Daniel Lemire's blog

, 3 min read

Ten things Computer Science tells us about bureaucrats

4 thoughts on “Ten things Computer Science tells us about bureaucrats”

  1. You want to replace the term “bureaucracy” with “organization” to avoid getting sidetracked with readers. Too often “bureaucracy” is associated with “government”, and readers might tend to assume the above does not apply to business or academia. Of course, all large long-lived organizations tend to grow bureaucracies…

  2. P says:

    The reason bureaucracy is more associated with government is that corporate bureaucracies eventually die, but government ones almost never do.

    It’s akin to the difference as between healthy cell growth and cancer.

  3. Paul says:

    Egypt, Libya, et al. are demonstrating once again that governments most certainly do die. And the Wikipedia page on the oldest companies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oldest_companies) lists plenty of corporations vastly older than most/all governments, depending on how you want to demarcate.

    Both corporations and governments can have “healthy cell growth” or “cancer”, both can get over these ailments or succumb to them.

  4. The German philosopher Günter Anders coined the concept of “Promethean Shame” to express the embarrassment of modern human beings who feel inferior to machines that perform better and don’t get old, lazy or tired for instance. He wrote a book about what he called “The Outdatedness of Human Beings” in 1956.