Friday 14 June 2024

"There is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system."

"It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely the lukewarm defenders in those who could gain in the new one."
~ Niccolo Machiavelli, from his guide to rulers The Prince. Hat tip Briar Lipson from her post on 'Charter school's second chapter'


MarkT said...

Very true. Sometimes also you’ll get resistance to new systems because people will remember a time when the new system didn’t make sense and their conclusion was right at the time, but the facts have changed and their opinion hasn’t. A good example of that is well meaning friends who post memes criticising electric cars on the basis of old technology and assuming anyone who buys one is doing so because of woke environmentalist ideology, whereas I own one for purely practical and economic reasons that have nothing to do with woke ideology.

MarkT said...

PS - One of the reasons our electric vehicle makes economic sense is that we’re on a power plan that offers free electricity from 9-12pm and we generally limit our charging to that. The power company presumably offers this deal because they have surplus power at this time of the night - even though a power engineer commenting on another thread claims this surplus power doesn’t exist.

Peter Cresswell said...

In the same vein, as Stephen Speicher used to say, "You can always tell the pioneers by the arrows in their back."

@MartkT: Or in your case of advice to well-meaning friends, "Don't judge other's actions by standards of your own."

(Nice drive-by, by the way.) ;-)

Chris Morris said...

You stupidity knows no bounds.
If you knew anything about the system, you would know that the NZ grid load is quite peaky. On a typical day this time of year, it goes from about 3GW on a relatively warm night to about 7GW at dawn and dusk on cold days. Load following is expensive, both in maintenance and fuel costs. You can see the problem graphically if you look at the generation out of Huntly or Stratford.
What the power companies are trying to encourage is load shifting where the energy consumed during the 24 hour period stays the same (How many times do you have to be told there is NO surplus renewable energy for it to penetrate your underutilised thinking process?), but you reduce the peaks to fill in the troughs so the power curve is a little smoother. There are financial benefits in doing this, particularly as the big thermal units can run above minimum load.
I instinctively programme appliances like the dishwasher or washing machine to start in middle of night to do my bit. I don't get any financial incentive for this, just I know how the system works and am doing my ever so tiny bit - almost virtue signalling.

Chris Morris said...

So I don't threadjack, there can be a lot of entrenched and often irrational opposition to creation of a new system. The introduction of it can be stonewalled by those who have often undeclared vested interests.
However, many new systems have significant and essentially unsolvable flaws. How many times have things tried to be introduced that have failed elsewhere, but this time it is different? Invariably, it isn't and the new fails for the same reason as it failed in other situations. The old system is often in place because though not perfect, it works.
Finding the balance between the old and new is where the management or political skill is needed. And sadly, few have that ability.