Monday, May 09, 2005

Just loose it (time)

Looking around there for a little bit of inspiration I found Joi Ito's remark about his migration from M-time to P-time. Basically M-time is the paradigm for scheduling everything (I wonder it's not called J-time, eheheh) and P-time is the choice for chaotic people like most of the engineers I know: they'd rather multitask their todo list better than focusing on only one thing at a time.

Maybe is the dullness I cannot help but feeling because of the return to the regular work after 9 days of vacation, but I feel like both of the ways are equally bad options generally speaking. I will explain myself.

First we have the monochronic approach. Scheduling means constant meetings before making a decision. Which is a lame thing when either no one is adopting the leader role or the amount of people without willing to cooperate giving ideas is too large. For the first case please imagine a school excercise about software engineering of a horse race program, the less exciting problem a bunch of students can be asked to. Five people gathering around a table, discussing about imaginary requisites instead of settling it up on the looser of a paper-scissor-stone match.

As for the second, I have the most recent personal experience on the time we wanted to make a simple web based application for knowledge storage and retrieval and it turned into a challenging test on how should I convince one of the members that no matter how cool XML-based databases looked on the white papers, our needs (and resources, as none of us had experience with it) were not that ambitious, but needed to be covered with a real solution we were able to implement. Finally we just agreed on using a wiki engine, a solution that any of us by himself could have come about. Useless meetings.

On the other hand there is the lack of communication that the polychronic time supposes. I have an idea? I talk about it with an available neighbour. I have a result? I share it with someone. At the end the information is only distributed partially so if you were busy finishing something the world might have changed as everyone else decided unilaterally to start with the XML database approach. Bullocks... and if someone else interrupts me while I am developing something we all agreed on a previous meeting, just to share his enlightment with me, I might be flattered but hey man! can you just tell me afterwards while having a beer together? I need to have this finished by the weekend.

Because there are always both lack of leadership and excess of illusion in any working environment, I cannot help but thinking that the defensors of the P-time are lucky enough to be surrounded only by efficient people.

Conclusion: if I want to be efficient myself I'd better turn into an asshole like Fuckowsky and when it's about work, dismiss anyone who I think is less capable than me. It might be hard, considering that I have been all my life closer to Mother Theresa, helping anyone that proved to have a good heart. Bad news is that I still hate people who think of themselves better than others, so as I don't want to end up hating myself we have a nice deadlock in my performance. Or should I say M-formance? :P

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