Monday, April 27, 2015

Process Uber Alles

I posted a pic on my facebook page and twitter today from the conference I was at last week:

My point was to illustrate the lameness of academic life--that this is an action shot in my business.  In more than a few TV interviews I have had at my office, the cameraperson wanted an action shot, which was either me reading or typing.  Woo!

My friends quickly noticed the sideways name card, or as Jacob Levy put it: saideways (see below).  This was not me being a rebel but actually fitting in.  I had forgotten but was quickly reminded at this conference that this is sort of standard procedure at European conferences--to put one's name card sideways to alert the moderator that one wants to ask a question or offer a comment. 

This speaks to a larger lesson of the conference--that Europeans care a lot about process.  That they don't want to break relations with Russia, such as completely tossing aside the NATO-Russia Founding Act, because as long the processes are processing, then all is good.  Can't have a war if the processes are allowed to process.  That the mere act of continuing the old processes is a form of conflict management/resolution, and that as long as the processes are allowed to run their course, we can get a decent outcome. 

So, that is the lesson du jour--process uber alles!

Now for the question du jour: if you had to come up with a definition for "saideways" which combines Saideman and sideways, what would your definition be?  I will ponder and get back to you on that but am willing to take suggestions.

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