A. J. P. Taylor is a respected British historian. Author of some 30 or more books on history.
I’m reading “The Course of German History” in paperback form, and right there on page seven I see ” … Europe has never experienced such a profound and lasting disaster as did the German middle classes just at the moment when their financial power was it is greatest …”.
And I’m thinking “pride goes before a fall” and “It’s always darkest …” and so on.
I’m thinking “The only thing a green traffic light can do is turn amber”.
I’m thinking that the “hottest summer on record”, in retrospect, will always be followed by a cooler summer (substitute “wetter”/”dryer”, or ‘coolest”/”warmer” etc.)
It seems to me that a toppling disaster DEFINES a peak.
So it is natural to anticipate a fall from power for the most-powerful, poverty for the richest, a slump in sales after “our most successful year”.
Doesn’t mean it’s going to happen this year, but happen it will, and that graph line will start descending after it ha searched its peak.
The main problem is in deciding before it reaches its peak, when the descent will start!
This morning’s Toronto Star “Looking for the gravy” holds another example of sloppy thinking:
“That’s not to say there isn’t waste, she added. Hundreds of thousands in savings could be found by turning off lights on weekends and powering down computers at night. But when the city is $774 million short, a hundred thousand here and a million there don’t go very far to fill that hole.”
Every journey begins and ends with a single step, and in between are the rest of the single steps.
Saving $774 million isn’t the point. That is a measurable deliverable of a single objective towards reaching a goal.
The goal is to change the way people think, and getting staff to turn off lights and computers is a start in changing the thinking,.
Get people to start THINKING about ways to eliminate waste, and they’ll come up with hundreds of ideas, and the savings will flow on.
Shutting down computers might save thousands, but changing the way people think will save millions, this year, and forever after.
Two articles in this morning’s Toronto Star, both reek of abdication of responsibility.
I don’t know the whole stories, but from what’s reported, there are folks all over the province drinking coffee insteda of working.
In “Pipeline blast forces evacuation of northern Ontario town” we read that “Sgt. Rob McDonough of the Thunder Bay detachment … believes the pipeline has automatic shut-off points that stopped gas flow on either side of the break, …”
Then in “Nurses frustrated over suspended licences” we read that “the College’s (of Nurses of Ontario) elected council president said he hadn’t heard about any difficulties with registering. ‘I don’t have anything to do with operations and this is the first I’ve heard of this problem,’ George Fieber said.”
I would have thought that it was a key part of the business of accepting those sorts of positions that one stayed current with and was informed about what was going on in the vicinity of one’s position.
“Approximately 400 baggage handlers working at Pearson and two airports in Montreal went on strike at 8 p.m. Tuesday after they failed to reach a new contract with Handlex, a subsidiary of Air Transat.”
Who knew 400 people, at least, were involved in shunting suitcases on and off those quaint little trains that scurry around your airplane while you sit wondering what the weather is like in San Diego?
But then “The Greater Toronto Airports Authority has confirmed that no flights have been delayed as a result of the baggage handlers strike at Pearson International Airport”.
So let me see if I’ve got this right:-
400 baggage handlers go on strike and it makes no difference to operations at the airport?
Why, then, are we employing these 400, if it makes no difference whether they work or not?
Two comments, lifted out of context, from a story in Today’s Toronto Star – “Woman alleges sexual discrimination in lawsuit against Toronto-based firm”.
The phrase “getting pregnant” is loaded with overtones of the male chauvinistic outlook, and I don’t know enough about Ms Laskis’s case to comment on that, but I do know enough about humans to comment on phrases such as “…he hated working with female lawyers because they get pregnant and leave” and “That’s why I hate working with women — because they just get pregnant and leave..”.
These two statements reflect on what we refer to as “life”.
Life for organisms, consists of replicating. Sexual replication requires two partners of opposite sexes, asexual replication requires either two or one partners.
For all creatures that replicate via eggs, one partner (and it is not always the female) has the task of nurturing the eggs, before and/or after they are hatched.
To put it crudely (bit not obscenely) I am a hatched egg.
When we focus on humans, it is the womb-man who bears the eggs, hosts the eggs, and nurtures the hatched eggs (with breast milk), and this takes time, time that is not then available for gathering berries or joining in the hunt.
‘Twas ever thus.
So why do we get upset when someone states the obvious – that pregnancy, in our society, takes some hours out of the 24?
Today’s corporate culture has invested mothers, and in many cases fathers, with maternity/paternity leave. It is a benefit stated up-front, and mothers and fathers make use of it.
Email notwithstanding, if you are not in the office building when Sheila gets her birthday cake, when the ceiling leaks, when the weirdo comes in, you will be missing out on some of the corporate culture.
You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
If either one of you spends time away from the office and focusing on nurturing a child, that is time you don’t have to focus on the office and the tasks at hand, and in that sense you are no different from the consultant who, comet-like, drifts into view, and then out of view again.
Toronto has just been not-hit by a major snowstorm. The media fanned the flames (enough, it turns out, to melt most of the snow before it arrived!) and for the first time in 10+ years schools were closed.
This amazes me; Toronto is no stranger to snow storms. We don’t have it as bad as all the other places (Calgary, Montreal etc.), but three or four times each winter we get a serious dump that takes a day or two to clear.
The most obvious question asked was “Did Schools have to close”, with the memorable quote ““the walking conditions and driving conditions weren’t great” for families or teachers.”.
This blog is about Logic.
If the weather is really cold, really hot, or really wet, I’ll postpone my trip to the store across the street and try to survive without a yellow pepper for a few hours.
If the weather is really cold, really hot, or really wet, I’ll agree to postpone my breakfast meeting with David Sappleton; we were only going to goof off for an hour and chat anyway.
But closing the schools means several things, amongst them:
(1) Another day’s education missed
(2) Class schedules disrupted
(3) Some parents miss a day’s work, at the least, they don’t attend the project meeting downtown
(4) (add your own)
Why not leave 15 minutes early? The rest of us do. Take public transit for once, instead of moaning about the 3-hour drive.
What really ticks me off is that the School Board (in my example) is making a decision on behalf of the parents and teachers.
Who better to educate children about dealing with a storm (heat-wave, downpour etc.) than parents and teachers?
And yet, parents and teachers quite cheerfully abdicate their responsibility to MAKE RESPONSIBLE DECISIONS and treat the school board as a parent!
Go to school. Get to work. Be an adult, not a child.
And yes, it means you’ll have to drive more carefully, leave a little earlier, get home a little later.
It’s called living a life.