When technology pisses me off (2)

A Buzz Lightyear DVD this time. My son Patrick has Asperger's Syndrome. He likes to watch the same film over and over again. He likes to watch the film over and over again. Not the adverts. Going to the cinema is not like watching a DVD at home. DVD's that won't let you skip the adverts when you're watching the DVD for the umpteenth time are RUBBISH

When technology pisses me off (1)

I've just come back from a great days fishing on the river Wye with my mate Brian. To get to the spot we tried to use a sat-nav. A Garmin something or other. It was Brian's. I don't have a sat-nav because on the few occasions I've used one in the past they have been universally rubbish. I'm sure when the work they're great - it's just that they've failed to work for me with sufficient regularity that they no longer get a chance. And this time it was more of the same. Brian spent about 20 minutes trying to enter GL17 9NU, the post-code of our destination. It refused to let him enter the post-code. He typed in GL1 (on a keyboard display that was not qwerty and consequently slowed you down, why?) and it jumped to a screen showing GL16 something or other. Various other options were tried. Nope. It flatly refused to play ball. I've learned that if something's not working there's no point carrying on trying to force it to work. That very rarely works. So we abandoned it and headed off in the general direction relying on good old paper map technology. Much later, quite by chance, we discovered what was going on. The previous sat-nav trip was for our first days fishing in Builth Wells, which is in Wales. Because of this it seemed to have got stuck in Wales. It was only accepting post-codes in Wales. Why doesn't it just let you enter the post-code you want to enter and then see if that post-code is in Wales or England? RUBBISH.

The fifth discipline

...is an excellent book by Peter Senge. It's subtitled The Art and Practice of the Learning Organisation. As usual I'm going to quote from a few pages:
Surprisingly few adults work to rigorously develop their own personal mastery.
More often than we realize systems cause their own crises, not external forces or individuals' mistakes.
Living systems have integrity. Their character depends on the whole.
In systems thinking it is an axiom that every influence is both a cause and an effect. Nothing is ever influenced in just one direction.
One of the highest leverage points for improving system performance, is the minimization of system delays.
Learning is eventually always about action.
The total absence of meaningful practice or rehearsal is probably the predominant factor that keeps most management teams from being effective learning units.
No practice, no learning.
Don't push growth; remove the factors limiting growth.
Most organizations are dominated by linear thinking, not systems thinking. The dominance of the event mentality tells people that the name of the game is reacting to change, not generating change.
It cannot be stressed too much that team learning is a team skill.
You cannot change how someone thinks, but you can give them a tool the use of which leads them to think differently [Buckminster Fuller].
Sensing and acting locally is exactly how complex living systems work.
Hierarchy is antithetical to dialogue, and it is difficult to escape hierarchy in organisations.