Posts Tagged ‘Albert Einstein’

One Or Many

August 18, 2013 Leave a comment

The figure below models the increase in team stress level versus time for waterfall and time-boxed projects. As a project nears a delivery date, the stress levels increase dramatically as the team fixes turds, integrates individually developed features into the whole, and takes care of the boring but important stuff that nobody wanted to do earlier.

waterfall and scrum stress

One tradeoff between the two types of projects is maximum stress level vs. number of stressful events. The maximum level of experienced stress is much higher for waterfall than any one time-boxed sprint, but it only occurs once as opposed to monthly. Pick your poison:  a quick death by guillotine or a slow death by a thousand cuts.

Agilistas would have everyone believe that time-boxed projects impose a constant but very low level of  healthy stress on team members while waterfall quagmires impose heart-attack levels of stress on the team. They may be right, because…..

Einstein Make Shit Up

(In case you haven’t noticed, BD00 is feeling the need to use the Einstein pic above more and more in his posts. I wonder why that is.)

Alternative Considerations

May 26, 2013 2 comments

Before you unquestioningly accept the gospel of the “evolutionary architecture” and “emergent design” priesthood, please at least pause to consider these admonitions:

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe – Abe Lincoln

Measure twice, cut once – Unknown

If I had an hour to save the world, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute finding solutions – Albert Einstein

100% test coverage is insufficient. 35% of the faults are missing logic paths – Robert Glass

Quite Agile

Zero Experience

October 3, 2012 3 comments

If you look at the “Categories” box on the right side of this blawg page, you’ll see that the number of posts categorized as “management” is much larger than any other category. However, except for 4 years of serving as a software “lead” on two different projects, BD00 has zero management experience over his un-illustrious career-end. Nada, zilch, the big goose egg.

So, you ask: “What gives BD00 the right to write about management practices and behaviors?” My good buddy and intellectual inferior, Mr. Albert Einstein, says it best in “Essays In Humanism“:

Many readers may ask: “What right has he to speak out about things which concern us alone, and which no newcomer should touch?” I do not think such a standpoint is justified. One who has grown up in an environment takes much for granted. On the other hand, one who has come to this country as a mature person may have a keen eye for everything peculiar and characteristic. I believe he should speak out freely on what he sees and feels, for by so doing he may perhaps prove himself useful.

Except for maybe the “mature” and  “…for by so doing he may perhaps prove himself useful” parts, that’s one of the reasons why I do it. Another is that I’d love to see the guild move much more quickly toward what Gary Hamel calls “Management 2.0” instead of languishing in its 2oth century, self-serving creation.

BD00 – The Physicist

February 26, 2012 3 comments

In case you haven’t noticed, BD00 liberally conjures up and uses abstract pictures to promote his rants and lies – just like a physicist:

The use of abstract pictures or symbols to represent real things is absolutely fundamental in physics –this is essentially what physicists use mathematics for. The power of the approach comes when the abstract pictures can be manipulated using simple rules to make firm predictions about the real world. – Cox, Brian; Forshaw, Jeff (2012-01-31). The Quantum Universe: (And Why Anything That Can Happen, Does) (Kindle Locations 512-514). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

Notice any resemblance?

Matter On The Grid

January 26, 2012 3 comments

From the irrational logic in a prior post, I “think” the quantized universe may be modeled as the following space time grid:

As shown on the left below, before the “collapse“, all matter is in the form of a superposition of infinite possibility energy waves governed by Shrodinger’s wave equation. After the instantaneous collapse of the wave function caused by a “conscious observer“, we get finite objects moving through space and time on the grid.

Alas, I’m on board with Einstein’s mental model:

I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it – Albert Einstein

Note: Take this post (and all my other ones) with a grain of salt. I have no freakin’ idea what I’m talking about. I’m collapsing the wave function as I go.

The Only Means

Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means. – Albert Einstein

I stumbled upon the above Einstein quote while browsing Chetan Dhruve’s twitter page. One can set a good/bad example by:

  • their day-to-day behavior,
  • the quality of their work output, or
  • (preferably) both of the above.

Since managers in DYSCOs and CLORGs are “above” work (shhhh – you’re not allowed to know and think that), they can only set an example by behavior. DICsters, however, can set an example using both approaches. Alas, it’s a real challenge to produce high quality work and behave as a role model when you’re continuously saddled with un-articulated goals that change on a whim, unreasonable schedules, and cleverly ego-centric managers. Nevertheless, it can still be done in spite of being immersed in a toxic environment. How do you do it?

Cradle To Grave Indoctrination

“Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.” – Albert Einstein

To me, the second sentence is the most insightful part of this quote. My subjective interpretation is that Einstein discovered that the cradle-to-grave indoctrination of most individuals teaches them to become subservient to the herd mindset prevailing during their time on earth. This indoctrination is so effective and so complete that they don’t have a clue that their capacity to think afresh has been vastly constrained by their social environment. What do you think Einstein meant when he said the words? Your interpretation is as invalid as mine.

I don’t think there’s any conspiracy theory here, it’s just the natural course of development in any society that has been “trained” to revere human-concocted hierarchical structures of governance. I say “human-concocted” because there are no hierarchies in nature. We automatically and impulsively impose hierarchies on everything we observe because that’s the only way we know how to make sense of, understand, and (attempt to) control the world. Building command and control hierarchies and requiring unquestioning subservience to those arbitrarily placed “above” you in the caste system is the way of the human race – today. Do you think this situation will remain that way for your lifetime? How about, forever?

Not Baffling

April 20, 2010 2 comments

“Increasingly, people seem to misinterpret complexity as sophistication, which is baffling—the incomprehensible should cause suspicion rather than admiration. Possibly this trend results from a mistaken belief that using a somewhat mysterious device confers an aura of power on the user.” – Niklaus Wirth

Niklaus, it’s not baffling. People do it because, in a society that adores academic intelligence over all else, they don’t want to look and feel stupid in front of others. By acting as though they admire an incomprehensible monstrosity that they don’t understand, the people around them (especially the creators of the untenable complexity) will think they are smart and sophisticated too.

Regardless of whether the “misinterpretation” happens consciously or unconsciously, it’s ego driven. I know this because I’ve done it many times…….. both consciously and unconsciously.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” – Albert Einstein


February 20, 2010 5 comments

“Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.” – Albert Einstein

I love this quote because for a long, long time (half of my life to be more specific – and I’m not, uh, very young),  I fit the “incapable of forming such opinions” part. However, for reasons that I don’t understand but am grateful for, I’ve done a total 180 degree turnaround. By design, I consciously choose to form and express opinions which differ from the prejudices of my social environment, both the local social environment and, more ominously, the global social environment. What I’ve yet to learn, and I may never learn it because I’m not intelligent(?) enough to suppress emotion over Spock-like logic, is the “equanimity” part (equanimity = evenness of temper even under stress). What keeps me going is this juicy gem from the father of psychology:

It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all. – William James

Getting back to Mr. Einstein’s quote, it’s essence really comes alive in CCH organizations. It’s especially true between levels of membership in a caste-based hierarchy. Because of “the way things are“, an unwritten rule exists that is followed unconsciously by (almost) all. That rule is: “it’s a blasphemous act of disloyalty for those in the lower echelons of the corposphere to question any actions, decisions, and/or strategies effected by those in the upper echelons“. The rule implies that judgment is a one way street, with the judgers on top and the judgees on the bottom. The penalty of violation, of course, is excommunication or expulsion from the org so that the internal environment can snap back to the mind-numbing status quo. It doesn’t matter if the rule violator(s) contribute more to the well being of the whole org than they consume from it. It only matters if the infallible dudes in charge have their feelings hurt. But then, business isn’t personal, right?

Just because things are the way they are doesn’t mean they have to be that way.

So, how about U? Are U capable of expressing, with or without equanimity, opinions that differ from your social environment? If not, why not? If U do, how do U feel when U take the plunge? Uncomfortable, insecure, isolated? Come on, gimme some feedback here.

The Beauty Of Quotes Is…

April 25, 2009 2 comments

that they are both dense and concise. When I hear a quote that hits close to home it rocks my world like a Mike Tyson power punch (when he was in his prime). Sometimes the effect is positive and sometimes it’s negative, but it’s always impactful. Here’s a top 10 list of my current favorites:

  1. “Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn’t have to do it himself.” – A. H. Weiler
  2. “An undefined problem has an infinite number of solutions.” – Robert A. Humphrey
  3. “A picture is worth a thousand words. A metaphor is worth a thousand pictures.” – Ben Tamari
  4. “Comprehensiveness is the enemy of comprehensibility.” – Martin Fowler
  5. “Creation is an intimate act of communication between the creator and the created.” – W. L. Livingston
  6. “Facts are useful because they give the conscious mind something to do while the emotions decide what’s true” – Dale Dauten
  7. “I hold great hopes for UML, which seems to offer a way to build products that integrate hardware and software, and that is an intrinsic part of development from design to implementation. But UML will fail if management won’t pay for quite extensive training, or toss the approach when panic reigns.” – Jack Gannsle
  8. “If I had an hour to save the world, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute finding solutions” – Albert Einstein
  9. “I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing.” – Socrates
  10. “It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all.” – William James

What’s your current favorite list?

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