Showing posts from February, 2010

The LADGAS problem (motivation in management)

I think one of the the biggest challenges with management (and perhaps life in general) is dealing with people who happen to be feeling lazy, and just don't give a sh!t at the moment. This seems to be particularly difficult with "boring" jobs, like call centers, retail, etc. How many times have you called up a company to get some information, do some calculations, fix an error on your phone bill -- but they just aren't into it ? Perhaps they haven't had their coffee yet, or stayed out too late the night before.  Who knows. Whatever the cause, you can tell they really and truly don't care one bit about what you need them to do. When it comes down to it, motivation might be the most important aspect of management. You could have the best processes in the world, but if people have no incentive to follow them, they won't . So what's your advice?  How do you manage people who are feeling Lazy And Don't Give A Sh!t?

Google Buzz Privacy blah blah blah

2010-08-08 Update: Perhaps online privacy is important after all? The recent Google Buzz fallout has me confused. Why does everyone get so bent out of shape about public privacy ? Don't get me wrong -- I'm a big advocate of personal privacy .  People should be able to do whatever they want in their homes, behind closed doors  without being harassed -- as long as it's legal, of course :) Your online activities, however, are by default not really that private .  Maybe people just don't understand this. Even if you're using a brower's "privacy mode", anonymous proxies, etc., you're still leaving a digital trail behind you. Clearly things like credit card numbers , social security numbers, health information, etc. need to be protected, and that's what strong encryption and privacy laws are for. Likewise, it should be illegal for unauthorized snooping -- key loggers, spyware, etc. are like phone wiretaps and should be treated sim

Technology for Relationships

Has technology improved your relationship? Some people think that technology has hindered personal relationships, but I'd argue that its helped in some cases. My girlfriend and I use technology constantly to help us stay connected . In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I've put together a few examples that might be of use to other couples. 1. Google Calendar One of the great things about Google Calendar is that it lets you combine several different calendars into one handy view. Along with our own personal calendars, which we can make visible to each other, we have a shared calendar that we can both add to and edit. Have you ever been asked, "So are you ready for that dinner we have in half an hour?"  And have you ever responded, "Dinner? What dinner? You never told me about any dinner!" We've all been in this situation.  With a shared calendar, moments like this are a thing of the past. 2. Google Docs This is basically like hav

Is Science the same as Religion?

People often argue that science is actually a religion in itself, so it's no better or worse than other religions. Thing is, there's a crucial difference between the two. In mathematical terms, science is all about variables , whereas religion is all constants . Religion says, "We believe X is true, and we only acknowledge supporting evidence. Any evidence showing X to be false is wrong." Science , on the other hand, says, "Evidence to date suggests that X is true. However, if new data shows us that X is actually false, we will update our theories accordingly." This cartoon I found sums it up pretty well: Scientists (good ones anyways) are willing to rewrite their textbooks in light of new data. On the other hand, I don't think a church would ever issue a statement saying, "New evidence suggests that the world was actually created in 5 days, as opposed to 7. We will be releasing an updated edition of the Bible with the appropriate cor

Does Climate Change really matter?

Climate Change is big news. It's a dividing issue. Us versus Them. Depending on who you believe, it's either a) the most catastrophic event of our time , or... b) completely made up. So -- Is it real? Probably. The underlying principles are well understood. When will it happen? It's likely to have already been happening since we started burning large amounts of fossil fuels. Recent studies indicate that the measurable climate effects could be delayed 30+ years, so we might only be seeing the effects of carbon emissions from the 70s and 80s . That's right, all the emissions from those 1980s big V8 cars haven't even registered yet, never mind the more recent SUVs . What will future effects be? Hard to say. Warmer average temperatures. More storms. "Freak" weather. Rising sea levels, no doubt. Will there be a "tipping point" where the changes start spiraling out of control and threaten human survival? Maybe. But we don't