THE ROBERT W. WHITAKER ARCHIVE

archives
articles

A NOTE ON HINDSIGHT | 2002-06-01

When you threaten to take away some bureaucrat's pay and privileges because he is not doing his job, his excuse is always, "Well, you're just using hindsight, and hindsight is always perfect."

This neatly bypasses the basic reality, which is that he is getting PAID. If his foresight is no better than mine, he shouldn't be getting PAID.

In other words, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Let me illustrate this point

1) I am typing this on a computer. I do not know who made this computer, but I am sure they are nice people,

2) If this computer doesn't work, I will fire the nice people who made it. That is, I will send it back and buy someone else's computer.

3) They could say that if they had known about the defect in this computer, they would have corrected it ahead of time. So I'm just using hindsight, and I am being unfair.

4) Tough. They get my money if they do their job. Excuses don't cut it.

5) The bottom line is this: If you keep people on because they are nice or their colleagues like them or because they are big tough pros and you are a wimp civilian, you are a fool. This is true even when the problem is just a few glitches on a cheap computer.

6) So if you keep paying somebody who fails at saving lives, you are an idiot.