Archive for October, 2005

I‘ve read The Silmarillion cover to cover more than once, which probably makes me a hard-core Tolkein fanboi. That’s probably why I found this so side-splittingly funny. I thought the best part was the summary of the Ainulindale:

AINUR: Wow! Existence!
ILUVATAR: *blows pitch pipe* LA!
AINUR: Um. . . la?
MELKOR: Boop bop-a-doo-bop!
ILUVATAR: LA, dammit.
MELKOR: Bwam bardle ningle boom.
AINUR: . . .
ILUVATAR: Right, you’re out of the band.
MELKOR: Fine, I was leaving anyway.
AINUR: . . .
ILUVATAR: What are you waiting for?
AINUR: Oh. Right. Newly created world. Sorry. Great jam session, big guy!

Anyone who knows me personally, or who reads the blog, has probably picked up on the fact that I have strong and somewhat unorthodox political opinions. Tremble, then, in the knowledge that earlier this evening somebody called me up out of the blue and actually asked me about them in detail.

Yes, it’s true. I have been polled. The next newspaper article you read saying that X% of those surveyed approve of the President’s execution of his office, that X% may include my opinion.

In case anyone’s curious:

  • Bush gets a thumbs-down.
  • Congress gets a thumbs-down.
  • Governor Schwartzenegger gets a thumbs-up.
  • The California state legislature gets a thumbs-down.
  • All of the governor’s reform initiatives get thumbs-up.
  • Harriet Miers gets a thumbs-down.

Oh, and a number of questions on the poll were very poorly structured. For example, they asked me whether I approved of Bush’s performance on “taxes and spending.” Broadly speaking I approve of his record on taxes (cutting them) but strongly disapprove of his actions on spending (not cutting it). So how can I accurately respond to the question? The stuff on abortion was even worse. I understand that writing a decent poll is harder than it looks, but why oh why do they keep writing questions that are so obviously lumping together issues that are separable?

ISO9000 certification requires companies to explicitly document their operating procedures and then follow them. What could be wrong with that? Here’s what.

The purpose of business is the creation of wealth. Wealth creation is, at root, a process of creative thought. To be highly successful over the long term, a company has to constantly improve its products and methods of production — it has to innovate. But innovation, by definition, cannot be captured in a formal procedure. Following a set of rules someone else wrote down is the antithesis of the kind of ongoing creative thinking that business success requires. And that kind of rule-following is exactly what ISO9000 requires.

Conclusion: ISO9000 is worse than pointless. Which probably explains why I work at an ISO9000-certified company and nevertheless have no idea what documented procedures I’m supposedly following.

“How many eggplant plants could an eggplant plant plant, if an eggplant plant could plant eggplant plants?”

Brought to you courtesy of Usenet. You will never find a more useless hive of scum and pointlessness.