14 April 2011

Technical is buried in non-technical

This performance happened when I was in Year 11 of high school, yet another Brooks from midway through last century would agree with it.

Frederick mentioned this in his book, “The Mythical Man-Month,”published 3 years before the performance:

“Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later”

while he regards this as a drastic oversimplification, it is accurate in that some aspects of the coding situation have little or no dependence on your ability to actually invent code, more to do with the social context (teaming up 10 women won’t get you a baby 4 weeks after conception).

One recent aspect of this is that I have enough pieces to assemble maybe 10 or 12 fully functional computers, yet for social reasons, very few people are at all interested in such a computer.

Another is that becoming aware of having been subject to over a decade of social sabotage was the key to understanding the hidden limits of my abilities to ramp up my IT business. Aftershocks of the same sabotage are limiting the business in different ways now, a third of a decade after direct sabotage efforts ended.

The way to recover my productivity (it’s begun) has been to understand that everybody brings us happiness: some as they arrive, others as they depart.

Attempting to control another’s actions is essentially futile (even for a socially short-sighted bully or a vicious tyrant, their selfish efforts have boundaries — & rebound factors), however, I can control my own actions.

We cannot (there are very rare, minimal exceptions to this) control what happens to us. We can control how we respond to those events. Our responses tend to govern what happens to us in future.

With that in mind, I choose to no longer tolerate being lied to or lied about.

There are few things as heart-breaking (or less technical) than having someone who loves you deeply (& you love deeply), sitting next to you & on the verge of tears as they contrast lies being told with the “you” they really know.

In physics, every action has an equal & opposite reaction. Socially, that is not a winning game. However, the psychopath who created those lies will learn that it is immensely unprofitable to attempt to hurt me by hurting those I love.

That’s not a threat, that’s a promise. They’ve demonstrated how they wish to be treated; I refuse to stoop so low, however the tiniest shadows of any respect I may ever have had for them are now dead & buried.

There is one who said that a man has no greater love than to lay down his life for a friend; then that one went on to lay down his life for his enemies as well. I am not that strong. Until I develop that manner of emotional strength, there will be no consideration, no slack at all offered which is not absolutely necessary.

To the offender, should they happen to read this, I say directly:

“I realise that you cannot genuinely trust anybody, not even yourself. However, you can trust this statement: you have shown me no quarter, you will get none yourself. None.

“I don’t know what happened to twist you so badly, long before you met me, but it did not twist your sibling. Until you admit (even to yourself) that all of your problems are essentially the result of your own decisions & your own actions, then change those decisions & those actions, your life will continue to suck. Always. Regardless of what I do, don’t do or are surmised to have done.

“That principle approaches the inevitability of gravity.”

The technical aspects of this are...?

As I accept that I am not at all responsible for the actions of others, I will be less burdened by false senses of guilt (which some of those others laboured & continue to labour to inflict on me), so I will become a much more powerful (amongst many other things) programmer.

So you want to be a more powerful programmer? Spouse? Gardener? Author? Swimmer? Garbage collector? Accountant? Yes...?

Start by discarding old baggage.

Next step, accept more effective ways of responding, & put them to good use.

One example of responding better was a front-desk computer program I wrote a couple of decades ago for Chiropractic clinics (initially in FoxBase Plus as an improvement on dBase III, later in FoxPro). Initially, the Chiropractor through whose business this was being done instructed me, but I soon leant towards asking his CAs what was most needed.

A “CA” is a Chiropractic Assistant with multiple sub-roles including receptionist, book-keeper & cleaner. At the time, they were all 100% women; today, I haven’t checked.

This made the application flow as the people who were using it expected & it ties in nicely with Jethro’s song.

After finishing there, I later had a chat with a few of the computer-client Chiro’s at various times, & concluded that the man marketing point had been the “Zap” feature.

What that did was rather than posting a correcting transaction, it obliterated every trace of the errant transaction having ever been put through (& at the close of the day, after printing reports, it would COMPACT the table files, which scrubbed even the internal evidence, as dBase family would mark a record with a DELETED flag rather than actually removing it when it was deleted).

Many of the program purchasers were sitting down after their CAs had left for the day & Zapping a portion of their cash transactions (which had no effect on next-appointment times or the like), then re-printing the reports.

The savings in income tax were apparently substantial in some cases. (-:

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