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Tim Oren
Interests: Databases, privacy and security, technology generally, geocaching, target shooting, military history, investing, hiking, RVing, trail building, native plant gardening, genealogy, land conservation, good food and wine.
Recent Activity
(Our family has three ancestors who were provably Revolutionary soldiers, and a few more who might have been. This post introduces the historical background of the Revolution, as a prelude to their involvement.) Roots of the Revolution The English colonies in North America started as a curious mix of dumping... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2011 at Oren Family History
I've previously transcribed and annotated the Civil War letters of our ancestor, Captain Charles Oren, in book format, as well as producing some hand-bound facsimile editions. I've heard that some of the younger folks have found that useful for history and other class assignments. I have a good deal more... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2011 at Oren Family History
If all has gone well, the output from Reunion - as massaged by some light sed and perl scripting, should be in the files area, and linkable though ugly. The following should open in a new window/tab, so the family tree can be navigated independently of the blog post. Master... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2011 at Oren Family History
This will be a family history blog for the Oren family, originally from Kokomo, Indiana. Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2011 at Oren Family History
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Mar 15, 2010
I don't usually jump in here, being firmly on the civilian side. However, I'm halfway through reading the fascinating Gant paper, and some parallels from the business world seem to apply to what's being described there, and in this post: One of the better known causes for the failure of spin-off ventures from major companies is that they often replicate the bureaucratic structure of the parent company. Often that's too much management expense for a new venture, the structure isn't relevant to its new target market, or it ends up slowing down a venture that needs to be agile to survive. It looks to me like we've been replicating this error on a national scale. Government is the biggest bureaucracy going, and it seems to want to reinvent Iraq and A'stan in its own image. Maybe you can get away with that in Iraq, with its oil wealth and cultural experience with British (and Turkish) colonial bureaucracies. But increasing the wealth flowing through the center makes it an ever more inviting target for corruption. Increasing its power makes it more a matter of life and death for factions to seize and control that power. It's Afghanistan that's exposing the fallacy. There's no natural or human resource base to support the overhead of even a national scale army, let alone the rest of the trappings. There's no cultural tradition to hang our bureaucratic hat on. The level of corruption and apparent fraud in the aid of retaining power in Kabul are already notorious. Making the center stronger will make this worse. Conversely, Gant's paper reads like the story of a startup. Small, minimally resourced, agile and close to its target market (tribe). He's also talking about transforming relationships from a low-trust, bureaucratized framework to a localized, high-trust frame. If that parallel makes any sense at all, then here's the question / problem: In the business world, there's little or no higher level coordination among startups. At most there's some loose cooperation based on common investors and mutual advantage. But in this case we're talking about executing national policy, which hopefully will have some common and coherent goals. Can our command structures cope with a portfolio of tribal scale 'ventures' where everything up to the ROE might need to vary on a one-off basis to succeed in those goals? If there's an answer, it's probably on the military side, the mind boggles just thinking about the civilian bureaucracy trying to coordinate at that level...
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Send in the B2's in the dead of night and blow the south end of the Roki tunnel. It's on Georgian territory and they can request the action by sovereign right (retrospectively). Leaves the Russians with a logistical sh** sandwich.
Toggle Commented Aug 11, 2008 on Georgia On My Mind at BlackFive
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A similar practice is fairly common on the civilian side, where's called 360 (degree) performance review. A Google will turn up a lot of information; unfortunately the wikipedia article reads like an advert. I've been in a couple of organizations where this was used, as review, reviewee and next level supervisor. I felt it worked fairly well at getting a more complete picture of the individual involved. This was in R&D organizations where creativity in execution or even task definition was at a premium, and span of control was seldom above eight. YMMV. Based on that experience, I'd say that anonymity is a bit over-rated in Grim's post. Unless you're really out of touch as a leader, you can usually take a good guess at the origin of any really 'out there' comments, or at least narrow down the candidates. And the troops can figure that out, so there's more of a stabilizing effect that with a truly anonymous Internet world. The somewhat hidden gotcha is that the results from below will reflect a combination of the leader's capabilities and the amount of stress being put on the organization at the time. A good next level supervisor will factor that in, having help apply any stresses, but you're vulnerable to his/her skills. Which is nothing new.
Toggle Commented Apr 29, 2008 on Leadership: Rumbles from Below at BlackFive
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As a Bay Area resident, I wanted to post kudos for MAF and their steadfast face-to-face engagement of the Code Pinkos. This story has been the lead or second up on every local TV news program I've seen in the last 24, and every segment has given at least equal air time to the pro-troops side of the story. It's obvious to any viewer that the surrenderists are being effectively opposed on their home ground. (Would love to be there myself, but am laid up at home recup'ing from a busted leg.)
Toggle Commented Feb 13, 2008 on The Battle is Joined... at BlackFive
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Marc 'Armed Liberal' Danziger ran the numbers the last time the MSM tried to float this meme. Assuming that CBS actually tries to quantify their issue, rather than just spin the 'human angle', there's the material for busting their chops.
Toggle Commented Nov 12, 2007 on CBS Investigates Military Suicides at BlackFive
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