Monday, July 20, 2015

ribbon farm on cultures of cooperative ignorance where a critical goal is plausible deniability based on actually not knowing stuff
Often the value in strategic ignorance is not ignorance itself, but being able to plausibly claim that one is ignorant, in order to avoid the consequences of knowledge. [emphasis added link highlighted below]

...The effort among senior management to demonstrate non-knowledge of [a low-level medical researcher’s] actions suggests that the most important managerial resource during the scandal was not the need to demonstrate prescient foresight, or the early detection of potential catastrophes. What mattered most was the ability to insist such detection was impossible. [emphasis added] For senior staff at SocGen, the most useful tool was the ability to profess ignorance of things it was not in their interest to acknowledge.

…[O]rganizations often function more efficiently because of the shared willingness of individuals to band together in dismissing unsettling knowledge.
There is a truism about scams that a mark can only be deceived if he wants to believe; all deception relies on self-deception. The ideal victim of a scam is a person who desperately wants to believe in a reality different from actual reality

We could discuss implications of this kind of cultural approach to not-knowing some time later.  Longtime readers won't have to wonder for long what potential case history could come up.

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