Everyone involved in the disastrous rollout of the disastrous Obamacare website has been fired or has had something horribly bad happen to their careers, from Human Health and Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius downwards. It turns out that people working for the government, like people with tenure, can be punished by the left, though not by the right.
If ever the right should try to fire people, see my post on how to fire big bird.
The website was fixed by “the tech surge” – fixed by white males organized in teams that showed very little interest in providing a supportive environment for women and people of color. The screw up was primarily female. Being PC, they had women work on a website and of course the website did not work. Men had to come in and take over.
But the stupid girlie team had plenty of white males. Standard operating procedure in software engineering is that white males do the actual work for team woman, much as Marie Curie got her bright idea when she was with her famous scientist husband, who subsequently hired a male to the actual work of implementing Marie Curie’s bright idea.
This, however, only works if you hire on the basis of quotas – the smartest x% of males, the smartest 2x% of females. But if x is a rather small number it then becomes obvious that every person hired to fulfill the quota is dumber than every person hired on his merits.
This, of course, is a hostile work environment. So you don’t hire the smartest x% of males. You hire males that fit in, which is to say, stupid males. And then, unfortunately, you cannot build a website.
But there is something odd about this account of events. Government work is enormously rewarded, and Obama spent a stupendously large sum on the website, ridiculously large. Should not the very smartest white males have somehow snuck in when people’s backs are turned? Don’t the smart people wind up getting all the cherries?
In any society, the normal and natural outcome is that the best people wind up ruling – though not necessarily in the interests of that society. They may wind up doing a very good job of stealing anything not nailed down and setting fire to anything that they cannot pry up, the typical dark age government that has been the norm throughout most of human history, but chances are they will be very good at stealing and lighting fires. There is a strong correlation between intelligence and reacting fast to the movement of your opponent’s sword, and even better correlation between intelligence and reacting fast with the best sword move.
We, however, are seeing government by people of very ordinary intelligence, which requires vigorous, active, and effective filtering to keep the smartest people out, which filtration starts in our most prestigious universities.
The original World Bank writers called a run a run. Their replacements called a run “negative feedback loop” because they try to scatter as many erudite phrases in their writings as the original writers were apt to do – but, like Mrs Malaprop, scatter the wrong erudite phrases in the wrong places. It is obvious that Mrs Malaprop is imitating people who are several standard deviations smarter than she is – and today’s World Bank writers are similarly imitating yesterday’s World Bank writers.