March 28, 2008

1 is a tragedy, 1 million a statistic

60 minutes

die qual der wahl

Interesting things are happening at my current place of employment. It seems the new goal is to motivate the little cogs in the machine instead of just chaining us to a big ox cart whipping us into shape with a cat o’nine tails. I am sure it has nothing to do with Google hiring away the best and brightest, to luxuriate in free food and massages while working 15 hours a day (they are just not very efficient I think).

In my prison building the fourth floor has been remodeled. It now has an open friendly feel to it. The walls are painted some other, more colorful color than Navajo white (the ugly eggshell colored mix of left-over colors used in most cheap rentals), the cubes are lower and one can actually see his work mates (Why anyone would want to see the assholes they work with is beyond me though).

The best thing about the new zeal to please us little cogs are the free cog vending machines on only the fourth floor. It is a veritable snack, drink and coffee cornucopia. In the beginning it was a secret. Not everyone was initiated into the Free Snack Brotherhood by ritualistic means. A whisper, a wink, a knowing nod would pass in the hallways. All but the Swede, who from 30 feet away, in our unfriendly cube world on the third floor would happily intone at jumbo jet decibel levels, “Pete! I see you been to the fourth floor again!” would try to keep it on the down-low. Needless to say that by now all four floors go to get their sugar kick on the fourth floor, leaving the cafeteria manager wondering why his crap food and sodas are not selling anymore.

As your favorite closet sociologist I draw several conclusions from this:
  • My employer must be tripping by now. You may rely on the fact that they have secret productivity measures in place to see if the fourth floor cogs are more happily churning out more stuff. Now that the whole building (and probably some expats from the rest of the campus as well) goes there, these metrics are completely unreliable.
  • It is much better to openly grab the free stuff, instead of feeling guilty about the sneak snack snag.
  • The line to that little kitchenette is getting ridiculous.
  • When people have the opportunity to choose from 30 free snacks, 20 free sodas and 25 different coffee mixtures it takes them much longer to choose than when they have to pay. When you buy your snack you will only take what you really want. But when you can slowly work your way through the whole selection, you take your time and consult your mood before choosing that yogurt coated raisin snack.
In any case, I love that we are getting free fruit at the entrance to the prison now as well. Suddenly I find myself eating apples, pears and bananas all day long. This is a nice win-win for the cog and the machine.

March 16, 2008

spousal matchup

Today I enjoyed watching speeches by the democratic presidential spouses. To make a long story short, I think Mrs. Obama is a skilled orator. She is self possessed, she has good cadence and she knows English much better than the current Prez, even though he is married to the first librarian. But putting her up against old Billy is like putting me in sumo ring with the current Yokozuna.

For that reason I think it would be fair to establish a handicap for presidential spouses. Similar to golf, where a player’s handicap allows all players with different skill levels to play against each other competitively this would level the playing field in the spousal matchup of 2008.

With that in mind I propose Bill Clinton, who after all is used to addressing the nation and the United Nations, to be categorized as a handicap -2. Which on the Illetschko-Volo Electoral Spousal Scale means that he may not use the letter L. This should put him on equal footing with Michelle Obama, who may use all vowels and consonants indiscriminately. So when she rhetorically asks the crowd “Why am I leaving my kids at home running around with my husband, running for president?” Billy Goat may only respond by saying “Goba cimate change is neary as bad as No Chid eft Behind”. With the successful adoption of this scale you can look forward to Mr. Clinton introducing his wife with “I woud ike to introduce my wife, Hiary…uhm. My wife Senator Cint… this is just not fair! My wife, the junior senator from New York.” It should add much needed levity to this year's presidental contest.

In other news, Bi Cinton compained heaviy about the imiatations of the ietschko-Voo Eectora Spousa Scae as impemented in this very bog. He obviously thinks it is a “Repubican Conspiracy”.

March 5, 2008

7 + 7 = 49

My piggy bank did not last long enough. I fervently believed in its goodness, as proclaimed by various relatives who would sarcastically drop a couple of pennies into it, reminding me that soon enough I would be wealthy beyond imagination, or at least able to buy that face-sized lollipop I had been craving.

Why is that important? Well, if they would have explained compound interest to me back then I would have had a happier chance at happiness through accumulation of base Mammon (also known as cash). As it stands it took me the view of a few adult years to understand compound interest.

However, my money is not the only thing that supposedly doubles every 7 years (I now have $ 2 to my name). My chance of contracting a deadly disease apparently increases at the same rate. By the time I reach 70 I will have a 210 chance to grab some more or less tedious increase in entropy in the enclosed system that is me.

So if you play your cards right, your cash will double just enough every 7 years for you to afford the cure to the latest POS disease your vessel decided to run with when your telomerase shortened yet again. This will not be the case with me, because the doubling of the money has barely started while the doubling of the diseases is on its 5 iteration. I am banking on good genes and long telomerase.

Be that as it may, it fascinating that compound interest is on the same schedule as aging is programmed into our DNA. There must be some magical property attached to these coincidences. We need to bring back Alchemy, I hear Newton was quite taken by it. If I could just get some sage to explain to me that all of this has something to do with people dreading the seventh year of marriage I will start having children right away (So that I may have seven. And so that the seventh son of the seventh son will spawn some sort of godhuman, or at least turn water into wine and, in that order, gold into lead).

PS: In order to find out how this turns out, please get in touch with me in 77 years. Call Bill Bryson if you need a translation of that number.