philmophlegm: (Reginald Iolanthe Perrin)
This article struck something of a chord. Actually that's an understatement.

If the article is TL:DR, here's the executive summary: Organisations recruit clever people, but then discourage them from using their intelligence. It could easily have been written about my former employer (one of the Big 4 global professional services firms). And it's one of the things that consistently bugged me the most.
philmophlegm: (Wrexham club shield)

The latest target of the PC police - Gilbert & Sullivan.

"Controversy as Chester Zoo opens 'Wrexham Scally Enclosure'". (I should point out that Homo Wrexhamius Scalliensis Chavus is pretty much confined to the southern part of Wrexham, not the nice bit where I’m from…)

Why Gandhi is such an asshole in Civilisation.

The Curious Case of the (Medieval) Weapon that Didn't Exist

Why you can't just have more quantitative easing to get rid of the national debt.

This is not a 512gb microSD card.

The worst football kits of all time. They’re all bad, but Colorado, seriously…?

This month's best headline is from an astronomy website.

"A lousy, stupid, no good, bad, law is being proposed."

Star Wars Episode IV in a single image. (OK, it’s a very big image, but still…)

Minimalist, anonymous rooms are probably not a good place to do teamwork.

"We all owe a significant debt to Richard Murphy." No, really.

I'm an only child, so I can't really relate to this. Nevertheless I thought it was a sweet film about growing up being “Player Two”.

Woman accidentally joins search party looking for herself.

Today's most widely misinterpreted piece of economics, from the IMF. There are two arguments put forward in the paper. The first is that there are risks associated with capital account liberalisation (allowing money into and out of the country with less regulation). The second is that although high public debt is bad for growth and welfare, for countries with excellent records of debt repayment, like the US, the UK and Germany, a “credible medium-term fiscal consolidation” makes more sense than a “fiscal noose today”. In other words, slowly bringing down debt as a percentage of GDP, not slashing everything to balance the budget as soon as possible. Now that’s pretty much what the UK’s current fiscal policy is. Still I suppose “IMF economists broadly agree with George Osborne” isn’t quite as good a headline as “You’re witnessing the death of neoliberalism – from within”. Seriously, this is a paper that says “There is much to cheer in the neoliberal agenda. The expansion of global trade has rescued millions from abject poverty. Foreign direct investment has often been a way to transfer technology and know-how to developing economies. Privatization of state-owned enterprises has in many instances led to more efficient provision of services and lowered the fiscal burden on governments”… and Facebook (and one of our less reputable newspapers) is full of idiots claiming that “we are witnessing the death of neoliberalism”.­

philmophlegm: (D&D Basic)

The best business schools now recruit people with both experience of industry and teaching ability. (…and so does my university, which is how I’m there. However, since the business school is only in its second year, it might be a while before we catch up with Harvard…)

Japan is more low-tech than you might think.

...and Sony has just finished making Betamax cassettes. (I bet there are still fanboys out there arguing that the picture quality is better than VHS.)

Not for the first time, I thought we'd reached Peak Guardian, but no!

The sad tale of the man who designed the Diamond Jubilee Barge.

Visiting every Toby Carvey in Britain with a blind photographer.

7 Deadly Sins of Worldbuilding (Actually, they’re more things you might like to avoid than really appalling sins, but hey.)

A really nice map of Expert D&D Module X1: The Isle of Dread

'Virtue signalling' is not virtue. Good point. (And I am aware of the irony of linking to this post using social media.)

philmophlegm: (ICAEW)

I haven’t done a Phligm Phlagm post since April. (Sorry, I’ve been really busy…) We have some catching up to do. Anyway, I hope you enjoy and / or are informed by these links:

The maths (and beauty) behind a perfect 147. Make sure you watch Ronnie O’Sullivan’s five minutes and 20 seconds 147 – one of the all time greatest accomplishments in any sport.

This is the sort of thing that should be in that Alanis Morrisette song instead of "rain on your wedding day".

Few people regularly make me as angry as this incompetent, ill-informed, hypocritical, leftard.

Great myths of British politics, number 745: "The NHS is the most efficient health system in the world". (According to the OECD, only Ireland and Greece could make greater savings from more efficient healthcare systems.)

Even among countries with similar healthcare systems, the UK's is "below average". (So can we please stop this “envy of the world” bollocks?)

"My obsession with a fictional Football Manager megastar." (I had to put this in quotation marks to make it clear that this wasn't me...)

Diane "divide and rule" Abbott tutting that the "Tories harp on about Mid-Staffs". (Yeah, cos it’s not as if 1,200 people dying because of neglect in a state-run hospital is something politicians should be concerned about…)

"We're a class project."

A Greek God Family Tree

Student union backs excluding white people from 'anti-racism' events.

RIP Yeoman Rand.

PwC is going to ignore graduates' A-level results when recruiting. (This surprises me. When I was being recruited as a trainee chartered accountant, and when I was recruiting trainee chartered accountants, it was generally accepted that A-level grades were the best indication of future success in ACA exams, far more so than class of degree.)

George Digweed, the greatest British sportsman you've never heard of.

You know those really expensive very large Lego Super Star Destroyers? What if you dropped one from a great height? And filmed it. At 1000fps.

10 typographic mistakes everyone makes (and which life is far, far too short to care about.)

philmophlegm: (adamsmith)

Want to play in the NFL? How good is your memory? It’s very rare for people not directly involved in the game to ever get access to pro playbooks. This copy of the Oakland Raiders’ 1998 June mini-camp (a sort of short training camp before the main one) playbook was leaked / released recently. Yes, it’s a bit old (dating back to when the Raiders were good…), but it gives you some idea of the intellectual pressures placed on NFL players. 216 pages, thousands of formations and audibles and routes and options. Quarterbacks will have to learn every single permutation. Other positions will need to learn large parts.

Oxford rape and trafficking: Who were the abusers? Not long after political correctness was shown to have led to the gang rape of 1,400 young girls by muslim gangs in Rotherham, we have this. The names of the Oxford gang were Mohammed Karrar, Bassam Karrar, Akhtar Dogar, Anjum Dogar, Kamar Jamil, Assad Hussain and Zeeshan Ahmed. Yet, at no point in this BBC article, even though it is clearly relevant to the story, are these men referred to as ‘muslims’. When someone tells you that political correctness does not exist or that it isn’t anything to be ashamed of, show them this.

Question: How vain is Cristiano Ronaldo? Answer: Very, very vain.

"Fewer large companies are run by women than by men named John." Well, yes, but there's a good reason for that.

The racist and eugenicist history of the American minimum wage.

239 years of 'The Wealth of Nations'. Smith’s “greatest breakthrough was the realisation that we do not have to conquer people or make things in order to increase our wealth. We can also increase it by simply exchanging things.”

5 Economic Myths That Just Won't Die

Great image of the same supernova appearing four times because of the gravitational lens effect. (Thanks to louisedennis.)

The British charity that named the murdered Charlie Hebdo staff "Islamaphobes of the Year". Makes you proud to be British…not.

philmophlegm: (Conway Stewart)

I came across this article on Linkedin. If you’re on Linkedin, here’s the link: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/horrible-hr-policies-nuke-2015-liz-ryan If you aren’t, well sorry but I couldn’t find it anywhere else (including the author’s blog) so I assume it’s a Linkedin exclusive.

Clearly I’m not going to copy it, but I think it’s reasonable to discuss it here.

Basically, it’s a list of terrible HR policies that are nevertheless common. One of the best things about being your own boss is not having HR policies. And I suspect that these, despite being terrible, are very common, especially among larger organisations. Put it this way, my previous employer, the giant professional services firm referred to on these pages (for reasons that are sort of apparent to anyone who has seen or read ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’) as ‘JOLF’ was regularly in the top five in the Sunday Times ‘Best Big Company to Work For’ Survey. And I’ve encountered maybe nine of the ten practices listed here at that paragon employer.

Read more... )

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