Nonsense At Work

#113: November 2016 MindShift

Nonsense just is,
but sense must be uncovered, grasped and held tight.The NonsenseAtWork Monthly MindShift

November 2016

Special Election Issue

Oh No! Ignore Malicious Blame-Vote

Oh no! Sensible them is now us

delay decidingAll these political promises and visions of futures without painful pathways make me nervous. I am by nature suspicious of loose talk without binding responsibility. It’s a hangover from my school days.

I remember sitting on a hard school bench when a little voice would whisper something and the teacher would growl, “Who said that?” For 12 long years I waited for some kid to say, “An informed source, Sir.” But it never happened.

As a grown-up I read every day what ‘informed sources’ have to say and I’m expected to believe in their existence.

Years ago a teacher could get away with stating a proof as ‘because I say so’. Thanks to the internet and other media magic, we have ways and means of debunking say-so proofs and informed sources. And yet, we don’t bother.

Back then kids had more sense. We should give them the vote. Oh, right, them is now us.

And because them is now us, I have a few tips for you to make voting easier, or maybe not.

Listen to the idea and ignore the person

seduced quickly2As you struggle through this era of endless political waffle, play this game to help you focus on what matters. For one week, listen to the message, not the messenger. Focus on what is said, not on who is saying it.

Too many good ideas are not heard simply because we focus on the person with the idea instead of on the idea itself. And if we don’t like the person or think the person a weirdo or whatever, we tend to transfer these feelings onto the idea as well. Because we have discounted the person, we discount the idea.

It’s known as arguing against the person. That’s right. Politicians and their hangers-on do a lot of this during election time. But why should you?

It is quite possible for a weirdo to have a pretty powerful idea now and then. So, please, for one week, listen to the idea and ignore the person is.

Don’t vote for malicious compliance

complianceYeah, sure, ignore the person if you can. Watching democracy in action, the candidates, the puppeteers, the voters, leaves me wondering who is in control and who is being controlled.

It’s a bit like exploitation at work. We have the very visible exploitation of workers as well as the less visible, but equally destructive, exploitation practiced by workers.

No, I’m not referring to stealing, whether in the form of unnecessary sick-leave, private calls, internet shopping, or taking home office supplies. I’m talking about workers doing exactly what the boss demands, a practice known as malicious compliance.

Strictly speaking, there is nothing wrong with swamping a boss, who wants to know everything, with details, documents and reports; nor with not reporting something important; nor with knowingly allowing something to go wrong.

Obviously, there is nothing right about it, either, as we see whenever people stick to the letter, and ignore the spirit, of the contract between workers and management, and between voters and their representatives.

Vote to blame someone when our plans go wrong

vote-to-blameWhy do we believe that many of our problems will get worse or better after the elections? Depending, of course, on whether the better or worse guy wins.

After all, we have enough experience with these four year cycles to know that the outcome of these two-party elections is like being enlightened.

I think I’ll let Sheldon Kopp explain: “Before he is enlightened, a man gets up each morning to spend the day tending his fields, returns home to eat his supper, goes to bed, makes love to his woman, and falls asleep. But once he has attained enlightenment, then a man gets up each morning to spend the day tending his fields, returns home to eat his supper, goes to bed, makes love to his woman, and falls asleep.”

So why the fuss every four years when we know that little will change in our back yard? I’ll tell you why. Because we need someone to blame when our plans don’t work out.

To vote the right problem, face away from noisy nonsense

lenin crowd‘Tis the season to hear people of certain ambition tell me how they will solve problems that I didn’t know I had. And then follows the season when businesses of certain brashness try to convince me that stuff I didn’t know I needed will add quality to my life in areas that I did not know were lacking.

So I don’t blame myself for beginning to worry about possible problems and superfluous solutions in terms of known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns.

Luckily, before I wasted too much time worrying, I remembered Gharajedaghi, he who once said that, “We fail more often not because we fail to solve the problem we face, but because we face the wrong problem.”

So I will now face the right problem, the one where people I’ve never met tell me what’s missing from my life. And I will solve it by facing away from their noisy nonsensical notions.

Are you an informed source?

Welcome to our side of the nonsense divide


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