Zeno's Paradox
While critical thinking may not make up for a lack of knowledge, it is essential for gaining knowledge.
Thursday, October 31, 2002:  


Stop the Clock? Critics Call the Billable Hour a Legal Fiction - (New York Times)
Carl T. Bogus, a law professor at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I., noted that "no human being can be productive every minute of the workday."

"Lawyers must eat, interact socially with co-workers, walk down the hall for a cup of coffee, speak on the phone with spouses or friends and conduct personal business with people who can be reached only during business hours," he wrote in the Indiana Law Journal in 1996. "Lawyers must also devote time to client development, administrative matters and professional activities."

As a result, said Deborah L. Rhode, a law professor at Stanford University, lawyers billing 2,000 must work 60 hours a week. "No one working these kinds of sweatshop hours can give good legal service," she said.
2,000 or more legitimate billable hours per year? Ridiculous, unless people are expected to work far more than 40 hours a week or they are being grossly mismanaged (most likely both).

Requiring so many billable hours gives no time for:
  • learning from your own experiences, much less anyone else's.
  • taking on anything unplanned that is not directly billable to a client.
  • managing yourself or anyone else, or to be managed by anyone.
  • improvement.
  • contributing in any other way, or learning how.

    -  Ron  6:02 PM

Tuesday, October 29, 2002:  

Human Factors, Marketing:

The Temptation is Back - (Los Angeles Times)
...farmers are firing up their buzz saws, felling and burning Red Delicious orchards as fast as they can raise the money to replant them. During the last four years, some 60,000 acres of Red Delicious have been replaced with new varieties that don't just look nice, they taste good. Sweetness, spice, juiciness and a rowdy autumn crunch have all returned to Washington apples.
It seems the Red Delicious apple, that bright red apple with the horribly bitter skin, is the result of choosing appearance over flavor. Lucky for apple growers, it's relatively easy to measure the quality of apples in a meaningful and reliable way.

Too bad that web designers don't have any reliable measures for their own use. Even more worrisome is that they don't seem to care.

    -  Ron  4:05 PM

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