Sunday, July 11, 2010

Americans Should Beware of Complex, Intellectually Beautiful Bureaucratic Systems; Lest We Fall into the Conundrum of the 'Fable of the Roasted Pigs'


Nº 368 - La fábula de los cerdos asados
Google Translation from Spanish (The fable of the pig roast)

By Gustavo Francisco Cirigiliano, Ph.D

[Professor Cirigiliano was a professor of philosophy of education at the University of La Plata, in Argentina at the time of publication of this article. Professor Hobert W. Burns of Syracuse University assisted the author in the translation of this fable which first appeared in the November 1959 issue of Catedra y Vida. According to Professor Burns, “Dr. Cirigliano is not only a good thinker, he is dedicated to the principle of democracy and well comprehends that the extension and improvement of democracy in Argentina (and Latin America, and the U.S.) greatly depends upon modifications, or drastic changes in the present educational system.” See: ]

It has the old professor who once set fire to a forest where pigs were to be roasted. The men, accustomed to eating raw meat, and then tested them whenever they wanted to eat pig roast, set fire to the forest.

One of the possible variants of an old story about the origin of this is baked.

One time there was a fire in a forest in which they were pigs. These are roasted. The men, accustomed to eating raw, tested them and found them delicious. Then, whenever you wanted to eat pig roast, set fire to a forest ... until they discovered a new method.

But what I want to tell is what happened when you tried to modify the system to implement a new one.

It was time that some things were not going well: the animals are burning, sometimes were partially raw, sometimes so burnt it was impossible to use. As was mounted on a large scale procedure of great concern to everyone, because if the system fails to a large extent, the losses were equally large. Many were those who ate the beef, and many thousands were those with employment in this task. Thus the system simply should not fail. But curiously, as was done on a larger scale, more like fail and cause major losses.

Because of deficiencies, complaints increased. It was a general outcry for reform of the need to fund the system. Every year while met Conferences, Seminars, Conferences, Seminars for the solution. But do not think they happened to improve the mechanism, because the following year he returned to repeat the conferences, seminars, conferences and workshops.And so forever.

The causes of failure of the system, according to experts, should be attributed either to the discipline of the pigs that did not stay where they should, or the fickle nature of the fire difficult to control, the trees too green, or moisture land, or Weather Information Service could not quite with the place, time and amount of rainfall, or ...

The causes were, as seen, difficult to determine because in truth the pig roasting system was very complex: it had mounted a large structure, a great machine, with many variables, had become institutionalized. There were individuals dedicated to light: the igniferi, which in turn were specialists in sectors ignifer fire zone or north, west, etc., Burnt at night, daytime, specializing morning or twilight, summer forest fires, winter ( with jurisdictional disputes over the fall and spring). Specialists had winds (anemotécnicos). There was a General Director and Food Asamiento Asada, a director of Igneous Techniques (with the General Council of Advisors), a General Manager of forestry fire, National Commission Porcología Professional Training, a Higher Institute of Culture and Food Technology (the ISCYTA) and clunkers (Reform Guidance Bureau Igneous-Operative).

The snafu was so great that an inspector had 7,000 pigs reforms so. And it was precisely the hodgepodge that facilitated the annual congresses, seminars, conferences and workshops. But they only seemed to serve to increase the snafu in bureaucracy.

He had planned and was growing the formation of new forests and woodlands, according to the latest technical information (in selected regions according to a given direct and where the winds not blowing more than three hours, which was reduced moisture content, etc.)

There were thousands of people working on the preparation of these forests that would then ignite. There were specialists in Europe and U.S. studying the import of the best woods, trees, vines, seeds, better and more powerful burners, studying operational ideas (eg how to do well so that they fall pigs). There was also great facilities to keep the pigs before the fire, mechanisms to let them out at the right time, technicians in their diet.

There were experts in building stables for pigs, teacher educators from experts in the construction of stables for pigs universities that prepare teachers expert trainers in the construction of stables for pigs, researchers offered a fruit of their work universities that prepare teachers expert trainers in the construction of stables for pigs, foundations that supported the researchers who provided a fruit of their work to universities that prepare teachers expert trainers in the construction of stables pigs, etc.

The solutions were suggested Congresses eg the triangularly implement fire after square root of n - 1 south wind speed, release the pigs fifteen minutes before the fire reached the forest average 47 º C, others said it was necessary put large fans that would guide the direction of fire. And so on. And you do not need to say, very few of the experts agreed with each other, and each had research and data to approve their claims.

One day, a Category ignifer SO / DM / V-LL (or a lighter Southwest specialty woods, day, morning, rain in summer undergraduate), Juan-Common Sense, said the problem was easily solved. Everything was, according to him, that would kill the pig first elected, I will clean and properly cut and put it in a wire mesh or frame over a fire until the influence of heat and flame was on the verge.

- "Kill?" Exclaimed indignantly afforestation Manager .- "How will we make people mate! Now the killer is fire. Do we kill? Never!

Having noted the Director General of Asamiento, sent for him. She asked him what was saying strange things out there, and after listening, he said:

- "What you say is fine, but only in theory. It will not go in practice. Moreover, it is impracticable. Now what do you do with the anemotécnicos, in the case of adopting suggesting? ".

- "I do not know," replied John.

- "Where lighters placed the different specialties?".

- "Do not know."

- "And the seed specialists in wood? What designers seven-story barn, with its new cleaning machines and automatic perfumers?. "

- "Do not know."

- "And those individuals who have gone abroad to perfect for years, and whose training has cost both to the country, I will make cleaning pigs?".

- "Do not know."

- "Those who have specialized in integrating all these years, Conferences and Seminars and Conferences for the Reform and Improvement of the system, if it meets his all, what I do with them?"

- "Do not know."

- "Do you you realize now that his is not the solution we need everyone? Are you believes that if everything were so simple they would not have found before our specialists? Let's see! What authors say that? What authority can help your suggestion? You imagine that I can not tell Anemotécnica Engineers is a question of putting brasitas flameless! What do I do with forests and prepared, ready to be burned, with only wood suitable for fire-in-all, the trees do not produce fruit, which makes leaves shortages do not serve to shadow? What do I do? Tell me! ".

- "Do not know."

- "What do I do with the commission Asado Writer Program, with its Departments Classification and Selection of Pigs, Functional Architecture Stables, Statistics and Population, etc..?"

- "Do not know."

- "Tell me the Porcopirotecnia engineer, Don JC Figuration, is not an extraordinary scientific personality?".

- "Yes, it seems so."

- "Well. The simple fact of possessing valuable and extraordinary pyrotechnics engineers indicates that the system is good. And what do I do with individuals so valuable? ".

- "Do not know."

- "Have you seen? What you have to bring as a solution is how to best anemotécnicos, how to get faster lighters from the west (which is our biggest problem), how to make eight-story stables or more, rather than seven as now. We need to improve what we have and not change it. Bring you a proposal for our fellows in Europe cost less, or doing a good magazine for in-depth analysis of the problem of asamiento Reform. That's what we need. That is what the country needs. To you what is missing is common sense, common-sense! Say, for example, what do I do with my good friend (and relative) the President of the Commission to Study for the Utilization of Waste former Forests? ".

- "I am really puzzled," said Juan.

- "Well. Now who knows the problem, do not go around saying you fixes everything. Now we see that the problem is more serious and not so simple as imagined. One from below and from outside states. But be in to know the problem and know the difficulties. Now, between us, I urge you not to insist with one's own because it could bring difficulties with his job. Not for me! I say it for her sake, because I understand, I understand his approach, but you know, you may find other less comprehensive than, you know how it is, sometimes eh? .... "

Poor John Common Sense-mu said nothing. Without greeting between scared and stunned, with the feeling of walking upside down, left and never seen again. No one knows where it went. That's why we say that these reform efforts and improvement of the system, lack-Common Sense.

The "Fable of roasted pigs," by Gustavo F. J. Cirigliano, was originally published in Life magazine and Chair, Buenos Aires, 1959.

Text courtesy of .

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