#13

Sense and Nonsense

Bases
One Basis
Two Bases (pronounced base ees)
Knowledge extracts from Information
Like Gold extracts from Ore
The result of Data Mining is Knowledge
The application of Knowledge is Wisdom
That which one wishes to Know
is Knowledge.
Knowledge is Learning.
Learning is Knowledge.
Knowing the limits of Knowledge is Wisdom.
Integrity is the application of Wisdom from
a moral basis. Ethics are the rules for
individual behavior practiced within a
moral environment.

Organizations and Institutions
are not individuals.
Articles of Incorporation
allow an Organization to be
treated as an Individual
under the Law.

The Law is one of our Truth Systems
Logic is another.
So are Mathematics and Science.
Each Truth System has its own
methods, conventions and practices.
Medicine is another.
The Practice of Medicine
provides an example of how
The Ethical Behavior of an Organization
cannot be based on the same rules as
The Ethical Behavior of an Individual.

Medical Doctors have for a long time
provided our Society with one of our
Paragons of Ethical Behavior.
They exercised Ethical and Moral Behavior
each day, making Decisions,
that most of us would shrink from.

Over the last ten to fifteen years
we have watched our stock of
Independent, Ethical, Family Doctors
Succumb to Bankrupcy and Litigation,
and to seek Shelter
by Aggregation and Amalgamation into
Health Care Institutions.

Many of these Doctors have come to know,
First hand, that Individual Ethics
are not congruent with Corporate Policy.
The order of treatment is contaminated
by The Bottom Line.
A man comes in with a headache.
CAT Scan, MRI.
Two days of tests later
he is asked to pee on a strip of litmus.
Ah Haw - Diabetes!
But the order of testing is not
determined by medical probability or
practicality (or even by the Doctor)
but by cost effectivenes of
Capital Equipment.
Those CAT Scanners payments have
to be made!
And this man had insurance.
QED. CAT Scan First.
Pee on Litmus Last.
Any Freshman in Business School
could figure this out.
And Based on the Evidence -
That seems to be Who Is In Charge.
Where is the Moral, Ethical Basis?
It doesn't Exist.
There is no Corporate Vice President of
Ethics
Morality
Knowledge
or Wisdom
Only a Corporate Vice President of Information Services
and He Answers to
The Corporate Vice President of CAT Scanner Payments.

Which is more dangerous to Society
1. A youth who has grown up in the ghetto, in a moral
vacuum to become a Predatory Criminal.
or
2. A youth who has grown up in the suburbs, in a moral
vacuum to become a Corporate Lawyer

Behavior is, after all,
the whole purpose of
Information
Knowledge
Wisdom
Integrity
Morality

Orgnaizations without These Attributes
are no better than Individuals
without These Attributes
This is No Longer an
Intellectual Exercise.
Our Future
Depends on Our Ability
To Instill Individuals with Moral
Behavior and to Design and Implement
Organizations with the Same Qualities
Which We Would Wish to See
In Our Friends and Family.
To Design Such Organizations
Is
Social Engineering
To Not Design Such Organizations
Is
Social Disaster
To Deny Black and White
because of the
Existence of Grey
is
less than intelligent,
some might term it as something like
STUPID.

Knowledge and Knowing
begins with sensing.
Seeing
Feeling

Smelling
Tasting
Hearing.

Stupidity, on the other hand
begins with not-sensing (ie. nonsense).
Not Seeing
Not Feeling
Not Smelling
Not Tasting
Not Hearing.

Not Sensing is Non-Sense.
When Behavior is based
on Non-Sense,
it makes no difference how smart
The Person doing it is,
It is STUPID Behavior.

The Design of Our Organizations
Forces us to behave, or act, stupid.
It doesen't matter who occupies
The Executive Suite.
Its the Design of the System
That is Stupid.

How do we make Smart Designs.
Just doing the Old Design
over again, using Computers,
Does Not Make the System Smart.

The Design
Must have a different Basis.
It must be based on
Knowledge and Wisdom,
Integrity and Morality,
Not just on
Information and Rules.

We can't even measure
Knowledge yet,
or Wisdom.
How much is enough?

Bill Bottorff
April 10, 1996


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