great minds

at a meeting today, i had the insight that our conversation could be described as the product of aristotle, hobbes, and foucault meeting to discuss finance:

boss 1 (aristotle): as a community, we all know what an investment project is, but what we really need to do is think about our definitions, so we can refine them just a bit.
boss 2 (hobbes): i don’t see why we’re meeting about this, i defined project in the data collection system. and that is the end of that.
coworker (foucault): what is it we mean when we say ‘project’? isn’t that to privilege one viewpoint over another? and there can be no basis for such an action of violence, so project has no meaning.

the interaction, of course, was nothing but a dostoyevski comedy. the aristotelean sought consensus in a world of myriad diversity, the hobbesean mechanistic approach collapsed under its own reductionism, and the foucaultian might as well have stuck dynamite under our reporting process for all the good it did. i have my background in philosophy to thank for being the only one to get something out of the meeting. alas, i couldn’t think of any way to share my insight.


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