HSSCM Method: Update for October 10, 2018

October 10, 2018

The management methods inspired by high school science club behaviors are noteworthy. The goose calls these HSSCM methods or “high school science club management methods” to honor the behaviors of individuals who loved technology but were unfettered by such non essentials as football practice, the student council, and working as a volunteer at the retirement facility near the high school. Chemistry, math, physics, biology—the future.

Two items caught the Beyond Search goose’s attention this fine day.

First, the goose noted “Leaked Transcript of Private Meeting Contradicts Google’s Official Story on China.” The source is one of the popular real news sources associated with some NSA related information. The point of the write up, which the goose assumes is spot on, is:

On Sept. 26, a Google executive faced public questions on the censorship plan for the first time. Keith Enright told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee that there “is a Project Dragonfly,” but said “we are not close to launching a product in China.” When pressed to give specific details, Enright refused, saying that he was “not clear on the contours of what is in scope or out of scope for that project.”

Okay, that seems clear.

And, on September 23, 2018, a Googler said:

“Right now, all we’ve done is some exploration,” Gomes told the reporter, “but since we don’t have any plans to launch something, there’s nothing much I can say about it.”

The hitch in the git along surfaces in this comment from the write up:

In July, Gomes had informed employees that the plan was to launch the search engine as soon as possible — and to get it ready to be “brought off the shelf and quickly deployed” once approval from Beijing was received.

The HSSCM method is to say different things to different audiences. That seems similar to practices followed in the high school science clubs with which I am familiar. For example, “Did you hot wire the PA system to play rock and roll during Mr. Durham’s morning announcements?” Our sci club leader said, “No.”

Did not fly.

The second high school science club management method the goose spotted appeared in the real news story “Facebook Isn’t Sorry — It Just Wants Your Data.” Facebook, a firm which has been associated with Cambridge Analytica and the phrase “I’m sorry,” allegedly has created what BuzzFeed calls a “home surveillance device.”

We noted this statement in the write up:

It’s also further confirmation that Facebook isn’t particularly sorry for its privacy failures — despite a recent apology tour that included an expensive “don’t worry, we got this” mini-documentary, full-page apology ads in major papers, and COO Sheryl Sandberg saying things like, “We have a responsibility to protect your information. If we can’t, we don’t deserve it.” Worse, it belies the idea that Facebook has any real desire to reckon with the structural issues that obviously undergird its continued privacy missteps.

The HSSCM method is to do exactly what the science club wants. Need to experiment on pets, not frogs, as part of the biology course of study, have at it. I recall one of our science club members tried this stunt until the teacher learned that the student was expanding beyond the normal frog dissection.

These examples suggest that one just say what’s necessary to be left along. Then move forward. Fortunately the Beyond Search goose (a member, of course) evaded being cooked.

MBA programs may not have textbooks which explain the benefits of this approach. On the other hand, maybe the schools with forward looking professors do.

Stephen E Arnold, October 10, 2018


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