Wimminz – celebrating skank ho's everywhere

May 30, 2014

Degrees of freedom.

Filed under: Wimminz — Tags: , , , — wimminz @ 11:55 am

Look at yourself, pick an aspect of your life, give it a label, then examine it.

Ask two questions.

1/ What degrees of freedom do I actually / practically / realistically have within this label?

2/ What degrees of freedom do others outside this label perceive me as having?

Answer #1 is, 99.99% of the time, a subset of answer #2.

In business terms it is called a scope of works, broadly speaking it says what time I turn up on site, what kit, if any, I turn up with, what tool set I turn up with, who I must report my actions and findings to, what tasks I am supposed to attempt, what I am supposed to do if those attempts fail, and how long I am supposed to remain on site.

If your “problem” is “your internet connection has stopped working” then when you are told an engineer is going to turn up, you would be forgiven for thinking my scope of works is to “get your internet working again”… it is not…

True, sometimes my scope of works will include enough things that it happens to cover the problem, but sometimes it won’t, eg if I discover it is a line fault, in which case my scope of works is to narrow down the diagnosis of the fault and report it back to HQ, who will take steps to get the line itself looked at.. I’m not there to “get your internet working” and so I have not failed in my task when I leave you, and you still have no internet.

You won’t feel the same way, because of the differences in answers to questions 1 and 2 above.

The differences between the answers to questions 1 and 2 are not because we are different people, or because we work for different people, or because of customer and vendor relationships between different people.

The differences between the answers to questions 1 and 2 are 100% down to “how we do things today in the western world”, and by this I mean “standard business practices and procedures and methodologies”

To put it bluntly, every business in the modern western world utilises these methods and practices, in *exactly* the same way that you and I *can* do business if your internal systems use Base8 and mine use Base16, you can sell me a widget part number  3140134 and cost £23 in your Base8 system, which I will record as buying part number CC05C and cost £13 in my Base16 system, but it is easier for both of us to call it part number 835676 and unit cost £19 in good old decimal.

Yes it is a process that started with the standardisation of weights and measures, so it is an old process with vast momentum, and it is an ongoing process, but selling sugar in packets of 1 Kg weight is as arbitrary to the substance itself as it was selling it in packets weighing 2 lb.

It just isn’t *practical* to set up a business in the UK today that buys and sells sugar, and which uses pounds and hundredweights and tons, in shades of the old joke that you can still go down to the builder’s merchants and buy some two by four, and that’ll be a buck twenty a metre… this is business methods and practices at work…. the WAY we do business.

Whether it is a function of education or something else, or lots of something else’s, in much the same way that we will talk about having spoken to Fred or seen the Formula 1, not even mentioning the telephone or television without which we would have done neither, because it has gone so far in this direction that the default meaning of “Did you speak to Fred?” no longer means did you speak to Fred, for that meaning we now have to add a qualifier, “Did you speak to Fred in person?

In effect, speaking to Fred has also been altered by the methodology and practices extant today…

So when the methodology and practices used become so ubiquitous that they themselves become invisible, then by definition, all the side effects and consequences of using those methodologies and practices also becomes invisible.

This is the way things are, this is the way we do things, this is how things work.

So, getting back to our beginning two questions;

1/ What degrees of freedom do I actually / practically / realistically have within this label?

2/ What degrees of freedom do others outside this label perceive me as having?

…these methodologies and practices are what severely limit the degrees of freedom in question 1, and yet, because these methodologies and practices have essentially become invisible, we cannot see that which is limiting us.

If you can’t see it, it is hard to grasp it’s scale or reach, so  you’ll tend to look through the glass window at the trinket on the other side, and say I want that, which is question 2.

To address this gap between questions 1 and 2, we have brought in a whole load of extra dross, Prince 2, agile practices, seven sigma, and of course none of it helps in any way to close the gap between questions 1 and 2, any more than putting lipstick on a pig.

The system is in fact RIGID, and FIXED, and INFLEXIBLE, a cup of coffee at the Costa machine always costs £1.85, no matter how much or how little I desire one at that particular time.

My desire for, and therefore appreciation of, that cup of coffee, even though being machine made the cup of coffee itself is not variable, is a variable function, first thing in the a.m. I want it a lot more than later in the day, so the buying decision isn’t based on my desire for the product, but rather the variable exchange rate that exists between my desire at that moment in time, and the current cost.

When your internet is working, your desire for it is fairly low, when it stops working, you want it real bad, but it is still just one engineer call out booked at x per hour.

Again, it has been with us so long, it has become invisible.

In the days of barter when I traded my eggs for your bacon, both the bacon and the eggs were continuously variable things.

In the days of gold backed or actual precious metal currencies, both the currency itself and the bacon and eggs you could buy and sell with it, were *all* continuously variable things.

In the days of fiat money, which, like modern business practices and methodologies, in fact, more alike and akin and intertwined than you realise, suddenly one thing is FIXED, RIGID, INFLEXIBLE, and we say that the value or cost of the bacon and eggs is going up or down, in dollars and cents.

Or not, because what it cost the farmers to raise the chickens and pigs is also measured in the same fixed and rigid and inflexible terms, it cost the farmer 20 cents to make an egg, so he isn’t going to sell for less than 25, or he makes a “loss”

The egg itself tastes just as good, has the same calorific and nutritional value, and from the energy or entropy point of view it is still a successful concentration of sunlight and chemical elements, it just ain’t profitable no more, now, raising stocks and bonds and shares in Apple and flipping condos, fuck chickens and pigs.

And once the telephone and television and standard business methodologies and practices become invisible, so does the actual true cost of maintaining and developing and sustaining them.

An hour of a banker or lawyer’s time becomes more “valuable” than an entire weeks worth of time of an engineer or farmer or fisherman.

The current crisis in which we find ourselves, or not, if you prefer the MSM delusions, is in fact one of systemic failure, a RIGID and INFLEXIBLE and FIXED system, in which all the players, even those at the top, actually have far far far fewer degrees of freedom of action, that everyone else perceives that they must have (see Q1 and Q2 again) but in actual fact, it’s the system, and by system I mean the REAL system, not the imagined illuminate bullshit, the REAL system, which is our now invisible and inflexible and rigid standard business methodologies and practices and strategies and approaches, that is in control, not that said control is any kind of conscious or directed act, it is just sheer overwhelming fucking momentum, it is the ultimate juggernaut.

*THIS* is why you should be scared.

There is nobody in control, nobody is going to save us, nobody has a master plan, nobody is at the wheel, nobody has enough degrees of freedom, and the juggernaut has gone well into the red zone in the only thing it knows, which is expand or die, and like the ultimate bursting force in a flywheel, sooner or later it isn’t expand or die, because expansion becomes death.


  1. Great read, never thought of it in that detail/perspective before

    Comment by Tim — May 30, 2014 @ 2:24 pm

  2. Talking about crazy conspiracy theories.
    The truecrypt site goes down with a shitty message right. Right.
    The entire infosec community starts guessing at some form of conspiracy. Right?
    http://archive.rebeccablacktech.com/g/thread/S42198181 (last few posts) Meanwhile the entire thing’s just a bad XTS implementation. right.

    You heard it here first.

    Comment by Digger Nick — May 30, 2014 @ 10:42 pm

    • I use unbreakable one way encryption dude, send it all to dev null.. lol

      Comment by wimminz — May 30, 2014 @ 11:39 pm

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