Rain again. But less so. So I went walking in the park. And no trotting jocks. Just a couple of cats and maybe the park wolf. All those high schule hormones and pheromones – and noise – surely scared him/her off yesterday. Solitary wolves are either bonkers or very insecure. And I had forgotten how noisy even silent, exercising high schule students could be. So the volume of the educationalists is natural but indicates how asentient they are.
I had occasion, in between raindrops and foggy exhalation, to consider an article [Link] I saw yesterday about some high schule kid who analyzed the type faces used by the Yankee government and how much ink – relatively – each uses. It’s a pretty good analysis, comparable with what Gartner would do, maybe a little better, but still superficial to the actuality, which is understandable in his circumstances but not in Gartner’s.
He went past the paper and such to how much ink gets used, and assumed equal density of type faces. Not a bad assumption but probably off a bit. And he concluded that if the YG would exclusively use a skinny type face they would save a bunch of money. Nice idea. Very appealing. But probably wrong.
First of all, it doesn’t apply to things printed using presses and not computer printers. Whole different dynamic and economics. Also, as noted, thing that are printed on presses tend to go to people who want to hold and read. And they need a visually conducive type face. Which probably isn’t a skinny type face. In fact, it’s probably a pretty heavy serif font. Because that works best with human reading. And that’s the basic problem with this, and most such, analyses. They over look the human aspects.
First of all, the best way to cut costs is to cut paper use. Ink and paper costs are deterministically connected. But a lot of paper use is dictated by regulation (e.g., record keeping) and human comfort. Lots of folks in government, especially those over thirty, want to read off paper and not a screen. And lots under thirty have found that you can’t take a screen to a meeting and make notes on the image. Easily, nor well. And a lot of meetings are spent editing and critiquing documents.
The best way to cur paper and ink costs, on computers at least, is to go to work group printers. That way people don’t print out pictures of cats and they don’t print stuff that isn’t important enough to walk down the hall. But many of these aren’t color printers and people don’t like walking down the hall to get print-out or they like to print out cat pictures and they convince their boss that they really need a printer on their desk for productivity reasons. And once one in the cubical farm has one, every other person needs one. It’s a social thing.
Also, while computers and printers are often controlled a bit, ink supplies aren’t. So economy of using ink means convincing managers to economize and they won’t. Because their ink costs aren’t that much of budget and hence not worth the attention.
An unadressed factor is font size. While correspondence usually has a designated font size – thanks in large part to the Yankee Government Printing Office who got unfairly slurred in this analysis – working documents don’t. And a lot of them get done in oversized characters with extra line spacing. So editing and comments can be penned in.
I’ll stop here. It’s not that the kid didn’t do a good piece of work. It’s just that what he did is more a political bashing truncheon than actual organizational reality. A thing you usually have to be in the organization to know.