Thursday, July 30, 2015

Smart people doing dumb things

Did you ever have a problem with something and get told that there's nothing they can do because it's their "policy." I've come to the conclusion that "policy" mean smart people are forced into doing dumb things. They might not even realize how dumb they are behaving. Their brains shut down and they follow rules blindly.

Call it policy, rules, or even laws, they all can make smart people do dumb things. Even judges often have their hands tied by mandatory sentencing laws. Imagine being a judge and being forced to make a decision that you know is dumb. That seems so weird to me. I'd resign in protest before having to do something like that. Of course, that's just one more reason I'm not in charge of anything. Accepting to follow dumb ideas is part of climbing the success ladder.

It seems like such a waste of human potential.

When a person wakes up and realizes how dumb all these sociatal restrictions are it's natural to get angry. Changing accepted practices takes a tremendous amount of energy, but that's what's needed sometimes. Pick your battles wisely, as there are a lot stupid things out there.

In day to day life the least course of resistance is to go along with "policy." At the very least it's useful sometimes to pay lip service to the great god of conformity. Then when nobody is looking you go ahead and do what you want. Often it really is easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission, but that's only necessary if you get caught.

Did you ever notice that in spite of cameras being everywhere the crime rate keeps going up? What's going on? Is the quality of the cameras so bad they can't use them to solve crimes? Is nobody watching the videos? Maybe the cameras aren't there to solve crime but play the role of a security company sticker on the front door of a house with no security? Even a police state lacks the resources to enforce all the laws all the time.

One can hardly get out of bed in the morning without violating some dumb restriction or other. Accept it. Heck, embrace it. Think like the outlaw you are. Don't let dumb rules tie your hands and make you do dumb things.

Allies can be found, often in the very organizations that put the rules in place. The local town clerk deals with vehicle registrations and has often helped me get around dumb rules. I've talked to cops who "won't enforce BS laws when there's real crime to worry about." There are smart people who know nothing will ever get done if they allow "policy" to trump common sense. When you find such people be very nice to them as they are like discovering pearls in the pig pen.



  1. There's a book that deals with exactly this topic. The author agrees with you and uses examples from life to illustrate the point. Wish I could remember the name, it'll come to me.

  2. Pretty much an inborn philosophy for me, it's what I have done my entire life.

    I can remember pulling stuff when I was a little kid that would have gotten me thrown into Juvie hundreds of times. Juvie was the Boogyman of choice back in my day.
    Rules are for suckers to follow and for me to either bend or ignore completely.
    Ain't nobody looking, I get into all kinds of mischief.
    Always have and always will.

    To go along with what you are saying about finding a few pearls now and then amongst the Aparatchiks, a little schmoozing can go a long ways some times.
    Even small compliments here and there have saved me hundreds of dollars in fees and other hassles.

    1. Good friend of mine calls laws "suggestions."

  3. Three Felonies A Day. That's the name of the book.

  4. I used to work for a major box store pharmacy, whose newer stores are often found on intersection corners. a few years back one of the stores up north had an attempted armed robbery during the 3rd ( I think ) shift, Pharmacist pulled his weapon and saved himself and a few customers with only minor property damage,

    Of course the company fired the pharmacist, as was their stupid rule that employees can't carry to protect themselves. Said stupid rule was there to protect the company from lawsuits, they apparently didn't care about their employees.

    Following stupid rules, it seems, can even get you killed.

    1. You can always find another job. Beats the heck out of getting shot.

  5. Pearls among swine - great comparison for cooperative bureaucrats and bosses.

  6. They have even admitted that a lot of those cameras are fakes to just leave the impression that you are being watched. Most people act different if they believe that they are being watched or filmed.

    1. We are all stars in one big strange reality show.

  7. Very wise post today. I enjoyed it, thanks!