08 August 2009

On "write-only" documents again

I did write about this earlier, on 16 October 06 to be precise, but it's worth a re-visit.

I met a couple of former colleagues in a bookshop this afternoon, and after a few moments of obligatory skirmishing about the intellectual street-cred of the items in one's basket. [Note; the sole copy of Slavoj Zizek's (sorry, can't be bothered with the accents) latest hardback has continued to sit there, face out, for at least six weeks...] Sorry, after those few ritual moments, we caught up on the state of play at the factory (aka university) and what happened to some course proposals we had been involved in validating.

One of them had participated in the validation of an earlier version of a course which I largely wrote and which of course never recruited or ran. I knew it was fairly unlikely it would ever see the light of day, so I sprinkled the documentation with "easter eggs" as programmers call them--hidden gems which are only revealed to the dedicated few who really dig into the program. Of course no-one ever noticed

I think she was a little taken aback that I could be so cavalier with the university's sacrosanct quality assurance procedures.

Yet another example (to set alongside the collected works of Slavoj Zizek) of documents whose sole virtue is their existence. Perhaps we could try simply pasting "lorem ispum..." into required forms and seeing if anyone ever notices...

1 comment:

  1. oh lordy ... I really, really want to have the guts to sprinkle some easter eggs in some of the reports that are coming up ... which are, of course, never read ...


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