petronia: (Default)
7- most surprising/counterintuitive thing you learned in business school

A lot of what I learned in business school was either 1) acquiring/practicing hard skills like writing business plans and making presentations, or 2) confirmation of stuff I'd always darkly suspected. XD Examples of the latter:
  • Most if not all of the decisions made in high finance and investment banking are based on numbers that to a scientist would qualify as "completely made up".
  • Consulting is the organizational equivalent of talk therapy.
  • The field of marketing takes known human cognitive biases into account on a fundamental design level. The field of economics does not. Unfortunately, marketers don't understand math, so it's kind of like comparing a country of blind men to a country of men who don't realize their left leg is six inches shorter than their right, and are wondering why they keep walking in circles.
  • Entrepreneurs are nutters and it is no wonder most of them lose control of their companies.
...I could probably come up with more bons mots if you give me time? XD

The thing I learned that I didn't expect (very early on): not only how much leeway for interpretation you have in accounting, but to what extent there really isn't an objective truth to the exercise. It's like the law, in that sense. Furthermore, just as with legalistic debates, the abstractions of eg. what may or may not count as capital expenditure can have hugely unpredictable (and hugely noxious) systemic impact on the workings of an organization. If a company is doing something that looks completely baffling from the outside and won't stop, the chances are it can be traced to an accounting rule or a poorly designed reward system. I keep saying this but the most different thing about Apple wasn't Steve Jobs; it's the fact that no one in the company has profit-loss responsibility except the CFO.

The important thing I got out of it, which I wasn't taught in class per se (also pretty early on): a new way of looking at the world. Vast tracts of the daily-life universe that previously just sort of sat there now contained information (feel free to picture that BBC Sherlock thing where bits of text pop up everywhere, because that is exactly what it was like). I became acutely aware that every plastic widget, gum wrapper, or supermarket queuing area in our late capitalist-consumerist society has had someone behind it, usually multiple someones: real, live, breathing human beings, who were paid money to think about why this thing should look/act/be the way it looks/acts/is. The most disposable of detritus is the artifact of an intelligent species. I actually find that immensely inspiring.
petronia: (bibliophile)
Michael Lewis, The Big Short: highly engaging page-turner - so engaging that I elected to keep reading this in lieu of the latest Steven Brust novel for the four hours I had to spend in the bookstore. Granted, the theme of the latest Brust appeared to be "lawyers"... could be potentially more scathing if he had Orca to write over but that is more Pratchett territory anyhow. XD;

Cut for length, not so much spoilers. )

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: would make an excellent movie.

Reading this made me remember the one accounting class I took, very early on in my MBA, when I still took notes on the culture-clash aspect of the experience. XD In his introduction the professor talked about accounting as if it were an epistemological pursuit... In retrospect mid-2007 was probably a weird time to begin studying finance and accounting with practical examples from real corporations' annual reports. XD; It makes it harder for me to assign blame for rampant groupthink, because I clearly remember that feeling of having no reference for comparison except what "everyone else" was doing, and all the companies had these tottering towers of leverage on their balance sheets left over from buyouts. Among other things. Our big end-of-term project was to take apart Hertz's numbers (the team picked the rental-car industry) and make a lending recommendation. We squinted and squinted and it looked crapola no matter what. Finally we asked a second-year finance-stream student and he said, equably, "You can refuse to lend them more money if the numbers look bad. Maybe the company is bad."


Of course, Hertz is still in business, so what do I know? Not much, clearly.
petronia: (plsdiekthx)
David Byrne just now, via mailing list: "[some stuff about releasing a record, but whatev] In the meantime, I have decided to rebrand myself, inspired by Philip Morris changing their name to Altria, Blackwater to Xe, and the train I'm riding on right now that calls itself Acela - none of which mean anything, but they are cleverly evocative. When I decide on the magic word, you'll be the first to know."

I have studied the above trend in b-school marketing class and believe I'm supposed to consider it clever, but can I just say that I hate how these companies are polluting the high fantasy worldbuilding namespace!!! Srsly guys haven't you done enough harm in the world, now you gotta take the geeks on too!

(Not you, David Byrne, you can be an Eddings character if you want.)
petronia: (skyward from city streets)
1) Finished Nouveau Doctor Who S2. Do they actually intend to run the full gamut of classic shoujo endings?? I don't like this one as much as the Slayers Next one last round. >:| >:| >:| Will live I suppose. Also the more I look at David Tennant's outfit the more I'm reminded of Jarvis Cocker.

2) Before Switzerland I went out three nights straight, due to multiple friend groups who were graduating and wanted to party. Grosso modo: the first night I met Superpitcher, the second night featured a stalled engine and three hours of driving off the island of Montreal, and the third night we were at a drag queen revue. The Ginette Reno impersonator was particularly good.

3) The St. Gallen Symposium was great fun, thought-provoking, and - around the edges of the experience - a bit disturbing. Tari made a post recently in which she pinned down the source of the discomfort exactly, but she's put it under filter so I can't quote it. ^^; It's really the same feeling as b-school, though, just heightened - and there were people who turned it to fuel hard-hitting questions at Russian industrialists and Balkan presidents and whatnot, so. XD; I'd encourage all the students I know to apply next year, if you have the least interest in international affairs and/or meeting Asian keeners from around the world other cool people and/or scoring an all-expenses-paid, chocolate-fountain-courtesy-of-UBS trip to Europe for the low, low price of a 2,000-word essay. For reals, guys. It doesn't even have to be an amazing essay, lord knows mine was crap. You can watch videos of the keynote talks here if you're interested. I've also been posting notes at the work Twitter, and will be blogging about some of the stuff in more detail - Misha Glenny's book, for instance, which I bought yesterday, albeit partially as ongoing research for Schwarzfic. XD;; Right.

I listened to a lot of Bon Iver and Graham Coxon's folksy stuff while I was there. Weirdly I had totally dismissed Bon Iver before this. But it was just that pastoral I guess.

4) Thanks for reblogging/reposting the survey! ...Need more guys to respond, though, that's the thing with my flist. XD; I forgot to mention there is an actual mockup of an actual site you can look at, although you should probably do the survey first. It's not functional except for the projects link but eh, if anyone needs a front-end designer/developer I'm at loose ends for a few months.
petronia: (plugging away)
Your last laptop purchase for personal use

Simple, takes 5-10 minutes, and definitely more gender-inclusive than either the salon hair care one or the non-fat ice cream one. XD;; Would be particularly interested in responses from people who are older and/or non-techie - twentysomething whizzes don't need more help, by definition. If anyone doesn't mind forwarding the link to family members or colleagues that would be awesome.

(I'll expand on the Switzerland thing but in another post methinks!)
petronia: (love potion)
mik list )

bladderwrack list )
petronia: (plugging away)
'Cos there's at least one more coming up for my other class. OTOH that one will be laptops, not diet ice cream. Look at least I won't be bothering you all if/when I actually get a job involving this stuff, that would be insufficiently scientific. XD;

...Ticky boxes are fun? So I've heard, anyway.

Skinny Cow ice cream, now with additional SCIENCE

(P.S. this is for the ladies only - apologies for not taking your fine opinions into account, gentlemen, but I doubt you're sorry, so. XD)
petronia: (more cowbell)
Apologies for turning the LJ into a play-by-play of the hours I spend every day procrastinating on music streaming social networking sites. It's the only way I have to show a life sign til the first week of December... Expecting mass defriendings more or less. XD;

It's been an odd few weeks. )

I'm still happy about the results of the election. )

As is probably evident I've been listening to a lot of Blur lately. This is basically laziness: dudes have 20+ albums' worth of music between them and their solo/side projects, and are acceptable stylistic stand-ins for a dozen other acts (two of which are David Bowie and the OSTs to Katamari Damacy). It's like deciding to read every Stephen King novel ever written - who needs recs? Besides which Damon "Asuka" Albarn and Graham "Rei" Coxon fully sate my need to mock everything I'm interested in and then some.
petronia: (Default)
Which is just as well since I started it during a protracted anxiety attack over last evening's three-hour Finance final. XD; (The prof brought milk, juice and cookies to the exam room. She was voted best lecturer of the year by the class, and not just because she feeds us, either.) Feeling a lot more normal now that that's over and I've gotten some sleep. Still one more paper to write, and I haven't found a summer job yet, though at least taxes are filed and I've registered for next year's courses.** And Monday it starts again - two full weeks of seminars over here, then Brazil.

The sinusitis has turned into a bronchial contretemps, as it were. And sororial unit's run away to England. Oh well; ONWARD AND FORWARD.

** As follows:

2 x strategy, 2 x organizational behaviour, 1 x entrepreneurship, 5 x marketing. )

If that works out it will be a double concentration in Marketing and Global Leadership. I like Marketing: it's Applied Semiotics really, and you get to make polls and fake ads and things. XD Maybe I'll write up my "The Libertines were to the NME as the Razr was to Motorola" rant in case study format, that should generate some lulz.
petronia: (omgwtf)
([ profile] greykings, I apologize in advance if this gives you nightmares)

Arriving at finance exam at 10AM (usual start of class).

Discovering upon walking in that one had somehow missed all the times the teacher informed the class that the exam started at 9AM.

Managing to finish the exam anyway. I.e. it was a 2.5-hour exam, I made it in 1.5 hours.



Haaah whadda way to start the day. XD;;;
petronia: (giogio)

Most hilarious case study to date. Please tell me there is a manga version of this, and I don't mean a stodgy seinen business manga but proper high-tension shounen crack. Honda Souichirou = 1x TOTAL PSYCHO WTFFF.

Honda x Fujisawa OTP

One more for the road. )
petronia: (fashion)
Chara - Cherry Cherry: I should be wary of underselling just because I have to make it short. (Do you guys prefer it short?) Those Rilo Kiley tracks are dreamy and and lush and gorgeous, and so is this - despite or perhaps due to it being more or less "Suburbia" by the Pet Shop Boys. Chara BYN, but one can't argue with that rhythm piano; the very Phil Spector-esque vibraphone, that moment when her voice rises and rises over the tom fills.

Morrissey - Let Me Kiss You: Saint Moz, arguably blessed patron of the awkward turtle, intercede for us... A real tour de force, the listener caught between ZOMG YR DOIN IT RONG giggles and wonder that anyone could think to write a song like this let alone pull it off, and the temptation to (close your eyes) freefall into the sonics and never mind the words at all.

I'm developing a thing for songs in which the aural semiotics mirror the lyrical content which then subverts the entire structure. But well, more on this. XD

Bing asked about my shopping habits. )
petronia: (cell phone's dead)
Had started this entry by exclaiming about the package [ profile] worldserpent had sent me, but in the interim she caught up with my via chat so she knows already. Which doesn't change the fact that the flist has been way too good to me in somewhat trying times. ^_^; At one point I'd made a stack of the postcards I'd received but not acknowledged - [ profile] one_if_by_land's from Germany, [ profile] marej's from her vacation, [ profile] tsutanai's, [ profile] usomitai's, [ profile] iatros's - but ran out of time to write the entry itself. Let alone anything regarding NYC, which I left somewhat worser for wear than I'd started, having caught a cold that uhh really blossomed the following week after the excesses of Nuit Electronik (at which I sprained my other ankle, so that really did me in XD;). But while I was there everyone spoilt me silly. [ profile] emblem and [ profile] sesame_seed wrote up a lot of the details of the first weekend here and here** - [ profile] starlighter had this whole GOURMET TRAIL planned - [ profile] paleaswater got me into all the museums - hung out with [ profile] vonbrigthi and [ profile] redplasticglass (whom I think of as the Terrible Twins with all affection), and [ profile] beeblebabe and [ profile] peripheralsight, so could have written the jaunt off as a business trip had SSBB been a real business. (It's not, though I method act that it is. XD;) [ profile] sub_divided and [ profile] sesame_seed helped me edit stories. [ profile] serendip, like, BAKED COOKIES EVERY MORNING. I have pictures to prove it. Haven't looked at them once since I got back, of course, but I'm reasonably sure most of them are of delicious food and dinosaur bones. Should probably save details for eventual Flickr captions. There were adventures, and stuff.

I don't know how to say this without a modicum of awkwardness but I feel very... loved? And humbled and undeserving, since I'm aware that I'm in no mental space to give back at the moment - can barely make an LJ post one week out of three. I mean, I basically blew into town and demanded to couch surf and celebrate my birthday in style. It's a wonder anyone put up with it. XD; Let alone my drunken and/or sleep-deprived rants on the topic of John Lydon's six-sigma statistical-deviation bassists (on opposite tails of the normal curve).

Apologies as well to the couple of people whose emails I've failed to answer in the past months or so; you know who you are.

Other updates I suppose:
  • Not going on exchange. Totted up and simply will not have the funds, even if I do get a summer job which is by no means a sure thing. ^_^; (Although everyone I spoke to at the graduate business conference on Friday seemed to feel I was highly employable, which at this point is a welcome egoboo. REALLY NEED TO START LOOKING THOUGH.)
  • Brazil is still on.
  • If Leonard Cohen decides to play a show in Montreal for the first time in fifteen years (and for all I know the last time ever, the man is in his seventies) during the two weeks I happen to be out of the country, I shall scream. Loudly.
  • The ankle is not so bad. Particularly compared to the 2006 sprain, which I've gradually come to realize was a really severe one which uhh I probably should have seen a doctor about at some point. It's half-healed already and I can walk on it without problems as long as I hold my foot a certain way.
  • The cold is getting better as well, though last week I was germ Chernobyl yet could not afford to skip any classes. Dread the karma if I've infected everyone in the MBA programme, it's not like anyone else can afford it either.
  • School will be insanely busy until just this side of forever.
  • I need a fandom in which the wank is never, ever, started by Perez Hilton. Not a tall order, but what I need is not always what I want.
  • [ profile] iatros was in town for my Montreal birthday party! I hadn't slept for 36 hours but it was fun nevertheless. XD
  • MY EARLY AND MID-TWENTIES ARE OFFICALLY OVER. I sort of killed them myself before they turned unseemly on me but the point remains. 27 is as old as you're allowed to be and still pilot a Gundam, after that you're relegated to senator of the allied colonies or something. T reminded me today that I'd told her when I was 22 that one's thirties are where it's really at, but it's a bit of a rude shock to have the weekend papers inform one that quote Generation Y is entering its prime childbearing years unquote.
  • I have grandiose plans for SSBB which will be put into action... as soon as I can manage to type up an admin post. orz
  • There will be music uploads! Lots of them! I might try to do two songs a day or something like that, if only because I'm so sick of my inability to post to LJ.

** I suspect the "accent" they were hearing is the result of watching Youtube vids of British people for three months. >_>
petronia: (plugging away)
If you live in North America, please take a minute to fill out this very short survey? It's a marketing project thing. ^^; The prices are in Canadian dollars but nowadays there's not much difference between that and the U.S., so.

petronia: (so not awake yet)
I haven't posted for three weeks, this is going on ridiculous. But try having MASSIVE WRITER'S BLOCK on two pages' worth of a 7-page essay that is a) being final-edited by someone else on your team and b) supposed to have been done Friday. If anyone is still awake, send moral support.

Birthday party plans--

Date: February 20th because Ced can't make it the 21st, and 22nd I'll be on a Greyhound bus.
Place: TBA (any ideas?)
Invitees: if you're reading this for starters.

Travel plans--

NYC: February 22-28
Brazil (S.Paolo, Ubatuba, Rio): May 19-30

End dates fuzzy, no tickets yet bought, details to come. First weekend in NYC is looking like a proper get-together though, which is nice as the 24th is my birthday. I like the idea of going to a different city and throwing myself a second (third?) party. XD

How have you guys been?
petronia: (blue monday)
Latter-day British indie is screwing me upside the head; I need to get back to the endless accelerating future / dilated present of techno where I can exist in comfort without having to think about Baudrillard all the time. Somewhere along the line I developed an over-sensitivity to this crap, like when YTubers upload concert vids in black and white to be artsy I start scanning the scene for signs it wasn't filmed in the 1960s and when I CANNOT FIND THEM, AT ALL I get twitchy. And then the view pulls back and there's this sea of CAMERAPHONES and my brain goes DINGDINGDING YOU HAVE ENTERED THE REALM OF THIRD-ORDER SIMULACRA. Hyperreality headache. You'd think anime fandom would provide some form of immunity.

At some point I have got to write up my fandom adventures of the past three weeks. Right now it's sororial unit taking the brunt of my flailing eloquence for the first time in years. XD; It's more like going down the rabbit hole than ever, if only because I normally ignore stuff like vids or fileshares or macros and stick to the fic (and some meta). But... actually WTF, all you peeps have either just come off JE or gone into bandslash anyway, you know what I mean. XD; Fantasy of information exclusivity etc. Plus WE CAN ACTUALLY TALK ABOUT THE MUSIC, how awesome is that. I actually can't be bothered with anything other than YTube and the Hype Machine but my sister's blagged her way into download forums and closed fic comms and is (she says) currently torrenting Pete Doherty's harddrive off Mininova (just think; this dude is doing well with maintaining a semblance of rock star mystique in the 21st century). P.S. that buy-your-favorite-artist-a-pint remuneration model we were talking about earlier? That sort of falls down if your favorite artist is an alcoholic/cokehead/whatever. But probably Britney fans are taking a break from Britney at the mome being as it's the best one can do for her.

School-wise I keep getting B-pluses, which pisses me off despite the fact that I'm probably putting in B-plus efforts on a lot of my individual work. I guess I'll never fully lose the expectation that B-plus efforts ought to garner me As (a good argument for aca-streaming yr high-achiever kids early and hard).

P.S. Nana II mix!
petronia: (ow)
January 5th; surely an all-time record of lameness. XD; I was sunk in a vacation-induced stupor until Thursday, when I had to go attend the pan-Canada MBA Games. I'm still in Hamilton, Ontario - McMasters University - and it's been nothing but misery and terror, for various reasons such as: I had to go from sleeping at 6AM and waking at 1PM to sleeping at 1AM and waking at 6AM; I am always flattened by sensory overload the first day I'm somewhere new, even a town as anodyne as Hamilton; the other university teams are better prepared, more numerous, NOISIER, well-versed in the art of oneupsmanship and generally ferocious; in all my life I have never represented my school at any kind of away event so the only mental framework I have for making sense of my weekend is Prince of Tennis only THEY ARE ALL RIKKAI except for U of A who are clearly Hyoutei, the flush bastards; and after a six-hour drive they started our Friday evening with a DANCE-OFF. Also what I signed up for was two days of two-hour strategy case competitions, which is utter terror at the best of times. Meanwhile I'd been failing at getting anything done during break that I wanted done, even SSBB updates. I have project work due the day I get back and it is so not happening. I guess I'm awake and active now but it's sort of like being dragged out of a warm bed and dumped into an icy lake. XD;

So for February I think I am going down to NYC, money or no money, because staying on the knife's edge is much better than falling into a catatonic state again. I don't feel "rested" from it, I just end up hating myself for not getting shit done. If anyone has sofa space I'd be in your debt (I don't know if said sofa turning into SSBB HQ for the duration is a plus or a minus, but it's likely to happen XD;).

New Year's itself was all right though. Ced threw a house party which involved drinking and costumes per Tania as usual, culminating in a 2AM snowball fight at the corner of Parc and Mont-Royal against the other house party two blocks down. Then we called a truce and went to the other party for hot tea, doughnuts, and more booze (finished the sambuca and pink bitters, amazing). Then repaired back to Ced's at 5AM and made a giant pile of breakfast with all the eggs and bacon in the house. XD Somewhere in there was DJing with two Firefox tabs open to Youtube and ripping my dress all the way up the back without noticing. January 1 was a snowstorm but we have had a snowstorm every other day this winter.

I have a backlog of multiple CD tracklistings to post, plus the usual year-end fic roundups and whatnot. But it will have to wait until I get back to Montreal because I think I'm supposed to go network now or whatever.

OH AND I learnt one fact over the weekend: the NME knows what bandslash is. Words can't begin to express how much happier I would have lived for the rest of my natural life had I remained ignorant of this, which is why I'm passing on the tip. HAPPY RUMINATION, GUYS.
petronia: (tamaki)
Why come up with original content when one can meme? XDD

Comment here and ask me ANYTHING about any fandom I'm involved in/have been involved in. Controversial or innocent, silly or serious, ask and you'll get my honest opinion on the subject [to the best of my knowledge/ability].

General fandom questions are also allowed, but nothing about actual people IN fandom, please.
Well, you can ask, but I might ask you to take it to chat or something. XD


Give me two characters from different fandoms you know I'm familiar with, and I'll give you a dialogue happening between the two of them. Without justifying how the crossover would work, how their worlds clashed, or how they could even meet each other. Just a silly crossover conversation with no backstory, for fun.

In other news, guess when my Finance mid-term (25% of final grade) is? Award yourself a cookie if your answer was, on the day of the SSBB submission deadline. With an Organizational Behaviour case study (30%) to hand in the day before, and an Operations Management assignment (10%) the day after. It looks like the majority of stories will come in just under the wire, and there probably aren't enough beta readers to go around. DOOMY FEELINGS. XD
petronia: (metro boulot dodo)
Peer-pressured into reading Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't - and I've gotta say, this book brings some real insights to the table regarding the success of the Seishun Gakuen junior high tennis team. (Suspect one could write a pretty good mgmt how-to book using only examples from Prince of Tennis. SHOUNEN JUMP: JAPAN INC.'S SECRET WEAPON???? ...Actually we knew that, didn't we.)

Sent out a bunch of holiday mail today. Most of you are going to get cards - in a lot of cases because it takes me geological eons to produce a mixtape or an FST, so I figured I'd send something while it was still seasonal. XD; Also I got ambitious and started doing this origami thing uhh well in any case you'll know when you see it. CDs went out to: [ profile] beeblebabe, [ profile] akatonbo, [ profile] calintz, [ profile] canis_m, and [ profile] bladderwrack. There'll be another batch Monday or Tuesday.

The way it works is, there's no tracklisting in the package. XD So you get it, listen to it first without knowing what the songs are going to be, then let me know and I'll post the tracklisting here - along with the mp3s for mass consumption.

In other news (and to take a page from [ profile] marej's book), the Internet as a whole is fired for not informing me that there's a Pantha Du Prince remix of Depeche Mode.

October 2017



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