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How have teaspoons disappeared?

Reference: The case of the disappearing teaspoons: longitudinal cohort study of the displacement of teaspoons in an Australian research institute

I always wondered about disappearing forks and teaspoons in a office. When I firstly went to my office, there were full of forks, knives, spoons and teaspoons. I now, however, realised that a large number of forks and teaspoons have been missing. I asked my colleagues about this and they said, "no idea at all!". That’s pretty much interesting. Somebody must have one of forks or teaspoons, regardless that it is on purpose or not.

According to the article above, it’s normal. Even more they are placed in a commons, it disappears faster than controlled environment. The article argues that teaspoons’ half life is around 81 days which is slightly less than three months. In other words, for every three months, new teaspoons should be filled in a tea room.

The reason of missing teaspoons developed by the authors is related to some psychological theory – The tragedy of the commons. In order for an individual to get convenience, the individual can hold a teaspoon. However, if everybody does the same approach, all teaspoon go disappeared and nobody can use it.

The funny thing I identified later is that forks used to be only eight left in the commons have been restored to the normal level. I have no idea whether it is because of my complaint or not. Anyway, I can enjoy my lunch without hassles of forks!

Written by Justin Yoo

28/08/2009 at 03:01

Posted in At Work

Tagged with , ,

Small is Beautiful

참고: 프레젠테이션 젠과 프로그래밍

It’s usual to put everything in one function or method, when creating it as a programmer. In terms of “function” or “method”, it would be enough to conduct only one feature. If a function requires other features, just create them suit for the requirements and call them within the function. It seems to be very simple, though, it’s always happening to find myself squeezing everything into one big method, which stands against, so called, “simplicity”.

According to the article stated at the beginning, this approach can also apply to a presentation speech. The fact that “simple” offers “many” is proven by Steve Jobs from the CEO of Apple. He always does give his speech with a very simple key note. Simple but everything, this may be the one of aims of “minimalism”.

Small is beautiful. The smaller and lighter, the more convenient for maintenance, replacement and management.


프로그래밍을 하다보면, 하나의 function 또는 method 안에 상당히 많은 내용을 집어넣으려고 한다. 말그래도 function은 “기능”이다. 필요한 기능 하나만 수행하면 된다. 그 기능을 수행하기 위해서 또다른 능력을 필요로 한다면? 해당 function을 새로 만들어서 불러내면 될 일이다. 아주 단순한 원리임에도 불구하고, 프로그램을 짜다보면 하나에 몽땅 다 때려넣으려 하고 있는 나 자신을 발견하게 된다.

윗 글에서도 언급했다시피, 프리젠테이션에서도 마찬가지로 적용시킬 수 있다. 간결함이 훨씬 더 많은 정보를 줄 수 있다는 사실. 애플의 대장인 스티브잡스의 프리젠테이션을 보면, 왜 그가 현존하는 세계 최고의 프리젠터중 하나로 꼽히는 지 알 수 있다. 간결하면서도 한눈에 모든 정보를 알 수 있게끔 정리하는 능력, 이것이 흔히 얘기하는 “미니멀리즘”이 추구하는 방향이 아닐까 싶다.

조직의 논리에서도 마찬가지. 한 조직이 모든걸 다 하려고 하는 수직계열화는 일사불란함에 있어서는 꽤 효과적일 수 있겠으나, 필요한 기능들을 아웃소싱으로 넘겨버리고 핵심만 가져가서 몸을 가볍게 하는 것도 요즘같이 빠르게 변하는 세상에서는 필요한 덕목이 아닐 수 없다.

작게 만들어서 가져가자. 가벼울수록 나중에 바꿔치기도 쉽고, 비용도 덜 들어간다.

Written on 07/05/2009

Written by Justin Yoo

15/05/2009 at 14:13