HUMOR: Alternatives to "Information Mapping"

Subject: HUMOR: Alternatives to "Information Mapping"
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 09:24:09 -0800 (PST)

Oh there are tons of alternatives to Information Mapping such as "yanking your
intestines out with a salad fork" and "crushing mice and small rodents for

I checked the archives but I noticed a dearth of some of the most common
methodologies I see:

1. The Cremora Methodology

Like that ubiquitous powder beside all coffee machines, this methodology
involves transforming perfectly good documents into a rich, lathery slime. By
injecting needless "enhancements" to perfectly clear text, a skilled writer can
ensure his/her job security for eons to come, since nobody can quite comprehend
what he/she is saying.

2. The Committee Methodology

A long time favorite of government institutions, this methodology involves
taking simple, mindless decisions and formalizing them into lengthy, important
sounding resolutions adopted by a committee. Guaranteed to keep people
emotionally satisfied for years while obsessing over petty personality

3. Information Ignoring Methodology

This methodology operates on the assumption that anything you do not
understand, must be incorrect and useless. A long time favorite of the banking
industry, this methodology stresses status quo over everything. It also
encourages individuals to stop learning new things, since new things are always
inherently wrong.

4. The Napoleon Methodology

Long favored by those with various sexual dysfunctions, this methodology places
all useful information squarely in the mind of one, controlling self-absorbed
individual. This person will then explain to all the small people how they
fail to understand things in the profound and meaningful way that he/she does.
This methodology teaches that timeless lesson that people who do not think like
you are wrong because they do not think like you.

5. The Deus Ex Machina Methodology

A perennially favorite of the software industry, this methodology stresses
extreme inaction in hopes of a late hour miracle. This methodology uses the key
utterance "I am waiting for approval from..." to ensure long uninterrupted
periods of web surfing while waiting for a last minute solution.

6. The Sit Your Ass Down and Write Some Damn Documents, You Lazy Bum

A favorite among Star Trek Voyager watching nerds who have overweight cats and
no social life, this methodology stresses excessive hard work at the expense of
rich clients. Steps include: "shut yer trap n' work" and "oh we'll get that
next time 'round". Also stresses extreme technological knowledge at the
expense of just about everything.

7. Panzershreik Methodology

Widely used in insurance companies and other authoritarian regimes, this
methodology stresses a strong pecking order of authority laced with extreme
humiliation of subordinates. Involves the formation of rigid corporate dogma
which is routinely trounced by individual karma.

8. I Attended a Conference on That Methodology

A close cousin of the "I saw that on Dateline last night" software development
methodology, this process stresses combining all the semi-literate information
presented at various technical communication conferences into one lowest common
denominator rule.

9. The Acronym Methodology

Widely used in countries where people have few if any human rights, this
methodology encourages the formation of countless acronyms for simplification
of documentation. For example, a recent reference manual on the POSIX
subcomponent of Windows NT was reduced down to the following sentence: FJS JK

10. Font Fondler's Methodology

Generally accepted by numerous organizations somewhere, this methodology
stresses waiting for engineers and other knowledgeable staff to write the
documentation only to be belittled and begrudgingly prettied up by a technical
communicator. Tasks are limted to changing fonts, enforcing spacing, and adding
in those fun words like "Furthermore" and "On the other genetically mutated
hand." Also favors the use of "Award Winning" to describe just about every
document produced.

11. Yanking your Intestines out with a Salad Fork Methodology

A favorite of disillusioned small business owners who have high debt to income
ratios (and not the GOOD kind). This process involves ... well, the less you
know the better.

Time for teletubbies!

Andrew Plato


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