January 18, 2013

Posted January 18, 2013
     Today, in real time, is January 18, 2013. There are two parts to this blog entry.
The first one is new. The Times two days ago had an article by Eduardo Porter in the column Economic Scene. He reports on a new book which focuses on the success or failure of public and private organizations. The book is called “The Org: The Underlying Logic of the Office,” by Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan. Porter quotes the book, “If what gets measured is what gets managed, then what gets managed is what gets done.”
     The point of the quote is that very often the most important aspects of a job are not measurable. In that case, they are ignored while the focus on the organization is on the more trivial measurable aspects, and the overview is lost.
     This is an essential weakness in most analyses of music in our times, and is very interesting to me in that regard.
But also this is something of which we at Moscow 57 are very cognizant, and our ability to emphasize those things which are not easily measurable but are most important is one of the strengths of our organization.
      Here is the second part of today’s blog.
      On October 2, 2010, I emailed this.
Here is a quote from Johnson.  I assume it’s Samuel Johnson, but maybe it’s Shmuel Johnson.  Either way, here it is.
“All the performances of human art, at which we look with praise or wonder, are instances of the resistless force of perseverance: it is by this that the quarry becomes a pyramid, and that distant countries are united with canals.  If a man was to compare the effect of a single stroke of the pick-ax, or of one impression of the spade with the general design and last result, he would be overwhelmed by the sense of their disproportion; yet those petty operations, incessantly continued, in time surmount the greatest difficulties, and mountains are leveled, and oceans bounded, by the slender force of human beings.”
Ellen commented on my calling Samuel Johnson Schmuel.  I replied with the first reference to the word Nudzh:
If it’s Samuel, it’s a bon mot.    If it’s Schmuel, it’s a nudzh.

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