18 August 2008

Not Only Have the Lunatics Taken Over the Asylum, But They've Also Stopped Taking Their Meds, Too . . .

First this, then this, and now this (excerpts from the last one)

There’s no reason I can’t discuss the particulars, but I’m going to give it a fortnight for the relevant parties to get on the right side of the matter. I learned the details today about something I’ve suspected for a while, and it’s as bad as it can get: a level of personal and professional betrayal like nothing I’ve ever experienced. A good lesson in life, perhaps, and a test as well: when there’s nothing you can do at the moment, you have to set it aside or burn yourself up.

Seems like journalism is becoming a one party state, and if you don't belong to the approved party, and speak the party line, even in your private hours, then there are many who are determined to make your life hell within that industry (I suspect Lileks ran afoul of someone who doesn't appreciate his criticism of Keillor, among other things).

Don't know for certain that this is the connective tissue that combines all three incidents, but it sure seems like it from the outside. At some point, the people paying the bills will get tired of losing money, you'd hope, and they may make the connection that ideological purity and internal putsches aren't the way to run a newsgathering and disseminating organization. Either that, or all print, TV, and internet outlets will be owned by ideologues and agenda pushers willing to lose a fortune to influence debates and outcomes, and it will be up to consumers to sort through the biases and try and see through a dirt smeared window and only guess as to what the real picture is behind the distortions.

But, I could be wrong, and there's nothing congruent about each incident, and the business of journalism is going through a hard time that has absolutely nothing to ideology, and the vast majority of people running the show at these organizations are committed to objective truth above all else and could care less about meddling into the lives of those that work for them.

Yeah, all of that, and I hear I can get a good deal on a rather old bridge in a place called Brooklyn (which could net a fortune if you could privatize all the toll revenue), at least it gives me an excuse to trot out Fun Boy Three.

(and I know this song is most likely an anti-Thatcher, anti-Reagan rant, but what can you do, in some ways that fact actually reinforces my point)


When you notice something, suddenly you see evidence of it in the strangest places. Just noticed that see-dubya posting at Michelle Malkin's blog has added this little caveat to a recent post lauding Theodore Dalrymple's take on the decline of England and its root cause, {Post by See-Dubya, written on my own time, on my own computer.}

That new little caveat doesn't mean he's a journalist, but it does mean he's worried that some one will use his blogging against him in his main professional life. Didn't realize that Malkin's co-blogger had a day job other than co-blogging.

It's not just media companies where purges and anti-blogging, anti-internet policing are occurring, but I think the flavor of the attacks are more ideological in that industry, whereas this kind of stupidity in other industries is more about managers trying to appear as if they are managing. Our economy is becoming more about brainpower, and less about brawnpower, yet some in management still cling to notions about time management, efficiency, and how one should approach time 'on the clock', from a perspective suited to assembly lines and not jobs that rely on intellectual engagement and creativity. Goofing off, even when on the clock, is a way to decompress, and often, by de-focusing on the task at hand, focusing temporarily on something recreational, that's when our minds are better able to jar us awake and hit us with inspiration. Managers that focus on results, rather than a strict adherence to policies, 'looking busy', and forcing their employees from even thinking about their personal life and interests while at work, will flourish, and the old school bosses will flounder. But the transition period is going to continue to be a bitch, and good people (at their job, we aren't talking about morals here) are going to get fired for bad reasons, and bad people (again, only talking about suitability for the tasks they're assigned) are going to get promoted for worse reasons.

The need for managers to manage is one reason why tele-commuting hasn't taken off. Most folks don't trust their workers enough to let them be self supervised. They fear getting ripped off, even though chances are, they're getting less production out of their employees because of their need for oversight. In an information economy, it's hard to count the widgets, or determine the exact size of the contribution each employee makes towards the mega-widget, so instead of the shift to information and brainpower making workplaces less regimented and adversarial, in a lot of ways, in a lot of places, they've become even more so.

1 comment:

Outis said...

Yeah, it's not always about ideaology. I got fired for reading news sites and blogs at work. They also made something of a to-do trying to catch me lying about the identity of one "Icepick". Well no shit, assholes, you've been monitoring my computer use, you know damned well and good that I'm Icepick, and unlike your sorry asses I'm computer literate enough to know that you know!

So now I'm unemployed and, because I live in Orlando and was fired by Disney, I'm living with the Mark of Cain. Four months of unemployment and counting. On the other hand, I like my new moniker and blog title, even if I've been too lazy to explain the reasons for it.

Incidentally, Annie Gottleib told me I was having a mid-life crisis before I realized I was having one, i.e. before I was fired. She's a prophet, that one.