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GobbledygookWe have all heard technobabble and bureaucratese and legalese and public relations-alese. We sort of tune-out and roll our eyes every time we have to endure it, and with good reason. Gobbledygook is meant to mean nothing, to convey no specific idea, to give the fleeting impression of wisdom and know-how while leaving the door open for even the wildest interpretation. Worst case scenario, it is specifically designed to be incomprehensible. Gobbledygook's goal is to make the speaker look good. We know it. They know it. Everybody knows it and everybody (higher up) uses it, corporations and governments alike. But there is a large difference. Let's take a look.

CORPORATIONS

Today marks the 20th anniversary of our global reciprocal capability for which we now offer diplomas in facilitating organisational programming. Because of this we need to get on-message about our quality strategic time-phases in order to make a window to discuss your synchronised administrative alignment. The solution can only be compatible modular processing. This is so because we need a more contemporary reimagining of our dot-com transitional capability. Let's all remember that forward-looking companies invest in responsive administrative flexibility and our research points to parallel organisational consulting being the synergistic solution.

Got that?

The what!!!??? Exactly.

Instinctively we all have the need to feel and look good. We all want to be appreciated, loved and inspiring. It is only natural. To this extent many "corporate assets" (e.g. overpaid corporate bosses) and consultants (e.g. overpaid guns for hire) make extensive use of gobbledygook. This is no surprise and it won't change any time soon.

POLITICIANS AND BUREAUCRATS

Should there be a negative regulating mechanism on a cost effective programme to undermine the tyranny of the urgent paradox? Or should the system show cognisance of the current cohort vis-à-vis the strategic overview outlined in the pilot exercises of master on-going projects? That is indeed the question. We believe that a summative evaluation of self-help schemes in the rural hinterland will maximize the potential of front loading delivery systems. This is, the accumulation of appropriate technology and conventional wisdom bound by quantifiable parameters is the only way to ensure that through situational analysis we are using valid indicative allocations.

And this is why you should vote us.

Huh???

THE DIFFERENCE

At first glance both pseudo-talks or pseudo-languages seem to make sense, although they actually qualify as "word salads". They are nothing but a jumble of pseudo-ideas. Where is the difference then?

The difference is not in what they are saying but in what they are doing.

Corporations

In general terms corporations are bound by a hard limit: the free market. At the end of the day and passing beyond their gobbledygook they still have to deliver a good or service that matters to customers. No sales no profit. They can spin this into oblivion but the reality is reflected in profits and profits only. They cannot gobbledygook profits nor loses. This is actually very consistent with Austrian Economics where people act purposely to achieve a goal but there are no guarantees of success. Corporations also act in the same manner; they act in the belief that in pursuing a certain action they will benefit, this is, they will make profits. This is the unavoidable truth. Corporations may and do gobbledygook all the time, but underneath this (very) thin layer of BS we find real actions designed to provide goods and services people want. Sometimes they are successful and sometimes they are not. When they are, the market rewards them with profits. When they are not the market punishes them; they go broke and their wealth (whatever is left) is recycled. Presto! A self-cleaning mechanism. We can summarize this as:

In a corporate environment gobbledygook has very little to no impact on reality.

Governments                                                                                                                                 

But what happens in governments? Gobbledygook is used for several purposes and the consequences of so doing are vastly different. Let's take a look at several examples:

Gobbledygook is used to out-speak the political opposition without committing to anything.
Translation: fraud. Politicians propose one contractual agreement with voters when in reality the contractual clauses mean nothing.

Gobbledygook is used to create laws.

Translation: trap. Incomprehensible laws are the paradise of bureaucrats and politicians. They allow the former to administer us as they see fit and they allow the latter to disclaim any guilt (should they fail) and accept credit (should they succeed).

Gobbledygook is used to create uncertainty.

Translation: lies. A bureaucrat or politician makes use of such pseudo-language in order to induce disconcert and confusion in people seeking concrete answers. Basically, disguised lies.

Gobbledygook is used to create inducements.

Translation: deception. Gobbledygook is used by Central Bankers to prop-up or devalue the currency, by leaders to agitate for war, by economic ministers to induce business into a specific behavior, by bureaucrats to force us to choose against our best interest, by law enforcers to trick us into lose the protection of the law and so on.

Gobbledygook is used to launch flawed government projects or actions.

Translation: robbery. All politicians speak of the benefits of government projects but never about their pitfalls unless it is the opposition? When was the last time you heard of a politician supporting a project in a cautionary tone? This stuff does not happen. And what happens when projects fail? We are stuck with the bill.

Let's now recall all the translation words:

  • Fraud
  • Trap
  • Lies
  • Deception
  • Robbery

Do you begin to see the difference? You will be hard pressed to find these words associated with gobbledygook in corporate environments. Why? Because at the end of the day, the market rules. Is this an absolute? Of course not. Sure, some corporations are fraudulent, they trap people, they lie, they deceive and they rob. However, in general terms, how many of those do you know about? Statistically speaking what percentage of corporations do so versus all existing corporations? A very tiny percentage indeed. And we must now move a step further. Even when these corporations do so, what percentage of population are they affecting? A very tiny indeed. And one more step further. What is the typical duration of these actions? Short indeed. Long cons are rare. With very few exceptions consumer fraud is short lived. True, a few Ponzi schemes lasted several years but on average they are hit-and-run operation. And yet another step further. Do these scams reinforce each other? In general terms, no. They are independent from each other.

On the other hand, politicians and bureaucrats are not bound by market rules. This means that they float in never-never land and they can do whatever they want since money is no object. No budget? No problem. Just tax! Insufficient tax? No problem, just borrow? Insufficient borrowing capacity? No problem, just print! See the difference?

Furthermore, when they behave in this manner (which is almost always) what percentage of governments do so? We would hazard the guess that 100%. And going a step further, what percentage of population are they affecting? Again, 100%. And what is the duration of these activities? Lifetimes. We measure this duration in generations, not days or weeks or months. And what about reinforcement? These actions reinforce each other because they create economic catastrophes which trigger the need for more scams just to keep the government going. A self-reinforcing mechanism. See the difference?

In a government environment gobbledygook has a terrifyingly negative and lasting impact on reality.

CONCLUSION

Gobbledygook is unavoidable but in corporate environments they are playing with their private money and attempting to create goods and services which we may like. In government environments, on the other hand, they are playing with our money attempting to deceive, lie, cheat and in general terms, use us. The end result is that we end up becoming slaves for life to their games. And all this for what? So that politicians can keep their jobs! That's right. There is no ulterior motive.

Gobbledygook is here to stay and you actually may get to enjoy it. You may begin to believe it. You may begin to follow it. That's OK. That's your choice. Just one thing, when you support government gobbledygook the consequences are also yours. You can't have it both ways.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

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