21 February 2006

Whine testing

Small Sir got a rude shock yesterday. When he started whining about something, instead of complaining about the whining, his Daddy required him to whine. Loudly. In the proper tone. Or else!

He almost couldn’t do it. Even in the face of Dire Consequences. It was an epiphany.

It’s been remarkably effective. It abruptly canned the whining of a tired 6-year-old boy for a whole afternoon, and similarly ushered in the quiet revolution this morning.

In the bad old days when people were still dopey enough to do such things, one known cure for a child sucked in (pun intended) to smoking by its peers was to require it to smoke the whole pack (or chunder profusely or pass out in the attempt). The technique has also been applied to lollies, for those with an excessively sweet tooth.

Now I wonder if we can find and exploit a similar approach to rolling out new software? Some way of isolating and concentrating the unpleasant “features&rdquo of the legacy system so that recalcitrant users can be force-fed them until they beg and plead to be able to stop?

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