Andrew Pollack's Blog

Technology, Family, Entertainment, Politics, and Random Noise

Pseudo fairness - a true mark of unthinking bureaucracy.

By Andrew Pollack on 11/06/2006 at 04:16 PM EST

It should be no shock to anyone that school systems annoy me almost as much now as they did when I was in school. Today it's all this talk about responsibility without actually giving the kids any and this idea that kids are born with a set amount of "self esteem" and anything you say to them could rob them of this precious commodity. Of course, that's bullshit. Kids are not necessary born with either enough or not enough of this mysterious "esteem" stuff. Kid's can build CONFIDENCE which is really what we're talking about, but only if they are challenged. Confidence comes from being put in a situation with a possibility of failure, and succeeding anyway. If you never put a kid in a position where they can fail, they never gain any real confidence. It's a great way to create bullies, however.

In any case, on Thursday I realized yet another mark of stupid bureaucracy. I call it "Pseudo Fairness" but I'm sure you'll recognize it. Between one of Ari's classes they are not allowed to return to their lockers to switch books and things. Why? Because one of the classrooms is far enough away that it is feared that some of the kids would not be able to make it and get back in time. Ignoring the fact that five minutes is a hell of a lot of time to walk 600 feet (yes, I know the length of the hallways because I have to be prepared to drag hoseline through them) -- why on earth would you stop all students from something because some may not have time? Pseudo fairness. You bring everyone down to the worst possible case just to prevent anyone from possibly failing.

This is the mark of truly idiotic bureaucracy. In the real world, a person would have a place to be and a time to be there. If they happen to be lucky enough to have a nearby locker, there may be time to stop. If not, they'll have to make other arrangements. Perhaps a market would spring up for nearby locker storage. Perhaps these kids have friends. Who knows what amazing things could happen if the school would simply quit trying to control every aspect of their little lives. Bureaucracy is what happens when you give little people a little power.

There are  - loading -  comments....

re: Pseudo fairness - a true mark of unthinking bureaucracy.By Carl Tyler on 11/06/2006 at 11:20 PM EST
I have to agree. I'm very concerned we are modifying evolution, whatever
happened to survival of the fittest?

What happens to these kids when they leave school and apply for jobs and
suddenly find out there isn't one for everyone?

Kids like to be challenged, it's what makes them grow and helps them work out
their limit. Failure is part of growing up. I played on a soccer team as a
kid, we never won a game yet I still loved playing. We were the Robert the
Bruce of football...
I don't think I can follow you all the way to Darwin on this....By Andrew Pollack on 11/07/2006 at 07:33 AM EST
...The other side of having a situation you can fail in is having a _safe_
situation you can fail in. "Interrupting Evolution" sounds like words that can
lead to excuses for eugenics and removal of a social safety net and I'm very
much against either.

Other Recent Stories...

  1. 09/04/2018With two big projects on hold, I suddenly find myself very available for new short and long term projects. In twenty five years, I don't think I've ever written an entry like this, but if you need the kind of work I do now would be a great time to get in touch. Both of the big projects I had lined up for late summer and early fall have been placed on hold and will be that way for a while. With the kids now all off at college and careers, I'm open to more travel than such than I have been in decades, but unless something else comes along, I'll be here working on updates to Second Signal and other things that ...... 
  2. 07/13/2018Who is HCL and why is it a good thing that they are now the ones behind Notes and Domino?We need to address some biases here. IBM has made a deal under which the Notes & Domino software and intellectual property is now being developed and maintained by HCL America. HCL America is part of the very large "HCL Technologies" company that has grown from its roots in India to become an 8 Billion Dollar company with a global presence in the IT Industry. You could be excused for initially believing, as many people do when they hear this, that "they've outsourced the code to India where they'll milk it ...... 
  3. 03/21/2018Domino Apps on IOS is a Game Changer. Quit holding back.BOOM. This will be as important for the platform as Traveler. If your company has ditched Notes and Domino, I feel sorry for you. For companies that do use Notes/Domino this is a game changer and Apple should be paying attention. Here's why: There are hundreds of little Notes client applications you'd never spend the time and money to build and deploy for your internal user base on IOS that we use Notes for all the time (those of us still using it). Now, those are suddenly ALL available on the iPad. ...... 
  4. 02/15/2018Andrew’s Proposed Gun Laws 
  5. 05/05/2016Is the growing social-sourced economy the modern back door into socialism? 
  6. 04/20/2016Want to be whitelisted? Here are some sensible rules for web site advertising 
  7. 12/30/2015Fantastic new series on Syfy called “The Expanse” – for people who love traditional science fiction 
  8. 10/20/2015My suggestion is to stay away from PayAnywhere(dot)com  
  9. 08/07/2015Here is one for you VMWARE gurus - particularly if you run ESXi without fancy drive arrays 
  10. 08/06/2015The Killer of Orphans (Orphan Documents) 
Click here for more articles.....

pen icon Comment Entry
Your Name
*Your Email
* Your email address is required, but not displayed.
Your thoughts....
Remember Me  

Please wait while your document is saved.