Saturday, September 5, 2009

Waiting for Paperwork - it's like waiting for godot

A lot was made last week of the missing map- but waiting for the map makers , even on the day , can be a mistake - the detailed map/s from the situation section often take far too long, and require a lot of checking and rechecking with very busy people.
Experienced "controllers" can estimate quickly ( and if directed to so do ), with a sufficient degree of accuracy( knowing nothing is perfect, but a pedantic process commitment may kill ) the where and when , once the source of the fire is known.
Fire controllers must therefore ensure that immediate and repeated warnings are issued on the basis of basic information about source and wind predictions- words ,man words are needed first up . Not maps man maps .

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ning Nong's --the wicked wolf's not dead

The royal commission (RCIVB) have failed in one basic way - to make the wolf more real.( Their report this week)

Despite some very good recommendations and clearly identifying a major problem ( warning failure), the RCIVB have failed to properly frame the solution.
Symbolically , they have shifted the focus from THERE to WHEREVER ; from the power and directness of the word "evacuate" to the wishy washy non directive "relocate" .
A slight change in wording you may say? One which includes all the options to be more accurate; True. But is it ? It may be totally" right" in the bureacractic, overly legalistic and blame averse world of central Melbourne to be totally pedantic; terrible to risk being blunt.
Do they not realize the advantages, no the absolute neccessity , of being very direct ( the word clear )- clearly No.

Are we to believe perhaps the answer to The States Problem is better word use ?( they love that sort of thing) More accuracy in word use will change the world ???
While there may be less confusion in Spring street over this, the confusion in the country will remain ( pity the poor police !) I fear we have the impractical perfect world of Spring street advising us about the clearly imperfect risk rich world we have to live with . Get real , some people will die , whichever word we use!

Do the commission think , in using the word " clear" , that its better for the trumpeter to shout "relocate" rather than "get the ... out of here ".
They have got the message ( about ineffective warnings) but are still not aware of what an effective wolf warning is. Evacuate is very clear and quite correct as the theme and substance of the action required. . How did we get moved from very urgent warning word to a watered down wishy washy one. Is this a lawyers answer ?

Sound the trumpet clearly , or you don't sound it at all .
To beat this incredibly real, urgent and powerful wolf you have to just get away from his teeth. Its that simple, and it should remain that simple . Even if you have a refuge area, depending on where the fire started, it may not be clear where the appropriate relocation area is. Relocation talk is right BUT it raises another lower order question and therefore provides a point of confusion or clarity that is less important that the defendable and correct first call to "get the .. out of there " or not be "THERE" ( see the locations that can be easily identified Here).

The big question for some is --why did the commissioners change the word .( see posting on thestockadestate . Relocate is accurate in terms of all the options and will please the greeks amongst the crowd , but it should not please the practical ones because its not direct enough.
The reason Victoria had more resources to manage the risk in Feb 09, but failed to do it well, has to do with matters of philosophical confusion - the big picture (attitudes to worship ,authority, responsibility and risk )Part of the confusion stems stems, we are told, that the police don't feel comfortable to insist on evacuation . Are we too afraid of a bit of opposition ? Will the gods bless us if we let people do what they think is right in their own eyes ? . If they haven't got the power to recommend evacuation ,they should get it . Otherwsie , God help us .
We who have managed both fires and risk planning know that only a major shift in philosophy will move the B government from ineffectiveness to effectiveness - from being led around by bureaucrats to being led around by basics.Currently the left talk prevention(ie know the problem) , but philosphically they ( don't know how to fix it )are committed to growing more and bigger emergency management systems that don't work .

A major shift away from presummed authority to real authority is needed before such commissions will be free to recognise the paradigm shifts required to get back closer to an effective risk management service.
Congratulations to ABC radio 774 who visited the country yesterday- such a good idea and breath of fresh air! There still is plenty of confusion out here BUT Let's hope reality therapy rather than word therapy , triggers a way forward for those who can see the wolves teeth but are not close enough to know what to really say to those who have to deal with them .

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

An epidemic of fear generated by the wrong people making all the noise

Posted May 27th
Our Wannabes do us a great disservice, at a time of real risk, by talking to us about it-.... in the way they normally do!.

Take Jon Faine and The Premier today- Bad habits coming to the fore boys
Having drummed up fears and responded to them on a regular weekly basis -THEY OWE IT TO US to lay off, and put the experts on the media when the people are worried -as some are.
Whatever the risk turns out to be long term with regard to the Swine Flu SF ,our wannabes do us a disservice at such a risky time by putting themselves on the TV and radio; and then talking roughly and carelessly about it.

The Wolf - in pigs clothing? Where did the SF warning come from and how did our very own medicos respond? Why is our focus so often on what the disunited nations thinks is a problem ? What should be constantly being heard - from the horse's mouth, as it were, is what our experts think .
With all the noise from others- do we really know? . At times of genuine risk we need to hear experienced doctors talking - whether onscreen or at the clinic. Reporters are so used to giving us their impression of what the expert said -that now even our polys do it
The risk - the wannabes have in times past taken more notice of "bigger" authorities than the ones they should have ; like before the first and second world war when countries that should have had a brain , like England, were too afraid to disagree with the UN . There was a wolf in the pack then if ever there was one then and who was talking openly about it? -not a single one of the wannabes ....and why!
The above comparison is only wild if our leaders have talked this through with locals .
The above comparison is only wild if the doctors authority comes clearly forward in these situations. Most of us are still confused about whether taking tamiflu vaccine is neccesary ,wise or what? Should we all book in and get it now? What do drugs do that vaciine won't and vice versa . What level of exposure is sensible ? Is its Ok for most healthy people to be exposed to it ??????(ADQ)
How will our leaders avoid a final showdown with the wolf in this case? - share the microphone at least with the LOCALS and someone ADQ.
Make up your mind you agents of cringe - does Authority come from above or below? Do we run the best Microbiology school in Melbourne Victoria, or not?If so put your faith into action----- rather than your mouths !

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The signal to noise ratio

There is a heck of a lot of noise outside. And lots of it sounds bad- real bad ! Before you start to worry , think about whose making it and why!

Wannabes are in love with volume, so they are happy to push it up when its coming through. But the finer point is they don't always know which is signal and which is noise. With all that volume ( of 2 kinds)and all those open channels the wannabee hero on the panel may not know how to " listen"- whether they were tuned in or not - more not that know .
The " what did you want to talk about " feedback noise of talk back radio is a great way to limit the damage, but the leaders are still behind the times - neither 774 nor 3AW will make it easy for you to connect with other callers. This should not be so. The simple shaking of my rattle has always been, but wannabees now face a new threat - irrelevance The wannabes turn up the volume up on their old machines even louder with the gain control on fearmongering bigger than ever (takes one to know one I say!)
Recent wolf damage doesn't help reduce the fanaticism amongst them .Embarrased by the bushfire and summerhouse fire damage to their reputation on risk planning ,wannabes are hell bent to tell us they can still warn us - The fact is there are better ways than emergency stations and one way conduits through them - some old some new.
Don't believe the panic merchants ; don't wait for them and don't encourage them to think they can now do things they are simply not good at doing - force them to refer you / themselves to trained people. Big bad noise triggers depend on many things ;one is where you are in relation to the Wolf .
There is always a lot of noise coming into the wannabes mixing desk. They should not try to tell us when it's really the big bad wolf - they are very poor at discerning the signal from the noise. Most importantly, the right adjustment is for the professionals ( should they still have some ) -each channel has its own gain level, and each sound has its uniquewave form.
While most of the journos focused on the absence of any content on the travellers Flu risk website yesterday, the symbolism ( no content) is lost on most of the noisemakers .There is often no proper gain control on the noises our leaders make. There could be no output, or lots of it ; lots of sound and fury, or even silence -all signifying nothing !

Whatever they or we expect, they are not our mothers and we need be careful not to encourage them to be so -They can take it too seriously . They may sound very caring ,or very scary but its not their job - it's ours or it was ours .Thats the point.
While I personally won't worry with more wolf talk from Wong, I think most of the public have already had too much of Father Christmas Kevin and Motherboard Theresa Gillard. The gallery is so full of noise , its hard to hear whats coming up next . Copyright Emperors Academy

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Everybody's angry- when the wolf is inside the house

We all need help with anger - there is an epidemic out there and the really , really worrying thing is that most people in this generation of westerners have no effective way of dissipating its energy and the sins possible if no effective response is offerred .
The wolf is often at the door with anger, but when we think the wolf is still outside , we really are in trouble!.
Example : I have my own theory as to why Neil Mitchell 3AW today struggles to control his own anger over Kevin Rudd's angry outburst over a flag. Maybe Neil too is tired or grieving or guilty , so why the big deal? Have we no kindness left? Is hypocrisy and projection lurking even closer to us than we think? .
The big problem .,it seems to me is that post moderns are confused about the way they should understand anger - They didn't listen hard enough in Sunday school to realise than anger is not a sin - its what can so easily come after it that is really worth worrying about.
How can a genaration that believes what's natural is good worry about anger when anger is natural; even the Bible says " be angry but " as its storytellers often were. How easily confused we have become . This idea of behavioral damnation was exorcised from our cilization nearly 20 centuries ago
So why have we gone back to this confused doctrine of what sin is?. Does this confusion help explain why our leaders want again to return to the stultifying pharisaism of the regulators ( attendant real risk today ) and reinforce the woosy sentimentalism and copout that we are all "victims" of some determinism that won't allow us to ever be free indeed - ever again .

Take a step back -its good that Neil gets angry - " Be angry Neil but ...." ( advice for us all) Previous generations of journos would have followed/ or been made to recognise the 5th/ 9th Commandment that seeks to protect a persons reputation and honor. A
Previous generations of journos would also have followed/ or been made to recognise that anger is not a sin and that postmodernists and reactionaries , in their rush to try and restore some sort of morality NOW , allow all sorts of nonsense talk about sin into the discusssion - including the complete myth that anger is sin.
We all need help with anger - there is an epidemic out there and the really , really worrying thing is that most people in this generation of westerners have no effective way of dissipating its energy and the sins possible if no effective response is offerred . ( Knight the man who shot manyat his workplace said this about "the audience"- you talk kindness, but you don't listen!) Anger is not the problem its made out to be , lack of really listening can be - that the bigger problem maybe is the audience problem ??
Fortunately the effective remedies of generations only take a few lines HERE and the acceptance of the basic boundaries.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Knows the territory - when and where to strike

So clearly should those who seek to warn us. Today 2 March 2009, an estimated 5 million Victorians got a SMS in the afternoon reminding them that wind speeds will be very high overnight, as will fire danger.The message was nothing new but the medium was. Seemed personal .A warning you recieve over the phone is personal and that makes it powerful - for now . A sense of Powerlessness however should not make us noise up too early or with no direct action in mind for the words .

Clearly the government can't keep doing this when summer northerly changes happen
1-because these risk factors happen often and also
2-because both the effect and the message will lose any motivating effect ( nice to get a call) because the message respects no territory and identifies no action .
Why have our leaders done this might be an interesting question .At least this time there was a warning of sorts.
SMS 's could be very useful in the future, but how do you make sure it really helps( eg stay or escape) and is correct and not treated as generalized "cry wolf".

Do not our leaders recognise that however good the governance, suck eggs advice is the norm in safe times, and therefore cry wolf could be expected to be the normal risk in dangerous places manned by the media and map savy alone .

The next biggest disaster in Australia's history was caused by a landslide in an area where governments assummed no landslide risk. How do you overcome the dilemma? You don't rely on a map or some quickfiz advice to tell you . You have people operating professionally in the area whose training and experience ( very important ) is sufficient to know what the unfamiliar and complex behaviour of the hard to see wolf is.You have to have seen a few to start with!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Adapting for the information Age

Black Saturday Victoria - why the warnings didn't work?
In the information Age - timing,and content must reach above the noise
Quite a bit has been written about manageing the risk (here)and understanding it (here)in relation esp to the Bushfires of 09
The point of this note is to promote the (less well known requirements) for attention in the information age .

We are so busy and have so many distractions .
1.-Interest (We are so busy and have so many distractions )Loudness ( its time for tea children .I said now NOW ) volume has to be well above the background
2.- Choose the time more exactly ( 5 minutes too early is too early )
3.-Use the other senses ( file food under the nose if necessary but that takes your time )touch them or kiss them ( again you don't have time you want the tea to be cooked just on time)

For more serious review post bushfire season : How use Radio better in 1 and 2 - its one of the best means of doing both and the focus from 774 has been better than in last fires where only a few community stations were dedicated . However things could be better;Community stations offer truly dedicated truly local , Radio services are not used specifically well ( Are the ABC building capacity outside ----rather too mush inside? ; whats new with "the other wolfs"???? ) .