Fluctuat et Mergitur (Issue 4/2016)

Your voice of reason at Paris-Saclay

New Committee Discovered!
Breaking news at Paris-Saclay University! As this magazine learnt just today, a new committee has been discovered! The existence of this committee has long been suspected, but its exact location could only be confirmed today. In technical terms, the new committee is called “Conseil de formation”. In popular culture, the committee is more known as “The God Committee”. A researcher at Télécom ParisTech, who was involved in the discovery, explains us why:
The organizational landscape of Paris-Saclay University is very complicated, and has not yet been fully understood by researchers. A particular conundrum has been that Paris-Saclay seems to work as if there were decisions taken, but we could never pin down where these decisions were actually made. The other committees that we have so far cartographed (the so-called “Conseil de la School” and the “Conseil de la mention”) do not have enough power to take decisions. Hence, we have long suspected the existence of a so-called “God Committee”, which actually has the power to decide. Today, we can finally confirm the existence of this committee.
The map below shows the approximate location of the God Committee in the landscape of Paris-Saclay. It appears at the top right, under its scientific name “Conseil de formation”.
The newly discovered committee top right, with the information barrier in red (click for original article and larger view)

Why did it take so long to discover?

It may be surprising that a committee that has so much power was only discovered today, 7 years after the creation of Paris-Saclay, by the scientists. The researcher explains:
Usually, committees emit certain signals, which we call “Comptes rendus” (summary notes). By analyzing these, we can determine the inner workings of the committees, and often even the members. The so-called God Committee does not emit such signals. On the contrary, we have determined that this committee does not send “Comptes rendus” on purpose. Even their members are, by their own admission, not in possession of such material. Hence, no other committee has ever received a “Compte rendu” from the God Committee.
This lack of signals is known as the “Information barrier”. It is depicted by a red line in the map above. The information barrier has made it extremely hard to determine the exact nature of the God Committee. To this date, even the names of its members are unknown. Even though the existence of the committee has been postulated long ago, it has been hard to find verifiable evidence of it. Indications for its existence came mainly from the other committees. These other committees showed irregularities in their orbits that led scientists to suspect the existence of another, even larger committee — the God Committee.

What are the next steps?

Other steps are waiting: The researchers now want to study the composition of the committee, and the decisions that it has made in the past. This could potentially hold the key to many other conundrums in the organizational landscape of Paris-Saclay. Some futurists have even suggested that the committee could be influenced. It would then emit “Compte Rendu” signals. But up to now, this idea belongs to the realm of science fiction.

After that, an even larger challenge looms: Some scientists suspect the existence of another committee, the so-called “Conseil des membres”. This committee, likewise, does not send signals of existence. Yet, it is suspected to be even more powerful than the “Conseil de formation”. Let us see what surprises the future has for us.

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