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The Gervais Principle, Or The Office According to “The Office”

The Gervais Principle, Or The Office According to “The Office”
My neighbor introduced me to The Office back in 2005. Since then, I’ve watched every episode of both the British and American versions. I’ve watched the show obsessively because I’ve been unable to figure out what makes it so devastatingly effective, and elevates it so far above the likes of Dilbert and Office Space. Until now, that is. Now, after four years, I’ve finally figured the show out. The Office is not a random series of cynical gags aimed at momentarily alleviating the existential despair of low-level grunts. I’ll need to lay just a little bit of groundwork (lest you think this whole post is a riff based on cartoons) before I can get to the principle and my interpretation of The Office. From The Whyte School to The Gervais Principle Hugh MacLeod’s cartoon is a pitch-perfect symbol of an unorthodox school of management based on the axiom that organizations don’t suffer pathologies; they are intrinsically pathological constructs. Back then, Whyte was extremely pessimistic. Related:  thinking zone

Power Camp Out on the edge of the continent, on the site of a former evangelical retreat, there's a camp where businesspeople confront issues of power and authority inside organizations — issues fundamental to the world of work. Upon arrival, participants forfeit their corporate identities. Upon departure, they lose sleep, crash cars, leave jobs. Here the rules of engagement are different, the mental and physical demands extreme. Act One: Arrivals It's Saturday afternoon. the rain is crazy. and for the 50th time in 25 years, New Hope has virtually no chance of living up to its name. New Hope is a strange place: people enter society in preassigned castes — elites, middles, and immigrants — and the community pops up, Brigadoon-style, at Cape Cod's Craigville Conference Center. "Welcome to New Hope," the counselor says. With that, he excuses himself and the four elites launch into a six-hour whiskey-lubricated discussion of the kind of society they wish to create at New Hope. Act Two: Awakenings

Professor Stephanie Hemelryk Donald I am a long way from Australia at present. I am based in Amsterdam, and have been travellin in Lithuania and a quick trip to Karlsruhe. But I was asked to write something about Australian democracy, which I found difficult to be frank. I am not a political scientist nor an Australian historian, but here are some thoughts dating back to August: On 16 August 2011, there was a public meeting at St Peter’s Town Hall in Sydney’s inner west. Their fears resonated with concerns of farmers and communities across the Liverpool Plains. On 14 August 2011, the words ‘Dalian’ and ‘PX’ were disabled (or rather scanned for removal) on Sina Weibo, the extraordinary Chinese microblog network. In August 2011, Dalian had become a city seething with anger over petrochemical pollution. Taken together, one can see that defiance, demonstration, and a sense of the greater good are not confined to one type of regime. Several false starts later, here we are.

BetterExplained Department of Records - Photo Gallery The New York City Department of Records and Information Services announced the addition of 30,000 photographs to its on-line gallery. Some of the more unusual images from this series depict political groups monitored by the New York City Police Department's "Alien Squad." These photos range from Communist Party rallies in Madison Square Garden to the Nazi summer retreat in Yaphank, Long Island run by the German American Bund. These are among more than 2,000 photographs added from the NYPD departmental files and Emergency Services Unit (ESU), dating from 1928 to 1941. With this new group of photos, the online gallery now totals more than 900,000--the largest collection of historical images of New York City in the world. The Online Gallery provides free and open research access to items digitized from the Municipal Archives' collections, including photographs, maps, motion-pictures and audio recordings. Enter the Online Gallery

THIRD TIER REALITY Private Language and Marketing-Speak Marketing is, to a large extent, about communication. Consumer desire needs to be translated into a product and, in turn, the consumer has to understand how the product will make his life better in some way. A good marketer is a communication professional. Many marketers often use their own private language, marketing-speak, to communicate among their own tribe and with others. They shouldn’t. The marketing process is complex already and there’s no point in confusing everybody with opaque terminology that nobody understands. Moreover, the often indecipherable babble obscures meaning to such an extent that often marketing professionals don’t understand it themselves. The Beetle in the Box Ludwig von Wittgenstein made the point in his essay, Private Language and Private Experience. He made the analogy of a beetle in a box. The word “beetle,” wouldn’t describe anything in particular. At first, the idea seems suspect. The Difference between Knowledge and Reference Using Our Brains vs. Huh?

Truth About International Baccalaureate Back-up (Almost) Everything Before RUU/Factory Reset Hey Everyone! So I'm still fairly new to Android (Incredible's my first Android devide), and was skeptical about install the RUU (thanks for the guide, true!). But when I read that others who had used the OTA or sometimes had to do a factory reset as well, I figured using RUU wouldn't hurt. In fact I believe (IMO, which has no technical backing) that RUU may be better than OTA/, because like upgrading an OS on a computer, a fresh install is better that upgrading over a previous OS. Anyway enough of that... My biggest hang-up was backing-up my apps, contacts & text messages (realizing that settings couldn't be saved, no matter what I tried). Back-up Apps (Free)**NOTE: This does not save 3rd party apps. Before anything else, download AppBrain App Market (it's in the Market). Back-up Apps (Paid) Do nothing (seriously). Back-up Contacts (Google) Do nothing (again). Back-up Text Messages It took me a little while to find a good back-up app, but it's free & works great.

Death threats from offended Buddhists | Buddhism for Vampires The picture above is an illustration from a chapter of my Buddhist novel, titled “Lord Buddha.” Apparently, some people who think they are Buddhists want to find it offensive. In fact, some have explained in detail how they will torture, rape, mutilate, and murder me if I don’t take it down. This is quite interesting. The comment thread on that page is somewhat hostile and abusive. American Buddhists may find this surprising, because they think non-violence and benevolence are central principles of Buddhism. That is a bit naive, though. So it might seem that the people threatening to kill me are on solid ground, in terms of historical tradition. However, as far as I know, there is no tradition within Buddhism that condemns “offensive” depictions of the Buddha. Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot, for my Meaningness site, about fundamentalism , about the contemporary atomization of meaning, and about how these two interact. Fundamentalist Buddhism, based on Islamism The atomization of politics