Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Social Engineering 101 - Iraq's Nanny

Note: This is a pre-requisite for Social Engineering 201.

A bit chastened, the Privateer has been reminded that he has reservoirs of technical and practical knowledge that others may not. He should occasionally pause and explain things. Remember the example of Steve Stone and put on a seminar for “All you Little Leaguers out there”. So here is a little review.
Control Theory - For all the blathering about “positive feedback”, it is best applied in small doses and with larger doses of "negative feedback"! This is extremely “judgmental”, but has been scientifically proven through the use of Bode Diagrams for network analysis! So what does that mean!!! If you aimlessly hand out “rewards” you will encourage the underlying behavior. The most common, extreme example is drug addiction. The future addict thinks, “If it feels good do it!” A bit of negative feedback, “If I show up for work stoned, I’ll lose my job!”, can do wonders for the SELF CONTROL! You occasionally need to hand out "punishments"! What you want to do can be simplified into two rules of thumb:

This is straight out of the Fox’ Nanny 911 Handbook. So look at how elegantly the Iraqi political plan has been crafted.

1) The country has three major (and several minor) religious groups about which the Rolodex Rangers can obsess. The largest is the Shi’ites (the middle child), which reside mostly in the southern part of the country. The most independent minded, is the Kurds (the eldest child), who live in the northern part and already have a semi-autonomous government. The most fractious and immature is the Sunnis of Saddam’s Ba’athist Party (the “Baby“).
2) The challenge is to restrain the Shi’ites inclination to use their majority political power to become “bossy” . The Kurds desire to use their autonomy to “have it their own way”. And the Sunnis inclination to overcome their position of weakness by passive-aggressive “bullying”.
3) So what’s a nanny to do? Apply our basic principals?! Tell the Shi’ites they must respect the rights of others. Tell the Kurds they can’t do what they want unless they help with the younger kids first. And tell the Sunnis to stop fighting or they will earn they a good smack!

So let us look at the Iraqi political plan as it applies to each “child”. The country is divided into 18 provinces, but to approve the constitution requires the approval of 15. No combination of these three major groups that leaves the third totally in the cold results in ratification. The Shi’ites have the most provinces. But the Sunnis (sect of most of the “insurgents”) have four. So the Shi’ites and Kurds cannot just go off on their own, until they help raise their “baby” sibling. Most particularly, the Shi’ites are going to have to make some accommodations for the Sunnis. The Kurds are going to have to get with the program if they are ever going to be able to concentrate on doing their own thing. And the Sunnis are going to have to learn to control their tempers or the mean old nanny is NEVER going to take herself (and her guns, tanks, planes, Marine MEUs etc. etc.) and go home!!! (This ain’t Mary Poppins!)

So our little Iraqi family will have to learn to function before being left to its own devices and being able to bid a fond farewell to it’s loving Nanny! The easiest way is to work things out into a mutually agreeable pact (a constitution), put that to a vote to get a commitment from every party, and then put that pact into everyday life. Then they have fixed their dysfunctional family and Nanny goes home. This is what we teach in Social Engineering (not Science) 101, a much higher calling!

Update 4:10 AM 2/2/05 - Social Engineeering 301 is now available @ The Adventures of Chester .


Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Bravo! Brilliantly analyzed and stated! You have nailed it!

4:49 PM  

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