How do you digitize a ghost in Modernity?

On Tuesday, a playtest group taught me something new: It is entirely possible, with the right heroes, to take an existing ghost (you know, a post-death soul, a poltergeist, whathaveyou) and digitize her for posterity and for ease of investigation.

The goal? Add clarity and brevity to the fading memories of the ghost in question to streamline and shortcut the investigation into the unexplained deaths of urgent care clinic patients in Houston. The ghost was having trouble recalling and articulating the specifics of her demise.

You have a shot at pulling this off, if your team consists of the following:

  • A teenage medium with a bad attitude [Nell]
  • An inked-up, wired-in technomancer [Marvel]
  • A rational magi with a penchant for yarn-bombing [Melina]
  • A semi-corporeal geist who’s not sure why she’s still here (not the one being digitized!) [Bridget]
  • An avatar who embodies Nature’s vengeance for industrial misbehavior [Turquoise]

The procedure goes something like this:

  1. The medium opens a conduit to the somewhat reluctant ghost.
  2. The geist explains to the rational magi how best to act as an integration and translation point for the medium and the technomancer.
  3. The avatar holds the technomancer down while she endures the pain of transcoding into digital form the lifetime of the ghost’s experiences as they pour through her body.

Poof! New file on the hard rive and no more ghost.

Next step? Open the file and find out who killed the ghost, right?

Marvel (the technomancer) had the audacity to look shocked when she and everyone else connected with this was forced to relive the moments leading up to Cindy’s (the ghost) death. Marvel played the part of Cindy, and everyone else got to be either the shadowy-faced villains or people that caused their attempt to harvest Cindy’s soul to fail.

The ongoing campaign In Death We Trust continues next week. . .

Stay tuned!

Still seems a little process heavy to me, but…

If you’re going to systematize something, you could find worse principles to codify. Good stuff!

Holacracy would rather govern through forgiveness than permission.

Zappos just abolished bosses. Inside tech’s latest management craze. – Vox

I’ve always intended to work this way as Glacier Peak grows. As we begin hiring staff, I guess I’d better be thinking about organizational theory as much as compensation theory.


My life in comics.

In the ongoing saga of my life starring in Scott Adam’s imagination… (At the day job, not here at Glacier Peak! Smile with tongue out)

I’ve had this annual review once upon a time, about three years ago. Not fun.

The Official Dilbert Website featuring Scott Adams Dilbert strips, animations and more

I’ve since been MUCH more careful about choosing my managers.

Choosing the right job? Important.

Choosing the right manager? Crucial!

Not having this kind of annual review conversation? Priceless.

This exact experience is the reason why we have adopted a minimalist Employee Handbook™ and a No Annual Review™ process at Glacier Peak. We briefly considered following Nordstrom’s example, but in the end we decided that Nordstrom’s old 75-word employee handbook was too long.

Ours easily fits on the back of a business card: Always do the right thing. If you can defend your actions as an employee of Glacier Peak as “always doing the right thing”, for our customers, for Glacier Peak, for your team, for you, we’ll never have a problem.

And we’ll never have annual reviews.

Winking smile

The kanban board is going up!

One of the things that we came to a decision about during our retrospective after sprint zero is that we’re happier with a highly visible workload management tool. During our between sprint planning, we’ve elected to adopt some of the kanban practices that I picked up during my time at Microsoft.

Having physical cards to move across the board helps to maintain the momentum cycle and makes it very easy to visually keep score. Both of which are very important, as we’ve come to accept that we’re in a marathon, not a sprint. No pun intended.

In the spirit of “pix or it didn’t happen”, I’ll be posting occasional pix of the board as soon as we have it hung, striped and loaded with work.