Daily Archives: October 23, 2003


What Good Management Looks Like

Everybody’s already blogged about the leaked Rumsfeld memo, but here’s my two cents. This memo is nothing to be ashamed of. It is exactly the kind of thing a good executive sends out to his people every once in a while. Amazingly enough, if you want to keep getting good ideas and focus from folks, you might want to ask the basic questions more than once and see if better answers have emerged. It’s the management version of an examination of conscience. Are we really doing the job? The best way we can? What aren’t we doing that we should? As long as people know the management really wants to hear the answers to those questions and will act upon them, it’s entirely healthy and helpful to ask.

The memo has been spun as damaging, but actually is highly reassuring — one more piece of proof that TPTB know what they’re doing and are good at it. Typically, the media don’t see it that way — which is one more proof that the media are out of touch with normal life. Ignore ’em.


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“De Vermis”

There’s a new sonnet by John Ford (the sf writer) over on Electrolite. Check it out.

The worm drives helically through the wood
And does not know the dust left in the bore
Once made the table integral and good;
And suddenly the crystal hits the floor.
Electrons find their paths in subtle ways,
A massless eddy in a trail of smoke;
The names of lovers, light of other days —
Perhaps you will not miss them. That’s the joke.
The universe winds down. That’s how it’s made.
But memory is everything to lose;
Although some of the colors have to fade,
Do not believe you’ll get the chance to choose.
Regret, by definition, comes too late;
Say what you mean. Bear witness. Iterate.

(Though to be totally nitpicky, the Lovecraft imaginary book title they’re referencing was “De Vermiis”, IIRC.)

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