A New World Order of Thomas

Just 9km today. I had to drop the car off at the garage for repairs. I need to run back there tomorrow, so if I do that and add my 16km loop later that night I should have 350km done for January (the original target was somewhere between 300 and 350). Then, Feburary the 1st, I swear I’m going to not-run so hard it’s going to make my chest burn.

I had a good idea today (relatively speaking).

I don’t know if you (dear reader) frequent any forums/online communities. If you do then you may be familiar with “reputation” systems. These can work in different ways, but most allow individual posts to be “pozzed” or “negged” depending on the content. Particular posts then end up with a numeric value, either positive (if lots of people like them) or negative (if lots of people hate them). Usually each user then has an aggregated “score” attached to them, which is the total of the negative and positive responses to what they’ve written. Most forums that implement this system (usually anonymously) usually end up with a lot of noise complaining about it. For example – perceived vendettas against particular members or the fact that people just poz or neg a post rather than constructing an argument to rebut/agree with it. Generally speaking though, it’s a decent system that works well.

What stuck me was how brilliant it would be if this concept could be integrated into real life. In fact, I’m going to reveal a system here today that could well revolutionise business. Lets call it The Thomas System (TTS). TTS requires only two things. A pile of green Post-It notes and a pile of red Post-It notes. In a TTSised office all personnel are issued with sufficient stocks of the green Post-Its and red Post-Its. What happens next is simple – whenever anyone says anything other workers are encouraged to tag that person with a green or red sticker depending on whether they think the contribution that person has made is worthwhile. Green for “I like your style“, red for “it is only the social framework in which we live that is stopping me from punching you in the face“.

Now, sit back and think about this for a while. This is a system that essentially allows any newcomer to an office-space to instantly determine who the useful people are and who are the arseholes. Even if we allow the stickers to be reset daily, any management staff should fairly quickly be able to determine who the most productive and liked members of staff are at a glance. Meetings become easy to facilitate – want your meeting to be productive? Set a minimum green sticky count for all attendees. There are so many benefits to the system I feel like sticking green Post-It notes all over myself to be honest.

In fact, why stop just at the office? The TTS system could be rolled out in society generally. Post-It notes might be impractical – so how about each person could have a large LCD display with their personal reputation number on it? Maybe grafted to their forehead. Using simple contactless technology and smartphones every person in Thomasland could instantly poz or neg another individual. Person barges past you in the supermarket? Neg. Person agrees that onions on pizza are bad? Poz. Imagine how easy it would be to spot whether a politician is worth listening to or not. Imagine how this could revolutionise dating. A society based on each person having a massive, visible, reputation number would be a utopian society filled with love and happiness…. wouldn’t it?

Probably not, but it’s worth a shot. So next week, at work, speak to your team leader and agree to have one day where you trial my new system, and report back here. If you’re already a team leader/manager, then implement it ASAP, preferably without consulting the staff as they’ll only raise silly objections.

If you’re willing to have a large LCD display grafted onto your head then e-mail me.

8 thoughts on “A New World Order of Thomas

  1. chooban says:

    My boss reads your blog, so I might well find myself with post-its on my back tomorrow. I’ll let you know which colour they are.

  2. runningthomas says:

    Can I just say, Ross’ boss, that Ross is probably the most efficient, hard working individual I have ever known and quite frankly it would be ludicrous to not offer him a 150% pay rise tomorrow and use of the company jet.

    If your company doesn’t have a jet, then I think Ross is sufficient reason to buy at least a couple.

  3. jensruns2011 says:

    Great post, made me chuckle! Fab mileage too, well done 🙂

  4. I too have considered that all cars should have paintball guns on all sides. Some one cuts you up? Paintball! Tailgaiter? Paintball! Won’t merge in turn? Paintball paintball paintball! You get the idea.

    Imagine a sales rep turning up in his paintball splattered 3 Series – instant stroller alert.

    The second part is that drivers of non-paintballed vehicles are allowed to make insulting gestures to drivers of paintballed vehicles with impunity, and hand carwashes are allowed to charge double for washing paintball marks.

    My car gets the guns first for field testing.

  5. henniemavis says:

    (green sticky)
    (green sticky)
    (green sticky)
    (green sticky)
    (wish i knew how to paste that photo of a green sticky in the comments box)

  6. sheila chisholm says:

    Can I just say that if you try and red sticky your mother because she likes chocolate straight from the fridge I shall immediately retaliate by posting some of your baby photographs. Not the cute ones….

  7. swimcyclerun says:

    Excellent concept. May not work in a windy environment. Would it work for people who were colour blind?

  8. fortnightflo says:

    I’m a bit of a nerd and subscibe to a couple of scifi periodicals. Coincidentally I read a short story just a couple of days ago, called Friendlessness, by Eric Del Carlo where everyone has a chip implanted and a socialweb score that is broadcast to everyone around them…

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