What I learned this week, June 11, 2017

Big D Live Lively: Episode 3 – Pedal Power


The Iron Law of Bureaucracy

As stated by Robert Michels, Jonathan Schwartz, Jerry Pournelle and many others in several related forms,  The Iron Law of Institutions states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people:

 First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.

Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.

The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.

Stated another way:

The Iron Law of Institutions is: the people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution “fail” while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to “succeed” if that requires them to lose power within the institution.

This is true for all human institutions, from elementary schools up to the United States of America. If history shows anything, it’s that this cannot be changed. What can be done, sometimes, is to force the people running institutions to align their own interests with those of the institution itself and its members.


Meal prep hacks to make your life easier

Like everybody, I read way too many listicles on the internet. This one was surprisingly useful – even if most of it’s recommendations are common sense. Maybe that’s why it was so userful.

Pizza Crust

When the weather is so awful hot, I like to cook pizza on a stone on our grill outside. Here’s the crust on a pizza peel and the stone, warming up.

The pizza and stone, grilling away.

Yeah, I think I’ll have to make one of these bad boys this weekend.


8 of the World’s Best Culinary Cycling Trips

Bicycle ‘Second Line
New Orleans, Louisiana


How Freud’s Only Visit to America Made Him Hate the U.S. for the Rest of His Life

Perhaps worst of all was his insomnia: American women were giving him erotic dreams and affecting his ability to get a good night’s sleep. While in Worcester, he confided in Carl Jung, who had also been invited to speak, that he hadn’t “been able to sleep since [he] came to America” and that he “continue[d] to dream of prostitutes.” When Jung pointed out a rather obvious solution to this problem, Freud indignantly reminded him that he was married.


12 Possible Reasons We Haven’t Found Aliens

In 1950, a learned lunchtime conversation set the stage for decades of astronomical exploration. Physicist Enrico Fermi submitted to his colleagues around the table a couple contentions, summarized as 1) The galaxy is very old and very large, with hundreds of billions of stars and likely even more habitable planets. 2) That means there should be more than enough time for advanced civilizations to develop and flourish across the galaxy.

So where the heck are they?

 


Scenes From Deep Ellum Lit Hop 2017

Billed as a “well-read bar crawl,” Deep Ellum Lit Hop 2017 encouraged people to wander through bookstores, art galleries, and bars in one of the city’s most vibrant areas. Literary nonprofit WordSpace sponsored the June 2 event.

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