Monday, 28 February 2011

The importance of box-ticking

Academic Mary Beard writing the 'Diary' in the current issue of The Spectator has had a realisation about the cult of the box-ticking culture on both sides of the Atlantic:
'There have been a number of initiation rituals. I have taken, and passed (with certificate), the National Gallery online course in ‘Security and Privacy Awareness’ (to get internet access). Basically it’s a load of multiple-choice questions, to which you give the right answer — while knowing that, in real life, you’ll probably carry on in your bad old ways. The ‘right’ answer for how to choose a computer password is, apparently, to pick a phrase such as ‘squeaky chair’, and then change a few letters… to make ‘Sq#!aky c>ai?’. Who the hell is going to do that? Your date of birth or children’s names are just so much easier. In the last year I have done an online BBC ‘compliance’ course and a News International ‘work station — health and safety’ course. I have passed both, with no noticeable impact on what I actually do. But I have been ‘trained’, and someone somewhere has ticked a box.'
The concept of regulation by box-ticking really annoys me as it serves mainly as a way of employing trainers and trying to enforce the current fetish for political correctness at all times.

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