Network of Ignorance

One Day. Back to gym and a right good episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” in their series on the War of 1812, specifically about the rather fumbling Chesapeake Incursion. But in and around I got to pay a bit of attention to the flickering electromagnetic audio-visual receivers and was prompted by the hullabaloo over the Naismith Pornographic Extravaganza know as March Insanity to consider some aspects of (b) things that are unpopular and important, and (c) things that are popular and unimportant.

These contrast to (a) things that are unpopular and unimportant, and (d) things that are popular and important.

I will leave sorting the four states out because I primarily want to talk about the relationship of the two states considered in the context of organization.

I am continually surprised at how inaccurate (or absent) is the average Amerikan’s knowledge (and understanding) of organizations. This isn’t just the so called man-in-the-street, which should be expanded to man-in-the-street-with-his-nose-in-a-slablet. It also includes the members of such organizations and all too frequently the people who manage these organizations. This seems to be one of those areas where we Amerikans value ignorance over knowledge. 

Some people – rather fewer than one may suppose – know that an organization is also a network that extends beyond the organization itself. But they do nothing with the knowledge. It’s rather like knowing the capital of Lower Umsquat. And they don’t use that network viewpoint to understand how their organization is and how it functions.

Hence the consideration of (b) and (c). Parts of the organization may be unpopular and important and are thus persecuted or dissolved by management and the organization suffers, falters, or collapses. Similarly, parts of the organization may be popular and unimportant and thus exalted or rewarded and thereby resources are wasted and important bit (and people) ignored and the organization suffers, falters, or collapses.

This is the situation with all organizations, including corporations and governments. I mention these two specifically because it is in these organizations that this lack of understanding can be most lethal. 

Corporations are organizations to gather money. They only gather money if people want (and buy) their products. And people usually only have to buy their products if they want to. Now, we live in an age of new. So many corporation managements think they have to be new to make money, forgetting that people like change best (that is somewhat instead of not-at-all) when it is their idea. And the corporations pretend to understand this by using advertising, which is equally broken. That is, unpopular and maybe important. We have lots of new corporations these days, often because old corporations lost track of their organization/network.

Similarly, people seem to miss that government is primarily supposed to practice the laws enacted by Congress as directed by the Executive and not forbidden by the Judiciary. It’s a maintenance organization in the main. The big thing, which people don’t understand, is you can’t call a fix-it guy when it breaks. 

Asimov proven again.

American Failure

One Day. Back to Gym. Moderately sparse. Not many weight bouncers. The podcast was an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” about fire. It was a piece that started out well and then degenerated to schmaltz about the Twin Towers Terrorism. I don’t know what the creators’ intent was but I doubt it was being alienating and boring.

Not that I am bored by the loss of life and property but the presentation was singularly ineffective for INTROs. All social emotion stercus and no real substantive content. If anyone should be ashamed it should be those creators.

But this did give occasion to reflect on a Stanley Schmidt editorial in the March 2012 ANALOG. (And YES, I am WAY behind on reading my ANALOG subscription.) He was talking rather critically about manufacturing corporations abandoning their customers by dropping old implementations to sell new ones. 

This is not a new topic to me. I have harped several times about tool versus appliance, but not so much from the standpoint of the greed of the manufacturers. This is a major problem and one totally ignored by ALL politicians, probably because they get bought by those manufacturers. 

But perhaps not? I have noted that politicians no longer worry about their legacy; what they are remembered for. Evidently they think they cannot be remembered and thus only worry about getting re-elected. Which is another problem that we need to fix. But can’t so long as we have no control over politicians.

The problem is that in the midst of an information age, we are losing information at a rate greater than we create it. Yes, a net loss of information. Take PowerPoint files as an example – and Yes, I will acknowledge that MegaHard owns the right to that name and is one of the major causes of this problem. The problem with PowerPoint is that MegaHard keeps updating the file format and orphaning all previous formats. So all old PowerPoint files are unreadable and hence effectively lost.

Now in many cases this is actually a boon since most PowerPoint files are rubbish. Rotting rubbish in several meaning of the term. But some are not and when they cannot be read something is lost.

We have gone through this before. In the Dark Ages. In fact, this loss was part of why those times were Dark. Because when the Roman Empire fell a LOT of information was lost. Similarly, the library of Alexandria was burned by superstitionists. So much for the value of organized religion. 

And we’re doing it again. But the perpetrators are corporations who are uninterested in producing tools and only want to produce appliances. 

Sadly, information doesn’t work the same way food does.

Looking around at the corporate oligarchy, I am glad to be ORF, especially knowing that the politicians are doing nothing to aid their constituents. 

American Serfdom

One Day, and back to gym. An increase in the density of schmucks and ferds. Began to think traffic signals were needed. And they just hang in the middle of pathways obstructing. 

The podcast, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” was an interview with some journalist whose harangue was that war is the means by which organizations strip us of our freedoms.

As with most journalists these days, this was not news and definitely not original.

But the crowning pinnacle was reached by the National Broadcasting Corporation (an organization) via its affiliate WAFF [Link] who declared in their subtexting that they do not know the difference, nor the proper context, for the words “border” and “boarder”. 

Evidently editing is either dead or disposed of as an economy measure.

It is evident that the organizations have won, proving once again that human and money are orthogonal and to maximize the latter the former must be minimized.

This is the new serfdom. The vast majority of the population are illiterate, not in the sense of being unable to read, but in only reading (and seeing and hearing) things that are inaccurate and false.

We have become a nation of gossip serfs, courtesy of greed, over organization, and social media.

One more reason I am glad to be ORF.

Bounded At Infinity

Seven Day. And a lovely fawg. Walked in. Enjoyed the light scattering, so dense it was a diffusion.

And then I ran across an article [Link] “The Tech Industry Is Obsessed With Immortality.” And this generated some thinkage. 

I have read stories about immortality for years. And have come to the hypothesis, maybe moree of a conjecture, that it’s an ugly thing.

Living forever. 

Are you the only one? Then you will have friends and enemies who are only passing, never present for any significant time. You are alone.

Are you several to many? Then you will become an oligarchy or dead. Depends on whether you dominate the temporaries or they dispose of you.

Are you all? Then things are static, always the same people and things, and boring. So why live?

On which note, what happens when your brain fills up? A forever of drooling asentience?

And, to quote the Kingston Trio, “I don’t like anyone very much.” So why put myself in pain? When the planet is populated by bubbas and bozos, death is a relief. And the only escape.

So why forever? What’s missing? From my view or theirs?

To say nothing of when Sol reaches out and consumes Tellus.

Which Reality?

One day, and back to gym. Rather dragging podcast, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” interviewing some muslim journalist who alternated between being boring and strident but did trigger some association with something my colleague Magnetic Inductance Force said

“people who believe that society is reality”

and prompted some cognition.

Following on the heels of yesterday’s blot on thinking, I take as a given that different people tend to think in different ways. In effect, that they have different realities. For physicists, reality is physical; for mathematicians, math is reality; for biologists, biology is reality. And for justicers, law is reality and for physicians, medicine is reality.

But for most people, the ones who are not educated (but likely, if young, have a college diploma,) and EXTRO bogs, reality is society. Only occasionally does something other than friends, family, neighbors, and community intrude and briefly, usually denied, have an aspect of reality. It has been offered that this is why people told they are going to die turn to superstition.

The sad thing is that while none of these things is right (accurate?) none is wrong either. All are different pieces of reality. But for some reason, most of us seem unable to consider meaningfully any totality of reality. Part of that inability is ignorance; we are long past the time when any person can learn and know everything. So some of it is just plain not knowing.

The social reality people are the saddest. They have the shortest, thinnest view of reality, the part that is purely “made up” by humans, having almost nothing to do with Nature at all. In fact, usually in staunch denial of Nature. A reality of emotion and superstition and hormones.

Equally sad is that it is almost impossible to alleviate this sadness. Most of these people are incapable of dealing with any other reality, and the ones who are capable are almost all uninterested. One has to wonder just how inaccurate the “Sapiens” naming is?

Under many circumstances this can be abided. These people can be avoided and ignored. But when they decide to try to eliminate the other realities, which they deem trivial or heretical because they cannot understand them, they move the species closer to extinction.

Which may not be all that bad.

Winter Wonderland

Six Day. And rather miserable outside. The weather beavers [Link] blew it rather badly. The temperature is six degF lower than their forecast. That’s almost 25% error! I expect an occasional error, but these folks are too consistent. 

And it’s not just that station. 

The only good thing about this is that marveling at their egregious errors distracts from the actual weather.

Which is too fricking colding.

Definitely a love-hate situation with blood thinners.

The only thing that makes me happy I am ORF about this is that I don’t have to worry about the tyranny of recess. Bullies and colding. Of course we get that lots of other places. Like the gym and medicalists’ offices. Why do the medicalists permit/encourage their staffs to be so abusive of their customers?

Is it because we’re captives?

Or to instill allegiance?

Winter and ORF: dry ice and motor oil.

Darkness Falls?

Well, the Huntsville Weather Beavers maintained their chain of underestimating the temperature minimum again this morning. I am sitting her typing – and retyping  – in and around the shivers and bone moans.

I did make it to gym this morning and evidently the new year has really begun and the temperature is to moderate because the gym was crowded – for 0500 – for a change. Not necessarily welcome but not too unpleasant despite the hate antics of the weight bouncers. 

FD SCP departed this morning for her employment in Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill, hopefully marking the end of the season of cuttings. Since July she and I have had six between us. Sometimes I am convinced being ORF is harder than working. Certainly that was why she was in a rush to depart. That and some time away from SCP.  And drips.

The inauguration looms and already the temperament of the nation has changed from comfortable grumbling to veiled violence threats. I don’t know whether I want a time machine to go back to the ’50’s or a cryogenic chamber to hide for a century or so. I suspect the former; better the information and health desert of the past to the information and health wasteland of the future.

I was once told that a particularly nasty Chinese curse is “May you live in interesting times.” I now know one worse: “May you live past a golden age.”