Friday, March 16, 2012

Jimmy Wales, civil servant

So Jimmy Wales is to become an advisor to the British government. Is he going to make the workings of government more like Wikipedia? Here are a few suggestions.

Remove all that stuff about qualifications, Oxbridge, classics education and all that fuddy duddy old world elitist nonsense. The first thing is that everyone should have an equal say in the way that the health service, the financial system, tax collection and so on are run. And why stop at the people who work there? Why not open the doors of government completely, on the lines of an 'open source' software collective? Remove those turnstiles, guards, doors, just let anyone walk in off the street and work at anyone's desk. Give them access to any kind of file they want. The only requirement is that they get a numbered ticket at the front door, which they must use to get in again. (Don't worry if they lose their tickets, they can simply ask for a new one).

Obviously this may result in the destruction or loss of confidential or important information. But that doesn't matter. Wikipedia managed with an elite corps of patrollers who can check instantly whether information, whatever it is, has been changed or destroyed. They will back up all the information and as soon as some common vandal comes in from the street and messes something up, they will restore things to the way they were before, and take away the entrance ticket of the vandal. (Of course, the vandal can easily get another ticket, but don't worry about that).

Angry disputes about how the country should be run are inevitable, so there should be a 'civility code' against shouting, politically incorrect insults and so forth. This is so important that it should be enforced by an elite hierarchy of administrators. In fact, the only role to promotion in the new Civil Service should be through this hierarchy. Again, forget that nasty old elitist thing about Oxbridge and education. The only thing that matters is the ability to break up fights and to punish those who seem to have started the fight. This does not require any knowledge or understanding of what the fight was about. You could go round asking the people who work at the doors of pubs or clubs, in case they are interested in a permanent job.

This way, the British Civil Service will become much more efficient.


William M. Connolley said...

O/T but I mention Oresme briefly at

Feel free to correct my history.

Gregory Kohs said...

You're so cheeky, Edward!

Anonymous said...

Sic Transit Gloria Britannia

Edward Ockham said...

>>Sic Transit Gloria Britannia

Sic Transit Gloria Britanniae

Anonymous said...

He is a cheeky monkey, isn't he?