A song to Gert Jan’s lecture on numbers in HR

As said in a previous blog on this page, Gert Jan Hofstede will speak on numbers in HR in Helsinki on 27 October at a Finnish HR conference. This is not a new concern. In 1974, Guy Béart, the French master of light-footed clever songs, wrote ‘La Vénus mathématique’. The first verse goes like this:

Dans un journal à fascicules
J’ai lu en lettres majuscules
Qu’on ne peut vivre sans calcul
En ce siècle où les automates
Sont les grands rivaux des primates
Qu’on ne peut plus vivre sans maths.

If you want to know more, you could listen to the youtube version. Pay attention to the last verse: the hero turns out to be a zero. Béart passed away last year; this song has a prophetic ring to it. Long may his humour and songs live.

Gert Jan

P.S. You can expect me to be quite critical of the ‘Mathematical Venus’.