Scott & Sarah Kennedy

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Collective Ignorance and Meetings or "None of us are dumb as all of us."

It's funny I should post this after attending a very useful planning meeting for the Japan Cafe on Saturday. But this is not a criticism of particular meetings, but just a general comment. So ain't nobody take some offence. Anyway, I was thinking about meetings. Seems to me that many people tend to think of meetings as bringing the best ideas and the best of people together, and coming up with a better result. You know the old saying that goes "Many hands make light work." But it seems to me that this need not be the case, because there is the old dichotomy of sayings. One the one hand, "many hands make light work", but on the other, "too many cooks spoil the broth." Could it not be possible that fallible sinful humans meet together, and their worst ideas combine to produce the worst outcome? Sure I hear you say.... look at parliament. Exactly. But then did I ever say I thought democracy was the way to go. We need a Scotocrocy. The rule by Scot. But that is by the by. My theory on meetings is fairly simple really. A short meeting is a good one. Not only that, the fewer people the better.

The Flood

The flood was a localised one. It was not worldwide. It was not even factory wide. It was localised to the chemistry and microbiology lab. Oh yes that's right. The laboratory flooded today. Did it flood at 2:05 when I would have been gone? No not at all. Did it flood at 1:55 when I was just about to go? Ahhhh.... yes. I was washing the dishes when one of the technicians commented that someone had spilt water over near her bench. It soon became clear that it was more than a spill. That became clear when it started gushing out from the bottom of the wall on both sides, and coming out the lino. Yes it was spectacular. Apparently a pipe had burst inside the wall. Well we got an engineer down, who took a look and said. "Oh that's not good." Yes exactly. I can say that and I'm not an engineer. And then he said. "It's coming from inside the wall." Well so it was. But he was actually quite a legend, and managed to shut the flow off by going off somewhere. Well me and one of the other technicians scouped it up in containers into a big 20 litre bucket. We kept a tally, and worked out after the clean up that we had pulled up over 500 litres of water.


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