Lord, the bureaucracy

December 9, 2012

I'd hoped to publish the first draft of the complicated sub-domain today but I can't really get my mind around the dimensions.   I've found with the sub-domain models that its easier to work out the lapse to disorder for either the horizontal or vertical extreme, then the rest sort of falls into place.  I've got the Longitude Story as one: experts refuse to see that there is another perspective or way of thinking through the problem.  But I'm not sure about the other.  Longitude would imply a dimension around paradigm shifts or changing reference bases (all still ordered) so that will work out.  The other extreme really isn't coming though.  I'll have to play around with some stuff on the plane to later today.

Part of the problem was that today didn't really pan out as expected.  I aimed to get to a lunch spot early, but got held up and the queues were long.   It always seems unfair to take a table if you are on your own so I ended up in a fish bar dive which was OK, but not really conducive to a relaxing think around a problem.  More utilitarian and functional.   The day was overcast and I didn't have much time so I ended up with a walk along the front then a flip up to the Gates Foundation to drop off a document.  It was interesting walking there as I first passed a sports stadium then the Ballet with over-dressed, over adult 8 year olds lining up for entry.  Why do people dress children up as adults, in particular in almost tarty evening dress when they should just be enjoying themselves?

Dropping off a document at Gates gave rise to the heading of this post.  I had completed a review of the results of a series of experiments on pit latrines.   I did the original assessment to select interesting projects and this was a (unpaid) chance to review their progress and make recommendations as to future funding.   I'd completed that but was contractually obliged to return the bound document with the various project reports.   I had left the FedEx envelope in Singapore so I thought I would just leave it there for pick up.

That was foolish.  The security guards told me that I could only return material through the post office with proper screening.  I should say that I have not sealed the envelope and it was just a set of papers.  I then tried the visitor centre.  Here all staff agreed that it was really silly I could not leave it with them, but orders were orders.  To be fair they made various phone calls in order to get permission to do what should have been really very very simple.  However said permission was not forthcoming.  So rather than saving money (this is a charity after all) I either have to leave it at the hotel registration for pick up (probably a breech of some rule) or carry it out of state and hope to post it from Washington or Boston.

Its a complete nonsense, process preventing human common sense and practice.  There was no danger whatsoever.  I'm more than usually sensitive on the subject at the moment as a few Government bids are requiring us to certify things that are known such as the fact that we exist as a company.  To follow the rules someone will have to notarise a set of documents, get them signed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (a two week waiting period) then queue in fly to Indonesia to the consulate of the country in question, queue for yet another stamp then FedEx the document.  This is a nonsense, its anti-small business to say the least.  The proof is available on line at Singapore Government web sites.

I should say this comes on top of days of similar nonsense on NGO bids into Washington.  All of this creates jobs for people who add no value by checking boxes, does nothing to prevent fraud and just makes it difficult for any company to do business.  The money and time wasted would be better spent doing good, or at least attempting to do so.


Opening picture from the inspired pen of Martin Olsson

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