To dream, to complain

The week is now tailing off into the weekend, despite all the nauseating, banal things said about it by the news readers, and there were actually some worthwhile articles that squeaked out during the waning days of the force-over-distance part of the week.

First, it appears that corporate organizations are about to be reined in on the matter of organization members grousing on social websites.[Link] The Yankee government labor relations board seems about to tell some mismanaged ambulance company (is that redundant?) that they can’t discipline/discharge members who complain about the mismanagement on Facebook.

I hate to say this, but thi strikes me as rather like that situation Canute was in. Even kings, who propagandized that they were employed by the deity, can’t tell the tide how to behave. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s the water cooler or Facebook, organizational members are going to complain and if you try to prevent the complaining you are going to end up with a grenade suppository. That’s what is commonly known as the Vietnam lesson of management, not that the Vietnamese are very happy with having their country’s name associated with fragging.

But we are always going to have bad managers and part of what makes them bad managers is that they can’t handle criticism or disorder or chaos. And no, I will not comment about how much of the Yankee government passes this criterion. I will simply say that something like 0.5 of all managers do.

And as an individual, I have to enjoy occasionally someone on Facebook saying something commonly derogatory about some supervisor. It gives us a bit of relief from the garbage that they usually utter that has to do with religion, politics, or sports, all of which they can do nothing about except complain and are hence meaningless topics of conversation. Which is why bad managers fit in just right.

Speaking of what we can’t do anything about and organizations, I was gratified to read that the campus of the Boneyard is installing shower doors in their dormitories. [Link] This is a backhanded, as much as one can expect of any organization, especially academic or governmental, admission that they have a problem with rape in the dormitories. This is nothing new; it precedes the dorms going coeducational (bisexual?) in fact. But the willingness to admit that these attacks regularly occur has not been forthcoming. The dimensions of this are complex and increased by the fundamental insecurity of academic organization.

Now if we can just get the campus of the Tennessee to own up with its own admissions. But then they had an administration that only survives on diuretics.

Next speaking of organizations making admissions, the Hubble folks announced observation of a galaxy that lagged the Big Bang (the actual one, not the television program) by only 480 MY. [Link] The galaxy has been named UDFj-39546284, which seems more of a password than a login, but is nonetheless noteworthy since it is likely the oldest macroscopic thing in the universe, or at least we can claim that from our human perspective.

I am just happy they didn’t name it “Garden of Eden”.

And lastly, I am not sure whether to feel vindicated or copied. There is an article in SCIENCE journal asserting that the Every-Child-Left-Behind law is making the students stupid and ignorant. [Link] No argument on my part over this, although they might have laid a bit onto the way the effects are intensified by the educationalists. It’s not just the politicians that are ruining the young.

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