Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘production

Capitalism redefines Time; (Mar. 21, 2010)

            The dividing line between present and future is invisible for the capitalist spirit: the past is passive and inefficacious to revert to and the future is mobile and evolving.  I saw an old American movie a couple days ago: a customer is checking a Cadillac and asks the salesman: “Is it this year model?” and the dealer to reply: “This is next year model you are sitting in”

            Capitalism captured the western cultural guiding rod in the last century: Time was no longer the enemy to mankind and time should be considered as the main dependent variable when studying nature, life, evolution, and development while space, temperature, climate, and the multitude of other independent factors were meant to explaining time. Time (and what correspond to time such as speed, rate, and turnover) is a directive God, the one notion that essentially defines all the other phenomena in the universe. Time and timeline are the measuring guideline to all human activities: work, distances, history, space, production, marketing, investment, liquidity, and budget. All other societies had to keep up with capitalism rhythm of what became the standard terminology and behavioral routines.

            Power is no longer essentially related to borders, raw materials, dimensions of a nation, or even larger armies.  Power is rate of return, turnover rate, and quickness in planning and starting production; power is quickness in distribution and consumption, quickness in gathering information and timely intelligence, quickness in analyzing and interpreting data, and quickness in relaying and disseminating information and intelligence.  Power is how Time is tamed and used as the most potent ally and tool.  Power is how to discover the best method to control and manage Time.

            Oil, as a raw material, is no longer an intrinsic power; the value of oil is how quickly deposits are located, excavated, drilled, produced, refined, distributed, and consumed. Geopolitics, as a political power status, has changed its laws into chrono-politics for the flow of signals, dissemination of intelligence, and turnover of fundamental research into applied sciences.

            Multinationals that represent the spirit of capitalism have tamed the most potent power tool: Time.  Multinationals have set the rules of the game on how to compute, evaluate, account, and transform liquidity into ready investment; on how to change the concept of interest to periods of computing it; on how profit is defined as turnover rate of products and services.  Multinationals have set the rules of how to do business, how to think business, and how to dominate with other people’s money and raw materials.

            You cannot fight and win an enemy who adopted and tamed Time as its ultimate potent God while your arsenal is still limited to inert space and your notion of time is reversed toward the dead past, a past that is incorrectly read and synthesized.

            It does not mean that capitalism cannot be defeated the way it is practiced as rules of the game but in the first phase you need to get trained to capitalism efficacious arsenal and then insert other dimensions to reform and transform the current ideology of capitalism. The new civilization capable to counter the enemy has to work toward a more viable quality of life such as earth sustainable ethics, eco-ethics, quality time to knowing yourself, quality time to listen intently to your communicator, quality time to focus on reading books relevant to man emotional development, and respect of the ancestors. 

            Most important to countering the enemy is learning to reserve peaceful time to reading the past without the need to superimpose your current obsessions and difficulties in order to interpret the past correctly and not tend to finding mythical solutions in the past that do not correspond to current realities:  the fainting fits in reviewing the past is one of the magical behaviors because we mostly fail to read correctly our traditions and history. In order to endeavor reading the past we first must feel comfortable and well rooted in our present. It is important to read the past as a hobby in hours of distractions; otherwise, we end up projecting our current problems on ancient texts  which distort proper focus on the initial content and context of the texts.  I am reminded of a saying by Teddy Goldsmith (1928-2009): “We can destroy Earth without violating a single law: it is illegal to protect nature!”

Note: I extracted this notion from the French book of Fatema Mernissi “The political Harem”.  Mernissi relied on the Moroccan author Mohammad Jaberi’s “We and our heritage” who criticized Moslem societies and imputed to the Western civilization the potent usage of time as its directive for modernization.  I thought to redirect the topic to a more specific ideological/economics concept that is more adequate to describing the trend in the last century since Western nations were very much attached to nationalism and still are in many instances.

Article #44,  April 14, 2006

“Phases in the process of system/mission analyses”

Systems, missions, and products that involve human operators to run, maintain, and keep up-to-date as societies evolve and change need to be analyzed at intervals for its consistency with the latest technology advances, people’s expectations, government regulations, and international standards.  To that end the latest development in the body of knowledge of human physical and cognitive capabilities along with the latest advancement in the methods applied for analyzing and designing systems have to be revisited, tested, and evaluated for better predictive aptitude of specific human-machine performance criteria.

            This article is a refresher tutorial of the necessary sequence of human factors methods offered to analyze each stages in system development.  In general, the basic milestones in system development begin with the exploration concept, demonstration of the concept, validation, full-scale engineering development, testing &debugging for errors and malfunctions, production, and finally operations and support systems for marketing.  Each one of these stages requires the contribution of human factors professionals and experts from the extensive array of methods they dispose of and are trained for, to their vast store of data on human capabilities and limitations, and to their statistical and experimental formation.  Human factors professionals can also contribute to the baseline documentation, instructions, training programs, and operations manuals.

            There is a mission for each stage of development concerning the end product of the stage to the next and the sequence follows 7 steps.  The first step is constituted of four analyses requirements; mainly, operational or the projected operations that will confront operators and maintainers, then comparing similar systems in operations and functions, then measuring and quantifying the activities involved in the operations, and then identifying the sources of difficulties or critical incidents that may have to be overcome among the interactions of operators and machines.

            The second phase is to figure out the flow of functions and the kinds of action/decision or binary choices at each junction of two successive functions; there are no equipments in mind at this phase of analyses.  The third phase is concerned with the types of information necessary to undertake each action identified in the second phase.  The fourth phase is the study of allocating operators to sets of functions and activities and how many operators and skill levels might be needed to fulfill the mission.  The fifth phase is to construct detailed analyses of the required tasks for each activity/function and basically trying to integrate among people, software, and hardware for smooth operations.

            The sixth phase might call for an assortment of methods in order to collect detailed data for the network of tasks such as faulty events, mode of failures, the effects or seriousness of the failures, time line from beginning to ending a task/activity, how the tasks are linked and how often two tasks come to be interacted, simulation techniques whether a computer simulation of virtual real world or prototyping, and eventually conducting controlled experimentations when the previous traditional methods cannot answer specific problems of cause and effects among the variables.

            The seventh and final phase in the analysis of a stage of development is to study the sequence of operations and the physical and mental workload of each operator and to finalize the number and capabilities of the crew operating as a team.  The last five phases are time consuming and it is imperative that the first two phases be well planned, analyzed and firm decisions made for the remaining phases in funding, duration of study, and level of details.

            In all these phases human factors are well trained to undertake the analyses because they have the knowledge and methods to extract the capabilities and limitations of human operators interacting with the software and hardware so that the design, trade-off studies, and prediction of human performance match the requirements for achieving a mission. The ultimate output/product of the sequence of analyses becomes inputs to specifications, reviews, and for design guidelines.




October 2020

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