Rational and scientific values
Twenty years ago I wrote in my diary:
Tuesday 30 March 1993
I worked in the Editorial Department because there were a couple of meetings … including some guy talking about the post structure of the university, and how it needed to be rational and scientific.
Glynn Meter asked him if that was what their values were based on, and he didn’t understand the question. Obviously he thought “rational” and “scientific” must be approval-eliciting words, and it did not occur to him that they could elicit disapproval. I left at that point and went to do some work.
That was when I worked at the University of South Africa, and the bureaucrats were always thinking up ways of wasti ng time on unproductive activities. One of them was filling in questionnaires about how one spent one’s time, and an inordinate amount of time was spent in filling in questionnaires like that, because it was thought to be “rational” and “scientific”.