politics

Politicians: Lie on one channel, apologize on another

I guess I was just naive when I saw politicians lie on one media outlet and then apologize on another. I never realized it was a formula intended to pander to each audience. I miss the days when George Washington couldn’t lie about chopping down a cherry tree.

Ross Perot on his qualifications to be President

When asked if he had the proper experience to be President of the United States, Ross Perot said:

“Well, they got a point. I don’t have any experience in running up a $4 trillion debt. I don’t have any experience in gridlock government, where nobody takes responsibility for anything and everybody blames everybody else. I don’t have any experience in creating the worst public school system in the industrialized world, the most violent crime-ridden society in the industrialized world.

But I do have a lot of experience in getting things done. So if we’re at a point in history where we want to stop talking about it and do it, I’ve got a lot of experience in figuring out how to solve problems, making the solutions work and then moving on to the next. I’ve got a lot of experience in not taking 10 years to solve a 10-minute problem. So if it’s time for action, I think I have experience that counts. If there’s more time for gridlock and talk and finger pointing, I’m the wrong man.”

This is a page from my book, “A Survival Guide for New Consultants”

“Excuse me, you’re in the way”

“A man of knowledge lives by acting,
not by thinking about acting.”

Carlos Castaneda

By now you know that I think a lot about attitude, and if there are any major secrets to my success, one of them is that at some point I learned that I was smart enough, and aggressive enough, to know when I was right about something. Once I gained confidence in myself, if I was clearly right about something and someone didn’t agree with me, I didn’t hesitate to say, or at least think, “Excuse me, you’re in my way.”

Port covers

Just a few months out of college, I was assigned to a missile project that had to do with something known as “port covers.” In short, port covers are like little doors on the sides of air-breathing rockets. If you’ve seen a little model rocket, or perhaps a firework that shoots up into the sky, you know that a rocket is basically a tube, like the cardboard tube that’s inside a roll of toilet paper. A normal solid rocket motor like this is filled with solid rocket fuel, which is something like a solid version of gasoline.

Political issues affect clocks

Per this story on ycombinator, it appears that political issues can affect clocks:

The short version of the story is that grid electricity in Europe is produced by rotating the turbines 50 times a second and that's where the 50Hz AC electricity comes from. Apparently to match the demand at given instance electricity plants rotate their turbines a bit faster or a bit slower instead of switching a complete plant on and off, which results in slight deviations from the 50Hz standard but it is fine as long as it stays between the limits.

At the end of the day, as the demand increases and decreases, the average frequency would be 50Hz and engineers took advantage of that fact to create clocks that may not be accurate to the second but accurate on average. How do they do that? They count the change in the electricity and assume that 50 changes are exactly 1 second.

Unfortunately, due to political issues in the Balkans, the grid was under-supplied or over-supplied for a prolonged period and this created a deviation from the average of 50Hz and the clocks that depend on this average to be 50Hz also lost accuracy that currently amounts to 6 minutes.

Steve Kerr on the shooting in Florida and our government

“Nothing has been done. It doesn't seem to matter to our government that children are being shot to death day after day in schools. It doesn't matter that people are being shot at a concert, at a movie theater. It's not enough, apparently, to move our leadership, our government, the people who are running this country to actually do anything. That's demoralizing.”

“But we can do something about it. We can vote people in who actually have the courage to protect people's lives, not just bow down to the NRA because they've financed their campaign for them. Hopefully we'll find enough people, first of all to vote, get people in, but hopefully we'll find enough people to actually help our citizens remain safe and focus on the real safety issues, not building some stupid wall for millions of dollars that has nothing to do with our safety, but actually protecting us from what truly is dangerous, which is maniacs with semi-automatic weapons just slaughtering our children. It's disgusting.”

~ Steve Kerr

This is a page from my book, “A Survival Guide for New Consultants”

You can’t always save the client

“When you can do nothing, what can you do?”

A Zen koan

As I’ve mentioned, you’re hired to be a consultant because you’re a problem-solver, so it really hurts when you can’t help a client. It’s a tough lesson, but it’s an important one:

Despite your best efforts,
you can’t always save the client.