Archive for February, 2007

Efficient Government

Is there such a thing anywhere?
Sure, governments in different countries and places are not even comparable, but compared to local businesses, I’m sure their efficiency is about 10 years behind.
Today we went to city hall to get the marriage license so we can actually officially get married. Despite the poor website, we were able to find the office and office hours (but had to call to learn what you have to bring - would it cost them more to post that on the site?)
As soon as we stepped into the building I felt right at home - working for the Croatian government last year, I was all too familiar with linoleum floors, bad cabling, crappy furniture, confusing floorplans, and clerks who are in absolutely no hurry to get anywhere.
I was amazed that we had someone ask us for every bit of personal information so they can fill out 3 different paper forms (and also write down something in a regular notebook). I presume this will later be typed into a computer, which is sitting on the desk. It would be too revolutionary to actually type the info into the computer as we are giving it, that would be too efficient and prevent paper loss, illegible writing, etc.
Anyone with half a brain could simplify the bureaucracy, speed up the process, but also eliminate quite a few jobs, which I’m guessing is part of the reason for this not actually happening.

3 comments February 14th, 2007

Googling people

Were you ever bored, had a couple of drinks, and decided you’d pass your time by googling friends you haven’t seen in a while?
It’s interesting how much you can find out just by going through the first couple of result pages for most people. It’s nice when you can find an email address for a long lost friend, but in most cases that’s not the case. The worst are those friends that published a bunch of papers, you can’t find out anything about them, just the stuff the research they did in the last few years.
As far as my results - the first couple (although weird) hits lead to my website, which is exactly as it should be. The rest are running race results (those not stored in databases), a geocaching hit, a recent Boardgamegeek.com listing, and some vague references to Drexel.

Should it be everyone’s responsibility and in their interest that a Google search yields some results that will enable people to contact them?

4 comments February 6th, 2007


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