Topic: Organizations

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Braess’s paradox

Mathematics Economics Politics Urban studies and planning Organizations Game theory

Braess' paradox is the observation that adding one or more roads to a road network can slow down overall traffic flow through it. The paradox was postulated in 1968 by German mathematician Dietrich Braess, who noticed that adding a road to a particular congested road traffic network would increase overall journey time.

The paradox may have analogies in electrical power grids and biological systems. It has been suggested that in theory, the improvement of a malfunctioning network could be accomplished by removing certain parts of it. The paradox has been used to explain instances of improved traffic flow when existing major roads are closed.

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In-Q-Tel: The CIA's for-profit venture capital firm

United States/U.S. Government United States Mass surveillance Technology Private Equity Organizations Virginia Cold War

In-Q-Tel (IQT), formerly Peleus and In-Q-It, is an American not-for-profit venture capital firm based in Arlington, Virginia. It invests in high-tech companies for the sole purpose of keeping the Central Intelligence Agency, and other intelligence agencies, equipped with the latest in information technology in support of United States intelligence capability. The name, "In-Q-Tel" is an intentional reference to Q, the fictional inventor who supplies technology to James Bond.

The firm is seen as a trend-setter in the information technology industry, with the average dollar invested by In-Q-Tel in 2012 attracting nine dollars of investment from other companies.

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Iron Ring

Organizations Engineering

The Iron Ring is a ring worn by many Canadian-trained engineers, as a symbol and reminder of the obligations and ethics associated with their profession. The ring is presented to engineering graduates in a private ceremony known as the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer. The concept of the ritual and its Iron Rings originated from H. E. T. Haultain in 1922, with assistance from Rudyard Kipling, who crafted the ritual at Haultain's request.

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Polynesian Voyaging Society

Polynesia Organizations Hawaii

The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) is a non-profit research and educational corporation based in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. PVS was established to research and perpetuate traditional Polynesian voyaging methods. Using replicas of traditional double-hulled canoes, PVS undertakes voyages throughout Polynesia navigating without modern instruments.

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University of the Third Age

Education Organizations

The University of the Third Age is an international movement whose aims are the education and stimulation of mainly retired members of the community—those in their third 'age' of life. It is commonly referred to as U3A.

There is no universally accepted model for the U3A. Its original conception in France as an extramural university activity was significantly modified in the United Kingdom where it was recognized that most people of retirement age have something to contribute and the emphasis has been on sharing, without formal links to traditional universities.

Many English-speaking countries have followed this geragogic model, whereas continental European countries have mostly followed the French model. For historical reasons, Lifelong learning institutes is the term used in the United States for organizations that are similar to U3A groups.

A British U3A website reports this about "The Third Age" membership eligibility: "U3A membership is not related to a specific age but to a period in one’s life (the third age) after the second age of full-time employment and parental responsibility. Anybody in their third age can join U3A and this includes people who are working part-time. There is no lower age for membership."

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Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion

Economics Systems Business Sociology Organizations Engineering Systems/Project management

Parkinson's law is the adage that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion". It is sometimes applied to the growth of bureaucracy in an organization.

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The Peter Principle

Books Business Psychology Organizations

The Peter principle is a concept in management developed by Laurence J. Peter, which observes that people in a hierarchy tend to rise to their "level of incompetence": employees are promoted based on their success in previous jobs until they reach a level at which they are no longer competent, as skills in one job do not necessarily translate to another. The concept was elucidated in the book The Peter Principle (William Morrow and Company, 1969) by Dr Peter and Raymond Hull.

Peter and Hull intended the book to be satire, but it became popular as it was seen to make a serious point about the shortcomings of how people are promoted within hierarchical organizations. Hull wrote the text, based on Peter's research. The Peter principle has been the subject of much subsequent commentary and research.

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Sea Org

California Organizations Scientology California/Inland Empire

The Sea Organization (also known as the Sea Org) is a Scientology organization, which the Church of Scientology describes as a "fraternal religious order, comprising the church's most dedicated members". All Scientology management organizations are controlled exclusively by members of the Sea Org. David Miscavige, the de facto leader of Scientology, is the highest-ranking Sea Org officer, holding the rank of captain.

The Sea Org has been described as a paramilitary organization and as a private naval force, having operated several vessels in its past and displaying a maritime tradition. Some ex-members and scholars have described the Sea Org as a totalitarian organization marked by intensive surveillance and a lack of freedom. The Sea Org has also been compared to a monastic organization.

In a 1992 memorandum by the Church of Scientology International, the following information was provided to the Internal Revenue Service with regards to nature of the Sea Org:

[the Sea Org] does not have an ecclesiastical organizing board or command channels chart or secular existence such as an incorporated or unincorporated association. ... Although there is no such "organization" as the Sea Organization, the term Sea Org has a colloquial usage which implies that there is. There are general recruitment posters and literature for "The Sea Org" which implies that people will be employed by the Sea Org when in reality they will join, making the billion year commitment, at some church that is staffed by Sea Org members and become employees of that church corporation. ... The Sea Org exists as a spiritual commitment that is factually beyond the full understanding of the Service or any other but a trained and audited Scientologist.

The Sea Org was established on August 12, 1967, by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Dianetics and Scientology, initially on board three ships, the Diana, the Athena, and the Apollo, with the latter serving as flagship.

In 1971, the Sea Org assumed responsibility for the church's ecclesiastical development, and in particular the delivery of the upper levels of its auditing and training, known as the Operating Thetan or "OT" levels. In 1981, under the aegis of the Commodore's Messenger Organization led by David Miscavige, the Sea Org dissolved the Guardian's Office (GO) and assumed full responsibility for the church's international management, later reassigning the GO's duties to the Office of Special Affairs in 1983 during the corporate restructuring of the Church.

It moved to land-based organizations in 1975, though maritime customs persist, with many members wearing naval-style uniforms and addressing both male and female officers as "sir." In 1985, the church purchased a 440-foot (130 m) motor vessel, the Freewinds, which docks in Curaçao in the southern Caribbean and is used as a religious retreat and training center, staffed entirely by Sea Org members. Sea Org members make a lifetime commitment to Scientology by signing a billion-year contract officially described as a symbolic pledge. In exchange, members are given free room and board, as well as a small weekly allowance. Sea Org members agree to strict codes of discipline, such as disavowing premarital sex, working long hours (on average at least 100 hours per week) and living in communal housing called "berthings." They are allowed to marry, but must relinquish their membership if they have or want to raise children.

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Uttar Pradesh Association of Dead People

India Organizations India/Uttar Pradesh

The Uttar Pradesh Association of Dead People (Hindi: उत्तर प्रदेश मृतक संघ, Uttar Pradesh Mritak Sangh) is an Indian pressure group based in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh that seeks to reclaim the legal rights of those falsely listed by the Uttar Pradesh State government as being dead.

In the overcrowded regions of Uttar Pradesh, many have resorted to bribing officials to have the owner of a plot of land declared deceased and the title transferred to their ownership. The process to undo this is long, arduous, as well as often inefficient and corrupt. The Association seeks to reverse the declarations, call attention to the problem and prevent others from being exploited in similar fashion.

The founder and president is Lal Bihari, who was "dead" from 1976 to 1994 and used the word Mritak (Hindi: मृतक, transl. Dead) in his name during the period.

After being inspired by the story of Bihari, Indian film director Satish Kaushik made a movie Kaagaz, starring Pankaj Tripathi, based on his life. It was released on ZEE5 on 7 January 2021.

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Operation Gladio

United States/U.S. Government United States International relations Germany Military history Military history/North American military history Military history/United States military history Europe Italy Sociology Organizations Military history/German military history Military history/French military history Military history/Cold War Cold War Military history/Dutch military history Rome European history Military history/Italian military history Military history/European military history Military history/British military history Military history/Post-Cold War NATO

Operation Gladio is the codename for clandestine "stay-behind" operations of armed resistance that were organized by the Western Union (WU), and subsequently by NATO and the CIA, in collaboration with several European intelligence agencies. The operation was designed for a potential Warsaw Pact invasion and conquest of Europe. Although Gladio specifically refers to the Italian branch of the NATO stay-behind organizations, "Operation Gladio" is used as an informal name for all of them. Stay-behind operations were prepared in many NATO member countries, and some neutral countries.

During the Cold War, some anti-communist armed groups engaged in the harassment of left-wing parties, torture, terrorist attacks, and massacres in countries such as Italy. The role of the CIA and other intelligence organisations in Gladio—the extent of its activities during the Cold War era and any responsibility for terrorist attacks perpetrated in Italy during the "Years of Lead" (late 1960s–early 1980s)—is the subject of debate.

In 1990, the European Parliament adopted a resolution alleging that military secret services in certain member states were involved in serious terrorism and crime, whether or not their superiors were aware. The resolution also urged investigations by the judiciaries of the countries in which those armies operated, so that their modus operandi and actual extension would be revealed. To date, only Italy, Switzerland and Belgium have had parliamentary inquiries into the matter.

The three inquiries reached differing conclusions as regarded different countries. Guido Salvini, a judge who worked in the Italian Massacres Commission, concluded that some right-wing terrorist organizations of the Years of Lead (La Fenice, National Vanguard and Ordine Nuovo) were the trench troops of a secret army, remotely controlled by exponents of the Italian state apparatus and linked to the CIA. Salvini said that the CIA encouraged them to commit atrocities. The Swiss inquiry found that British intelligence secretly cooperated with their army in an operation named P-26 and provided training in combat, communications, and sabotage. It also discovered that P-26 not only would organize resistance in case of a Soviet invasion, but would also become active should the left succeed in achieving a parliamentary majority. The Belgian inquiry could find no conclusive information on their army. No links between them and terrorist attacks were found, and the inquiry noted that the Belgian secret services refused to provide the identity of agents, which could have eliminated all doubts. A 2000 Italian parliamentary report from the left wing coalition Gruppo Democratici di Sinistra l'Ulivo reported that terrorist massacres and bombings had been organised or promoted or supported by men inside Italian state institutions who were linked to American intelligence. The report also said the United States was guilty of promoting the strategy of tension. Operation Gladio is also suspected to have been activated to counter existing left-wing parliamentary majorities in Europe.

The US State Department published a communiqué in January 2006 that stated claims the United States ordered, supported, or authorized terrorism by stay-behind units, and US-sponsored "false flag" operations are rehashed former Soviet disinformation based on documents that the Soviets forged.

The word gladio is the Italian form of gladius, a type of Roman shortsword.

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