Freedom of religion or freedom from religion?

In several cases recently here in Sweden, “freedom of religion” has been used as an argument for obtaining certain privileges. These are my current thoughts about this somewhat controversial topic: If commercial or non-profit enterprises or voluntary groups provide services and goods such as halal or kosher food, exclusive time slots in privately operated swimming pools, financing for mosques or churches, hindu gyms or whatever, without tax subsidies, that’s fine with me. Continue Reading

On the useless concepts of race and gender

In my personal battle against irrational thinking I’ve come to think about the categories “race” and “gender” and how they are used to categorize people and to make policy. There is a strong suspicion that Asian-Americans are discriminated against by several top American universities. There will probably soon be a quota for the percentage of women on the boards of directors of Swedish companies (Norway already has that). And there is still Continue Reading

The devil in the detail

When writing a quality system manual there is (at least should be) a need to talk about real-world objects. Let’s call them primary objects for lack of a better word. Examples are a product or a (software) bug (whether a bug is an “object” is of course also debatable but in the abstract world of software it is). Sometimes we on the other hand need to refer to some kind of representation Continue Reading

This is not quality

We all know that market economy is not perfect but that the alternatives are worse. Right now I’m trying to wrap my brain around the fact that there are companies that seem to survive in a market economy despite apparent disregard for their customers. The example I currently have on my mind is CanalDigital, a Swedish satellite TV provider. They have a habit of calling their customers offering additional channels and other Continue Reading

The return of StarUML

Way back I used StarUML as a quality system manual (process) modeling tool and then used a home-grown code generator to create web pages for WordPress representing the quality system manual. The diagrams on this page are for instance created in StarUML. StarUML was very easy to use and to customize and it had excellent documentation too. Unfortunately the open source project was discontinued which led me to try to create something Continue Reading

Ordering the product backlog

Several posts in this blog discuss the order in which new features should be implemented. In this post I try to summarize some of my thinking so far. The following terminology will be used in this post: New proposed features are described in “change requests” that are in effect small documents or records in a database describing various aspects of the proposed feature. To realize a change request a number of “tasks” Continue Reading

Privacy, what privacy?

There are about 20 apps on my Android phone waiting for me to grant them additional privileges. Booking.com wants to: “find accounts on the device” “test access to protected storage” “modify or delete the contents of your USB storage” Facebook takes it to a totally different level. It has the longest list of access grants that I’ve seen. Among other things it wants to: “read your contacts” “modify your contacts” “read calendar Continue Reading

Sanity prevails

Yesterday the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court announced that the Computer Tax that I rather vehemently disagreed with in my previous post has been ruled illegal. There is still justice and sanity in the neighborhood. Read about it for instance here.

Bring in the just machines please!

As hinted in an earlier post, human beings are not exactly behaving in a consistent and measurable way when it comes to acting upon risk. I usually consider evolution to be rational and therefore people to be rational in some paleolithic sense but sometimes I wonder. In a book published only (?) on the Internet, Aswath Damodaran summarized a number of interesting facts about our behavior when exposed to risk: Individuals are Continue Reading

I wasn’t first – this time either

Having Googled around a little bit more I realize that what I wrote two posts down wasn’t exactly new thinking. Similar ideas were described by Robert C. Cooper in this article. I didn’t read the paper before I wrote my post, I swear :) Even if I didn’t earn the Nobel Prize in management this time either, I’m happy to see my ideas corroborated.