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Tom Demarco wrote Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency[1] back in 2002. It talks about how keeping slack in human systems makes them more resilient and humane. I first heard about it from Joel Spolsky, who started Trello and Stack Overflow[2].

Slack is a great read for those responsible for managing software teams and illustrates that there are no new ideas under the sun; there are just repackaged ones.



That's exactly where my mind went as well.

You want some amount of inefficiency in your system to accommodate sudden changes.

Oh boy, the rabbit hole. Check out this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slackware

Yep, a linux based on the idea of Slack, developed '93.

And just as there's the Spaghetti Monster, there's also even a religion around Slack: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_the_SubGenius

developed '79, short quote from wikipedia: "the group holds that the quality of "Slack" is of utmost importance—it is never clearly defined"

I've been using Slackware as my primary OS for a few years now (even my work computer runs it). In retrospect, Slackware fits the article's mentality remarkably well; instead of the approach taken by most Linux distros (where everything is neatly and tightly integrated with a dependency-resolving package manager and dependency-resolving init system and all that jazz), I instead work with a system that sure, maybe some of the pieces don't fit together perfectly, but they're readily adaptable to all sorts of different situations. It's a less fragile system specifically because it's built around accepting the components for what they are instead of trying to patch them to "perfection". And of course, the conservative component choices certainly help, too.

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