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Showing posts from January, 2015

Review: The History and Psychology of Human Conflict

The History and Psychology of Human Conflict by Mohr, G. A.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book does not have depth enough to cover its' subject. It seems like bits and pieces from history, some research on behavior, some cliches on propaganda and marketing which all falls apart so after finishing this book it's hard to say how does this all work. It was ok to refresh the memory on some historical matters, however in this book it is very concise and doesn't correspond to either psychology or to what the author wanted to say about the conflicts. Not recommended.

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Strata Essentials for Property Owners - Responsibility

If you talk to people who own apartments/units in NSW 99% of them will say something like "our strata is totally dysfunctional" and some of them might say "our strata management is quite good". Below I will explain what they mean by saying that, because what they are referring to may be quite different from what they say.

Term "strata" is used by majority as something that relevant to ownership, management and ongoing maintenance of a block of units. The concept of strata title was introduced in 1961 in Australia to deal with property rights of apartment blocks. Strata title allows individual ownership of "a lot" which is part of the building (apartment, unit, townhouse) together with shared ownership in the "Common Property" which is the remainder of the building that is not included in the individual lots (i.e. walls, roofs, foyers, planters, pathways, parking etc.).

This is a type of communal ownership and living. The keyword her…

Prioritisation - Key To Success

- "Should I buy those gloves?"
- "How much are they?"
- "$70"
- "Hmm, that’s too expensive"

A couple was in a tiny store in the centre of Sydney buying discounted uggs and other sheepskin apparel. $70 was a significant amount for them especially comparing to the prices of other goods in the store.

In about a week she decided to buy them though. They returned back to that shop, bought the gloves and she was very excited. The excitement continued with a shopping spree at Paddy’s Market in Chinatown market which is very famous for low prices. They bought some clothes, souvenirs and other things. All those other purchases however were not as precious to her as the gloves she was aiming to buy at the beginning and were the main goal of the second trip.

Back at home they started unpacking the stuff and realised they lost the gloves somewhere.

It doesn’t matter whether the price level or the value of all these movements back and forth just to purchase…

Home Building Quality - NSW Legislation Changes and Implications For Owners

Home Building Legislation Amendments - Customer: Dear Mr Builder, would it be possible to rectify the outstanding defects 1)..., 2)..., etc.?
- Builder: You have been pain in the backside. Stop whining. We bent over backwards to help with your problems! Don’t contact me anymore.

This is a type of conversation that happens from time to time when dealing with builders 2-3 years into the defect rectification process. Why it may take so long? Many factors affect the process.

This morning a couple of my friends have shared the article "Home Building Amendment Act: Sydney apartment owners say law changes are 'draconian'", knowing my interest in those matters. I indeed have some relevant experience.

The publication by Sydney Morning Herald above has got a couple of interesting items. First, it is vivid that comments to the post contradict whatever is said by Department of Fair Trading (authority) representative and chief executive from Urban Development Institute of Austr…

Scrum - Team Culture and Wall Manifesto

In the Scrum framework one of the key components is the wall and daily stand-up. In some organisations I worked with the whole concept of the wall is not accepted by many developers, because of the stand-up necessity and "time waste".

Very often all that methodology is used for the sake of methodology and not to achieve what we actually do - adding or creating value to our customer (usually called "The Business").

I can understand frustration that is caused by the wall and stand-up process. From the software developer perspective it is really a waste of time for the following reasons:

1. In 95% of cases developers are head down working like hell delivering valuable outcomes that they are accountable for. Extra effort to go to the wall, staying there for 15-30 minutes and listening or not listening to what others were doing yesterday and will be doing tomorrow is annoying for them;

2. The mere fact of having to do something mandatory to do that looks like useless a…

Review: Doing Business In China: A Guide To The Risks And The Rewards

Doing Business In China: A Guide To The Risks And The Rewards by Christopher Torrens

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The book is interesting in regards to information about Chinese way of doing business and as an overview of its various economic and geographical zones and authorities in general.
However I found some interesting moments there which . First, the text sometimes doesn't match the table data. The book was written in 2010, but the tables have statistical data only up to 2008. Second, I had a feeling that the point of view in the book just portrays the way Chinese people do business in their context as wrong. What foreign companies trying to do in China looks like constant effort to adapt Chinese way of doing business to their concepts. Not sure whether it is a right attitude in this case. Also my interest for proverbs and quotes didn't allow me to miss curious issue that I described in the blog post: Chinese Proverb

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Chinese Proverb

Chris Torrens in his book "Doing Business in China" uses quotes and proverbs for every chapter.
One of them is "A conversation with a wise man is better than ten years of study. Chinese proverb" on page 87.

I was curious to find out how it may sound in Chinese and after some research found the following quote:
"A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years' study of books." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Hyperion (1839), Chapter VII. Quoted from the Chinese.

Interesting twist, isn't it?

Then I found a book "Chinese Moral Maxims: With a Free and Verbal Translation, Affording Examples of the Grammatical Structure of the Language" by John Francis Davis, F.R.S. The book was published in 1823. The compilation of idioms in the book was made in 1818 to help students who are learning Chinese and "other Persons to whom it may not be altogether devoid of interest". The quoted proverb is on the page 193:

As …

Review: Australian Business Law: Compliance and Practice

Australian Business Law: Compliance and Practice by Roger Vickery

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is very good at explaining the subject of Business Law and is written in the format that helps to better understand it. It would be great as a reference book for use when working on certain matters or as a textbook for those who wants to study. In comparison with other book I read about Australian Business Law this one has got more details in some areas like Corporate Structures.

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