Skip to main content

Bureaucracy will kill terrorism

It is certainly no good idea to employ google translate to read the only german post on this blog - the one dealing with the platonic love between science and bureaucracy: 'the best of all worlds'. You might otherwise have got the impression of a verbal terrorist attack reading the stuff coming out of the google-garble fed with the first lines. Look: 'bureaucrats seem to be driving for unlimited harassment in jealousy and resentment'.
(This in mind, the admission of google to scan all emails to generate a user-profile that allows for more meaningful ad-targeting is - well - scary.)
But it also does no justice to the bureaucrats - scientific or otherwise. They can be quite helpful when harassing the right people.
Terrorist organizations' humble aspirations to change the world and the unfallible hyperinflated egos of their selfdeclared masterminds are not as much threatened by military responses but rather by bureaucracy, as Jacob N. Shapiro explains in his book The terrorist's dilemma'. If you are a terrorist psychopath about to send a 7 year old kid taped with explosives on a mission to blow herself up in a schoolbus, you might get a bit edgy when you have to file a travel-form, collect receipts and justify the choice of duct tape over some cheaper brand. Remember, the extent of their stupidity is still topped by their amazing capacity for combined self-pitty and vanity.
And now back to the lab.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Academics should be blogging? No.

"blogging is quite simply, one of the most important things that an academic should be doing right now" The London School of Economics and Political Science states in one of their, yes, Blogs . It is wrong. The arguments just seem so right: "faster communication of scientific results", "rapid interaction with colleagues" "responsibility to give back results to the public". All nice, all cuddly and warm, all good. But wrong. It might be true for scientoid babble. But this is not how science works.  Scientists usually follow scientific methods to obtain results. They devise, for example, experiments to measure a quantity while keeping the boundary-conditions in a defined range. They do discuss their aims, problems, techniques, preliminary results with colleagues - they talk about deviations and errors, successes and failures. But they don't do that wikipedia-style by asking anybody for an opinion . Scientific discussion needs a set

Information obesity? Don't swallow it!

Great - now they call it 'information obesity'! If you can name it, you know it. My favourite source of intellectual shallowness, bighthink.com, again wraps a whiff of nothing into a lengthy video-message. As if seeing a person read a text that barely covers up it's own emptyness makes it more valuable. More expensive to produce, sure. But valuable? It is ok, that Clay Johnson does everything to sell his book. But (why) is it necessary to waste so many words, spoken or written, to debate a perceived information overflow? Is it fighting fire with fire? It is cute to pack the problem of distractions into the metaphore of 'obesity', 'diet' and so on. But the solution is the same. At the core of every diet you have 'burn more than you eat'. If you cross a street, you don't read every licence-plate, you don't talk to everybody you encounter, you don't count the number of windows of the houses across, you don't interpret the sounds an

How Does Knowledge Get Into Society? A fly-by-artist-in-residence and a Dialogue

The artist Sadie Weis was shadowing some of the scientists at Paul-Drude-Institut (a research-institute for nanomaterials) for eight weeks, observing the way they work, how scientists communicate with eachother, how they explain stuff to an outsider. The result of this dialogue is a light-installation and - maybe more important for the scientists involved - a reflection of the scientists  and of the artist on the languages they use.  T his project of an artist in a fly-by-residency will be wrapped up on Saturday, November 10th with a p resentation by the artist Sadie Weis and a panel discussion on differences and similarities in the way artists and scientists communicate with the outside world                  November 10, 2018 from 14-18                 Paul-Drude-Institut f√ľr Festk√∂rperelektronik                  Hausvogteiplatz 5–7, Berlin-Mitte                Germany For  the Dialogue,  please register at   exhibition@pdi-berlin.de .   Der Dialog wird auf Deutsc