David Kramer's high-entropy blog

Conflict Is Essential

I recently posted on how failure is essential. Along the same lines of failure being essential to learning, conflict is essential to innovation and change.  I’ve often felt this.  Not everyone feels this way, but I love a healthy debate. Rick Brenner recently published an article in his Chaco Canyon series on this topic, called Teamwork Myths: Conflict. At my last job (Atpima), one of the many wonderful projects I worked on was called TeamBuilder (my name was conveniently left out since I left the company).  You can follow that link to read all about it, but the relevant concept is when you’re building teams that need to work on hard problems that may require out-of-the-box solutions, conflict can lead to new solutions.  Or at least a thorough review of the pros and cons of the known options.  When a team has a well-defined problem and must act quickly, conflict can be bad.  Just like tools, you need different ones for different tasks.


There Be Monsters. And Art.

Joseph Carnevale, a Raleigh, NC artist, was recently arrested for his art.  Well, to be precise, he got arrested because he made his art out of stolen traffic barrels.  Illegal, yes, but so fracking cool!  So cool, in fact, that the construction company was willing to forgive him and not press charges, but the police didn’t have the same appreciation for the arts that they did.

He’res MSNBC’s take on itThis post at Sub5Zero has more pictures.


Awkward Family Photos

This is another “Where the heck did I find this?” link.  I bring you Awkward Family PhotosHere’s my favorite.  Think twice about breaking up with one of those daughters!

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Event: 05/28/09 Agile Bazaar Talk On Ineffective Scrum Practices

Title: Ken Schwaber on “Flaccid Scrum – A New Pandemic?”
When: Thursday, 06/18/09 06:00 PM – 09:00 PM
Where: MIT Building 26, Room 100, Cambridge, MA – Cambridge
Cost: Free

Scrum has been a very widely adopted Agile process, used for managing such complex work as systems development and development of product releases. When waterfall is no longer in place, however, a lot of long standing habits and dysfunctions have come to light. This is particularly true with Scrum, because transparency is emphasized in Scrum projects.

Some of the dysfunctions include poor quality product and completely inadequate development practices and infrastructure. These arose because the effects of them couldn’t be seen very clearly in a waterfall project. In a Scrum project, the impact of poor quality caused by inadequate practices and tooling are seen in every Sprint.


So There I Am, Shaving a Yak…

Ok, that sounds like like a pretty obscure line.  But that’s kinda the point. This article from Agile Observations from the Trenches blog. Yeah, it’s an article about Agile software development.  But it’s really about accomplishing any goal.

It’s really worth reading the article, but here’s what that title is about: Sometimes you need to accomplish task Foo, but then you realize you first need to accomplish task Bar, and then before Bar you need to do task Baz, and so on.  It’s easy to lose sight of the original goal, and then you’re really in trouble.


God Hates Shrimp

A fairly religious Jewish friend posted on Facebook today that he “broke a molar eating a shrimp today. Interpretations?”  Needless to say the jokes came fast and furious.  But along with the jokes came a link to the Got Hates Shrimp website.  Pretty clever, if you have good reading comprehension skills and working satire detector.

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