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Continental Drifter -- The Arrogance Of Ignorance

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by russ, May 25, 2006.

  1. thought this was a fascinating article, written for america but how appropriate for Australia. It talks from a companies perspective, but I think it quite rightly applies to motorcycling & driving. somehow we all believe the we alone are excellent and all the others are maniacs on the road. Despite the fact that for have any extra training or skill/co-ordination. heck out attitudes on the roads show it: "stupid car drivers, good thing I'm such a shithot rider that I can counteract their foolish ignorance"

    The threat you face derives not from any external factors that may affect your company. Instead, it comes from your own employees.

    The deadliest business hazard of our time is the result of a sea change in the American approach to education that occurred early in the 1970s. Across the United States, conventional educational standards were tossed out the window, replaced with feel-good theories like "whole-language learning" that emphasized personal fulfillment over the accumulation of hard knowledge. As a result, we now have two generations of men and women who expect gold stars not for succeeding, but simply for trying.

    And, sometimes, merely for showing up.

    In Great Britain, even primary school students can name all the monarchs of England. How many American children can name the capital of their own state?

    In India, the study of mathematics is practically a religion. In the United States, how many retail clerks can make change without relying on a calculator?

    In Germany, vocational education is a rigorous and honorable pursuit, producing highly qualified workers and tradesmen. In the U.S.A., people actually boast about their inability to deal with anything mechanical.

    But sheer stupidity is not the greatest danger presented by the current crop of blank slates. It is the arrogance bred of ignorance that constitutes an unparalleled descent into goofiness.

    In the long-dead past, incompetents generally recognized their own incapacity and behaved accordingly. Today, every jackass sees himself as a genius, and every fool fancies herself a philosopher.

    Once, a young colleague at a major firm accosted me in tones of confusion and desperation.

    "Mark! Mark!" she called as I walked past her office door. "When was World War II?"

    I thought at first that she was joking, but, alas, she was not. The deadliest global conflict in human history had somehow escaped her notice. Yet if I had asked if she honestly believed she deserved her B.A. and felt qualified to perform her job, she would have been gravely insulted and likely kicked me until I was dead.

    Like the pod people of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the arrogantly ignorant appear at first glance as normal as you or me. But beware.

    The most profound risk they represent springs not from their cluelessness, but from their inability to recognize their own limitations. Such blind hubris can lead to monumental errors of judgment, grotesque mistakes, and the refusal to accept -- despite a mountain of evidence -- that the strategy they are pursuing may be leading your organization off a cliff. When people like that are in your employ, it is you, not they, who suffer the consequences.

    These days, the arrogance of ignorance is so pervasive that I feel confident in making a small wager: Ten bucks says that the worst offenders will read these words and wonder, "Who is this joker talking about?"

    If characters like that work for your company -- brother, you're in for a world of hurt
  2. A quiet "dumbing down" is a great way to create future factory workers who don't get restless, and canon fodder that doesn't ask questions for the next big war...

    Just my 2 cents ☻
  3. that article gives countries other than the US far to much credit, the world is full of dropkick morons, not just america.

    pffft, as if.

  4. I just see it as personal laziness and the generation who expects to get a good job and decent pay because they live in a modern western country.

    They don't expect to have to put much effort in of course.

    This week I had to have a serious chat with a co-worker.
    He'd done the dayshift over the weekend, certain procedures need to followed and certain checks need to made on various things around the building.
    As far as I can make out he sat at his desk, surfed the Net, chatted on MSN and generally spent the 12 hr shift doing sweet FA.

    When I arrived and did my various procedures and checks it became immedietly obvious that he had done nothing all day.
    So the next day I reamed him out big time.
    " There's only us here, no one will know."
    " I thought you guys on nightshift did all the building checks?"
    " I did not know I had to do that, or I don't know how to do that."

    I threw the SOP manual down on the desk in front of him.

    " No one ever told me I had to do everything that's written in it on every shift."

    To cut a long story short...this guys knows what he has to do on the weekend dayshift, he's just too bloody lazy to do it. And because no one from management will ever check unless something serious goes wrong he felt there was no need for him to make even a modicum of effort.
    He was actually very surprised I took him to task.

    I tried explaining that's it's not just his job on the line, it's all the guys he works with, he just didn't get it.

    It won't surprise you to know that he only does this job " to get some living money".
    Until he works out what he want's to do with his life.
    Before he gets that " good " job.

    If he pisses me off one more time he'll be looking for that "good" job a lot sooner than expected!