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observation on consumption
Old 12-09-2007, 08:58 PM   #1
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observation on consumption

I have noticed that whenever I start tracking something I start (almost unconsciously) using less. Electricity, water, natural gas, food, money...
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:04 PM   #2
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good observation & maybe somewhat universal. only lets hope it does not extend to sincerity, empathy, compassion, charity, humor and the like.
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:42 PM   #3
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There is an announcement in my gym that goes "that that gets measured gets improved"
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:44 PM   #4
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Gee, I remembered something I learned in school!

This does not seem to extend to direct family! - ERD50

Hawthorne effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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During two and a half years from 1924 to 1927, a series of illumination level studies were conducted by the industrial engineers of Western Electric Company Works in Cicero; Illinois.[4]:
  • Study 1a: In the first experiment, there was no control group. The researchers experimented on three different departments; all showed an increase of productivity, whether illumination increased or decreased.
  • Study 1b: A control group had no change in lighting, while the experimental group got a sequence of increasing light levels. Both groups substantially increased production, and there was no difference between the groups. This naturally piqued the researchers' curiosity.
  • Study 1c: The researchers decided to see what would happen if they decreased lighting. The control group got stable illumination; the other got a sequence of decreasing levels. Surprisingly, both groups steadily increased production until finally the light in experimental group got so low that they protested and production fell off.
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Khan View Post
I have noticed that whenever I start tracking something I start (almost unconsciously) using less. Electricity, water, natural gas, food, money...
When I started tracking net worth, I increased my savings efforts. Tracking is a motivator.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:26 PM   #6
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Track it yourself and performance improves. Report it, and it improves further...

Source: experience.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:40 PM   #7
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Geeesh...... you folks are reminding me of w*ork and MegaCorp. The thought for the day, everyday, day in and day out, was that if we wanted to improve some metric (cost, quality, whatever) measure it.

At one point, I had charts on each assembly line the operators updated hourly showing defects per unit, volume, yields, etc. If we didn't make goal one hour, we found out why and corrected it. When we made goal consistently, we tightened the goals.

Damn...... I'm getting a headache thinking about it. This thread sucks......
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:51 PM   #8
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Damn...... I'm getting a headache thinking about it. This thread sucks......
Except that tomorrow is Monday morning - and you can sleep in if you want!

That doesn't suck!

-ERD50
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:08 PM   #9
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Except that tomorrow is Monday morning - and you can sleep in if you want!

That doesn't suck!

-ERD50
Thanks! I needed that!

Despite it being after 11:00 PM, think I'll go get a glass of wine, turn on some music and read for a while. As you said, nothing pressing I need to get up early for.........
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:17 PM   #10
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I worked years ago for a large computer company where management decided that programmers were not subject to adequate measurement and instituted a new policy of reporting lines of code written as part of the review process. (Hard to believe, but you can imagine how out of touch they must have been if they thought this was a good idea.) The first few reviews were met with shock and disbelief, but shortly after the programming showed remarkable improvement
in the
metric
that
was being
measured,
namely
lines of code.

Duh. That and a bunch of irrelevant comments in the code really padded the numbers nicely and all kinds of charts showed the "improvement"

Based on this success, they next decided to count bug reports. Programmers were down rated based on number of bugs attributed to their code. Testers were up graded based on the number of bugs they reported. It didn't take long until testers learned that an easy route to high bug numbers was to report trivial issues quickly, using a separate report for every slight variation. Elusive bugs or larger issues that would take more time to investigate or write up were not worth the effort. Programmers were soon at war with Testers over the bug counts and Management had no end of numbers to report on.

Overall productivity and quality dropped like a rock, but there was a huge amount of activity collecting, reporting, analyzing trends and devising "solutions" to improve the trends. Sure there are interesting effects when you start measuring things in the workplace, but you better be sure you want more of whatever you are measuring - side effects and all.
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Old 12-10-2007, 12:11 AM   #11
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When I started tracking net worth, I increased my savings efforts. Tracking is a motivator.
Amen.
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Old 12-10-2007, 01:46 PM   #12
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over the loudspeaker at my gym is an occasional ad to get members to purchase time with onsite personal trainers by offering free introductory body fat analysis which puts it succinctly: "what is measured improves."

how odd that when my excompany decided to measure everything we did (seriously, at one point of developing metrics, for two weeks we had to log how much company time we spent peeing) was when the jobs did not improve but rather turned to crap. perhaps not so universal afterall.
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Old 12-10-2007, 01:57 PM   #13
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Hmmm - I've been tracking 'doing nothing in particular' going on 14 yrs of ER - near as I can tell - I'm getting real good at it.

But it is a tough one to measure though.

heh heh heh - ice storm, scattered power outages predicted for tonight - so I've taken those nothings I did have off the agenda - probably show a big improvement spike.
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Old 12-10-2007, 02:44 PM   #14
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Hmmm - I've been tracking 'doing nothing in particular' going on 14 yrs of ER - near as I can tell - I'm getting real good at it.

But it is a tough one to measure though.

heh heh heh - ice storm, scattered power outages predicted for tonight - so I've taken those nothings I did have off the agenda - probably show a big improvement spike.
Take care, Unclemick! Hope you stay warm and your power doesn't fail. In two years I'll be learning about ice storms first hand, I suppose.

And on the topic of keeping track, WeightWatchers tells its members to write down everything they eat, even every "bite, lick, or taste". It seems to help in weight loss. I check my bank account and retirement accounts every day, and keep track of them in Excel. I seem to be staying on track with my $$, too (at least so far! knock on wood).
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:19 PM   #15
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Geeesh...... you folks are reminding me of w*ork and MegaCorp. The thought for the day, everyday, day in and day out, was that if we wanted to improve some metric (cost, quality, whatever) measure it.
.....
There is a BIG difference. Here, we're talking about tracking things for our own benefit -- not being forced to count beans for someone else.
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:18 AM   #16
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There is an announcement in my gym that goes "that that gets measured gets improved"
If I measure it, will it get longer?
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:39 AM   #17
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If I measure it, will it get longer?
Temporarily.
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Old 12-20-2007, 12:22 AM   #18
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Hmmm -
heh heh heh - ice storm, scattered power outages predicted for tonight - so I've taken those nothings I did have off the agenda - probably show a big improvement spike.
5 days - power went out AFTER the Saints won on Monday night football. Lasted till thursday - when the last neighbor on my side of the street departed for a relative with power and heat - I decided to visit my old buddy old pal in Covington LA (across the Causeway from New Orleans) - 14 hrs 36 minuites including stops for gas and coffee - made some other visits in New Orleans and Slidell. Back tonight. No more tree branches or light pole power line in the street. My house sitter/dog watcher said the my power was restored the day after I threw in the towel and went south for a visit - theirs didn't come on till 2 days later than mine.

Life is hard - with all that entertainment - now I have to dream up something for the Holidays - since the warm visit is out of the way - Texas? , go north to ski?, heh heh heh ?

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Old 12-20-2007, 07:19 AM   #19
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Life is hard - with all that entertainment - now I have to dream up something for the Holidays - since the warm visit is out of the way - Texas? , go north to ski?, heh heh heh ?

I think it would be nice if you forewarned us of where you decide to go. The way natural disaster seems to follow you, I want as much advance notice as possible if you're headed my way...
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Old 12-20-2007, 08:05 AM   #20
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5 days - power went out AFTER the Saints won on Monday night football. Lasted till thursday - when the last neighbor on my side of the street departed for a relative with power and heat - I decided to visit my old buddy old pal in Covington LA (across the Causeway from New Orleans) - 14 hrs 36 minuites including stops for gas and coffee - made some other visits in New Orleans and Slidell. Back tonight. No more tree branches or light pole power line in the street. My house sitter/dog watcher said the my power was restored the day after I threw in the towel and went south for a visit - theirs didn't come on till 2 days later than mine.

Life is hard - with all that entertainment - now I have to dream up something for the Holidays - since the warm visit is out of the way - Texas? , go north to ski?, heh heh heh ?

Glad you got your power back! It was probably a good time to make your trip down south. Right now, it is storming and ugly out there (but warmer than it was). Take care, and enjoy the holidays.
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