Browsing the archives for the futility tag.

Agile story points: Eddie’s Rule of Halves

Uncategorized / Misc

In my job we use Agile / Scrum to manage our projects. One of my petty annoyances is the inability to use Story Points in a meaningful way. This is annoying to me because it should be one of the easiest to use.

Story Points are supposed to be all about estimating very generally how much effort it will take to do something.  Its purpose is to look into the future and make an educated guess.  It recognizes that (a) we can’t accurately predict the future; (b) we’ll get a better estimate later; (c) we don’t need to know more detail now; (d) anyway, we ought to be able to know whether the thing is Small, Medium, Large, or Gargantuan.

However, technical people don’t like definitions that are intentionally unspecific.  They want to use Numbers … and when do they happily begin doing Math to the numbers and lie to themselves, thinking they are being Precise … when in reality their information is vague.

So I have a proposal…  Eddie’s Rule of Halves.  These kind of look like they are Numbers but are also Vague.  Still, they convey the sense of how much effort is involved:

  • Half a Day
  • Half a Week
  • Half a Month  (gee, that looks a lot like a two-week Sprint….  Hmmmm….)
  • Half a Year
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Futility In The Economy

Sisyphus' Slope

Dennis Kucinich explains the futility of the Wall Street bailout.  [update 14-Oct-2016: Google for the full text here]

Here is a very quick explanation of the $700 billion bailout within the context of the mechanics of our monetary and banking system:The taxpayers loan money to the banks. But the taxpayers do not have the money. So we have to borrow it from the banks to give it back to the banks. But the banks do not have the money to loan to the government. So they create it into existence (through a mechanism called fractional reserve) and then loan it to us, at interest, so we can then give it back to them.


This is the system.

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You Can’t Get There From Here — Green Economy

Sisyphus' Slope

Tom Toles illustrates the difficulty — exercise in futility? — of converting to a green economy. View Here

In the meantime, here’s the image (click to enlarge):

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Futility in science

Sisyphus' Slope

The search for perpetual motion.  Read:  A short history of the search for perpetual motion, by Donald E. Simanek



Tacolla's Wheel

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Futility Music

Sisyphus' Slope

Music to be tortured by

See Torture By Music at to learn what is…

known in the torture trade as futility music — chosen to “convince the prisoner of the futility of maintaining his position”.


US military have been using music as a form of torture in Iraq. Psychological operations (or psyops) play Metallica’s Enter Sandman or Eminem’s White America at excruciating volumes as a way of ‘breaking’ Iraqi prisoners of war.

Mother Jones magazine publishes the Torture Playlist so you can keep up to date with all the latest is torture tunes.

Who will be the next Top Tuneful Torturer?

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