Death by a thousand suits

This is a good article on a merger in the 1990s which goes a long way to explain the organisational failures we’re now seeing at Boeing. The standout passage:

The key corporate protection that had protected Boeing engineering culture was a wall inside the company between the civilian division and military divisions.

Have a guess what happened? Then there’s this:

In 2005, Boeing hired its first ever CEO without an aviation engineering background, bringing in James McNerney, who got his training in brand management at Proctor & Gamble, then McKinsey

Uh-huh. I urge you to read the whole thing.

Staying broadly on topic, this Twitter thread is fun too.


Pride before the stall

A couple of readers sent me the link to this story:

It remains the mystery at the heart of Boeing Co.’s 737 Max crisis: how a company renowned for meticulous design made seemingly basic software mistakes leading to a pair of deadly crashes. Longtime Boeing engineers say the effort was complicated by a push to outsource work to lower-paid contractors.

The Max software — plagued by issues that could keep the planes grounded months longer after U.S. regulators this week revealed a new flaw — was developed at a time Boeing was laying off experienced engineers and pressing suppliers to cut costs.

Increasingly, the iconic American planemaker and its subcontractors have relied on temporary workers making as little as $9 an hour to develop and test software, often from countries lacking a deep background in aerospace — notably India.

In May I wrote a post about how I thought the cause of the Boeing 737 Max crashes was as much organisational failure as technical fault. The Devil’s Kitchen reposted it on Facebook and someone appeared in his comments:

His response is pretty much what you’d expect from an engineer: appeal to his own authority and then dive head first into the details of his own area of expertise thus missing the broader point. Nobody is saying that diversity policies at Boeing caused the technical failure. Instead, I am talking about organisational failure whereby a company which is prioritising diversity to the extent they have 42 councils devoted to the issue is likely to lose focus on other areas. This in turn leads to poor practices being adopted and standards dropping in certain places, which combine to deliver less than optimal outcomes. Sometimes this manifests itself in higher staff turnover, other times a less efficient production process, others lower revenues, and so on. In such an environment, the risk of a problem going undiscovered or kludged increases, and the more complex the organisation the greater that risk. This is organisational failure leading to technical failure.

One of the biggest hazards a complex organisation faces is losing control of its supply chain. This is what I think happened in the Miami bridge collapse: there were a lot of subcontractors and nobody seemed to be in overall charge. It’s not that the engineers were necessarily bad, it’s just the management didn’t seem to have an idea what was going on, let alone were in control. So getting back to the story of the Indian software engineers on $9 per hour, I doubt the root cause of the 737 Max malfunction was some ill-trained programmer tapping in the wrong code because he was distracted by the cricket. But what it does tell you is that Boeing appears to have lost control over its supply chain to the degree that practices are popping up in it which probably shouldn’t be there. This is organisational failure, and although it is not caused by having the top management so focused on diversity, the fact that the top management is focused on diversity is a reasonable indication of organisational failure. Which can be denied – right up until planes start dropping out of the sky.


Subcontract Bridge

Readers may remember my post about the footbridge in Miami which collapsed onto a road full of cars during installation. A Twitter follower sends me an update, and the first thing I notice is this:

The plans for Florida International University’s pedestrian bridge included an innovative design approach by FIGG Bridge Engineers.

So the bridge was designed by FIGG; the original news reports said the engineering was carried out by Munilla Construction Management (MCM). This link provides some clarity:

FIGG Bridge Engineers, Inc. is the designer of the bridge, working for MCM.

Ah. In my original post I said:

A lot of companies have subcontracted out the actual work – designing, building, manufacturing, operating, maintaining – and instead busy themselves with “managing” the whole process. This involves lots of well-educated people in nice clothes sitting in glass-fronted office buildings sharing spreadsheets, reports, and PowerPoint presentations by email and holding lengthy meetings during which they convince one another of how essential they are.

In such an environment, it is inevitable that the quality of work suffers, errors go unnoticed, and – occasionally – catastrophes occur. Now I don’t know if that was the case at the Munilla Construction company, but somehow they’ve gone from an outfit who could deliver a project with their eyes closed to one that has just dropped a simple footbridge on eight lanes of highway. If I were investigating, I’d want to know who did the actual design and where it was done. I’d be willing to bet a hundred quid the calculations and finite element modelling were done outside the US to save money, or subcontracted to another company, and supervision – which involves expensive Americans – was at nowhere near the levels it should have been.

So I got the subcontracting part right. Were the calculations done outside the US? Well, FIGG is a US-based group but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a design office in Mexico employing number-crunching engineers on the cheap. But given the lead design engineer is called Denney Pate, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt here. Back to the article:

Bolton Perez & Associates, the project’s construction engineering and inspection contractor

It is possible that the project’s prime contractor, MCM, and its post-tensioning subcontractor, in attempting to fix the problems, made an error that caused the bridge’s single truss to crack and give way.

So here are two more subcontracted bodies. Now it’s not unusual to bring in specialist inspectors and technical services, but it does add to the complexity of who’s in charge and where responsibility lies meaning the project management needs to be spot-on.

An official with FIU asked a representative with Bolton Perez their opinion of FIGG’s presentation analysis. Bolton, Perez said they could not comment at the moment, but would “expedite” a response in 2-3 days, according to the notes.

It’s telling that there is no mention of MCM in this exchange. What were they doing, then? Getting ready for Pride month? This is also illuminating:

Rice, the Georgia forensic engineer, remains most perplexed over the designer’s use of a single truss. “That just blew me away,” he says. “To have a single truss like that is violating one of the first tenants of structural engineering—provide redundancy. If you’re going to make a truss bridge, you have at least two trusses,” he argues.

Okay, so this is what FIGG say on their website:

Bridges designed by FIGG are purposeful works of art, functional sculptures within the landscape, that are created through a careful analysis of the site, contextual and environmental sensitivity, and a regional approach that encompasses a community’s particular needs, as well as the realities of funding and maintenance.

By capturing the powers of imagination, function, and technology, we build bridges that improve the nation’s infrastructure, while enhancing the appearance of communities across America and the quality of life for the people who live in them.

So they look nice but collapse during installation in a manner detrimental to the quality of life for those passing beneath them at the time.

There are two points to make here. Firstly, MCM seem to have been adding little value; the fact their name doesn’t even come up in descriptions of the engineers’ discussions speaks volumes. This supports my original theory that they were an outfit which is good at winning projects via connections and box-ticking, but cannot actually execute any meaningful work nor adequately supervise those that do. This is modern business in a nutshell.

Secondly, the whole thing points to colossal organisational failure in the face of serious technical problems. There are a lot of people involved without clear roles and responsibilities with everyone talking, sharing opinions, and a*se-covering but nobody in charge and accountable (I suspect the investigation into the Boeing 737 MAX will reveal similar patterns). This represents a regression in terms of organisational and technical capabilities.

Now granted I am speculating but the incontrovertible facts are cracks were detected in the truss structure before the installation attempt and the engineers knew about them, but they went ahead with the installation anyway without bothering to close the road to traffic. It then collapsed and killed people. If this isn’t massive organisational failure then I don’t know what is.


HR Case II Answers

Following on from my previous post, the recommended course of action is:

1. Remind the employee that he must refrain from all involvement in politics in countries where he has no civil rights and the company is operating.

2. Reiterate that respect for human rights, including freedom of expression, is a fundamental company commitment.

3. Draw the employee’s attention to the fact that he may be perceived from outside as a company spokesman.

Ultimately, the company has signed up to international labour codes which respect freedom of expression. This is why they can’t just rush in and sack someone who has published something which the middle management don’t like or find inconvenient, e.g. a blog post which doesn’t mention the company name. As I said, it’s a large multinational with a reputation to protect and plenty of people wanting to see it come to grief in a courtroom. If you were some two-bit outfit nobody’s ever heard of then you’ve probably got more room to manoeuvre, but giant corporations have to watch their step.

In my earlier post, I quoted this part of the company code of conduct:

By virtue of international Human Rights standards (notably the Universal Declaration of Human Rights), every individual has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. The right to freedom of opinion guarantees that no one should be harassed due to their opinions. All individuals also have the right to freedom of expression, which includes the freedom to seek, receive and disseminate any kind of information, provided that the privacy and reputation of third parties and the company are respected.

This is important, as it means it’s not a question of management deciding on some vague measure that an employee has brought the company into disrepute and therefore must be disciplined. Instead, the employee can claim he acted within the company code of conduct and it’s up to the employer to demonstrate that he did so in a way so egregious that his rights are forgone in this instance. That’s not something I’d want to convince a tribunal of in the case of an employee’s Twitter comment which incited a mob to bombard the HR department with demands he be sacked.

This is really the basis of Israel Folau’s lawsuit against his former employers. If the code of conduct specifically allows people to practice their religion, how can he then be fired for effectively doing just that? I expect over the course of the next few years we’ll see a series of court cases which determine the degree to which corporations can sanction employees for expressing opinions in a private capacity which the management find inconvenient. Note that this wasn’t really a problem until Twitter came along and allowed SJW mobs to form. My guess is we’ll see a few silly rulings by progressive judges before higher courts containing more sensible judges point to commitments to human rights and freedom of expression in corporations’ documents and tell them they’d better start living up to them. The James Damore lawsuit will be worth watching.


HR Case II

As another exercise for those interested in HR matters, here’s a hypothetical case I have found in the guidelines of a major international company:

One of our expatriate employees has no civil rights in the host country where we are working, and has a column in a local newspaper. He is officially supporting the incumbent, and virulently criticising opposition candidates. The column is under his real name.

Anyone want to take a guess at the recommended course of action?


Pride Hailing App

In April last year I wrote a post about Uber hiring Bo Young Lee, an Asian lady who started her professional life as an Accenture consultant and thereafter spent 15 years working in diversity-related positions, in the new role of Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer. I suspect she’s had a strong hand in this:

As an asexual, Vietnamese-American, Heather is a force to be reckoned with on and off the road. When she’s not driving, Heather spends her time pursuing an acting career with the interest in bringing stories of powerful women to light.

I think this Twitter user puts it best:

There’s a whole page of this stuff, with each employee carefully placed in their little sexual identity box in front of the corresponding flag (it seems this heads-up and subsequent post came just in the nick of time).

Simply by sharing her story with us, Heather is already inspiring others. “I think I’ve always identified as asexual. Even when I was little. Because my crushes on people are usually aesthetic attraction, attraction to people’s personality, kindness or intelligence. But never sexual,” Heather said.

Uber’s Diversity & Inclusion department have handpicked Heather for special mention because she’s discovered this thing called friendship.

Whether about her race or sexuality, Heather makes an effort to change the way we communicate. “I think we could alter the language we use in our conversations with others. Ask people questions in a way that doesn’t imply something.” With her family and friends by her side, Heather’s unique view is empowering so many others.

Her view about as unique as a portrait of the Kims in a North Korean army base.

From an early age, Dom knew she was different from her friends. And in some ways, that may have made coming out a little easier, because many of her friends and family had already been suspecting.

But does she refrain from cancelling your trip when you’ve been waiting 40 minutes and the app says she’s now just 2 minutes away?

“I’m what people think a lesbian would look like. But I can see how that diminishes and erases half of a community,” Dom explained.

“Explained” is a little generous here, I feel.

As opposed to the pink shades of the lesbian flag, Dom more closely identifies with the rainbow flag. “What I like about the flag, is that it’s not unique to one identity. It reminds us that everybody has been in a similar situation in the past, and knowing that sort of ties us together in a community,” she elaborated.

This sounds awfully conservative. Are we sure she’s not a Trump supporter?

Now living with her fiancée in San Francisco, Dom defines success as being comfortable with who you are and living your personal truth. “You can’t measure yourself or your success against anyone else. If you can do that, the people who love you will be there.”

In the days of traditional cabs you ran the risk of a driver who’d rant about blacks taking over and would take you from Tower Hill to Soho via Thurso. Nowadays, thanks to technology, you get an Uber driver who shares their high-school intersectional philosophy with you.

With support from the Uber community, Lana found the courage to come out a second time as transgender. “It always felt disingenuous to wave around the rainbow flag because it’s largely been controlled by the gay man. The trans flag was at first a rejection of that. I like seeing the trans flag with all of the other flags. It shows we’re evolving,” Lana explains.

They’re really taking this flag stuff seriously, aren’t they? How long before factional rivalries spill over and “capture the flag” games start?

Though challenging at times, Lana’s journey has made her the activist she is today and she now stands with immense Pride. As one of the first people to openly transition at Uber, Lana pioneered the updated community guidelines for transgender employees and allies.

So Bo Young Lee delegated the writing of HR guidelines governing workplace behaviour to a trans-activist employee? What could go wrong?

Originally from Jamaica, Francois is currently a model and Uber driver-partner in New York City. “A lot of LGBTQIA+ people drive for Uber in New York City because it’s so hard to find employment where you’re actually accepted for who you are,” Francois explained.

I suspect the “who you are” in this context is more about your skills, experience, and immigration status than your sexual preferences, but it’s a neat conflation.

Identifying as genderqueer, Francois has felt misunderstood in the past. “People don’t get that being Genderqueer isn’t about me being able to wear a skirt and a dress. I have to think about all the different nuances of myself; my masculinity and my femininity. It’s not about cross-dressing, it’s about expressing who I am,” Francois said.

Does anyone else detect the strong whiff of narcissism which is common to all these profiles?

Francois feels that the genderqueer community is often misunderstood, and he encourages people to stop being shy and start asking questions.

Here’s mine: don’t you think it’s a little sad that your entire identity is wrapped up in your sexual preferences to the exclusion of everything else?

With the freedom to explore, Jacob now identifies as polysexual. “I’m attracted to a deep personal bond, I want to get to know who someone is as a person before I’m with them,” he explains.

As opposed to the rest of society which presumably gets married following a one-night stand.

Today, Trevor feels more empowered to identify as non-binary. “Some days I present as male, some days I present as more female.” For Trevor, discovering the non-binary flag was liberating. It meant representation, validation, and a place within the LGBTQIA+ community.

Does it now? In unrelated news:

On an operating basis, Uber losses widened to over $1 billion in Q1, up from a loss of $478 million in 2018.

It underscored the central challenge the company faces: Like other big tech companies going public this year, Uber has no immediate path to making money in a fiercely competitive sector.

Uber’s stock sank immediately after it debuted on the New York Stock Exchange on May 10, at the low end of its initial public offering range.

Now I’ve almost finished my MBA I think I can see the root cause of Uber’s financial difficulties: there is no polyamorous employee featured in their Pride page, and no polyamory flag. From now on I’m using Lyft, bigots!


Personae non gratae

From the BBC:

A number of US media giants have publicly stated they will reconsider filming in Georgia if the state’s strict new abortion law takes effect.

Disney, Netflix and WarnerMedia have all objected to the legislation, which would ban abortion after a foetal heartbeat can be detected.

The so-called “heartbeat bill” has caused a furious backlash in Hollywood and led to calls for a boycott.

Georgia makes billions of dollars from film and television productions.

The state’s bill seeks to make abortion illegal as soon as a foetal heartbeat is detectable. In most cases, this is at the six-week mark of a pregnancy – before many women even know they are pregnant.

None of these companies has a problem operating in European countries with much more restrictive abortion laws than those in the US, nor Arab nations which ban it outright. Disney has a resort in China, not a country known for its liberal approach to human rights. But apparently Georgia is now beyond the pale.

It’s important to understand what’s going on here. I wrote recently about Shell’s practice of lecturing its employees in Perth on LGBT rights while enjoying the fruits of production from Brunei, which had just passed a draconian anti-homosexuality law. Oil companies will indoctrinate their staff on the benefits of diversity and then send them to Nigeria where they’re told local content is a priority and they want to see 90% of the organisation filled by Nigerians within three years. Google preaches diversity and inclusion in the US while working closely with the Chinese government who have made brutally sure everything is run by and for the Han people.

Those who think this represents inconsistency are wrong, because they’re misreading the goals of the company board and executives. They don’t care about diversity, what they care about is progressive ideology which removes straight, white men from positions of power. I’ve worked in Korean companies and found them to be staffed 100% by ethnic Koreans, with the entire top management dominated by men who I very much suspect are straight. I expect the same is true in Japanese companies, but you don’t hear lecturers at Harvard Business School saying these organisations need to diversify in order to boost financial performance. No, when it comes to non-western countries, domination by a single ethnic group is seen by progressives as a symbol of pride and independence. This is why American companies are expected to employ non-Americans but Mexican companies are encouraged not to let Americans beyond the front lobby.

An argument could be made that even if the business case fails, social justice requires companies employ minorities in senior positions. People say Koreans can’t be expected to diversify because there are no disadvantaged ethnic minorities in Korea. Which might be true, but it’s not the case for China, Malaysia, India, Brazil, or Indonesia. How many international companies are telling their Turkish branches they need to promote more Kurds to senior management positions? And where is the pressure on African, Asian, and Middle Eastern subsidiaries to increase their proportion of LGBT staff?

I think most people expect big corporations to pressure governments to write business-friendly laws, but nowadays companies have decided to engineer social change in the western world by maligning the influence, abilities, and achievements of straight, white men under the auspices of equality and fairness. Reading their corporate websites, one would be forgiven for thinking for some, engineering social change is their primary purpose. Of course, they’re just doing the bidding of the ruling classes who have subcontracted social policy out to corporate HR departments, but it’s hard to see how this will end well for them. The way the political sands are shifting we’re likely to see several anti-corporate governments come to power in the west in the near future. Who are they going to turn to for support, if the traditional capitalist white male has been told he’s no longer welcome to apply? We’ve seen this with Brexit; global corporations have been forced to rely on purple-haired lunatics and black-clad anarchists to champion their cause while the ordinary bloke on the street who would have once voted for Thatcher want to see corporate executives run out of town at the warm end of a flamethrower.

The fact is, a lot of these companies are living off legacy rents and cosy government connections, and protected by regulations they helped write which create high barriers to entry. Another lot are reaping the short-term rewards in tech, an industry which governments haven’t yet figured out how to regulate, hobble, and pillage. Without governments on their side they’re going to be facing severe competition from foreign players who take business a whole lot more seriously, and who will find an army of smart, capable people willing to work with them to wreak whatever havoc they wish. After all, why should people who are clearly hated by their ruling classes show any loyalty? Huawei has already infiltrated western governments and businesses to a degree which would never have been possible were those in charge not so hell-bent on wrecking the foundations on which their institutions and businesses are built. I expect we’ll see a lot more of this, along with big-name brands suddenly going bankrupt and the pieces snapped up by companies with funny names and which don’t care much for diversity of any sort. When it does, you’ll find my sympathy levels rather low.



Some years ago I read a story in Private Eye – one of the long, earnest, features they put at the back – concerning a chap who worked in middle management at a major oil company. According to the article he’d spotted some wrongdoing (environmental IIRC), complained to his hierarchy, and been told to forget about it and keep his trap shut. He decided not to and kept making noise, then eventually blew the whistle to outsiders. The oil company tried to buy his silence, then fired him. He sued them, and they tried several times to settle with five-figure sums. But this guy’s aim was to get the oil company in court where they’d be found guilty, heavily fined, and forced to apologise to him, so he kept rejecting their offers. Eventually the oil company decided to come down on him hard and destroy his life with endless lawsuits and delays. Private Eye gave us a teary-eyed account of how the chap had been unemployed for years, had been forced to sell his house, and now his health was failing. Well, what the hell did he expect?

The legal system is not the route on which to launch a moral crusade, and the courts not the place to grandstand. If you’re thinking of launching legal action against your employer, your lawyer should ask you right at the start what you want: to stay in your job unmolested or to leave with a settlement. If your answer is neither and you want to go to trial and force the company to apologise, the lawyer should spend the next several hours talking you out of it. You’ve got to have a pragmatic resolution in mind, which usually means a settlement in which the company accepts no liability or wrongdoing. That’s just the way it goes, and any lawyer will tell you that trials are dicey as hell no matter how solid you think your case is and how right you are. That’s why everyone works overtime to avoid them in such cases. For everyone’s sake it’s better just to collect the cash and move on.

Some people insist on being martyrs, however. Last week I listened to the Joe Rogan podcast with a Canadian chap called Phil Demers. Demers is in something like the seventh or eighth year of grinding litigation with his ex-employer, a marine life park in Canada. Demers was unhappy with the treatment of the marine mammals in the park and sought to expose them, and that led to his being sued and his counter-suing them. Now morally Demers might be right, but he has refused settlement after settlement, determined his case goes to trial so his former employer be denounced in public. He said he is frustrated with his lawyer who doesn’t seem keen on it going to trial (why he’s paying for advice he won’t listen to I don’t know). He also said he’s not interested in money, will accept no figure to settle, and only wants custody of a walrus he used to work with and which he considers his child. I can’t see that going down too well in court. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to him that, regardless of his bond with the animal and its poor condition in the marine park, he has no legal claim on it. He says he is flat broke and is looking forward to when this whole thing finally goes to trial (there is no date in sight) and he can put the whole thing behind him and move on with his life. I suspect he’s going to be waiting an awful long time, and if and when the trial comes he’ll learn the harshest lesson of his life.

I listened to the podcast aghast, thinking someone needs to knock some sense into this chap. Rogan did query whether he really ought to be doing this to himself, but remained very supportive. I scoured the comments under the podcast looking for a dissenting opinion, but they are almost all along the lines of “Yeah, don’t back down, stick it to the man!” What they didn’t seem to appreciate is that it’s not so much David v Goliath than a man whacking his head against a brick wall in a long, painful suicide attempt. Company executives don’t lie awake at night worrying about some individual suing them, they simply cut a cheque and get a lawyer to take care of it. And if the absolute worst happens and they lose in court down the line, they cut another cheque and use the loss to lower their tax bill that year. For them it’s a simple business transaction, much the same as a paying customs charges. Their only interest is to minimise the bill, and right and wrong don’t come into it. If you’re going to bring legal action against a company without realising this it will never end well for you, even if you think you’ve won. You really do want to listen to that lawyer you’re paying so much for.


Never burst, buckled, or bent

The other day I received a PR email from a company based in Aberdeen which:

is aiming to significantly reduce the environmental impact caused by the oil and gas industry, by offering a new sustainable solution with the refurbishment and reuse of decommissioned subsea equipment and component parts.

This immediately struck me as a venture started by people who think sustainability is a product in itself.

Presently, the industry recycles as much of its subsea equipment as possible once it has no further need for them.

Meaning, they take it off the sea floor and sell it for scrap.

Instead of the traditional recycling process, Legasea takes the subsea production equipment from decommissioned fields and reuses as many parts as possible following a rigorous refurbishment process at its base

Here’s where I think the problem is. Despite the enormous cost of subsea equipment creating a massive industry, there’s not actually a lot of it made. Industry efforts to standardise subsea Xmas trees for example ran into the problem that at the height of the boom only about 150 were installed in a year. A couple of years ago it was in single figures. This is not the sort of mass-volume industry which lends itself to standardisation, and the potential savings not enough to persuade oil companies to abandon their own standards in favour of a common industry-wide design. In other words, these pieces of equipment are bespoke and have to be ultra-reliable, hence they’re very expensive. This isn’t the sort of kit which lends itself to using secondhand parts to reduce costs, and even if it were, how many units do these guys think they’ll be selling each year?

This leads to huge cost and lead time savings for clients and results in saving obsolete components, such as many types of subsea electrical connectors and hydraulic couplings making them available for reuse on producing fields.

The long lead times are due to oil companies demanding bespoke units. If they were willing to be flexible on that score they’d have agreed to a standard design and be buying brand new, off-the-shelf kit. But they haven’t, so they will still want bespoke designs and I suspect the long lead times are down to design and approvals rather than an availability of the parts this company is refurbishing. And what percentage savings will they make using refurbished parts instead of new? I can’t see many engineers in an oil company signing off on using refurbished parts for a piece of kit which will sit at the bottom of the sea for twenty years unless the cost savings really are substantial.

A common occurrence in many other industries, this repurposing of subsea parts helps to preserve vital resources for continued use and reduces the environmental impact of the oil and gas companies themselves.

Preserve vital resources? Such as? And it is debatable whether refurbishing these parts with all the material and manpower involved will use fewer resources than just producing them from new.

Co-founded by Lewis Sim (Managing Director) and Ray Milne (Operations Director), the Legasea team has been joined by team members Chris Howley (Service Technician), Graham Petrie (Projects Manager) and Chris Moffat (QHSE Manager).

So you’ve got your overheads sorted, then. How many units will they be refurbishing each month, do you think?

“We offer an alternative route for unwanted and recovered subsea production systems and will take liability and ownership for the equipment; making it safe, clean and disassembling it to its component parts. Reusable parts will then be used to fulfil the demand for urgent remanufacturing and spares when crucial production is at risk during routine preventative maintenance or when an unforeseen failure is encountered subsea.”

Okay, the business model might work if they’re providing urgently-required spare parts, but how many emergencies are they expecting each year? And I’d be interested to know just how much liability they’re willing to take on. One component failure and they could be on the hook for millions within an hour.

Hey, I wish them well and I’m just some bloke on a computer, but if I’m gonna get unsolicited PR emails I feel I’m entitled to look at them critically.


Social Womengineering

In the comments under my last post, David Thompson remarks:

But apparently, it’s more important to have women “in every role,” at “fifty percent,” because people mustn’t “see policing as primarily a male-dominated job.”

When it comes to gender equality we are rapidly abandoning equality of opportunity in favour of equality of outcomes, the latter of which can only result in a deeply unhappy and dysfunctional society. Here’s another example:

By 2028, Qantas hopes 40 percent of its pilot intakes are female – a move that comes after Virgin Australia exceeded its goal of having at least 50 percent of its pilot cadet intakes female in 2018.

And another (H/T Ken):

Goldman Sachs wants half of the next intake of its junior recruitment programme to be women, and will hold its managers responsible for promoting more minorities to managing director as part of a new diversity push.

If men aren’t taking note of this direction of travel and preparing to do something about it, things aren’t going to turn out well for them – nor anyone else.