Evidence and ritual

”Once when Agrandis, a change management consultancy had delivered their change management programme a few of the polled middle managers reported that there had been a small increase in productivity. But when the academic researchers from the Department of Obvious at Redbrick University asked the managers if they reckoned that the change management programme had produced the small increase in productivity, the managers peed themselves laughing.”

My version of a quote from this excellent blog. Brilliant musing from Mr. B. betraying an increasingly sophisticated understanding both of complexity and its philosophical and logical implications for society.

I commend it to you for your reading and thinking pleasure and enlightenment.

Bernard Spiegal

So far as social policy is concerned, I doubt that evidence alone will ever swing policy one way or the other, though the claim is that it should, perhaps that it does.

Belief in ‘evidence-based’ policy making has similarities with belief in myth.  Myths, by definition, are not expressions of literal truths.   Rather, they provide us with stories of origin, tales of titanic battles, of victor over vanquished, that are used to express and justify the values and beliefs now held, along with the practices said to flow from them.  In that sense, myths  are foundational; they provide the basis for justifying current decisions.

Our relationship with myth, then, is a combination of both a backward and a forward look.   Its backward glance is tinged with a sort of nostalgia, a yearning for that mythical time when matters were clear.  When there was black and there was white.  Where one had…

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