Tuesday, August 21, 2012

There's a touch of irony in the fact I'm about to mention the milk of human kindness. For one, I don't like milk. And, for two, I don't think I'm particularly kind. But be that as it may, the recent Olympics seems to have shown us once again that humans can be nice to each other from time to time. But on a particular scale and in a certain time and place. Outside these parameters, the M of H K is somewhat diluted, if not entirely absent.

The next irony is that, although I'm not a Catholic, nor even a Christian, the two occasions on which I've felt bathed with the M of H K were both in the Lourdes shrine in France. And, indeed, during the same ceremony – the nighttime candle-lit procession at the centre of the grotto. It didn't do anything to affect my disinclination to believe in miracles, but I'd defy anyone not to experience a sensation of goodness and charity at this gathering. Trouble is, immediately outside the precincts of the shrine you enter the rather different world of trinket and holy water commerce. There couldn't be a greater contrast.

Talking about location . . . Island living can make people, well, insular, I guess. Rather unaware of what's going on in other places. And equally unaware of how they're seen by others. I suspect peninsulas can suffer/benefit from the same phenomenon. Just a thought.

Query: If you cost and timeline a project and then add an Inefficiency Factor, are you being efficient? I guess so.

The Chinese buffet restaurant down by the train station is called Euphoria. As this has no Chinese (or food) connotations whatsoever, my guess is they wanted to give a European frisson to their name and then stuck a pin in the relevant section of the dictionary.

Finally . . . Interesting to note that, during World War Two, Russian and German forces agreed to a brief armistice so they could fight off hungry wolves. That done, they returned to slaying each other with gay abandon. No M of H K, you see.


James Atkinson said...

Colin Paradoxically, living away from the periphery of a large continent can also have the same effect. Removing outside influences. When visiting the USA in the 70's and 80's I often met people who hadn't heard of cricket. That may not be too surprising on reflection, despite their proximity to the Caribbean islands, but this ignorance of the world was also reflected in a lack of knowledge geographically.

Anonymous said...

No Project Manager would be honest enough to build an inefficiency factor into a project. It is easier to cover your ass by exagerating the risk factors and build in wild contingency allowances. By encouraging "Scope Drift" the aims of the original project will be sufficiently muddied so that any inefficiencies can be suitably masked.
I would therefore maintain that building an inefficiency factor into a project is efficient - only because it would get an honest project manager sacked before he started.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for forgetting to sign the above comment, Google Accounts do not like me,


Anonymous said...

Hi Colin,

Many large foreign corporations, including British firms, doing business in Mexico have an
inefficiency/bribery factor in their budget. It is a way of conducting normal business affairs and, for the most part, it's very efficient. It's the only way to fly!


SF Bay Area

Colin said...

Hi, Jorge.

Yes, we used to do the same in Tehran and Jakarta!

Colin said...


Yes, this is a better way of proceeding.

Having had my first experience of computerised project planning, I was rather surprised to hear or read in 2000 that the 'new' tool of project management could help Spanish companies with their planning. I guess it's been introduced widely since then . . .

Colin said...

@James. At business school in the USA in 1079, I was asked whether Indian was the language of Indonesia.

Colin said...

@David. LOL!

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