Cutting

Oprah replayed her show about death on 10 June 2008.  The one Randy Pausch was on, doing the condensed version of his “last lecture.”  Of course, there was no note about what date the show was first aired on (19 Nov 2007), and no sense of how Mr Pausch’s life has changed since then, and make no mistake, the coming of death changes things.

They had Kris Carr on, living with a terminal cancer, and she talked about living every day, not worrying about the future.  Ahmet Oz was very inpressed that Mr. Pausch used a signed football to toss around, what else would he do with it, Mr. Pausch wondered?  Maybe his wife would sell it to pay tuition for his children.

I live in the face of death everyday, the death of my parents.  And the way we manage that is to keep them comfortable, which means that change is just not on.  They need the routine.

And what I need?  Well, I need life.

Change happens.  Change costs.

My ISP is dropping all Usenet access.   I have used newsgroups for over a decade now.  I lose part of what is now part of the package.

It’s a win for the ISP.  They drop a service and all the headaches.   It’s a great deal.

And how do they get away with this?  It’s a deal with the prig AG Cuomo who desperately needs to show how tough he is.  They found some child porn on 80 of thousands of newsgroups, went to the ISP, and the ISPs agreed to have a big press conference and shut it down.

What does this mean to people who crave child porn?  It means they have to pay $150 a year to buy unlimited newsgroup access from a provider.  In other words, it doesn’t really stop anyone but the very poorest perv.

But the AG gets his headlines, pandering to fear, appearing to be bold while doing nothing, and the ISPs get to drop a service with the associated costs and headaches.

And like all change in this Jack Welch Hell, the costs roll down to the end user, who has no way to amortize them.

Bullshit.

I used to ask my boss “Where are the wins?”  We were losing all over, but there were no wins.  That was a problem.

He replied that he was glad I wasn’t one of the sales staff.  They could be bought off with the promise of a shiny new watch; they didn’t really look for wins.

You know the three rules of thermodynamics as I learned them when I was around MIT?

  1. You can’t win.
  2. You can’t break even.
  3. You can’t get out of the game.

Time in management taught me that there were only two ways to manage a budget: cut costs or increase revenues.  And cutting costs is a finite process; you still have to pay the piper.

I know what I need.  Wins.  But I live in a space where cutting irritations is the only real understandable process, where comfort is all.

I cut and I cut and I cut, and shit still rolls downhill.  Investment is shirked.

And the game sucks.

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