Wrapping up Scientology

Aaron Smith-Levin did a second interview with me on Scientology:

I think this would wrap up my talks and interviews on Scientology for now.

I also completed my page here on Scientology. This makes it easier to give those who want me to comment, answer questions or contribute to book projects, articles or school assignments one definite page to get all my views.

RPG tool: Random relationship map for citizens of a town

I’m on a roll. Decided to add yet another tool to the Amar Role-Playing Game. You now get a randomly generated relationship map between the citizens whenever you generate a fantasy village, town or city.

You can also download your generated village/town/city as a text file, edit it as you wish and upload your edited file to get a random relationship map for your new settlement. Check out the tools here: Tools for the Amar RPG.

You will get a map like this:

Click the image to zoom in.

Be aware, for larger settlements, the map becomes chaotic.

Source code for all the Amar RPG tools is freely avalable on Github.

RPG Random Town Generator

The Amar Role-Playing Game has got yet another tool: a random town generator. It doesn’t draw a map for you, but it will save contless hours populating villages, towns and cities. You will get a realistic distribution of house types, shops and trades. Each house is populated with residents – complete with name, age, sex, main skill level and basic personality.

Whereas this tool is created for the Amar RPG, it will save time for Game Masters of any fantasy RPG in creating settlements for a game campaign.

Source code for all the Amar RPG tools is avalable on Github.

Amar RPG: New tools

The Amar Role-Playing Game has got two new tools lately.

To understand what Amar RPG is, check out its extensive wiki.

The new tools are a random names generator and an “Open ended dice roller“. The random names generator will give you ten names of the race you pick (from human male and female names to dwarves, elves, trolls and more).

If you are a Game Master for an Amar RPG campaign, you now have a better swiss army knife at your disposal.

Coming up is something even more time-saving. I won’t reveal just yet what it is, but I can tell you that it will save hours upon hours of preparations – even if you are playing other Role-Playing Game systems.

OnePageBook #11: Recruitment – Effective tips to hire the right person

After 8 years of heading a recruitment company I wrote the Interview Handbook. After another two years of daily interviews, I quit the company in order to cater for my inner nerd.

I then did 12 years in the IT business before Brendan and I started the comapny “Å” (A-Circle.no) in 2012.

Everything got simpler. And simpler. And simpler. To the point where I can now revisit my 10 years in the recruitment business and boil everything down to one page. So here it is, The OnePageBook, Recruitment:

“Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for the love of it.” (Henry David Thoreau)

Cleaning your room, processes and ITIL

  • ITIL: A formalized way of delivering IT services
  • Processes: The structured actions taken between an input and an output
  • Cleaning your room: Tidying and removing dirt from your room before the guests arrive

If you never ever clean your room, wash the dishes or your clothes, water the plants or make dinner, the gap between your skills and your mother’s skills in these areas will keep widening. Your skills will be handicapped by your mother’s empathy and care.

If you establish processes in an organization that is supposed to take care of issues and problems for the employees, it wil handicap their abilities to handle this themselves.

In the ITIL framework, you are supposed to establish some 27 processes to cater for every part of IT service delivery in an organization. One such process is Problem Management. The purpose of this process is to handle the underlying cause of one or more issues so that it doesn’t happen again. When this is turned into a process where a subset of employees gets to be experts at detecting problems, conduct root causes analysis and solve the problems, the gap between the skills of these guys and the rest keeps widening. The process will handicap the employees problem solving skills.

Problem solving should be a skill exercized by every employee. It should be part of the company’s culture, their DNA. Everyone should jump at the opportunity to solve problems they encounter. It will hone their skills and keep them valuable as efficient problem solvers. Those who encounter a specific problem has more initial data about it and can usually solve it quicker… if they have excellent problem solving skills.

Don’t relegate important skills sets to only certain processes. Help everyone exercize and fine-tune their skills in fire-fighting, problem solving, change management, customer handling, documentation and strategic thinking.

Free – why science hasn’t disproved free will

It’s a short book by Alfred Mele, a Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University. Mele was the director of the Big Questions in Free Will Project (2010-2013) and has authored several books and a large amount of articles on the subject.

Mele tackles the main scientific studies proclaiming that free will is an illusion. He takes them down, one by one, showing that they all suffer from several logical fallacies. But they have one fallacy in common, the Black Swan fallacy. That you have only seen white swans does not rule out the existence of black swans. That scientific experiments have not proven the existence of an agent of free will does not preclude the existence of free will. Some experiments doesn’t even look in the right places.

It’s an important book on the subject.

I take another route in my exploration of free will – a more principled approach if you will. And lately, I have revisited my “proof against determinism” and focused more on Alan Turing’s work. Looking at the Universe itself as one great computational device, Turing’s proof of the “halting problem” shows that there cannot be a Theory of Everything – there cannot be any all encompassing theory that will show everything as true or false. This is of course in line with Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems, but it seems to be a more direct route in proving that the universe cannot be deterministic. Which in turn leaves existence open for free will.