Bureaucratic utopianism

Bureaucracy is not meant to be Utopian. After all, is not bureaucracy the home of the conformist, the cynical realists, the domesticator of conflict, the administrator of dreams, the banality of evil? Karl Mannheim wrote in Ideology and Utopia: "The fundamental tendency of all bureaucratic thought is to turn all problems of politics into administration....... Continue Reading →

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More reflections on 2017: persistence, terror and Das Schloss

Persistence Twelve months ago I was approaching Christmas and the end of a liberating period of long service leave. It was a period of leave that rejuvenated my writing and my living. It returned a sense of adventure and courage to my cultural life. I found a way through this blog to weave together my... Continue Reading →

Free speech and public service

A minor controversy has broken out in Australia over restrictions on the free speech of public servants. The controversy was prompted by the Australian Public Service Commission issuing revised guidelines on the use of social media by public servants. The guidelines state that "criticising the work, or the administration, of your agency is almost always... Continue Reading →

Commuting fragment: Julia sets

When people speak to me about complexity, I often pause and consider the synonyms that they might have used, if they were to be precise. Complexity can register perplexity, while posing for control. It may blow mists of befuddlement, a common response to getting lost in  big data. It often stands in for obfuscation, or... Continue Reading →

Why is alcohol policy difficult?

About 10 years ago I took a job running an alcohol and drug policy unit in the minor provincial government in which I serve as a lowly under-castellan. It turned out to be a very rewarding experience, at least if you count the intrinsic rewards of work as the most important. I met some remarkable... Continue Reading →

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