Tuesday, June 21, 2011

True Story

Here is a true story which involves and reveals the character of bureaucracy. In the midst of a disagreement over a possible benefit, one that had been awarded to others at this particular place of business but not to others, one of the "others" who had been denied this benefit argued that fairness and generosity argued in favor of him getting said benefit. But, the Bureaucrat in charge argued, that would set a bad precedent because it would allow others to claim the same or similar benefits on grounds of fairness and/or generosity and that this could not be allowed to happen. To which, said "other" responded, "Well, I guess it would be bad and/or inappropriate to set a precedent of acting on the basis of fairness or generosity!"

Isn't it amazing how bureaucrats are trained and rewarded for thinking? To think that making decisions on the basis of fairness and/or generosity would set a bad precedent can only be understood if one understands that BOBs, Basic Old Bureaucrats, do not and are not allowed to act as if they were human beings. They are taught and rewarded for thinking like computers, as of course are the rest of us as well. How should one think to increase one's chances of passing MCAS if not like a computer? And then, after training and rewarding people to think like computers, we wonder why they behave like robots. And, beyond this, when people do what seem to be utterly irrational things, we don't even sense that these acts are actually acts of rebellion, little acts of rebellion but acts of rebellion nonetheless.

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