Mechanical mindlesness.

There is of course a more sinister interpretation of the kind of drivel referenced in “the post before this.”:http://www.thewormbook.com/helmintholog/archives/2007/03/30/a_meeting_of_mi.html#001993 The abstract nouns — framework, integration, hallmark, strategy, etc. — may not all mean %(loony)meetings% or may not just mean that.

If one take “Henry Porter”:http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2047706,00.html seriously — and why not? — they will also refer to government databases. I think this is a much more helpful way of thinking about the seemingly inexorable totalitarian creep of British and American government than supposing that they are all power-mad and want to control everything. It is that they fear they don’t control anything, and that outside of the world of ritual meetings and spreadsheet voodoo, all is chaos.

There is nothing like a database to give the illusion of control. The government is faffing around with IT for the same reason that I have wasted years of my life thinking about software and faffing around with it: because it supplies a little world where it can feel in control.

In some ways, I find the fact that this control is quite illusory just as frightening as the fact that quite a lot of it is real.

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