Causes & cures for a reality-eating disease
A wonderful essay, though it had the unintended effect of reigniting my PTSD from years of exposure to well-intentioned bureaucrats. I'm going to curl up under the covers with a flashlight and a Terry Pratchett novel and try to forget.
A fantastic essay. Thank you for writing it. I suspect nationalisms, religious fervour etc are variants of bureaucratic psychosis. They are all underpinned by the notion of us and them and that it is more acceptable to be less fair to them.
"Some people have a supernatural ability to repel pointlessness. ... They un-distort reality wherever they go, making some people very upset." I still hold onto the first person I ever met with this superpower, and will often ask her to use her X-ray vision on things that I desperately want to be true, but am uncertain of.
this might be the least interesting part of the essay (which I enjoyed, by the way!), but selfishly, I'm curious why you think getting a MS at Oxford is a scam. I'm thinking of going to LSE to get my masters, and I've heard from other folks too that they're just cash cows. :)
Rings true. I keep thinking about all the privacy officers at all the hospitals in America, wagging their collective finger at all the theoretical HIPAA violators.
amen brother, amen.
The observation about fixing things with addition has an interesting correlate in computer programming. Given a programming task to do, where the actual time to completion is, say, 4 weeks, I have found that the maximum number of lines of code is reached at about the 3-week period. Therefore, if the code was 1,000 lines on the 21th of the month, the code delivered at the end of the month is less than 900. This is usually due to the fact than when you spend enough time with the problem, you think about how to rewirte it more elegantly. This is especially true if your debugging is going the way it should. As often as not, the fix for a software bug is not to add code to correct the fix, but to throw out and rewrite that function to do what it was supposed to have done. And typically that rewrite is more elegant since you know know the context and the subtleties.
While this is all reasonable advice, I prefer social distancing to the jab as a preventative measure. Or, to mix metaphors, I am an advocate of the abstinence-only approach. I just stay the f away from bureaucracies as much as humanly possible.
;-) so true. Keep up the reality orienting essay efforts!
I am one of those people immune to bureaucratic psychosis. It’s not a blessing. I’m not a popular person. On the other hand, I can look at myself in a mirror and it doesn’t crack. At my last job I was informed I would not be reappointed, and then watched how all the unpopular suggestions I had made get implemented after I left when management realized I was right.
I love this article, it is so sad bureaucratic psychosis is the norm for so much of the world we are required to interact with. I too spend as little time in it as possible- it frankly exhausts the hell out of me.
> ... organizations separate people with... “psychological distance.”... bureaucratic psychosis proliferate because people have a predilection to solve problems with addition...
TL;DR more papers != more efficient education for the majority != addressing "special needs" students
Regarding nonbureaucratic learning methods e.g. tacit knowledge and clear language https://etiennefd.substack.com/p/prompt-engineering-for-humans https://commoncog.com/tacit-knowledge-is-a-real-thing/
Regarding "gifted education", Erik Hoel has a whole series. https://erikhoel.substack.com/p/why-we-stopped-making-einsteins https://erikhoel.substack.com/p/follow-up-why-we-stopped-making-einsteins https://erikhoel.substack.com/p/how-geniuses-used-to-be-raised