Deliberate failure to see the facts
(Another link brought to us by Robot Wisdom.) Those of you following the threads winding through this Blog, can’t fail to have noticed my “Emperors Suit of Clothes” thread. The in-built cultural tendencies to not see the obvious, even to justify not seeing it. This is part of, or at least closely related to my “Western Arrogance” thread, in terms of east vs west streams of philosophy and also parallels cock-up vs conspiracy theories. Formal management doctrines also recognise institutionalised “skilled incompetence” (ref Argyris et al.) in business decision making. These are facts that cannot be denied, but that’s the point, they are, always – Catch 22 again, again and again.
The linked article from Peggy Noonan is about the FBI failure over avoiding September 11th (surprise, surprise). It includes the line “FBI officials didn’t fail to connect the dots; they refused to see a pattern.” The refusal is not a malicious conspiracy, but a western conspiratorially-institutionalised cock-up. It gets better (worse if you like); it also contains the line “in an effort to avoid or minimize personal and/or institutional embarrassment” – the motivation straight out of Argyris, or my quoting of him in the earlier dissertation.
Wake up and smell the burning kerosene. Committees of moral men have been making immoral decisions since long before Ralph Nader pointed it out, and John Z Delorean heard him. Let’s not look for people to blame, let’s look at the information communication and decision making models with which we are comfortable in the west, and then move out of our comfort zone. Look east, or at least outside the rational positivist box.