Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Goofing to a Meltdown?

After the Code.Org video touting "fun at work"  (see the post before this one), this article appeared on March 28 on CNN.com about the positive side of "goofing off at work."

The theory is that encouraging "play" at work not only boosts morale but also fosters increased creativity and teamwork, leading to better productivity and quality of work. ...
"The emphasis on fun spawns creative energy," explains Lauren Austin. She's creative director at marketing agency MKG in New York, where play is a priority. "Inspiration comes from interacting with one another and the world around us."

I agree 100% that stepping back from a problem and setting it aside allows the opportunity for creativity and insight.  We all have such experiences and we all know many stories.  Friedrich Kekule solved the problem of benzine's structure while dozing off and staring into a fire.  Kari Mullis had a similar insight about PCR (polymerace chain reactions; how we now replicate DNA), while speeding in his sports car up and through the Sangre de Cristo mountains outside Sante Fe.  But when Pasteur said that chance favors the prepared mind, his emphasis was on the mind, not the chance.

Large social events seldom have a single cause, but certainly do have identifiable contributing factors.  Not everything going on at one moment causes the events of the next.  But human action is causative.  I believe that the Dot.Com Meltdown was caused in part by the "business casual" attitude expressed in acceptable office attire and the casual atmosphere in business of the times.  The prosperity of the 80s and 90s, the Reagan-Clinton years, seemed assured because we never got to the real reason, the root, or radical fact.  Liberty and freedom are requisites to prosperity, but they are not causes of it. 

Cut taxes. Remove regulations.  Wealth will follow.  ... but only if the prepared minds can see for themselves the benefits of their creativity.  The creative mind does not work primarily for money (or primarily for love), but absent those rewards, much less gets done.  Primitive hunters were great artists. They decorated caves and cliffs, their weapons, and themselves.  Naked in the sun, they wore decorative shells for the pleasure of it. ... but the alphabet was waiting... and waiting...

What you can measure you can improve.  The invention of large numbers (beyond 3) led to the creation of writing. And here we are 8,000 years later, living by means that would be inexplicable to our Ice Age ancestors.  The difference is that we learned to work when we did not need to.  We gave up the luxury of hunting in an abundant environment for the opportunity to work long hours every day.  We could measure, count, tally, and store the excess wealth.

Will the new theory of goofing off on the job improve the statements of earnings, or are we on the verge of another Dot.Com Meltdown?

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Venture Capital
Capitalist Culture

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