Month: July 2021
Rob Millar provides us with an excellent explanation of why the Royal Mail let the prosecution of so many postmasters happen when the organisation couldn’t believe1 that their new IT system was screwing up so badly:
[Generally speaking,…], those at the bottom of an organisation have a fairly accurate view of what’s going on. They’re close to the detail; they know whether their area of the project is on-track, and can infer from that the state of the wider project.
Those at the top, though, have no such first-hand knowledge. They rely on the bubbling-up of information from below, in the form of dashboards and status reports. But, […] those status reports tend to produce a comically optimistic view of the state of the project. Individual contributors presented a rosy picture of what they were working on to their line managers; middle managers gave good news to their bosses; and senior managers, keen to stay on the promotion track and perhaps hopeful that other parts of the project would fail before theirs, massage the truth yet again.
A couple of decades from now, is the phrase "the thermocline of truth" destined to be part of the received wisdom about how big organisations do major IT projects?
[Via Memex 1.1]
- You’d like to think that the middle managers and their superiors would be asked some hard questions about whether they were worth their salaries if they didn’t (officially) notice a problem on this scale. ↩
Season 2 of BBC4’s French speculative fiction series Missions has popped up on iPlayer.
I wish it hadn’t been so long since the first season aired (May 2018), because while I had a vague recollection of the show’s big plot points I’d almost entirely forgotten much about the characters and their relationships, which meant that I spent the first couple of episodes of the second season trying to remember which characters had done what back in 2018.1 After a couple of episodes I’d got my head round what was going on, and I was glad I hadn’t gone to the trouble of a full rewatch.
Basically, the story in season two is directly connected to what went on in season one, but it’s very clear that humans are, at best, pawns in a vastly bigger story that is nowhere near being explored by the close of season two. Based on what we’ve seen so far, I have little confidence that season three will suddenly turn this into an interesting story so I think I’m done with Missions.
- Granted, iPlayer still has season 1 available, but I wasn’t inclined to do homework for the new season by rewatching the previous season. It wasn’t that impressive a show, or one I was all that certain that I’d follow through on once the plot started rolling out. ↩
Part of me thinks it’s a shame that the RNLI didn’t increase the default preset donation figure on their web site’s donation page from £20 to £50, because they could have really cashed in after Nigel Farage’s comments this week as people reacted by rushing to the RNLI web site and looked for the quickest, easiest way possible to throw some money in the organisation’s direction.
The RNLI are one of those charities that conservatives and centrists and left-wingers alike used to approve of, groups of private citizens voluntarily taking responsibility for part of an activity that one night imagine an island nation would definitely need, yet which governments don’t provide on the scale required. A shame the need to stoke a culture war has pushed right-wingers in this bizarre direction, where rescuing human beings from the risk of drowning at sea is deemed to be a political act rather than a humanitarian gesture.
Here’s hoping the RNLI see a huge surge in fundraising this year.
[Via RT by Neil Gaiman]
With hindsight, it’s so obvious…
Nowadays they’re screaming just as hard (even louder, if anything), but by default we’ve muted that sound. Clever us.
[Via RT by @BenHammersley]
What has the world come to when the whims of noblemen no longer control the lives of the masses?
We live in interesting times, to be sure.
The article title says it all. How to Install Windows 3.1 on an iPad:
Recently, we noticed FastCompany editor (and friend of How-To Geek) Harry McCracken on Twitter experimenting with running Windows 3.1 on an iPad. With his blessing, we’re about to explain how he pulled off this amazing feat.
That poor, poor iPad. What did it ever do to deserve that?
[Via Six Colors]