Necessary and Sufficient

April 22, 2011

A useful nonsense detector method for assessing the quality of someone’s argument is to use the “Necessary and Sufficient” Test. Let us say someone makes an assertion, “If X is done, then Y will happen”. There are two questions to ask here: Is it Necessary?: “If X is *not* done, will Y *not* happen?” (i.e., […]

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Unknown Unknowns

January 7, 2011

Jurgen Appelo’s take on unknown unknowns needs a little more work: It is important to understand that the unknown always depends on the observer. Some people already knew about black swans, but that didn’t make them any less surprising to those who had never seen them. My fellow board members already knew they wanted to leave […]

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Hot Blood, Cold Blood

January 6, 2011

How do you go about making good decisions? Well, a lot of business books and writers think that if you follow their “tried-and-tested” methods for decision-making, you will be very successful. They also think that you live in a perfect world where those methods can be used for every possible problem. A world where people […]

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Management Tension Index

November 1, 2010

An old folk tale goes like this: A shop owner was in his house when he heard a heavy cart rolling outside. Curious, he called one of his servants and asked him to find out about the cart. A few minutes later, the servant came back and replied, “The cart is carrying rice sacks.” “Can […]

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Good Boss, Bad Boss, by Bob Sutton — Book Review

August 9, 2010

Bob Sutton was kind enough to send me the galley of his forthcoming book “Good Boss, Bad Boss” (GBBB) a few weeks ago. I am quite fond of Bob’s books and blog posts, and was eagerly looking forward to this book. Bob’s previous book, “The No-Asshole Rule” was one of the best books I read in […]

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Security Theater

January 12, 2010

Bruce Schneier (the author of “Applied Cryptography” and other books) explains why security theater (where security measures do not do much to improve real security) has its benefits: Tamper-resistant packaging for over-the-counter drugs started to appear in the ’80s, in response to some highly publicized poisonings. As a countermeasure, it’s largely security theater. It’s easy […]

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The Bigger Complexity Lies Outside Technology

November 26, 2009

From the Domain-Driven Design Site: [A] great deal of effort has gone into the design of networks, databases, and other technical dimension of software. Books have been written about how to solve these problems. Developers have cultivated their skills. Yet the most significant complexity of many applications is not technical. It is in the domain […]

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