Dwight returns; “Creative compartments” etc etc

Right, am sick of *not* putting daily posts. Most of what I put up will be quick stuff – stuff I’ve typed up from various reading thinking “hmm, must do summat with that”. Well, if I just accumulate, without dispersing, I help nobody, inc. self…

Here’s the first quote, on hierarchy….

Creative Compartments: A design for future organisation
Gerard Fairtlough

Hierarchies work particularly well when there are only a few well-educated, knowledgeable people available, whose knowledge is clearly advantageous for the organisation, or when the people at the top have a clear vision, for which some reason cannot easily be shared with the rest of the organisation. This was certainly the case a hundred years ago, when hierarchies were starting to proliferate. It was also the case more recently. Amid the confusion after the Second World War, the top-down policies, set by senior management, were readily accepted. But the experts from the centre quickly taught their colleagues on the periphery, and as a result the expert became to be less valuable. By the 1960s the central office started to be resented, and since the 1970s, at least in business, the hierarchical mode of organisation has come under pressure.

So why do hierarchies continue I believe the reasons are, first, the love of power, and, second, the fear of change. If what might replace a hierarchy is unfamiliar and unproven, resistance to change must be expected, and not only from the top but throughout the organisation.

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Words I didn’t know, have googled/wikipedia-ed

Actinic (Solar page 118) Actinism is the property of solar radiation that leads to the production of photochemical and photobiological effects
Agapanthus Some species of Agapanthus are commonly known as lily of the Nile (or African lily in the UK), although they are not lilies and all of the species are native to South Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Limpopo River
Erethism Erethism or erethism mercurialis is a neurological disorder which affects the whole central nervous system, as well as a symptom complex derived from mercury poisoning. This is also sometimes known as the mad hatter disease.
Godhead (page 170) Divinity, the quality of being God
Conceptions of God
Godhead in Judaism, the unknowable aspect of God, which lies beyond his actions or emanations
Godhead in Christianity, the substantial essence or nature of the Christian God
Inanition (page 119) Starvation is a severe deficiency in caloric energy intake. It is the most extreme form of malnutrition. In humans, prolonged starvation can cause permanent organ damage[1] and eventually, death. The term inanition refers to the symptoms and effects of starvation.
Jeroboam Jeroboam /ˌdʒɛrəˈboʊ.əm/ (Hebrew: יָרָבְעָם yarobh`am, Greek: Ιεροβοάμ Hieroboam) was the first king of the northern Israelite Kingdom of Israel after the revolt of the ten northern Israelite tribes against Rehoboam that put an end to the United Monarchy.
Maquette A maquette (French word for scale model, sometimes referred to by the Italian names plastico or modello) is a small scale model or rough draft of an unfinished sculpture. An equivalent term is bozzetto, from the Italian word that means “sketch”.
Ruched (Solar page 40) In the sewing technique, ruching, a large number of increases are introduced in one row, which are then removed by decreases a few rows later. This produces many small vertical ripples in the fabric, effectively little pleats.
Plainsong Plainsong (also plainchant; Latin: cantus planus) is a body of chants used in the liturgies of the Western Church. Though the Eastern Orthodox churches and the Western Church did not split until long after the origin of plainsong, Byzantine chants are generally not classified as plainsong.
Plainsong is monophonic, consisting of a single, unaccompanied melodic line. Its rhythm is generally freer than the metered rhythm of later Western music.

Saturnalia Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival in honor of the deity Saturn, held on the 17th of December of the Julian calendar and later expanded with festivities through to the 23rd of December. The holiday was celebrated with a sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn, in the Roman Forum, and a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms: gambling was permitted, and masters provided table service for their slaves.[1] The poet Catullus called it “the best of days.”

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Books I just bought (while giving away many many more!)

Having a bit of a clear-out. Long overdue of course. I took a backpack mostly full down to a ‘burb of Manchester where there are lots of charity shops. I surprised myself by coming away only with the following -

Christopher Isherwood “Goodbye to Berlin” (£1.50) The inspiration for I am a Camera and Cabaret
Arthur Hailey “Airport” (£0.50) I intend – if advanced industrial capitalism doesn’t collapse first – to write about aviation and its meaning. So, this and Airframe and others will be read…)
John Monaghan and Peter Just “Social and Cultural Anthropology: A very short introduction” (£1.99) Anthropology is on my long list of things to get my head around properly.
Estelle Phillips and DS Pugh How to get a PhD (£2) No-brainer
John Maxwell and Jim Dornan “Becoming A Person of Influence: How to positively impact the lives of others” (£3.49) Hmm. Wouldn’t it be nice…
Margaret Heffernan “Wilful Blindness: Why we ignore the obvious at our peril” (£3.49) And, hopefully, “how we stop ourselves and others ignoring the obvious…”

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*Excellent* video on Big M and small m meetings by Johnnie Moore. Watch this!!!


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Charity shop goons

Went out for a lovely lunch with the lovely Mrs Towers. Haloumi fish and chips!

Charity shop people are getting more and more vicious. As we were innocently walking past they would leap out and force us at gunpoint to buy books.

I got
The Survivor by James Herbert. Guy survives plane crash in which everyone else is crispy. Film of it was shot in Adelaide. I remember we’d drive into the city past the growing Jumbo jet, which one day was torched (they filmed the crash the night before). I have an idea to write on the mechanics and meaning of civil aviation. It’s in the “maybe one day” file.

The Consumers’ Guide to the Protection of the Environment by Jonathan Holliman. Published originally in 1970, my “revised and updated edition” of 1974 has a mention of carbon dioxide accumulation and the ‘greenhouse effect’ (I am going to write something on the (very) early days of popular awareness of climate change…

Easy Learning German Verbs, published by Collins. Did you know that “William Collins’ dream of knowledge for all began with the publication of his first book in 1819. A self-educated mill worker, he not only enriched millions of lives, but also founded a flourishing publishing house.”
Why? If I want to be more employable, being a competent German speaker would be a Good Thing. Watch this space…

Peace for Beginners by Ian Kellas. One of those cartoon/text books. I am shamefully ignorant of the history of the peace movement.

The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope . Melmotte and all that – big “decadence” jeremiad form the 1870s. Will be interesting to read using the Multi-Level Perspective…

Helmsman and Heroes; Control theory as a key to past and future by William Gosling. Yep, also need to read Beniger’s The Control Revolution

Bloody charity shop goons.

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Not agnostic about agnatology – ignorance as a weapon in the never-ending class war

Don’t let your slaves learn to read. Not even the Bible, and the bits about the sons of Ham. Who knows what else they might do with that tool you have put in their hands. The field ones, definitely not. The house ones – a bit, so long as they have enough to lose…

Well, that works fine (for you, not them!) if you’re running a plantation economy, a feudal society.

In a knowledge economy though, you gotta have a trained workforce. Not an educated one, mind you – there’s a subtle difference!

So, I’ve just stumbled on a great term – “agnotology“. There is, of course, a wikipedia entry about it.

Agnotology (formerly agnatology) is the study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data. The neologism was coined by Robert N. Proctor,[1][2] a Stanford University professor specializing in the history of science and technology.[3] Its name derives from the Neoclassical Greek word ἄγνωσις, agnōsis, “not knowing” (confer Attic Greek ἄγνωτος “unknown”[4]), and -λογία, -logia.[5] More generally, the term also highlights the increasingly common condition where more knowledge of a subject leaves one more uncertain than before….

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Academic NVDA – not as exciting as it sounds…

It occurs to me that many academics (with honorable exceptions!) engage in their own form of NVDA.

Sadly, those letters stand for “Nonsense Verbiage Destroying Attention”…

Thanks, I’m here all week…

In other news, Big and Good changes afoot. Happy as the proverbial pig in the proverbial…

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