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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] [OT] the poetry of donald rumsfeld

From: Robin Farine
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] [OT] the poetry of donald rumsfeld
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 2004 02:14:01 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.6b) Gecko/20031221 Thunderbird/0.4

Tom Lord wrote:

But the thesis put forth in that web link?  I dunno.  My recollection
is that you could _see_ the micro-course-corrections in the seconds
before impact, implying a human driver.  And, while airplanes can
pretty much land themselves, doesn't that rely on the transponders
around runways?  I have to ask whether or not automated navigation is
really _that_ precise over manhatten at low altitude.

It does not seem impossible to me that some guidance instruments dissimulated in town suffice to let the plane "see" a nice runway instead of Manhattan. Maybe not so realistic after all. What I find more suspicious for instance is why no fighter came to intercept the planes? I thought that any point in the US can be reached by a fighter in about 15 minutes. For some reason, I just had the impression that not much effort was invested to prevent this disaster because some people could somehow benefit from it. Anyway, as I already said, my point was not to defend this thesis against another. Let me try to elaborate.

Not unlike a software project, life on earth belongs to the kind of games where collaboration between parties is necessary to have a good and successful game. By collaboration I mean that each individual has his ideas, some good some less good, and communicates with other individuals in order to elaborate an appropriate and generally accepted solution to a given problem.

Ideally, in a software project involving a few teams such as managers, architects/designers, developers and testers, each team collaborates internally to solve problems localized to its domain. Inter-team collaboration concerns more abstract goals, maybe scheduling the next release or ordering high level tasks. In any case, the ultimate goal is the success of the project. If something goes wrong and instead of trying to isolate the problem to find a solution, teams start to compete to decide which team should be blamed and punished, this does not solve anything but rather compromise the whole project. Also, if for instance a manager reads a computer journal during the week-end and comes on Monday inspired telling the developers how they should implement this or that part of the design, it does not qualify as useful collaboration. Obvious.

Sadly, what constantly happens in life looks like these obviously wrong way of handling a software project. Masses blindly follow small groups of powerful people even if such groups generally do not act to improve the mass' quality of life, which should be the ultimate goal. Driven by some kind of mental illness, these groups rather use (sacrifice) people to increase their own power/bank account amount. So, instead of collaborating individuals or teams solving well delimited problems, we act as huge groups of people each behind its own simplistic view of the "absolute truth" trying to impose it to other groups. It does not work, the short result is an endless fight & retaliate scenario.

OK, I stop before I write things even more confusing, if possible. So, in case someone is interested, the link below points to a review of a comprehensive work on how and why we humans behave like we do and how we could improve things.

At least while reading the book I often had the "ah!" signaling that something that I already knew becomes something that I understand (thinking about it, I should read it again).


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