Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Chocolate Hunt

I was recently introduced to two more phrases at work I hadn't heard before.

Chocolate Hunt: as in, if we allow them the opportunity to voice an opinion about how they'd like that feature changed, they're going to consider it an invitation to go on a chocolate hunt and change everything.  When I figured out what the individual was talking about, it reminded me of the paranoia about a constitutional convention when I was a kid and there was concern if states allowed a constitutional convention to pass the equal rights amendment, we would end up with a thousand additional amendments related to nonsense.  A constitutional chocolate hunt.  I appreciated the coworker who wanted to avoid a chocolate hunt as it would have fallen disproportionately on development in my opinion.

Chinese Walls: I heard this one today uttered by someone from overseas.  "In business, a Chinese wall is an information barrier implemented within a firm to separate and isolate persons who make investment decisions from persons who are privy to undisclosed material information which may influence those decisions. This is a way of avoiding conflict of interest problems. In general, all firms are required to develop, implement, and enforce reasonable policies and procedures to safeguard insider information and to ensure that no improper trading occurs. Although specific procedures are not mandated, adopted practices must be formalized in writing and be appropriate and sufficient. Procedures should address the following areas: education of employees, containment of inside information, restriction of transactions, and trading surveillance." [Wikipedia].  I was excited to read that it has software implications, particularly in conflict interest modeling, which is something I'm involved in.  It's also called an ethical wall or ethical screen in some places, which you can read about in Lawtalk, The Unknown Stories Behind Familiar Legal Expressions (I'll have to put that on my library list), partially do to Justice Low in  Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. v. Superior Court 200 Cal.App.3d 272, 293–294, 245 Cal.Rptr. 873, 887–888 (1988).

"The term has an ethnic focus which many would consider a subtle form of linguistic discrimination. Certainly, the continued use of the term would be insensitive to the ethnic identity of the many persons of Chinese descent. Modern courts should not perpetuate the biases which creep into language from outmoded, and more primitive, ways of thought."

I don't often get a history lesson with the colloquialisms uttered in meetings.  It's exciting to learn something new.

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