Monday, April 5, 2010

Pen Meets Paper April 5'10

Opinion by Helge Nome
Most people have probably heard about the “law of unintended consequences”.
I believe this law has proved its worth over the last half century or so, during which time our world has become increasingly bureaucratized.
The insistence on having our children seek “higher” education at all costs has resulted in a new class of people emerging whose main claim to fame is the ability to create and interpret a vast range of symbols.
How does someone like that meaningfully contribute to the maintenance of themselves and society in general? This is simpler than one might think: These people have collectively, out of sheer necessity, created an exceedingly complex society that needs their skills in order to function. They have created increasingly complex rules and regulations, each one of which has to be implemented and enforced by multiple layers of bureaucracy.
Imagine the present complexity of what used to be the horseless carriage: Computers are needed to wind the windows up and down and control just about every functional component in the vehicle, from the engine to the wheels to the position of the seats. And every computer has to be designed, programmed, tested, etc., etc.
So all these eggheads have created a need for themselves by making the world more complicated. They have taken over corporations, public and private, and relegated their boards to rubber stamps receiving honoraria for showing up to meetings from time to time. The most aggressive eggheads in the large corporations have given themselves obscene rewards, turning into predators on the public at large.
Did we intend for this to happen when we encouraged all children to get a “higher” education?
Another unintended consequence of our shortsightedness has been the creation of a crop of professional cheaters: Traditionally, only a relatively small percentage of the population at large has gone on to academic pursuits because most people are patently not inclined that way, or mentally endowed in that direction. Yet, we have forced them to follow this path in order to “succeed”. The inevitable result has been that cheating to succeed has become the norm, rather than the exception.
So, pouring out of our universities and centers of “higher learning” are a bunch of accomplished fraudsters that go on to careers in industry, commerce and most of all, finance. The result is entirely predictable.

No comments: