Tuesday 26 February 2013

When can bad news be 'good for...'


One of the most striking things about modern life is dishonesty, and the extent to which it renders organizations incapable of learning.

The medical profession, the schools and universities, the legal profession, and the major Christian denominations have been reeling from one shattering piece of bad news to another for several decades; and it has done them not one particle of good because they are fundamentally dishonest about their fundamental health.

It is commonplace for large organizations to respond to bad news, to set-backs and scandals, by announcing that it will do them good; but it never does. Bad things can lead to good, but only when honestly evaluated - and bad things never are honestly evaluated in modern society.


I regard all the major mainstream Christian denominations as in a very, very bad state - and the main reason is that they will not acknowledge that they are in a very, very bad state - but instead project a dishonest spin about how good times are just around the corner.

In a dishonest world, the bigger the problem, the greater the dishonesty - and we get into a spiral of escalating lies until we end up where we are - a place where public (and increasingly private) discourse is not just a distorted version of reality - but utterly detached from reality.

The detachment from the web of official lies which was possible, indeed usual, in the past (for example in the Eastern Bloc) has almost gone; because the population are addicted to the web of lies.


A web of lies is actually much harder to refute than a single lie. Because when the evidence for a lie is a lie, backed up with another lie - then people will not believe it.

People would be happy to believe in on lie, one lie by one person or one group - what people will not believe is that the lies of one person or group interlock with the lies of many other persons or groups.


This is called bureaucracy - and it is bureaucracy which has rotted us with dishonesty.

Bureaucracy is dishonest because it destroys individual agency and responsibility.

Now the bureaucracy is everywhere and does everything and interacts with almost everyone almost all the time - the web of dishonesty has spread its fungal hyphae into our very hearts, to make us into sleepwalking dupes that cannot learn; because we refuse to learn from bad news, yet regard our judgment as vindicated by good news. 


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