Ignorance Management System

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Ignorance Management Systems or IMS are important and powerful technologies used by savvy organisations to ensure that staff and other stakeholders only know what they need to know or, ideally, not even that - because of the risks of not correctly identifying what it is people need to know and who needs to know it. The main requirement for such a system is to persist a particular set of deceptions and generate a culture of ignorance whereby those deceptions are maintained.

Information technology plays an important part in perpetrating the main deception in the first instance and in ensuring that it remains in place for the duration determined by corporate strategy. Checks and balances also need to be put and kept in place to ensure that the IMS can't be "rumbled" by knowledgeable people who are sometimes motivated to replace ignorance with knowledge.

edit Main Deception

The main deception of Ignorance Management Systems is to ensure that people believe that ignorance is knowledge. Hence it is found that organizations bent on persisting ignorance usually proclaim that they believe in knowledge, and spend considerable (though not excessive) sums on so-called knowledge management systems. It is important to note that such knowledge management systems never include wikis. This is the main giveaway, though we might soon expect - since the give-away has just been given away - that a wiki-based ignorance management system will be released in the not distant future.

edit Subsidiary Deceptions

Hierarchical knowledge is the surest way to promote ignorance. This is achieved by applying mushroom management techniques, usually led by marketing departments, which use fear of commercial failure to bolster their authority in communities of employees already made vulnerable by high levels of ignorance. The main tenet of mushroom management is: keep them in the dark and feed them on shit.

edit Motivators

Motivation is generally straightforward. Stakeholders in commercial outfits wish to create a perception of quality before selling their enterprise. A coherent ignorance management system that keeps staff as well as clients and investors ignorant of what is really going on pays major dividends when it comes to be time to sell. Following any sale of the organisation, of course, the nature of the set of deceptions becomes clear, but by that time it doesn't matter much because profit takers have been and gone.

Government agencies generally have a different set of motivators, the main one being to generate fear and then claim the credit for preventing that which is feared, thereby ensuring continuation of their funding.

edit Process

Ignorance Management Systems rely on a process of ignorance inculcation. This is generally achieved by ensuring that the trainers themselves are champions of ignorance - not knowing enough to realise that they don't know much. They usually have a smaller vocabulary in their native tongue than the average, and accuse people who use words they don't understand of being aliens. An ethos of ignorance is helped along by bolstering the authority of know-little teachers and dishing out punishments to anyone who questions that authority. Many school teachers adopt this technique, see specimen correspondence below, to come up with a most worthwhile pedagogic technique for "fixing" ignorance in the schools system.

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edit Bedrock of Ignorance

The substrate, or bedrock, of ignorance management is to keep people unaware of what it is they don't know. This is seldom very difficult because many people naturally aren't aware of what they're not aware of. Following in the footsteps of the NSA, many organizations adopt the anti-vision statement "What they don't know they don't know" or variations on this theme. This is generally considered good practice when devising an Ignorance Management System, though it's vital that such statements are never widely communicated because then they can become counter-productive.

edit Culture of Ignorance

It is important when establishing an ignorance management system to identify "enemies", to ensure that your minions are aware of who these enemies are, and can pillory and ostracise them in the most appropriate and effective manner. In general, the enemy is anyone who uses a word you don't understand. This includes all foreigners, the regionally-challenged (somewhat counter-intuitively, current ignorant thinking is to exclude people with thick regional accents.) Such initiatives help your minions to believe that they are in the top 1% of the intelligensia, which helps considerably in preserving the status quo of your community of ignoremuses.

edit Champions of Ignorance

The Archbishop of Canterbury famously used the word "ignoremi" in a sermon when intending to use the plural of the word "ignoremus". Of course, anyone with a smattering of classical education will tell you that the plural of "ignoremus" is "ignoremuses" (and not "ignoremi"). Therefore the worthy archbishop must qualify as a champion of ignorance and, in light of the evidence here, in a spectacularly serendipitious manner. Long live freedom from thought!

edit Ignorance and Slavery to Thought

Nobody quite knows for sure whether it was the Great Ignoremus in the Sky who said it, but if you don't use metrics you'll never know how effective your Ignorance Management System is. There are a number of measures used, though it is important to realise that data gathering, analysis and publication of results is the least troublesome if it can safely be delegated to ignoremuses in the organisation. The most common and least contentious tactic is to foreshadow your campaign to introduce metrics with an anti-discrimination crusade against victimisation and exploitation of the ignorant. Nobody knows who should be credited for having said "There are two types of people in the world: those who ALWAYS get hold of the wrong end of the stick, and those who sometimes don't", but it has been taken up by ignoremuses the world over as a rallying cry against discrimination against the ignorant. It's not their fault that some people are doomed invariably to get things wrong. Attempts to change or cure them of this propensity must be resisted. Once this principle is established you will find more of a laissez faire attitude developing towards the most ignorant and potentially destructive people in your organisation.

edit What to do about destructiveness

Like all great forces, there's always going to be an equal and opposite reaction. In the case of a mature Ignorance Management System risks of serious and destructive reactions against the force of ignorance are minimised and mitigated by using a social gyroscope operating orthogonally to obtain necessary stabilisatory leverage. See Alexander and Newt, 1982.

edit The Social Gyroscope - agent for change

A social gyroscope is a secretly trained social engineer, usually appointed by the Marketing Manager and placed in the Human Resources Department. Training includes occupational psychiatry, hypnotism, "power denial", and "Colour Me Chameleon" .

edit Occupational Psychiatry

The process of "treating" co-workers to "move" them in a certain direction emotionally, usually from a position of doubt and insecurity to one of ignorance and paranoia.

edit Hypnotism

The art of controlling people without them being aware of how much control they've "given away". Hypnotism is a technique for rapidly getting someone to trust and want to please you so that you can then make suggestions that you know they will follow.

edit "Power Denial"

"Power Denial" or "Denial Denial" is a means of silencing doubters in the ranks. It operates using strong body language - in particular, arhythmic eyebrow movements, loud voice heuristics, and powerful presence established through keen dress sense and breathing exercises.

edit "Colour Me Chameleon™"

A patented process of using make-up, tinted contact lenses and distinctive footwear to enable people to develop a dress sense that helps them overcome the resistance that people sometimes manifest to being "precesseded" by a social gyroscope. Social gyroscopes, unlike their physical counterparts, are not used merely to navigate, but to unbalance and 'alter the orbits' of people in a social dimension. To this end, having a subtle costume with colours coordinated to have the maximum subliminal effect are all part of the "Colour Me Chameleon™" patented process. The process also includes special elements of self-control, which have to be learnt and internalised early on in the process in order to prevent exponents unwittingly unhinging fellow co-workers in bizarre ways.

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