Magic and Carelessness

Here’s the problem with magical thinking: it makes you careless.


Bush’s carelessness in handling the debt implications of his homeownership initiative shared a great deal with Bremer’s carelessness in superintending the reconstruction of Iraq.

Gary Gerstle, The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order

I’m seeing this with my university’s administrators, too. They make really big decisions in very sloppy ways. “Here, we are rolling out this gigantic new initiative,” they say, “and we are scrapping everything that was normally done before.” Then they send out a link, and it’s pathetic. It looks like it was slapped up by two sixth-graders overnight. It crashes, there are primitive spelling mistakes and unfinished sentences. But the old system that worked is already scrapped, so we are stuck with nothing whatsoever and no plan B.


One thought on “Magic and Carelessness

  1. I think the term is wishful thinking. It is a serious problem for people who make decisions based on ideology as well as leaders of large organizations who tend to be disconnected from the real world situation on the ground.


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