The Rhetoric of Economics

Given the number of figures and stats quoted by economists and economic commentators, it is refreshing to find one (Gavin Davies of the Beeb speaking on More or Less yesterday) who recognises that what matters is telling a good (convincing) story – irrespective of the figures. No economist worth his salt believes the numbers etc. … Continue reading “The Rhetoric of Economics”

Skilled Incompetence

Skilled Incompetence. Thanks to Danny for this 1995 essay on “Structured Procrastination” by John Perry. Magic. This is my main theme about information models Danny. Spot on the Argyris thread about how normal (western) culture in organisations institutionalises bad practices justified by rationalisations. I have a colleague that regularly characterises “displacement activities” when it is … Continue reading “Skilled Incompetence”

We are accustomed to lying !

Managing to find some time to read Eco’s Kant and the Platypus at last. He is a big fan of Nietzshe’s Truth and Lies and quotes ” … truth is a mobile army of metaphors, metonymies and anthropomorphisms … that subsequently gel into knowledge.” That’s just about where I’m coming from. Eco goes on to … Continue reading “We are accustomed to lying !”

Stepford Citizen Syndrome

Stepford Citizen Syndrome. (From BuzzFlash via Adam Curry). Many a true word, but really an example of how “cultural rationalisation” manifests itself like some kind of evil conspiracy, yet each individual would probably claim – “but I’m different.” Argyris again. [Post Note – spookily my recorded impression of Perth, WA is Stepford Wives meets Bournemouth … Continue reading “Stepford Citizen Syndrome”

Hippie-dom / Sixties / Revolution / Drug culture

Some strange thoughts on tie-up between anti-establishment / conspiracy theory views, the “freedom” of sixties popular culture, together with the “conspiracy of silence” Galbraith / DeLorean / Argyris / Emperors’s suit of clothes view of “rationalisation”, and Jorn’s choice of seeing and denial in the following quote from his “Thoughts on the sixties” ….. “Between … Continue reading “Hippie-dom / Sixties / Revolution / Drug culture”

Capitalism Without Conscience

Common Dreams via Robot Wisdom. Another one spot on the mark. Interesting that the hand-wringing fall-out from 9/11/FBI, Enron / Andersens / WorldCom should spark this re-emergence of the blindingly obvious facts. If you insist on rational models (like accounting) you should not be surprised that the rationalisation of the irrational creates misinformation and misguided … Continue reading “Capitalism Without Conscience”

What your doctor doesn’t know could kill you

Boston Globe article on PKC (via Jorn)And Jorn’s page of Lawrence Weed’s Problem-Knowledge Couplers biographical links.Another interesting link from Jorn. A variation of the medical expert diagnostic system which, rather than following pre-structured diagnostic sequences of questions, suspends analysis until after asking many questions then seeks to find patterns and relationships. Interesting evidence of effectiveness, … Continue reading “What your doctor doesn’t know could kill you”

Minkow’s Fraudodynamics

I Was a Teenage Fraudster in the Guardian today.Barry Minkow eventually imprisoned for a major wall street fraud, is “poacher turned gamekeper”, interviewed on BBC Today this morning. Describes small mis-representations leading to larger frauds, and an environment of collusion within business, even including ostensibly “independant” auditors. Makes explicit reference to the big accountancy firms … Continue reading “Minkow’s Fraudodynamics”