This takes the biscuit

I wrote a while back about meaningless corporate speak (bullshit) but I never thought I’d find a whole passage that wasn’t a joke, where no meaning could be derived.

In response to a 2degrees forum question: “How do you use GHG emissions ratios to ‘communicate’ with stakeholders?”, this is what a consultant responded with.

“I think the best way may be to determine your internal materiality value. Once you have that value then you can better benchmark your ratio with other companies. As I think without that it will be a pointless exercise. Furthermore, I think engaging and preparing reporting depends on what your material aspect is for your stakeholders, this can actually be done with some of empirical research exercise with a sample of stakeholders, both internal and external stakeholders. Roughly you may do this by surveys or focus groups or such similar research activities. Once this has been established then you can actually present the information in ratio format. I think one more interesting thing can be to present your ratio performance with the benchmarked value or by several deviation representation.”

A complete failure in communication; the person who asked the question is not in expert in GHG emissions, sustainability carbon management nor corporate bullshit; but more importantly he hasn’t even answered the question.

Quit the platitudes kids.

Might as well…

Shit! I’ve not posted in ages. What must my five followers be doing with themselves?

I must have been doing some important and exciting, eh? In fact it’s the opposite, I’ve done nothing; work has meandered from the mundane to the irrelevant; entertainment has involved weekend trips to the nearest watering hole and my thoughts have been stale and uninspiring.

I did complete another edX course though… check out my post Mathematical Motherlickin Geni-ass regarding the first.

This one was entitled The Challenges of Global Poverty, provided by MIT. I was discussing some of the points with a friend of mine, who considered the whole task of poverty alleviation as hopeless. The best thing that course taught me that it was far from hopeless. To illustrate this… I give my five followers a task.

Look around you; on your desk, in your room, in your kitchen. Count how many items there are, designed to make your life a little more comfortable, convenient, enjoyable.

Now look again at those items, how many of them have been designed to alleviate poverty, or would be of use or accessible to someone in absolute poverty? I assume very few of them would be.

Despite this abhorrence, people are pulling ‘themselves’ out of poverty; designing their own solutions, systems and making their own decisions independent of, or in some cases in spite of Western intervention, to make their own and the children’s life’s far better. Furthermore imagine a nation like Britain in 1900 for the majority of people. Pretty shitty, huh? It wasn’t until the conclusion of two World Wars and another 45 years before a systematic and comprehensive system of poverty alleviation was created. We call this the Welfare State and it is commended the world over. Many of what are poor nations today only achieved independence 50-60 years ago, their journey is only just beginning.

I suggest you read Profs Duflo and Banerjee’s book Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, which supported the course to find out more. Check out their website too for some useful stats and studies -http://pooreconomics.com/

Also, I scored 89%… BOOOM!

Corporate Bollocks

In one single meeting I listened to some talk about “bottlenecks”, “critical pathways” and “appendices to the protocol”. This corporate bullshit has become all too common for my liking. The piece by The Guardian, found via the link below showed me that I’m often guilty of this sin. Going forward I need to leverage my competencies to work on this issue. Bollocks!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/apr/25/top-10-worst-management-speak

One of the comments reads as:

“It’s critical that we get onboard dynamic collaborative tools to leverage the underlying global paradigms of emergent vertically-stacked diagonal horizontals and evolve their scalable synergies to the point where we can empower ourselves to deploy a road-map for entry into multiple collateral pipelines.”

This man deserves a medal or at least some medical attention; I’m surprised he didn’t get a hernia after squeezing that one out.

Mathematical Motherlickin Geni-ass

I passed and got 78% on my stats course! Feckin delighted!Image It was provided through University of California Berkeley via edX, a collaboration between some of the world’s leading educational institutes; Harvard, MIT, UTAustin, Stanford and as mentioned Berkeley. They provide the courses, actual modules undertaken at these universities, to a global audience for free. On this particularly course Stat2.1x, I believe nearly 50,000 people started!

My 78% was slightly below the median, that was 80% (slightly more than 50% of the people who finished scored more than me). But hey I ain’t bragging, despite what the title of this post is!

I can’t recommend enough how brilliant this organisation is. If you want to learn to code, investigate the economics of poverty, study Greek mythology, get some foundation knowledge in the areas of biology, quantum mechanics, energy technologies of tomorrow, computer graphics, electronics, AI, haute cuisine and many, many more… deep breath… you can… and it’s all for free, provided by some of the world’s leading educational institutions!

Link is below, you don’t have any excuse.

https://www.edx.org/courses

P.s. much love to Ani Adhikari (@stat2x) the lead lecturer, who engaged, entertain and educated in equal measure. I’ll be joining for Stat2.2x

From those wonderful folks who gave you Pearl Harbour

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In my Challenges of Global Poverty course provided by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo at MIT, the last week briefly covered health; provision, success policy etc. One of the most interesting parts discussed was that people often want a drip or shot, to over-medicate themselves, when in fact a course of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories or even less would do the trick. They have previously been given a shot by some backstreet doctor, as this is all they had access to (think barber surgeons in Victorian Britain). This isn’t only attributable to developing countries but to developed countries and not only in critical healthcare but what could be loosely described as a consumer product.

I draw parallels with a situation discussed in From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front-Line Dispatches from the Advertising War by Jerry Della Femina, the book that inspired Mad Men. In it he describes the introduction of a new antiseptic fluid, like Dettol (it might have been dettol, I need to revisit it). This new Dettol unlike it’s predecessor didn’t sting, but had all the benefits. That’s a good thing, they’re on to a winner, right? No.

It bombed; no one wanted this product! The sting, that brief moment of pain reassures the patient, the user, the consumer that it is working, that everything is going to be alright.

If over many years you have been taught or have experienced one particular situation and formed a solid perception of this ‘reality’, regardless of the authority of whomever is telling you it is wrong, that perception and the resulting behaviour will be extremely difficult to change. This equally applies to anyone of any economic or educational background and multiple contexts as it is only human nature.

Human nature is a bitch to break, but as a child I was known to my Mother as ‘The Destroyer’.

Progress!

I can walk… kinda. For two weeks I could not bear any weight on my left leg. I couldn’t fully extend it and I’d often wake up in agony, desperate to pee, but would have to crawl or hobble to the toilet. The pain, the physical aspects of this injury and it’s complications I can handle, but the effect those physiological effects had on my psyche was beginning to be too much. 

My consultant and physio didn’t know what had caused this (and still don’t) I wasn’t getting any better and for the most part I didn’t leave the house, unless I was going to the hospital for those two weeks. Since September 23rd 2012, when I ruptured my ligaments and damaged my cartilage, this was the only time I wasn’t able to walk. I could not see any daylight and no one had any advice for me. I would not wish this injury on anyone; except for my sworn enemies, obviously.

This was only two weeks, two weeks out of a recovery period of 9 months and I was cracking up. People with far more serious ailments, with no guarantee they’ll fully recover, will have shown far greater mental strength. I need to work on that.

Anyway, I’m recovering and can walk… kinda. At first I just pushed through the pain. It was as if I was learning how to walk again; I had to change my stance, my gait and approach. I had to think about what I was doing. Putting one leg in front of the other, in succession, is harder than it sounds! I still can’t lead with me right (stronger) leg; there still exists this barrier on my left calf that prevents me from doing so, but it’s getting better. It’s progress, but this is just the beginning and more pain and more challenges are yet to come. Stay tuned.

Private Healthcare Bollocks

I said I’d offer you some images of my injury and recover, but in all honesty they’re more boring than the rest of my posts. There is just a collection of bruises around my knee and calf and the scars are nothing special. It looks rather like I’m the victim of domestic violence and the inflicter was a rather stocky but equally revolting little chihuahua.

However my recovery isn’t going great. I could walk now I can’t. The reason; we don’t fully know. Now I don’t expect it to be the plot of some sci-fi movie, where the reason I can’t walk is that aliens have planned an invasion and have made me an invalid because I’m the only one that can save planet Earth, even though that would be awesome (assuming all is resolved and I get the girl) but I’m surprised that private healthcare isn’t able or willing to fully identify what is wrong with me.

They believe I’ve had some bleeding and that clotted blood is around my calf, increasing pressure and causing me pain, and locking my calf in place, preventing me from walking. But this hasn’t been identified, no MRI scan or ultrasound has been proposed. What they are doing is treating the symptoms, so I’ve had antibiotics, pain relief and a massage. I’m guessing they make more money that way and I’m no better as a result. If anything it’s gotten worse.

I can’t see my consultant until next week and I still can’t walk. This is bullshit.