The epic of Glagalbagal the shepherd - Part 4
This is the fourth part of Glagalbagal’s story. You can find the previous parts here:
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We left Glagalbagal with a dillemma. He had previously decided to reward his managers based on whom had the larger herd. On the way back from awarding the winning manager, he heard from the local gossip that the managers were colluding so that they did not need to work. They had decided to split the reward and not grow the herd.
Glagalbagal decided that he needed to not just compare the managers’ herds to each other, but also to their own previous herd size. How would he do that?
Try to figure out a way for Glagalbagal to measure the growth in herd size of a specific herd. If he could do that, he would be able to ensure that his managers were actually working.
Of course, he could not compare the number of animals one day with another day directly! However, he could compare pebble arrangements, which represented the number of animals.
So, he decided to keep a record of old piles of pebbles. He decided that the day after Hrijpa (the harvest festival), he would make a copy of that day’s pebble arrangment. He could then compare it to the pebble arrangment at the next Hrijpa to see what the change was.
Just as he had done when comparing the two managers’ herds, he would count out pebbles from both arrangements (the one from the previous Hrijpa and the one from this Hrijpa) and whatever was left over would represent the change.
He did this for the next year without letting the managers know. As Hyjop, the town gossip triceratops, had warned him, the change in both the herds was tiny. In fact, one of the herds had gotten slightly smaller. Glagalbagal replaced the two managers the day of Hrijpa.
Now he had a way to figure out how well his managers were growing his business. However, this was not completely satisfactory to him. He didn’t want to have to wait for an entire year to pass before learning about the progress of his business.
How would Glagalbagal track the progress of his business on shorter time scales so that he could intervene more regularly and ensure regular growth? Find out in the next part of this series.