Archive for August, 2007

Hiatus Time

I’ll be out all this week on a family trip to Turkey, so, TSIB will be officially on hiatus-mode until next week, Sept 5th. I’ll be sure to drop a photo or two if I can grab some semi-reliable internet access over there.

Depending on her schedule, ever talented and brilliant Christina will be guestblogging here and being a powerhouse contender over at Dork and the Ivy.


The Mgmt.


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Terrorism As A Design Problem

Stevie Levitt, writer of Freakonomics and kind-of-a-big-deal in the Cool Economics arena, recently did a fairly interesting op-ed with the NYT where he discusses how one goes about designing effective terrorist plots.

His proposal: roving bands of terrorist shooters coordinated to attack at similar times, in true economist fashion, maximizing terror for minimal cost.

If anything, it’s worth reading from the varyingly insightful and/or pompous comments that various readers have posted in response.

What’s morbidly interesting in this respect is that is that the op-ed suggests that acts of terrorism can be approached as a design problem more than a military problem (since the aim isn’t to destroy the opponent’s ability to resist). And, insofar as terrorist cells do their part in innovating in their chosen industry (terror), we can approach terrorism as an organizational design problem as well.

Remember Conway’s Law?a group’s product is inevitably a reflection of the organizational structure that gives rise to it.

I wonder if it’s a useful way to explaining why terrorist cells have in fact NOT done something similar to Levitt’s suggestion. In the very least, you wonder if different kinds of terrorist organizations innovate in unique patterns, and how these innovations are shared across various groups — particularly a group like Al-Qaeda, which functions as a series of independent cells.

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Patron Saints

I mean, really…

Who knew there were so many of them?

Some favorites:

-Albinus of Angers, Patron Saint Against Pirate Attack

Julian the Hospitaller, Patron Saint of Circus Workers

Marculf, Patron Saint Against Eczema

Isidore of Seville, Patron Saint of the Internet

Bernadine of Siena, Patron Saint of Public Relations

Joseph, Patron Saint of People Who Fight Against Communism

Drogo, Patron Saint of People Who Are Unattractive

No kidding. Read ’em and weep, boys.

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The Untold Genius of Jazzuo

Ah — the Internet, home to such amateur media genius/tinkerers as David Firth and Joel Veitch.

…and “Jazzuo” — author of the completely inexplicable game Sexy Hiking.

Details on the creator are sketchy at best and his website seems to have gone entirely defunct, but according to his listing at Portal of Evil, he’s some homebrew game designer living in Poland.

The game itself is pure, unadulterated madness.

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The Gettysburg Powerpoint

More reasons why Powerpoint rocks out.

This reminds me a little of that old nerd parlor game where you take a famous speech and use Word’s Autosummarize feature to generate these awesomely surreal fifty word 0r less summaries — perhaps the most entertaining example of which is the Bill of Rights.

Other awesome ones include The Ten Commandments and Beowulf.

Art from business applications = pretty awesome.

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The Gallery of Inept Child Outreach

Brought to you by your friends at the US government.

1) ReadyKids! (Department of Homeland Security)

2)  AMSville, brought to you by the US Department of Agriculture

More insanity, after the jump

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Another Two Rounds of Dork and the Ivy

More Dork and the Ivy today, pretty even day of fighting. Hwang +1, Chen +1.

It’s getting prohibitively long — so we might be moving the ongoing competition to its own separate blog. Stay tuned kiddies.


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