Thursday, January 15, 2015

Failed States Are Civilization's Tumors

If nations are not or cannot successfully be "nation builders" or in the business of nation building then surely the United Nations should be.

The world cannot afford any longer to leave areas open to lawlessness and barbarism simply to let them some day become civilized and safe. As failed states, failing states, and areas without any law and order; without any government continue to grow, the UN must begin to consider itself taking on the duty and responsibility of helping the people in those areas to build legitimate states.

This will not be simple, cheap, or quick but the world pays the price for doing nothing with these areas as terrorists use them for safe haven. These areas have become tumors in the world that continually metastasize, spreading the disease of death, violence, hate, and suffering throughout the rest of the world.

Any new territories that come from such nation building efforts as well as every other nation should at a minimum accept and adhere to the The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

For a list ranking all states by multiple factors in terms of stability see THIS page. 

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Organizations Are Made Of People And People Are Not Machines

Treating organizations like machines and therefore people like parts in a machine is a recipe for failure though some of these efforts may marginally succeed due to other factors or simply by chance.

Talent is not ubiquitous and some talents cannot be taught to some individuals.
Some people are NOT replaceable.
Good processes and best practices alone do not equate to success.
Some teams do not gel because some people do not get along or are not compatible.  

There is no magic recipe of processes, procedures, rules, hierarchies, capabilities, functions, and/or methodologies for organizational success that works with just any group of people.

Organizations act as conduits that focus the will, energy, talent, strengths, and weaknesses of groups of individuals toward some goal or set of goals through the leadership of some individuals.

There is nothing wrong with good processes, procedures, rules, or methodologies but they are adopted and put into action by people within the the context of many unwritten and unspoken human and interpersonal processes, procedures, rules, hierarchies, and methodologies both conscious and subconscious that we all learn to live with.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Spring Framework as a Form of Embrace, Extend, Extinguish

Whether planned or not, premeditated or otherwise, the Java Spring Framework effectively followed/follows an "Embrace, extend, and extinguish" path.

From Wikipedia: also known as "Embrace, extend, and exterminate",[2] is a phrase that the U.S. Department of Justice found[3] and was used internally by Microsoft[4] to describe its strategy for entering product categories involving widely used standards, extending those standards with proprietary capabilities, and then using those differences to disadvantage its competitors.

The strategy

The strategy's three phases are:
Embrace: Development of software substantially compatible with a competing product, or implementing a public standard.
Extend: Addition and promotion of features not supported by the competing product or part of the standard, creating interoperability problems for customers who try to use the 'simple' standard.
Extinguish: When extensions become a de facto standard because of their dominant market share, they marginalize competitors that do not or cannot support the new extensions.

This can also apply to open source projects as with the Java Spring Framework. Spring originally embraced the J2EE standard for the purpose of "fixing" its shortcomings by extending the standards using its own annotations and following its "convention over configuration" tactic. The framework followed this tactic instead of working to change the standard until Spring built applications were so far from being compatible with standard Java Enterprise framework that those shops which embraced it could not afford to not continue to use it and the tools built to support it. Then Spring was touted as "cutting edge" while those that stuck with the standard were backward.

Anytime a tool dictates design such that it becomes required for further changes and future design, you are trapped. You are then the tool.