Friday, November 16, 2007

Head-first into the weekend

To the office for a few hours, attending the latter half (!) of a project meeting about the second competition. I lasted twenty minutes before pushing my way to the podium and snatching the conductor's baton from G (as it were), and forcing the buggers finally to make some damned decisions. My head aches (literally) from listening to "Well, it might be nice like this, but then again doing it like this might also not be nice." Gah!

Life is too damned short for cowardly shit like that, not if you want me to be at the table. So I forced them to swallow hard and accept the basic truth of things which they had all known but nobody was willing categorically to state. I am pleased to say that the final half-hour of that meeting accomplished more than the previous three hours.

I nearly burst a seam on discovering that neither of the new hires could state how large the building envelope was! How can this be: you work—allegedly, apparently—for three weeks on a project and don't know even to the nearest hundred square metres how large it is? Absurd! It is to cry out loud in frustration and disbelief.

And they don't even attempt to follow and test their own precepts: there was much talk about keeping thematic sections together in specific areas of the building, but they had not tested whether the sections could fit into those areas! Ridiculous.

Now, I know that I am very much more numerate than many other people: I can do arithmetic in my head as fast as G can use a desktop calculator, and I can usually tell at a glance whether a number (up to four digits) is prime or not, and I can remember sequences of significant numbers (i.e. the size in square metres of almost every room in our competition). I know that this is extremely odd and peculiar, but still: how can anyone, however un-mathematical, possibly work for three weeks on a building and not know intimately how large it is? Does not compute.

Today's Friday Favourite is the most thrilling section of a wonderful piece of music, one of Wolfgang's finest (and indeed final) moments. I have three recordings of it, of differing vintages and styles. This, the source of the link above, is probably my least favourite, but I found it most suitable as an introduction to the piece because of the exemplary clarity of the recording. My favourite musically is this, but I listen most often to this. Enjoy.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Hazel said...

I don't think it has anything to do with math. It's a work ethic thing which seems to be becoming a thing of the past, unfortunately.

November 17, 2007 at 1:16:00 AM GMT+1  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Yes, you old farts seem to work so much harder than the youngsters. After all, that's what computers are for; the thinking part.

November 17, 2007 at 8:48:00 AM GMT+1  
Blogger Lioness said...

lright, bearv in mind that a) am sick and b) am high on anti-histamines for fiorst time evr so typing skills are th pits, but:

1 - Life is too damned short for cowardly shit like that, not if you want me to be at the table. So I forced them to swallow hard and accept the basic truth of things which they had all known but nobody was willing categorically to state. WELL DONE! For a moment I thought I was reading my blog, you're usually so much more patient tha me, isn't it amazing how peopl are always willing t waste our time? Th jugular works,use it.

2 - Now now, again, i may be on drugs irght at the mo but mno need to be offensive, how can anyone, however un-mathematical, possibly work for three weeks on a building and not know intimately how large it is? OF COURS IT COMPUTES! if you spent more time w me irl you'd realuise that not only does it compute but some of us would not only be unable to actually know its size but would also, once built, system,atically become lost. My point is, however, they should maybe have chosn another line of work. You'd die dead w me on your team, people like us, still struggling with cm3 and m2, belong somehwere else where we can do no harm. and for that I empathise, my poor Udge.

(Also, apologies if i ended up talking abt things you did not, hop not, life's a bit blurry.)

November 17, 2007 at 12:16:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger Udge said...

Lioness, I am greatly amused by your hazy postings! pity you had to get sick to produce them. And I am indeed usually very patient, far too much so for my own good.

Joe: I tend to disagree about what computers are for. I think that they are tools for getting things right with, but that they are of little use in deciding what "it" or "right" might actually mean. I've written about this in the context of architecture here.

Hazel: yes, or perhaps a kind of personal-responsibility ethic. They expect to be fed with tasks and tools and ideas, where we hoped to be left alone to delevop our own.

November 18, 2007 at 9:47:00 PM GMT+1  

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