Grounds For Dismissal?

From the Game Theory in Management Blog
Modelling Business Decisions and their Consequences

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The Biggest Obstacle To PMO Success Is Not What You Think

There’s no doubt that the advent of social media has advanced interpersonal communications dramatically. The chief executive officers of Facebook and Twitter (for two examples) are multi-billionaires, pointing to their ability to satisfy a tsunami of demand. I’m thinking the communications experts within the PM community are probably happier, now that their oft-stated goal of “engaging all stakeholders” has been dramatically expedited. I took a quick peek at my comrades’ articles and blogs on the social media and PM topic, and they’re largely positive about it, with a few cautionary tales mixed in. So, with all of the thought current apparently headed in one direction, leave it to me to push against it.

There’s been a lot of discussion on the web about social media moderators showing a bias in the way they allow or disallow certain content on their services. It got me to thinking: if there were biased moderators in the PM world, how would that manifest, exactly? Which ideas would they find odious, and torture their “terms of service” conditions to justify exclusion? In the examples I’ve read about on-line, certain content would be found to be unallowable for specific conditions spelled out in the terms of service, while other content from the opposite side of the political/religious/social scale would be allowed while appearing to transgress those same terms, and far more egregiously. The unavoidable truth here is that, no matter how anodyne the language of the terms of service, some level of subjectivity is in play whenever the moderators make a decision about what’s allowable, and what’s not, which leads us to…

Meanwhile, In The (Alternate Universe) Project Management World…

Sooooo, I’m imagining what the notifications that my GTIM social media postings were being disallowed for violating terms of service would look like if my various intellectual targets were the ones acting as moderators. I’m confident that GTIM Nation is familiar with my favorite subjects of good-natured witticisms, so, in this alternate universe, what would those longsuffering marks have to say, if they ran the allowable/unallowable divide? First up…

The Asset Managers

Dear Mr. Hatfield,

We’ve noticed that your recent postings on our social media platform have needlessly and disingenuously attacked the business models and, really, the very profession of accountants for what has to be the billionth time. While this point of view does not fall outside permissible limits of our terms of service per se, we have performed an analysis (our all-time favorite, based on frequency) of your text using the Return on Investment formula. Since your writings indicate a remarkably backward intellect, we will reproduce the formula for you:

ROI = (Current Value of Investment – Cost of Investment) / Cost of Investment

Our experts have provided estimates for these parameters, and we have assessed that your postings have a negative ROI. And, should you object that there is no “Cost of Investment” from our end, our experts have estimated that your unwarranted attacks are so insufferable as to represent a negative value. So there.

If you believe that this exclusion is being rendered in error, please feel free to call us at 1-800-POUND SAND.

The Risk Managers

Dear Mouth-Breather,

We genuinely thought that if we just ignored you long enough, you would go away. It would seem we gave you too much credit on this count. We are thrilled regret to inform you that your recent posting, “Why Risk Managers Tend To Be Tiresome,” has been excluded from our site for violating our terms of service. We arrived at this decision after evaluating your text using a single-tiered decision tree analysis. The Asset Managers informed us you are probably ignorant of this technique, so here is the formula:

Cntngy = Σ (Sc1$Imp * Odds1) + (ScN$Imp * OddsN) – Original Baseline $

Where Cntngy is the contingency budget, Sc1$Imp is the dollar value of alternate scenario one, Odds1 are the odds (expressed as a percentage) of scenario one actually occurring, ScIN$Imp is the dollar value of scenario N, and OddsN representing the odds of scenario N taking place. Are you baffled by all this? It’s okay, just take our word for it – your content flunked the analysis.

We would normally provide a point of contact for you to list any objections you may have for being censored from our platform, but the same experts who serve as moderators have also calculated that you won’t use it even if provided. So there.

Communications Specialists

Hey, Hemingway –

We hope it’s okay to communicate with you in English, since there’s little evidence based on a review of your recent postings that the written word is your long suit. Your latest posting is being rejected from our platform due to the fact that, when we ran the Flesch-Kincaid grade level evaluator, it returned its results in what appeared to be a crayon font. We didn’t actually think this was possible, but there it was. So there.

Of course, all of this is purely speculation. I’m sure that, should a member of my favorite targeted PM specialty groups actually become social media site moderators, they wouldn’t bother with a detailed analysis of why they were kicking me off. They would probably just stop me in mid-sen


Posted on: October 07, 2019 10:09 PM | Permalink

Comments (4)

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Hi Michael,

Quite simply, satirical Genius!

Dear Michael
Very interesting reflection
Thank you for sharing it
It makes us think!
To top it all, these days it's an algorithm that controls the:
- Number of people your text will be exposed to
- What you can write (using semantic analysis)

….unquestionably one really effective weapon—laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution—these can lift at a colossal humbug—push it a little—weaken it a little, century by century, but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand. — Mark Twain

Michael, I'm so glad you have mastered the formula of laughter...
however, this is food for thought and so very true of today, thanks again for sharing.

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