Powerlords ... Gods Amongst Men.

... Powerlords ... Gods Amongst Men.

Scream in terror from the towers of doom,

Vengeance is waiting, revenge is coming soon!

Prepare you assembled weaklings -

Make ready for your doom!

[guitar solo]

... Powerlords ... Gods Amongst Men.

... Powerlords ... Gods Amongst Men.

How Bureaucracies Generate Busywork

Friday, July 31st 2015

If you don't understand something in detail, but you need to know enough about it to relate it to some overall aim (whether is it good quality or not, how long before its finished, how it compare to other things, how to coordinated it with other things, etc) what do you do?

This is the dilemma all managers and administrators face.

Usually, you look for the closest related thing you understand and measure that instead.

How well does a person teach? Too hard! Test her students using some standardised criteria. That'll tell you! Is somebody genuinely looking for work? Can't tell. Measure the number of job applications they put in (don't worry about the quality). Is the academic doing good work? No idea! Measure the number of papers the academic publishes. Is the engineer doing a good job? Dunno! Does he present his ideas well? Is the programmer building a sustainable code base? No idea - does she meet arbitrary deadlines I set? Is the art any good? Who knows! Do people pay for it?

Simple!

Further: the measurement has to link to something solid you can grok fully and epxlain to others quickly. It needs to be a sort of "common currency". Something that is commonly understood. Something you can discuss easily with others. Something generalisable. Something you can store in database, etc. Something abstract and simplified. Time, numbers of things, etc, etc. Something objective.

(This can give certain types of people a calming sense of underlying order, or simplicity, of organisation.)

Then you can set criteria based on the measurements you use. And demand that people meet those criteria or lose funding, support, staff, permission, employment, or whatever it is the bureaucracy rations.

So far so obvious.

Even if specialists in particular domains are aware that the measurements are the product or ignorance (and it is likely they do), trying to interpret what those measurements are really trying to measure is very, very hard. Explaining why they don't work is difficult.

So the measurements - which can be quite specific and a "common currency" everybody can understand to one degree or another - win against the esoteric, abstruse complaints of the specialists subjected to them. Simply: no one understand their complaints and favours the stuff they do understand (the measurements).

Over time, specialists adapt to the criteria. Must the criteria! Why? Because I need finding, support, staff, permission, employment or whatever it is. The consequence of this is that people end up gaming the system (even if they don't mean to).

What becomes optional? Anything that doesn't meet the criteria.

Now, remember, the criteria are based on measurements of things only tangentially related to the actual work. So people are now concentrating on things only tangentially related to the original work! In short: they stop doing the stuff the bureaucracy was originally trying to measure.

The people doing the original work leave (or plan to).

People who are good at meeting criteria move in. (They are practical people who see meeting the criteria as the main purpose of the organisation -- anything else would be naive, perhaps even crazy!)

As long as the external pressures remain low and the organisation can still access plenty of resources and ration them to others) it will continue in this vein indefinitely.

The bureaucracy that runs it all uses words, imagery and so on all related to the original work. So the official reason for the organisation's existence will remain the original work. But if you pay close attention you realise that the organisation no longer does that work. It does the work it invented for itself instead.

(Increasingly, this process will be automated. Perhaps to keep the humans occupied? :-) )

See also:

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