Midnight

The definition of insanity

It’s been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting to get different results. From what I can see that would mean that most of those in power at the moment are so completely barking mad they passed mere “insanity” a long time ago.

I should probably mention that politically my views are mostly… erm… Odd. I don’t care about a lot of the things that seem to get a lot of people hot under the collar and in extreme cases blowing smoke out their ears.

What I do care about is intelligent behavior, of which I can see precious little at the administrative and political level right now. I keep having to remind myself that any organization is at its core nothing more than a group of people. And that any group of people is usually a panic short of a mob – by which I mean if you startle the people in a group, unless it’s a very well trained group, you end up with a panicking mob.

And the intelligence of a mob is somewhere less than the intelligence of its dumbest member.

This perspective makes it easier to understand the utter madness of round two of “let’s nuke millions of careers to try to give tens of thousands of mostly elderly, mostly very sick people an extra year or two”, otherwise known as the antiviral lockdown. It’s yet another situation where a whole lot of allegedly intelligent, qualified people are busy destroying hundreds of lives for every single life saved.

Of course, the hundreds destroyed don’t make for easy counting or even photogenic propaganda. They’re all ordinary working people, small business owners and the like, a lot of them getting by with maybe a little extra to put away for bad times, and their desperation as their lack of employment drags on or their business can’t keep running at a loss any longer… Well, that doesn’t fit nicely into statistics, does it?

It’s easier to count corpses that test positive for a virus than it is to count lives and futures ruined. It’s easier to make florid security theater gestures that – at best – make no difference than it is to look at graduates who’ve been unable to find work and watch them come to the bitter realization that by the time they’ll be able to look for work, they’ll be competing against at least a year’s worth of younger, fresher graduates.

But fear not, dear comrades. This is what those in power always do. They flail around doing things for the sake of looking like they’re doing something, and always, always screw the pooch.

Which is why I personally consider anyone in power right now to be the walking definition of insanity. And incompetence.

And I really do not like incompetents who insist on inflicting their lack of capability on the rest of us.

14 comments

    1. This is why I’m of the opinion that anyone who wants power ought to be disqualified from having it.

  1. Yeah, that whole “somebody DO something”…”OK, here I am…doing something…what? You didn’t specify the something…” gets us into a hella lot of messes. I had a grad prof way back when whose mantra for any legislation coming out of any governing body was to ask “cui bono?” Who benefits? That’s a good way to figure out why people support what is often clearly bad policy.

    1. We’d be a lot better off if the “something” was “sit on our hands and wait for the crisis to pass”, honestly. That grad prof of yours had it right: Who benefits and follow the money should be automatic – and when the legislation is so appallingly written it’s impossible to follow, the answer is inevitably “the people who wrote the thing”.

      Of course, I’d love to see a ruling to the effect that if any law either contradicts an earlier one without explicitly repealing it, or sets up a no-win situation said law is unconstitutional and immediately struck out. Based on what little I’ve seen, that would probably eliminate something like 90% of the bumf that passes for the US legal code.

      I’d also like to float completely eliminating corporate tax – because the giant corps have so many loopholes written for them they don’t pay any corporate tax anyway, and everyone else could use the massive simplification that would follow. Not to mention the screams of outrage coming from the likes of General Electric would be hilarious. (yet another reason everyone should run from the prospect of me ever being in charge of anything)

    2. Indeed.
      The Daughter Unit and I have membership in a local gym. Yes, we’d go and hit the elliptical and some of the other machines for an hour, three times weekly. But two weeks ago, (after having been closed for a month!) and then open for some weeks, they made it a rule that members had to wear a mask going to the machines from the front door. OK, then. Yes, there are/were a lot of senior citizens who worked out there. Not that any of them can be or were seen the last time we were in the place, which had social distancing protocols up the wazoo… and last week, I got a message – masks on, all the time. That’s when we pulled the plug. We haven’t cancelled membership, but it’s getting to be a close-run thing.
      Pity – I did a fair amount of reading on the kindle during those workouts.
      My question is – if we are social distancing, why do we need masks? If we are masking up, why do we need social distancing?
      A fair question, but no one among the corporate a-holes seem to come up with an answer.

      1. That’s the real trick. Masks are visible and thus send the moral message that one is a good person because one is wearing a mask. Social distancing is harder to see, thus it has become the less desirable practice.

        It all in the visuals. Because without them, how could we shame each other?

  2. On the nosey Kate. On the nosey. Thought I had seen it all. Can no longer say that with a straight face.

    Bemused is an understatement of epic proportions,

    1. Oh, this mess is exceedingly on the nose.

      In the software industry they talk about code smells as signs that indicate there could be big problems somewhere nearby. This is unquestionably the political/bureaucratic equivalent.

    1. If that was the case, they should bloody well have said so. Claiming otherwise just irritates me.

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