Book 4 - Page 177

Elusion of competence

Book 4 - Page 177
Comic - Book 4 - Page 177

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I think it's a double-pun, because depositions of sediments that a geologist or soils engineer might call incompetent tend to collapse suddenly and spectacularly.

BigThink might be about to do something like/about that. While Bonnie thought Parson was all that and a side of fries ever so briefly: the Arkenpliers she went out of her way to save are now gone.
hajo4 wrote:
Metallicat wrote:
Love the "elusion" page title there.

I still don't understand who was 'eluding' what.

We haven't seen what Parson wrote,
nor did we see what Bonnie was about to do.

greycat wrote:
I think you're trying to read the title too literally. Big Think was being elusive, and Bonnie was focusing on competence (or the lack thereof). The update splits its focus between them.

Nakedkali wrote:
I think it's a double-pun, because depositions of sediments that a geologist or soils engineer might call incompetent tend to collapse suddenly and spectacularly.

BigThink might be about to do something like/about that. While Bonnie thought Parson was all that and a side of fries ever so briefly: the Arkenpliers she went out of her way to save are now gone.

My take on the phrase was a little more pedestrian. Bonnie (in her mind) perceives herself as the most competent person in the room. Big Think, under veil, manages to steal the 'Pliers and elude everyone in the room. Big Think eludes Bonnie and her "competence".

This has the added delicious irony of negating Bonnie's claim to competence. Yeah, she did spot the veil on the open doors. But not on Big Think, and not in time to stop the theft of the Arkenpliers out from underneath everyone's noses. (They really should have Stashed them. ;) ) She wasn't -quite- competent enough to shine as a hero, so she reacts by lashing out at everyone else for being incompetent dumbasses.

EDIT: And thus, true competence eludes Bonnie.
kiyote wrote:

This is the type of bureaucracies I've worked for, also bureaucracies who know they're more than a little dysfunctional.

In my experience, intent absolutely matters.

As a general rule, if you tried to follow the spirit of the rules, but violated of the wording of them, the most you get is a slap on a wrist for breaking the rules while getting a promotion for being so effective. You tend to get passed the high profile projects and be trusted, because you can deliver no matter what.

Those who break the rules because they can't be bothered, or are trying to cheat the system, tend to piss people off and get fired.

Those who follow the rules diligently tread water. They might be recognized as good employees, but I've never seen them get recognized as the company rock star.


Alas this wasn't that sort of company. This was the sort of company where upper management allways wanted things done a certain way no matter how impractical. At best half communicated what that way was whilst expecting you to know every detail and got mad if you went around them and they found out.

In my last 2 years there we had 4 head of my department quit because of how bad upper management was making their job, and i was the only employee that had been there more than 4 years running in my department, (and there weren't many in the other departments either).
Sir Dr D wrote:
Deuce wrote:
Lipkin wrote:
Man, now there are two nerve wracking situations. Gunfire that we don't know the result of, and the result of whatever the Maggie doll did (which we are a handful of updates removed from).

Better check back in with Marie...


You know, I've been wondering what's up with Tremenis - what's his new tower like?

;-)


And we haven't seen Ansom in a while. He must be feelilng lonely there all by himself.

None of the above - this is the point in the book we get a one-off strip concerning the backstory and inner thoughts of some tertiary character we've never seen before and who will appear briefly one more time at the point he or she dies. Therefore the next update will be about Flippy, better known as "Juggle Elf #274".

Bond_em7 wrote:
So the big question is did Big Think manage to get the pliers or leave the wrench and when it went back through the portal did it end up in the MK or back below bedrock?

And what did he decide vis-à-vis the gun and the cannoli?
SirHamster wrote:
hajo4 wrote:
Metallicat wrote:
Love the "elusion" page title there.

I still don't understand who was 'eluding' what.

We haven't seen what Parson wrote,
nor did we see what Bonnie was about to do.


Bonnie is starving for competence in her new side.

She got a small glimpse of it in Parson, enough to give her hope, just in time for the Story to yank it away.

In the end, GK is not going to win by competence. It's just not their thing.


GK has been Fate's puppet ever since Stanley got the Arkenpliers (since that tied him into Wanda's Fate web). But Parson's competence absolutely is one of the strands in that web. As always, GK is going to win primarily by Fate hax - but Fate relies on Parson being competent to put GK where it needs to be on the board so that it can interact with Fate's other pieces according to Fate's plan, so you could also say that GK wins because of Parson's competence even if Parson's plans and improvisations don't work out the way he intends.
JadedDragoon wrote:
Metallicat wrote:
The old "better to ask forgiveness later than be denied permission now" principle applies here.


I really hate that maxim. It assumes one can never be wrong. Cause if you are wrong and what you will later be asking forgiveness for is destructive... then it's better to be denied permission now than have reason to ask for forgiveness later.

However, knowing what we know (and Parson and Co don't know) it may be true in this case.


Actually, it assumes you'll never be granted permission. It is better to ask forgiveness than permission, because you won't get permission, but you might get forgiveness.

The adage is not meant to be seen as universally true. It is situational. Its proper application is any time forgiveness is more likely to be received than permission. If forgiveness is not more likely, or not likely at all, then the adage is not applicable.

For example: "It's better to ask forgiveness for eating my parents than permission." Is a misuse of the maxim. Since forgiveness is not more likely(better) than permission.
I've never heard anyone use "it's better to ask forgiveness than permission" as a universal maxim. It's always situational. "It's better to ask forgiveness than permission right now, for this thing, in my judgment."

Even in the most Dilbertesque bureaucracy imaginable, there'll be times when you follow the rules. You don't just do whatever you like, whenever you like. You make decisions.
auraseer wrote:
kiyote wrote:
Having worked for a number of entrenched bureaucracies in my career, I know first hand that bypassing permission can be the only way new things would ever get done. And once done, you get thanked for having done it.

You haven't worked for enough bureaucracies.

Sure, every once in a while the outcome is good, and the person gets a thanks for their success and a mere wrist-slap for going outside procedures. But that's rare. People only think it's common because that's how things work in the movies.

More often the procedures are there for a reason, somebody goes outside them, they cause exactly the problem those procedures were designed to prevent, and it is unquestionably their fault for being an irresponsible idiot.


Wow you've definitely never worked in an over-regulated environment before. Your example is about as far from their reality as this gets. Other than the consequences, I suppose. Although the person in question isn't being disciplined for being an irresponsible idiot. They're being punished for attempting to accomplish something without 'kissing the ring' of the 17 different people they're supposed to kiss up to first, that made arbitrary regulations in order to exert power over other people. Simply because they can. This is why regulatory agencies need serious oversight to offset abuses in power. Also, because as some people mentioned, some rules get put in place and are never revisited after that, such as a Y2K code review.

Probably the only places in the real world where your example might somewhat apply would be fields like the nuclear industry, and even there you have cases where people have to do things because someone else in charge said 'that's the way to do it', or where things are out of date and take a serious amount of effort to get updated.
greycat wrote:
I've never heard anyone use "it's better to ask forgiveness than permission" as a universal maxim. It's always situational. "It's better to ask forgiveness than permission right now, for this thing, in my judgment."

Even in the most Dilbertesque bureaucracy imaginable, there'll be times when you follow the rules. You don't just do whatever you like, whenever you like. You make decisions.


Yes I believe the phrase that's normally used is 'sometimes it's better to ask forgiveness than permission'. And this is normally stated with the understanding that you may or may not have to ask forgiveness at all and that it's worth taking the risk in this case.
Infidel wrote:
JadedDragoon wrote:
Metallicat wrote:
The old "better to ask forgiveness later than be denied permission now" principle applies here.


I really hate that maxim. It assumes one can never be wrong. Cause if you are wrong and what you will later be asking forgiveness for is destructive... then it's better to be denied permission now than have reason to ask for forgiveness later.

However, knowing what we know (and Parson and Co don't know) it may be true in this case.


Actually, it assumes you'll never be granted permission. It is better to ask forgiveness than permission, because you won't get permission, but you might get forgiveness.

The adage is not meant to be seen as universally true. It is situational. Its proper application is any time forgiveness is more likely to be received than permission. If forgiveness is not more likely, or not likely at all, then the adage is not applicable.

For example: "It's better to ask forgiveness for eating my parents than permission." Is a misuse of the maxim. Since forgiveness is not more likely(better) than permission.


This is a good description. I'd take it a little further, as in it normally applies to situations where you're not likely to get permission ahead of time (not because it's a bad idea, but because the system is broken), and where you will probably not only get forgiveness but potentially exoneration once everything comes to light, if everything turns out the way you hope it will.

Or in cases where it can draw all the wrong kinds of attention for the wrong reasons if you ask permission but most likely won't draw any attention at all if you don't, and where it hasn't been explicitly stated that you're not allowed to do it.