"Required by Policy"

To: nominal@topica.com
Subject: required by policy
From: David McDivitt <dmcdivitt@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2002 19:28:09 -0600

I chuckle each time I see a sign at work:

....All non-employees must sign in and out at
....the guard desk.
....This is required by POLICY.

Where did the policy come from? Saying it is required by "policy" doesn't really say much. If it was not current policy, the sign wouldn't be there, would it? More appropriate would be to say "required by management".

To me this is an example of reification and how abstract ideas are often taken for granted. The person who wrote the sign probably thinks policy is policy, is policy, and if policy, it's because it's policy.

To us it would seem identity is whatever abstract idea, but taken as fixed, rigid, or steady state, without consideration it is abstract. What is your identity? Have you ever paused long enough to deconstruct it? Who are you? Have you ever deconstructed that? Surely pragmatism is a good thing, for pragmatism allows many ideas and concepts to be taken for granted without analysis. But what if we do want to question things?

My opinion is there is no absolute truth or foundation to anything, except what is used and is momentarily convenient. Ontologists, absolutists, and realists are unable to accept this fluid manner of existence. Instead they drill ever deeper, hoping to find that mystical hidden component by which all things are constructed. They do not acknowledge their own values make that little piece be whatever they want. Of course research is necessary, and testing and proving within our present social system of science produces results. What has evolved however is a set of highly complex and technical valuations, which we refer to as knowledge. Why view this as external to ourselves? Why not acknowledge the fluid nature of existence for what it is?

A good example might be the market. What is value? When price diverges from value there exists potential profit, but what is value? Well, there are many ways of assessing value, one of which being the average price over a given period of time. There are various value models, totally dissimilar to each other, but each gives a value representation necessary for the type projection and speculation being done.

Any valid model, scientific or otherwise, must always be measured in terms of itself. But how can this be? Isn't that subjective? Everything is subjective, which is the point ontologists, absolutists, and realists are unable to understand. So the point is we go ahead and use subjectivity for what it's worth. Few people however can understand the connection between valuation and knowledge, that they are the same.

Rather than the Big Bang, an utterly ridiculous theory in my opinion, significance might focused on the birth of human intelligence instead. How does new knowledge form all the time? How wonderful is it when one person changes his mind or learns something new?

Maybe the person who wrote the sign was right. Policy is what applies right now for whatever reason. We may question it, but we cannot dispute the fact things are being done that way, right or wrong.

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