AND THE LACK THEREOF*

*we put the "mmm" in communism

about

This is the personal blog of Tim. Here, Tim writes on anything he has enough inspiration to finish a post on. That usually ends up being matters of science, pop culture, technology, religion, and philosophy.

This blog is around nine years old, which is over a third of Tim's current age. Back in 2003, it was called "Of Tim: Tim's life - or lack thereof", and it was as bad as you might expect the blog of a freshman in high school to be. Tim hopes that his writing is a little better, these days.

Tim welcomes any input that you, the dear reader, might have. Comments are very much appreciated, especially if you have a dissenting opinion. If you'd like to learn more about Tim, you might want to see his facebook or google+.

Also: Tim is a very avid consumer of various sorts of music. You may be interested in his playlists!

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In describing the fundamental differences between Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Roman Catholicism, one lecturer at L'Abri pointed to the core cultural roots that each tradition sprang from. The Greeks brought their tradition of philosophy to Christianity - a philosophy which greatly differed from what is practiced in modern times, focused much more on broad pictures rather than methodologies for precise understanding. When mixed with Christianity, a mystical framework for interpretation resulted, focusing on humanity's relationship to the supernatural (God). Eastern Orthodoxy interpreted Scripture in such a way as to understand how humanity connects and ascends to God, emphasizing unity and relationship. By contrast, the Romans brought their tradition of law in their interpretation of basic tenets, and thus focused on the ideas of status, guilt, and forgiveness, the basis of any lawful society. They saw a need for justification in the face of divine wrath, and understood Scripture as they might a book of law.

I thought of this today, as my supervisor presented me with a few papers to sign as a part of his efforts to improve our quality of work. There were spaces for all of my co-worker's names. It was a summary of our entire job in two pages, and my signature was to indicate that I understood this.

"So, you're asking me to do my job."
"Yes."
"And you need my signature to know that I'm going to do my job."
"Yes."
"How does my signature ensure that I'm going to do my job, if I'm not currently doing my job?"
"It creates accountability. Your signature indicates you understand what your responsibilities are."
"Am I not currently held accountable based simply on the fact that I'm being paid for my time here?"
"Yes, but this paper provides proof that you know what your job entails."
"How does a signature prove that I actually understand that? My performance should be a far better indicator of that."
"It doesn't prove anything, but it means that when you break procedure in the future we have evidence that you actually know what you're supposed to be doing."
"This isn't going to decrease the number of problems we're having - it's just a tool for punishment. Why don't you just work with where each person is at, rather than trying to catch people on technicalities?"
"Because that isn't working. We just took an $800 hit because someone forgot write some fucking notes, and we didn't have enough evidence to stand up against the customer."
"This won't fix that."
"Maybe not, but [our manager] wants something done."

I'd love to live in a society where people are held accountable based on their actions, rather than what papers they've signed. On the other hand, maybe I wouldn't - I'm sure that lack of false security would become terrifying.
posted by MC Froehlich at
Anonymous danielreid said...
<3 tim, i need to call you sometime - coming home soon!!!

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