Cheng / chi sighting

When you’re in a situation where things periodically don’t work as we wish, then “not working” becomes the expected, the cheng. You might recall, although you’ll be dating yourself if you admit it, that a day when you didn’t have to reboot your Windows 3.1 machine was often circled in red on your calendar.

So in this perverse but all too common environment, consistently working as expected becomes the unexpected, the chi.  You might recall the first time you upgraded to Windows 2000: It didn’t crash!  Ditto for Mac OS X. And you were delighted.

I mentioned this effect 11 years ago in Certain to Win:

I can illustrate this by using the personal computer industry, where working as advertised would be absolutely shocking. p. 149

So it’s nice to see this phenomenon mentioned in the mainstream press, in this case The Atlantic’s site:

Apple has thrived above all in the last two decades by offering the particular beauty that lies in order, organization, and simplicity, and in the predictable delight that results when something technical, unexpectedly, just works. (“Apple and Star Wars together explain why much of the world around you looks the way it does” by Nicholas de Monchaux)

[As an aside, as I’m writing this, my wife’s computer is trying to upgrade to Windows 10. The first little app proudly proclaimed my wife’s vintage Dell Inspiron as suitable for Windows 10. I have great hopes for being delighted.]

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One thought on “Cheng / chi sighting

  1. In a way, the left hemisphere of the human brain uses the system “as advertised”, while the right hemisphere uses the system as expected. For me personally, I am not so much concern that Windows Acts as advertised, than I am that it doesn’t Act as expected. I am pretty sure Windows Acts like it does, because of its position in the environment of its Orientation on boot-up. I have know idea what would make it Act as advertied.

    So, has it changed its structure, culture, or its position? If it has changed its position (Behendigkeit), then maybe we are no longer aligned, and I need to do some more thinking before going forward with Windows.

    A little change in structure (Schwerpunkt) or culture (Einheit) is relatively easy for MicroSoft to compensate for. If they have changed what their Behendigkeit looks like, when they are booting up, then I might be better off waiting a couple of years or more before deciding to go forward with Windows, because of too many variable, as to make it a blackswan for Windows going forward.

    At least and maybe even eventually it will mean that MicroSoft will no longer support the other Windows releases (they can, but it will rapidly become too expensive for them, because they will have their hands full with this new Behendigkeit) or maybe they will even have an event of unimaginable event/magnitude ratio.

    It would be interesting to hear from some of those Decision Scientists at MicroSoft in this discussion. 🙂

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