RE: The Big Lie (a prediction)

Subject: RE: The Big Lie (a prediction)
From: Kevin McLauchlan <kmclauchlan -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: 05 Mar 2002 16:55:09 -0500

On Mon, 2002-03-04 at 12:09, Donald -dot- H -dot- White -at- pmusa -dot- com wrote:
> I'd like to see STC offer a library of white papers and articles to its
> members over its website; it doesn't.

Sounds good. Which topics did you have in mind?

> I'd like to see STC setup and run a
> convention that doesn't depend upon corporate sponsorship in order to afford
> the fees; it doesn't.

I probably won't be at the STC convention again
this year, because the budget is tight at my
employer, and there's just no way in hell I
could justify the expense -- nor write off any of it --
on my own dime.

DISCLAIMER: Of course, I'll sing a different tune when
the market picks up, and people are once again travelling
for the company. Ahem.

> Nevertheless, I don't understand why so much hyperbole
> is expended upon STC. After all, the heart of the organization lies in the
> work of its chapters. These people are in the grass and they tend to involve
> themselves with the types of topics for which Andrew apparently longs.

I am not a political animal (witness my lack of
participation -- it's not all just laziness and
disinterest, really... no, really :-). However,
I know enough about politics to recognize that a
power vacuum attracts power-seekers.

Almost always, they'll couch their importunings in
terms of "service", fellowship, representation to
government, etc., etc., etc., blah-blah.

But, when the brown stuff hits the rotating air-
circulation device, the people who have clawed/wormed
their way to the top of the national organization
WILL turn out to be the ones who espouse the creation
of standards and certifications.

Let me say that louder -- *mandatory* standards and
certifications. The office that administers
certifications, credentials, validations... will
become a seat of power. The political animals will
vie to control it. They won't necessarily vie to
occupy it, so much as to have oversight and authority
to appoint people to it.

Think about it. Nobody in STC has any say over how
you do your job, nor over whether you retain your
current job, nor whether you get your next one
(versus some other person who might have curried
greater favor). However, once the organization
institutes the first certifications and credentials,
you will see a rapid shift. Ever-larger portions of
the budget will be allocated to propaganda and to
bringing corporations and governments "onboard".

Simultaneously, once they've achieved about 15%
membership having forked over money-and-autonomy
for those credentials, you'll see a campaign to
make the credentialled ones "more equal" than
other members. A couple of election cycles will
go by, during which the possession of said
credentials/certificates will be touted on
two fronts:

a) as indication of "money-where-your-mouth-is"
support of the organization -- i.e., these
folks have put their money and study-time
back into the organization, as proven by
this-here sheet of paper, in contrast with
those pretenders over there, who didn't even
have the decency to pony up this new price
of admission;

b) as indication of qualification for the job
-- we want as leaders only people who have
proven, against an "objective" standard
(the certification) that they are among the
more highly qualified in the organization.

Then, somebody will propose that holding such
organization-dispensed certificates be made a
pre-requisite for even getting on the ballot.
"From now on, ya gotta be a 'licensed' member,
not just a member, to run for office."

Meanwhile, as the organization's funds are used
more and more successfully to bring employers
aboard, those of us who haven't paid the
certification dues will find more and more
avenues of employment closed off as a matter of

Political animals will now have real reason to
expend time, effort and money to achieve leadership
offices in the organization, because it will
have become a real (as opposed to merely potential)
seat of power.

Never mind the government and big-corporate
connection, for a moment. Just think of those
states/provinces that have mandatory automobile
inspection. Garages just LOVE those things, as
both a primary source of revenue (except where
the government mandates price ceilings), and
as a wonderful way to suck in additional
repair business. ("Well sir, I'm going to
have to fail your car. You can't drive it
until I fix these six items. Oh, you are
welcome to seek a second opinion, but you'll
need to have your vehicle towed to the other
garage. $KaCHING!$ ")

Now, won't they be springing up like mushrooms,
those little (and not-so-little) companies
that will have the mandate to certify you to
work in your chosen craft/trade/profession?
Next, those same companies will be offering
courses and pre-exam cramming services, and
so on. All for a nice price, of course.

Unlikely, you say? Hmm. What planet do *you*
live on, then?

The next step will be to consolidate a suitable
structure of controls and tribute over the
regional and local chapters. Party aparatchiks at
all levels will.... oops! Time to stop. :-)

Anyway, remember that old saying that the only
person you really want in a position of power
is a person who doesn't want it? Well, political
structures are usually devised, developed and
re-inforced to exclude such a person.

People of a political bent, who find themselves in
situations that do not confer power, tend either to
leave, or else to convert the organization to a
form that does carry (and confer) clout.

There was, for example, a time when it seemed a
relatively good and harmless idea to have teachers' unions...




Kevin McLauchlan
Chrysalis-ITS, Inc.
"Ultimate Trust(TM)"

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