Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

The Best Apple Tree

August 31st, 2017 by G.

Image result for big apple tree

A smallholder examined his little orchard with a critical eye.  Each tree took the same work in pruning, fertilizing, and the backbreaking work of carrying water from the stream in the dry spells.  But some trees gave much more fruit than others.  One tree, in particular, gave great quantities of fruit and throve the more he devoted himself to it.

“From now on,” the smallholder concluded,” I will only work with my best apple tree.”

He dug a ditch so the stream ran by the tree and fertilized and pruned it with care.  In the fall, it gave a bumper crop, not quite as much as he would have got from the whole orchard, perhaps, but still a great amount, and think of all the leisure he’d had!

That winter, lightning struck the best apple tree and it died.  The other trees had already died from  neglect.

Moral: efficiency means putting all your eggs in one basket

Comments (9)
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No Tag
August 31st, 2017 07:27:03
9 comments

Bookslinger
September 1, 2017

This happened with Eli Lilly and Prozac.

A Lilly employee shared the story of how Lilly implemented kanban/just-in-time principles in the manufacture of Prozac…. until a train accident spilled and ruined a tanker rail car full of a precursor chemical. No buffer/backup supply of that chemical existed in Lilly’s plant, as inventories were managed JIT style. Immediate replacement was not possible. The loss of revenue was tremendous. I forget the exact figures. The story is probably online, in financial news archives.

Lilly probably did not totally abandon kanban/JIT, but at least factored in potential accidents and losses in future purchase scheduling and inventory control.


Bruce Charlton
September 4, 2017

Good one – the twist caught me by surprise.

Apprenticeship for skilled trades used to be for seven years – for the same reason. It meant that the educational process did not need to be efficient; because there was ample time for anyone capable of learning the full range of trade skills to do so, even if/ when unexpected things went wrong.


Zen
September 4, 2017

This is why I shared that post a little while ago on the Bronze Age Collapse. This is exactly the position we are in now.

Honestly, things like gardening and food storage are not highly efficient. But when things begin to crumble, we are going to wish we had those skills. And those around us, are going to wish that as well.


MC
September 7, 2017

This post reminds me of Clayton Christensen’s thoughts about companies that lopped off all of their “less efficient” functions until they were little more than a marketing office:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2011/11/18/clayton-christensen-how-pursuit-of-profits-kills-innovation-and-the-us-economy/#3efe22c28eb6


Bruce Charlton
September 7, 2017

@Zen “This is why I shared that post a little while ago on the Bronze Age Collapse. This is exactly the position we are in now. ”

Not ‘exactly’ – there are significant differences. I don’t suppose that in the Bronze Age the ruling classes regarded collapse of fertility, capability and efficiency as ‘a good thing’ towards which policy and massive political, legal and propaganda effort should be expended.

Actually, I don’t think the (demonically-ruled/ serving) elites actually want collapse, or else we would long since have had it; I believe they instead want a continuous state of fear, hatred and containable conflict ‘justifying’ the imposition of a global totalitarian bureaucracy.

The ideal is something like Star Trek’s Borg or the world of The Matrix – the population as networked human-computer-machine-hybrid cyborgs of some sort.


G.
September 7, 2017

@MC, @Bookslinger,
Clayton Christensen, along with some of the just-in-time stories I’ve heard like the one Bookslinger shared, were on my mind as I wrote.

@BC,
I am reading the Court of the Red Tsar right now. It is illuminating.


Bookslinger
September 7, 2017

BC: how familar are you and your fellows with Saul Alinsky? Our left wing political elites, the Clintons and especially Obama and the people behind him, are accolytes of Alinsky.

As I understand his writings, Alinsky was for a collapse.

But,… the Clintons and Obama are the puppets, not the puppet-masters. You’re likely describing the puppet-masters.

As I’ve watched McCain, Mcconnell and Ryan the last 18 months, I’ve come to believe they work for the same puppet-masters.

Back in the 90’s, someone wrote politics was a managed conflict of opposites. Left and right are just the two rails of the same track leading to the same destination. The wheels on the left rail are somewhat ahead of the wheels on the right rail.

You apparently surmised the same thing, when you say even conservative/right institutions are corrupted by PC.


Zen
September 7, 2017

Bruce – “Not ‘exactly’ – there are significant differences. I don’t suppose that in the Bronze Age the ruling classes regarded collapse of fertility, capability and efficiency as ‘a good thing’ towards which policy and massive political, legal and propaganda effort should be expended.”

Well, yes actually. I am not sure we know enough to say anything about the fertility, but considering how rich and cosmopolitan it was, I honestly expect it. But there was a LOT of top-down central control and planning, that would make the USSR look like a Libertarian paradise, in comparison. It was exceedingly over-optimized, for the very highest crop yields. Farmers would receive their seeds and orders and water from the government. They depended on the Govt for all of that. Efficient while it worked, but not so much when it didn’t.


G.
September 13, 2017

In one species of ants, a fair percentage don’t do anything–until something kills off the active workers, then they step up.

https://phys.org/news/2017-09-lazy-ants-unexpected-ways.html

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