COB-55: hanging on

squirrel hiding in tree

If you want to achieve a twenty-five-year service pin from your bureaucratic organization, you’ve got to learn to hang on.  When you sense danger, get down low in your branch and cling to your position.  Occasionally, cautiously, raise you head and scan your surroundings for signs of activity.  If you see any, quickly get prone and motionless.  Hope that no one detects signs of life.

Beware of innovative, entrepreneurial tree-shakers.  Wrap your tail around a sturdy part of the organization so that if you’re temporarily dislodged from your position, you can pull yourself back to where you were.  Realize that they may try to starve you out.  If you have to eat your nuts to keep your position, do it without regret.  In the normal operation of a bureaucracy, having nuts just creates problems.

In other bureaucratic issues this month, Brad Stone reports in Bloomberg Businessweek that Larry Page and his senior associate divisional deputies are trying to root out bureaucracy at Google.  We trust that Googlers will be able to search out and find this page so that they will know how to respond.

In the past, few have recognize the importance of bureaucracy for the Internet.  But this sad situation is rapidly changing.  W3C (the World Wide Wide Consortium) is a first-rank bureaucracy that plays a critical role in the development of the Internet.  Tremendous controversy has recently emerged around the W3C’s HTML5 logo.  In GigaOM, Bobbie Johnson reports:

the HTML5 [logo] fiasco is a reflection of the W3C’s own feelings of inadequacy. It has always struggled with its image as a huge, sprawling bureaucracy that can’t make decisions.

Of course, discussing logos is more important than making decisions.  The root problem here is that W3C is being made to feel inadequate because it is a bureaucracy.  Bureaucrats and bureaucracy are subject to continual disrespect, insults, and vituperation. We suggest that the W3C establish a new DNS standard such that HTTP 404’s are automatically redirected to the Carnival of Bureaucrats. This new standard would help to educate Internet users about the importance of bureaucracy.

Bureaucrats often use a professional language known as bureaucratese. Utilization of bureaucratese has a characterization of specialization in its administration by bureaucratic organizational functionaries. Contemporary scientifically oriented research scholarship has documented that word-length extensiveness is correlated with informativeness, thus providing justification for the professionalization of bureaucratese in efficiency-oriented bureaucratic organizations.[*]

That’s all for this month’s Carnival of Bureaucrats.  Enjoy previous bureaucratic carnivals here.  Nominations of posts to be considered for inclusion in next month’s carnival should be submitted using Form 376: Application for Bureaucratic Recognition.

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[*] See Piantadosi, Steven T., Harry Tily, and Edward Gibson. “Word lengths are optimized for efficient communication.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi:10.1073/pnas.1012551108 (2011).  Here’s some discussion of this article.

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