Wednesday, July 29, 2009

'When I said I was lying, I might have been lying - Never let me hear you say you're not trying' - E. Costello, 1980

I was 'taught' today the difference between fact and truth.

It is an element of the 'curse of knowledge' problem and it never hurts to be reminded of it (your omissions might be due to your perception of some shared understanding that in fact doesn't exist).

It's also a result of local optimization and misaligned organizational structures that result in 'facts' that may be 'true' for a small group but neither facts or truth to the organization at large.

Ironically, the 'teacher' in this case is perhaps simultaneously both the biggest source and victim of this problem. And he doesn't even know it, which is yet another irony.

Seek truth from facts. Yes, grasshopper.

Perhaps our teacher needs a seeing eye horse to help him navigate the truth. I hope he's not using utilization spreadsheets and allocation graphs and charts as his maps for they tend to be by far the biggest perpetrators of facts that lie - abandon all hope ye who enters that deep, dark labyrinth with just those tools.

Get to know those in the trenches and take an interest in what they do occasionally. Talk to them, communicate with them. At least once in a while. As Bobby Zimmerman once said: 'Using Ideas as my Maps.' Like a Rolling Pivot Report? There's something I can't put my finger on that just doesn't ring 'true' with that.

Perhaps Colbert's truthiness will have to suffice if you let it. Do yourself a favor and don't. Make an effort to get at the truth, even if it'll just be followed by instructions to adjust that truth until it "feels true." How does it feel?

And one last thing: beware those that fawn over teacher's 'new clothes'.

To much more important things. TV, of course. The only thing that matters in life, clearly.

Survivorman Less Stroud in the Kalahari Desert on Science Channel. Unfortunately he only did just shy of 20 of these shows and I've seen this one several times (spoiler: he survives).


In Bruges. A really good comedy with Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. This one flew under the radar when it came out early last year cause I hadn't heard of it until a few months ago when it appeared on cable. It's very dark. Irish hit men cooling their heels in the medieval-style city of Bruges, Belgium. But I've seen it off-and-on quite a bit lately.


Ahh, Under Siege! A towering achievement! The master thespian, Steven Seagal, in perhaps his greatest triumph as a "Navy SEAL forced to finish his career as a cook" after punching an incompetent officer. He's joined on this merry romp with Erika Eleniak (miss July 1989 playing miss July 1989), Tommy Lee Jones (pre-Oscar/pre-Man in Black), Gary Busey (pre-rehab - well, pre-latest-rehab). Busey: "Where you going?" Jones: "Make Honolulu glow in the dark." Busey: "Outstanding!"

As James Lipton would exclaim, "Brilliant! What a national treasure!"