August 31, 2007 6 Comments
However, that’s not quite the best answer. It’s ‘Three Men who claim to do research in Computer Science but having many other varied interests sitting huddled together in a Conference Room when nobody’s watching and working on the giant problem of figuring out what it means to do a single unit of work’. That’s not very succinct. So, let’s just stick with ‘Three Men in a Conference Room’ (which pretty much describes it anyway). So, if you have been using your brains on steroids, you must have already guessed the protagonists of the story. Let’s call them – M, G and K.
When you are discussing extremely esoteric abstruse concepts like what it means do so some work, the conversation can take many turns, meandering around with flippant frequency, confusing everybody involved. Sometimes, verse gets thrown in:
K: So, we have to keep track of everything – the job, the task, the assignment, the activity, the process, the worker, the employer, the system, and (of course) the gig. Check the thesaurus — are their any others that we need to consider?
M: But, you forgot the solution. What are we doing the whole exercise for?
G: (non-chalantly) Job Kar beta, Solution ki chinta mat kar [Do the Job, don't worry about the solution -- an oft (mis)-quoted verse of the Bhagwad Gita]
M: And the activity is the meta-level concept and lives on
G: The tasks keep coming and going for each activity.
K: (Reminiscing) As Tennyson had said: For Jobs may come and Jobs may go, Activities go on forever.
M: (Exasperated) Minutes to write before I sleep, Minutes to go before I sleep
As you can very well imagine, this does not bode very well for human sanity.
The conversation meandered to outsourcing. We are such hypocrites because we teach children to do everything themselves, and when they grow up they are taught words like outsourcing and core-competency (Child: Mommy, hygiene really is not my core-competency. Maybe I can just outsource bathing to you) — and we concluded with err… (ah, yes!) the conclusion that an extreme form of outsourcing would be when Apple Computer is stripped down to one person — Steve Jobs.