Martin Luther

Commenting on Scientology, Inside and Outside the Church

Ethics And Rigged Games

A Real Example

I’d like to first provide an example of a system “rigged” so you can’t really win at it without “gaming” the system. When I was a young man in my 20s, just starting out as an electrician, I needed to buy a truck to get from job to job, home to office, etc. I had someone who would sell me a used truck for $1500. What I didn’t have was the $1500 to buy the truck. So I went to my bank to obtain the money. I interviewed with a loan officer about obtaining a loan to buy the truck. I was going for a “signature” loan, one which is not secured by collateral, but only by my reputation in borrowing and repaying money. My loan officer explained that, while they could lend me $1500 on my signature, they couldn’t do so for a used vehicle. I tried to get an explanation of why, but the only explanation was that they wouldn’t lend money to buy used cars.

Now, if you think about it, this is a little silly. I mean, you’re a bank with money to lend. The fact that you’re willing to lend me money on my signature means you trust me. And you’d be glad to lend me money, but not for this one thing. So I asked the inevitable question: “What would you lend me money for?” A number of items were listed, one of them being “tools”. Of course, being an electrician, I was always in the market for new, good tools.

Of course, I knew that if I changed my tune right there in the loan officer’s cubicle, and said I wanted tools instead of a truck, he’d know I was lying and deny me the loan. So I left, determined to return a week later.

Fortunately, I was not on a first-name basis with the people at my bank at the time. In other words, from one bank visit to the next, no one in the lobby would particularly recognize me. When I returned to the bank, I eventually was seated in front of a different loan officer this time, one who didn’t know this was my second visit to the bank in two weeks for a loan. And I calmly explained my plight. I was an electrician, and I needed to buy some tools. Out came the contracts and pens, and in short order, I was walking out with a check for $1500.

And I went over to my friendly neighborhood used truck dealer and bought a truck. And incidentally, I did pay back the loan, just like I promised to.

Again, it’s worth looking at how silly and “rigged” this system is. You’re a bank. You’re willing to make me a signature loan because you know I have a history of paying back money I owe. That being the case, you shouldn’t really care what I spend the money on, and it really shouldn’t be any of your business. But no, certain things are acceptable as reasons to take out a loan, and certain things aren’t. And you won’t lend me money to buy what I really want, but you will lend me money to buy something I don’t want. So you’re leaving me no real choice except to lie to you about why I want the money. And if I do lie, you will reward me with hard, cold cash.

Did I feel bad about lying to my loan officer about the reason for the loan? Not a bit. My thought at the time, and still to this day is, if you’re going to rig the system so I have to lie to get what I need/want, then I’m going to game the system and lie to you. What else can you expect?

This was one of my earliest lessons in systems which are rigged against you. I never forgot it.

A Television Example

First, let me explain a “no win scenario”. The classic example of this comes from a Star Trek movie. In that movie, there is a training scenario used to test the character of officers who are on the “command track” at “Star Fleet Academy”. The scenario: The starship Enterprise (our heroes) is just outside the “Neutral Zone”. It’s a zone of neutrality between the “Federation” (our heroes’ place of origin) and the Klingon Empire (Klingons are the bad guys). To enter the Neutral Zone (either side) is to create an interstellar “incident” which could lead to war. Just inside the Neutral Zone is a disabled Federation vessel by the name of the Kobayashi Maru. Your job is to rescue the Maru from the zone intact without causing an “incident”. Your choices: 1) Violate your mission objectives by staying out of the Neutral Zone and abandoning the Maru to certain destruction by the Klingons; 2) Enter the Neutral Zone and attempt to rescue the Maru and/or its crew without alerting the Klingons. Unfortunately for you, the Klingons are already waiting “cloaked” (that is, their ships are more or less invisible), and there are several of them. The scenario is programmed so that if you enter the Zone, you will, one way or another die, along with the Maru and create the interstellar incident you want to avoid. In other words, no win is possible, since the scenario is programmed to preclude that outcome. A third possibility arises, though, when the captain of the Enterprise, James T. Kirk, who doesn’t believe in the “no win scenario” cheats by reprogramming the simulation computer to allow the Enterprise to rescue the Maru and destroy the waiting Klingon ships, without incident. Kirk thus beats the “no win scenario” and becomes the only officer ever to do so. His solution is considered clever, but since he cheated to win, he is penalized.

Don’t get too hung up on the Kobayashi Maru as a classic example of no win scenarios. There are many types of these scenarios of all shapes and sizes.

The Real World

My daughter regards her mother and I as virtual paragons of virtue. We’ve done nothing to dissuade her from this misconception. I rather like the idea of it. It’s not true, of course, but it’s fun to pretend.

That said, I’ll also stipulate that throughout our lives her mother and I have striven to achieve as high a level of ethics and morality as we could manage. So while I won’t admit to being a paragon of virtue, I will assert that my wife and I have done a pretty good job on that score, as humans go.

One of my ideas, shared by most people, is that honesty involves telling the truth whenever possible. (Remember that old saw, “honesty is the best policy”?) Even when it must be tempered by PR to make it palatable, the truth is almost always your best bet. By nature, I’m an idealist, and I always hope that the truth is the best path to take.

So my daughter was recently shocked when I advised her, under the circumstances she described, to lie. She had described a set of circumstances which, like Star Trek’s Kobayashi Maru, comprised a no-win scenario. The only way to win was to cheat.

Remember when I said I was an idealist? Very true. But the older I’ve gotten and the more I’ve experienced, the more I’ve come to recognize when circumstances have been rigged to prevent “honesty” from being the winning move. This planet is full of circumstances like this, and more spring up every day. Our societies and civilizations here have become more and more illogical and more and more prone to being “gamed” by those who are less than ethical and moral. In fact, it has gotten so bad in places that the innocent truth can actually get you incarcerated.

Words of Wisdom

This kind of thing can cause confusion when it comes to considering overts and withholds, confessionals and the like. You wanted to tell the truth, but you couldn’t for fear of the circumstances. Did you commit an overt or not?

Note what The Way To Happiness has to say about telling the truth:

Seek to live with the truth

and

Do not tell harmful lies

Where’s the dictum about “Do not lie”? It’s not in there! It’s a fair bet that if it was good advice, it would be in there. But it’s not.

(Of course, if you think about it, this whole universe is based on a lie, which is that you didn’t create it. You may not have been one of the cretins who dreamed it up, but you’re here experiencing it, so you’re one of those standing around, going, “Nope, I didn’t make this”. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be here for you to experience.)

Let me submit for your consideration the equation of the optimum solution:

[T]he solution which brings the greatest benefit to the greatest number of
dynamics.

Ron, while ultimately an ethical and moral individual, advised us on repeated occasions to obey the law, but still had a rather casual attitude toward our police and wog justice systems. He had worked with cops and like most of us, could see that “justice” is something which can be purchased or rigged. (Those who think that he contradicted himself in Responsibilities of Leaders need to purchase a clue. You might want to clay demo the phrase “tongue in cheek” first and then reread the policy. Those who have no idea what I’m talking about it, don’t sweat it. You’re not missing anything important.)

Conclusion

So where does this leave us? Well, of course, we should “seek to live with the truth” and “don’t tell harmful lies”. We should recognize that the truth, including truth diluted with PR is generally the best course, still (and never lie in the name of PR). But we also need to recognize that sometimes the game is rigged to prevent you from winning, and a lie is the only way through. In that case in particular, but in all cases generally, consider the equation of the optimum solution. You may fail from time to time. In that case, consider this, also from Ron (paraphrased): You don’t have to be completely right all the time in life. To survive, it’s only necessary be right better than half the time, and never wrong on the really important stuff.

Next time you’re in the middle of writing up overts and withholds or getting a confessional, consider the above.

(One other point. There’s no win in trying to get your young children to understand the fine distinctions here. They’ll figure out that some games are rigged all by themselves. When they get old enough, then you can explain this stuff to them. Meantime, try to arrange their games so that honesty does give them a better score.)

Art, Part 2

For those of you who suffered through my last post, on Art, this is a follow-up in which I eat crow.

In that post, I made the point that the aesthetic which gets pumped into a work of art was something LRH never talked about, really. He talked about the mechanics and the methods of the art form, but not that aesthetic which gets inserted into a piece of art (usually) and can be perceived by the eventual audience. I made it sound as though this was a crucial omission by LRH, and I thought it was. It puzzled me that LRH would omit such a thing. But as I thought about it, it occurred to me that the one reason LRH would leave it out was if he considered it part of the message.

I thought about that for a long time, and finally realized that that was indeed why LRH had not made a big deal about it. That aesthetic may or may not be there, and may or may not represent beauty or ugliness. But it was indeed an optional component. Meaning that it couldn’t be part of his analysis of the essential elements of a piece of art. His research and conclusions were based on finding out what was common to all art and boiling down all the supposed “laws” of art into what ultimately was a simplicity of a few rules and components for art in general.

So I was wrong and I apologize to those who might have been lead astray by my musings. Occasionally I get it wrong and this was one of those times. LRH was exactly right to omit it from major mention in his writings. The aesthetic of a piece of art, as separate from the mechanical representation is indeed part of the message, not an essential part of the mechanics of art.

Paul

Art

I’m going to start this essay with some of the most basic data about art available from LRH.

ART is a word which summarizes THE QUALITY OF COMMUNICATION.

The order of importance in art is:
(1) The resultant communication
(2) The technical rendition.

HCOB 30 August 1965R Art

If you look at or listen to any work of art, there is only one thing the casual audience responds to en masse, and if this has it then you too will see it as a work of art. If it doesn’t have it, you won’t.

So what is it?

TECHNICAL EXPERTISE ITSELF ADEQUATE TO PRODUCE AN EMOTIONAL IMPACT.

And that is how good a work of art has to be to be good.

TECHNICAL EXPERTISE is composed of all the little and large bits of technique known to the skilled painter, musician, actor, any artist. He adds these things together in his basic presentation. He knows what he is doing. And how to do it. And then to this he adds his message.

And how masterly an expertise? Not very masterly. Merely adequate.

HCOB 29 July 1973 Art, More About

The return flow from the person viewing a work would be contribution. True art always elicits a contribution from those who view or hear or experience it. By contribution is meant “adding to it”.

HCOB 26 September 1977R Art And Communication

Successful works of art have a message.

HCOB 10 March 1984 Message

These are the most basic principles of art. Ron spent many years doing art and many years thinking about it in order to come up with some answers to the most fundamental questions about it. And in the above, he codified them. There is far more to know about it, and you’re welcome to track down the Art Series to read the rest of what Ron wrote on the subject. The above are the most basic data. They are not dogma; you’re free to believe whatever you like. I happen to agree with Ron on these matters.

Ron’s primary claim to fame as an artist was as a fiction writer. From time to time, he dabbled in poetry, photography, music and the like. But he was primarily a fiction writer.

Now I’m going to make an admission which will probably get me attacked by many. It is not a popular stand. And it may look like I’m attacking Ron personally. I am not. I am simply being honest.

Aside from his fiction, I am not a fan of Ron’s art. I haven’t cared for his poetry. Photography is hard to classify as “art”, and you can read more about that in the Art Series. But I’m not a fan of his photography. And I’m not a fan of his music. I’m not saying he was no good at these other things. I’m merely saying that I was not a fan of them. His fiction is excepted. I generally liked that, except for Mission Earth, which I disliked because I’m not a fan of satire.

I’ll get into why in a moment. But first, I want to discuss one more thing about art which Ron never talked about.

I, too, have spent years looking at, listening to and experiencing art. I’ve even created some art here and there, which has been well received. And one observation I’ll make about art is that into each piece of art is injected, by the artist, an aesthetic wave. It draws the audience in, as expected, and is experienced by them just as surely as the red hues in a painting and the notes in a samba. This part of the art is not created by putting pen to paper or brush to canvas. It is actually instilled into a work of art by the artist and becomes a permanent part of the work. The artist himself may be long dead when you view his work, but you will still sense this wave. It is a permanent feature (or not) in any work of art.

For example, I do calligraphy. I can do a rather poor piece of calligraphy, but if I imbue it with an aesthetic of sufficient magnitude, you will call my calligraphy brilliant and attractive. A static or thetan is always drawn, one way or another to an aesthetic, which is why it has been used often in the past when constructing theta traps. In fact, were I OT enough, I could probably simply put out an anchor point, postulate that it generate an aesthetic wave, and then watch the thetans gather round to admire it or at least satisfy their curiosity about it. One can marvel at Michelangelo’s Pieta or David, at the technique and expertise it took to carve these pieces, but if Michelangelo hadn’t infused these pieces with a deep aesthetic, I think these pieces would just be more or less artistic curiosities.

By contrast, you can find “art” which has none or very little of this in it. For whatever reasons, the original artist never imbued the work with anything. They simply created it using whatever technical expertise they had, and then went on about their business. Is it art? Yes it is. because there was enough technical expertise used to create the work. Will it be great art? No.

One might call this aesthetic wave “passion”. It has been called that before. Some of the greatest works of art ever produced by Man are those produced out of religious fervor, something this aesthetic has also been called. And so this aesthetic is mixed with other things, as is often the case. To that extent, they become part of the message of the piece. In fact, beauty may be the only message communicated by a piece. But then you have a work of art with a very shallow message. One note in what could otherwise be a symphony of lust, jealousy, joy, curiosity or suspense.

Now considering this aesthetic can be left out and you can still see an effect created in an audience for a work, is it an essential part of a work? No. Ron was exactly correct that demonstrated technical expertise is all that is necessary to produce art. But I would argue that the reaction to a work is indexed to some extent by how much aesthetic is instilled in it. The more of an aesthetic is added, the more is the reaction.

I should also note that in the higher wave bands, there is not only “high wave beauty” but also “high wave ugliness”. This depends on the shape of the waves, as they might be read on an oscilloscope. A brief discussion of this takes place in the book Scientology 8-80. So one could, theoretically, imbue a work with ugliness. I believe many of our famous artists have done exactly that. Most of them had contempt for the public and their fans, and certainly the critics, who would often cite such ugly works as the best works of their creators. Shows you how much critics know.

But you’re still waiting for the punchline, aren’t you– why I’m not a fan of much of LRH’s non-fiction art (exception: Ron’s non-fiction writings; I don’t consider them art, though they do prove his ability to write clearly). Simple. Because I believe it lacks this last component, or contains too little of it to be noticeable. I could be wrong. That is simply my perception of the mass of his non-fiction works. Perhaps he simply went after technical expertise alone, knowing well the axioms above. I do not know.

You’re free to disagree with me in your opinions of Ron’s art. This essay isn’t really about that. The reason I wrote it, though, was to try to explain why I’m not a fan of Ron’s art.

And I think I’ve done that.

Information Technology, Part 2

Having briefly covered the org board for INCOMM and some of the ramifications and guesses about it, let’s now turn to the IT part of organizations in general, and how it works. By the way, just as an aside, it’s important to note that virtually any organization aside from a Class IV/V Org would have an HCO set up the way INCOMM had it, where all the staff functions were handled in Div 1, instead of having these functions in Div 5, Qual. In an organization that builds automobile engines, you would not have significant parts of the Qualifications Division devoted to examining and correcting staff, for example. And with this sort of set-up in HCO, the main stat for HCO would no longer be something like Qualified Staff Hired (QSH). Instead, it would probably be more along the lines of Number of Staff Completions (of staff training courses, etc.), assuming there was staff a training function at all.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s look at where IT belongs in a regular, non-computer organization.

The other day, I saw a video by a guy on Youtube who characterized IT personnel as a**holes. Why? Because we, in essence, put people out of jobs. We make organizations more efficient, and in doing so, eliminate jobs. (Incidentally, he was an IT professional himself, not someone from outside looking in, but someone in the thick of the field.)

I would tend to disagree with our pessimistic Youtube friend, even though technically he’s right. But IT does have an image problem in organizations. I’ll use our pessimist’s example to illustrate. Someone puts in a trouble ticket for their computer to be fixed. You show up from the IT side to fix it, and the person says you can’t fix it now, because they’re busy working right now. But you can come back when the person goes to lunch. At this point, the IT person has two choices: either come back when the other person goes to lunch, or log the ticket as cancelled because the person has refused to allow you to work on the computer right now. A lot of IT people will take it upon themselves to come back later, when that person is at lunch or out of the office. But our pessimist insists that the better option is to hold the person’s feet to the fire and insist on fixing it right now or not at all. Why? Because having to come back when the person is not there makes an assumption about your time. It in effect says that their time is more valuable than yours, something which is probably not true. But more importantly, it contributes to this idea that the “computer guys” are some sort of glorified janitors for the computer systems. This is plainly not true. In fact, those “computer guys” can often, with a keystroke or two, bring down your entire organization.

Management has a similar problem with IT. Management really has no idea what you do when you’re in IT, nor how you go about doing it. They don’t understand anything about the computer systems which are typically doing more and more work for the organization. Our pessimist uses an example of sitting in a chair in the server room, staring into space when an executive walks by. The executive walks by, sees the IT person just sitting there, and immediately thinks to himself how nice it must be to have a job where you can sit there and just stare into space. He may even comment on such to the IT person. What he doesn’t understand is that the IT person isn’t just sitting there spaced out. He’s trying to figure out where the problem is and now to fix it. Management looks at the “computer guys” as a more or less necessary evil. They’re a pain in the butt, especially for being the “computer janitors”. When they’re not there, stuff doesn’t work. And when they are there, they’re always interrupting people to get their work done. There doesn’t seem to be any way around this dilemma.

Except that there is a way around the dilemma of IT. Executives, rank and file, and IT professionals must realize that IT is an executive level function. If you think about it, this is inevitably true. Would you entrust the keys to all your organizational data and the smooth functioning of your organization to the janitor? Probably not.

Here’s another corroborating datum: Let’s assume for a moment that you didn’t have a lot IT people hanging around. Let’s assume instead that, for your IT functions, you had to hire an outside firm to deal with your computer stuff. And let’s assume you had to pay this firm on the same order of magnitude as your lawyer. In that case, you wouldn’t delay your IT company’s access to your computers any longer that was really necessary. When the computer guy comes by to deal with your particular trouble ticket, you’d get out of their way right now. In this case, time is money (as the clock ticks away the dollars you’re spending on these computer guys). By the way, the above isn’t a far-fetched notion. I know of organizations which work exactly this way. They are not big enough to hire the one or two computer people who have to care for their computer systems (or at least they think they don’t think they are). So they hire outside consultants who only come in when they are called. And you likely have to get permission to call them, because they’re expensive.

So the IT functions are executive level, with all that entails. They aren’t the “janitors” for the computers (unless your janitors are paid a lot more than the ones I know). Now, where on the org board do they belong? Department 19, with the ED or COO/President? Not quite. IT reaches all the way to the Board of Directors level. Not Department 20 with all the outward facing defense-type functions. No, IT belongs in Department 21, right up there with the Founder, the Board of Directors and other lofty types. This puts it properly in the Executive Division (7), and protects it from the day-to-day interference of other divisions. Note that in the modern world, most large companies have a Board level executive of “Chief Technology Officer” (CTO) or “Chief Information Officer” (CIO). This person is the one who is ultimately responsible to the Board for the smooth and productive operations of the computers.

That’s about it for this one. I primarily wanted to make the case for where IT belongs in an organization whose specialty isn’t computers or data processing.

Information Technology, Part 1

This is the beginning of a series I wanted to do on org boards, IT (Information Technology) and INCOMM. If you’re not interested in any of these topics just skip posts with this title. These posts will be pretty much “inside baseball”, meaning that they have limited appeal, and then only for those who are especially knowledgeable in certain areas.

Some definitions first.

Information Technology (IT)
Anything related to processing of data in a computer context. Could pertain to hardware, software, networks or whatever. But it involves the input, shifting, moving, computation, or output of data on a computerized basis.
INCOMM
That arm of Church of Scientology management which had/has exclusive control over computers and the data in them at the management (and possibly local Org) level.
Operating System (OS)
That part of the software (programs) of a computer which deals directly with the hardware (disk drives, memory, printers, displays, etc.). For example, a key press at a keyboard would be transmitted to the OS, which would then send commands to the terminal display to print that character and move the cursor one space to the right. Anything which affects the hardware of a computer ultimately does so via a path which goes through the OS. Other programs function by sending commands to the OS.
Time Slicing
The process of having a computer do multiple jobs at once by “slicing” up the time of the computer to handle a part of each job during an interval. So the computer might take a “slice” of computer time to send a line to the printer, then print a message to a terminal screen, then compute some real estate formulas, then back for another line to the printer. Each task would take up a “slice” of the computer’s overall “compute time”. Early computers did one full job at a time and then went on to the next full job. Then time slicing was invented to make more equitable use of expensive computer time. Modern OSes also engage in time slicing today, but no one calls it that these days.

I’m going to start this series with quotes from some letters I had back and forth with people at INCOMM back in the early 80s. Those of you old enough to remember back that far may be aware that INCOMM was inaugurated back in the late 1970s or early 1980s to produce a raft of programs which were predicted to be useful to management. This was very early in the PC (personal computer) revolution. At this time, there was no winner in the PC manufacture race, and in fact personal computers were relatively rare. The Internet was something shared only by universities and the federal government. Ron had the idea that computers were now at a level where they could actually be configured to do effective work in the name of the organization. But a typically corporate computer setup was one where a minicomputer (smaller than a mainframe, but bigger than what would eventually be a PC) would be hooked up to “dumb terminals”. The terminals had virtually no computing power, that being vested in the minicomputer. At that time the OSes “time-sliced” to get tasks done. Undoubtedly, the first computers at INCOMM were minis, and it’s likely they would have used time slicing.

The quotes from staff at INCOMM were in response to questions I had sent them. I will not name names, but I may indicate positions they occupied on the org board. These quotes give insights into the internal structure and activities of INCOMM. I have no other specialized knowledge of INCOMM, other than some INCOMM promo put out at the time, and these letters.

In INCOMM, Qual as you know it IS in HCO. This is based on an advice. The Qual functions for staff in our Org become Dept 1A, the Department of Hatting and Enhancement. This department also has the Hats Section that is usually in Dept 1. I run this department. So HCO has 4 departments instead of three.

Div 5 in INCOMM is the “Quality Control Division”. This division examines the computer programs that are written to ensure that they work and are effective, and it examines the hardware systems to ensure that they are maintained standardly. All our products are piloted before implementation. When a pilot of a computer system is complete, it’s Qual that checks out the product for standardness, before it is implemented. Qual is responsible for the quality of the computer software and hardware systems.

In my department [Div 1A], I oversee the following functions:

  • Cramming
  • Word Clearing
  • Auditing
  • C/Sing
  • Training
  • Hatting
  • Hatting
  • Interneships
  • Medical Liaison
  • Library

The person writing that was a Class 9 auditor, for what it’s worth.

The next writer was the “Operations Secretary”, whatever that meant.

1) We do very EXTENSIVE programming.

3) We use a 16 bit microcomputer with Qume (ITT) terminals. (Actually many microcomputers.)
4) We use the computer manufacturers’ OS.
5) We have an eight Div org bd. With 3 tech divs [and] 1 qual div– the tech and qual related to computer technology. …
6) Yes, we service our own equipment.

I should stop here and note what some of the products of INCOMM were supposed to be. As mentioned above, there was a raft of programs which were supposed to be produced by INCOMM to assist management. There was a more-or-less full list of them put out in a piece of promo at the time, but the whole list isn’t really important. I will note here some of them I remember.

  • Mercury: This was an email program before email was really a “thing” on the Internet. Once implemented, staff at management level orgs were able to send “mercs” (email messages) to each other.
  • Target Nudge and Tally (TNT): To the best of my knowledge, this was a program which kept track of targets on programs and nagged staff when they weren’t done, among other things.
  • Red Arrow, Blue Arrow: I don’t recall, but I believe this program had something to do with stats.
  • Source Information Retrieval (SIR): This was the program to make any staff drool. All LRH issues in one place on the computer, and searchable.

Etc. Ultimately, INCOMM had programs which graphed stats and could give you a stat graph of any stat in any Org for any time period. I’ve see print-outs of stats which were four or five feet long and extending the whole length of an Org’s existence.

Now, I include these quotes out of letters from INCOMM personnel not because I have any brief for or against INCOMM. I include them because they say some significant things about how their org board was structured. And that’s a significant part of what I want to examine in this series.

The first thing I’ll say about INCOMM’s org board is that they probably didn’t train raw recruits in computer topics. I’m willing to bet that anyone who worked there and anyone they hired for technical positions already had some expertise in their chosen area of IT. This seems pretty obvious from the fact that the normal three departments of Qual were crammed into one department in Div 1 (HCO). I’m also willing to bet that recruiting was not a top priority for this Org, the way is was for Class IV (or V) Orgs.

Next, three Tech divs. One of the writers above said that after a program was piloted, it was sent to Quality Control (Div 5) to check for “standardness” whatever that means in this context. This means that piloting was done in Tech. If I had to guess, I would say that the three Tech divisions were divided up as: Div 4A, hardware; Div 4B, software (programming and such); Div 4C, pilots.

In a Class IV/V Org, you were building everything from scratch. Not only did you have to audit the PCs, but you had to train the auditors who audited them. Thus, you have a single Tech div with Dept 10 being Technical Services (support), Dept 11 being Training, and Dept 12 being the HGC, where auditing took place. But here in INCOMM, that wasn’t the case. You were purchasing the computers from a manufacturer, servicing them yourself (one whole division for all that). You were writing the software (definitely a whole division for that). And then you were piloting (this is actually a massive activity if done as it should be), making a whole division for that. After all that, on to Quality Control (Div 5).

What Quality Control was doing with this, I can’t say. They were checking for “standardness”, but there’s no way to know what that was. Implementation might well have been the province of Div 6. Makes sense– Div 6 in a Class IV/V Org being known as the “Distribution Division”. It’s certain this would not have been Quality Control’s job. The awareness characteristics for an Org’s Div 5 were “validity”, “enhancement” and “correction”. Validity in INCOMM may have been how closely a program was to its original design specs. Enhancement might have had something to do with new features. Correction might have had to do with bug fixes. Software production is more or less divided into four areas: Design and Specification, original software programming, fixing bugs and adding features. And in the case of software, one might also include a point about rebuilding for different hardware and other, newer languages. For languages, a program originally written, for example, in COBOL, might later be rewritten in C (a likely successor to COBOL for non-scientific applications).

In any case, that’s it for now. Just some quotes and some speculation involving what we don’t know about INCOMM’s internal structure. If you know more than I do about any of this, please comment and let me know.

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