Administrative Action

I was told to be careful of what I say about the gummit.

That's a fair comment. But I admit I'm not terribly worried, and for two reasons. First, what I said is "true" (in the sense that I strongly believe it), and I would welcome the chance to discuss it with superiors. ...In fact, I considered it before writing the message. ...At the same time, I know it would go nowhere. For someone to take my comment seriously, they would have to strongly believe it too, and take up "the crusade", as it were... and I don't see my superiors caring enough about that problem to bother. (Honestly, I doubt I would, either, in their position--too much risk for too little reward). The bottom line was that I wanted to rant about a situation that cannot change, given the current "mood" of the country.

Secondly--and I want to speak on this--the gov't doesn't generally take action against individuals: they would rather institute policy.

I mentioned earlier (if I recall) an article about the difference between legal rules and principles. A refresher, as I understand it: principles are descriptions of what is right and wrong: situations that should be avoided. "Avoiding car accidents" would be a principle, roughly. Rules are guidelines for achieving the principle. "You must use your turn signal 200 feet before your turn" is a rule.

What I have long hated (and never really found the words to express) is that Joe Average is only aware of rules. Americans have a love affair with rules. Our kids are shooting other kids, let's ban guns. Kids aren't taking school seriously, let's make them wear uniforms. Someone tried to blow up a plane with fluids, let's ban fluids. Someone spent an entire day looking at nudie pictures on flickr... let's block flickr from the company!

Of course all of these things are wrong; they are problems. And of course they need to be solved. But creating rules isn't the way to solve them. I would go so far as to say they are profoundly unfair to the majority of people who understand the principle.


I wish I didn't need to be so verbose. Somehow Seth Godin says things like this (well, not quite like this, but other important, meaningful things) in a succinct, almost zen-like way. I wish I had that ability!

I'll continue pondering that...

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