Monday, June 26, 2006
Final police blog entry
I may continue this blog in a non-police capacity, for those who are interested to see how things unfold here in terms of making the change, lifestyle, opinions and comparisons on life here versus in the UK. If you want me to do this, please post a comment or e-mail me and let me know. If there's no interest, I won't bother.
On the plane on the way over I was reading 'Dilbert: The Joy Of Work' by Scott Adams. A very funny book. On pages 152-156 is a fantastic section called 'You Are Wrong Because' - a list of 'wrongs' someone commits when airing their unqualified and nonsensical thoughts and opinions on a topic. So, I've decided to write the police version, with full credit to Scott Adams and the book.
Fill in the blanks and circle the errors, then print out and give to the person concerned. Works equally well with either the public, colleagues or management:
YOU ARE WRONG BECAUSE
For your convenience, I have circled the acts of stupidity that most closely resemble(s) the one(s) you recently made on the topic of: PLACE TOPIC HERE
AMAZINGLY BAD ANALOGY
Example: You can train a dog to fetch a stick. Therefore, you can train a potato to dance.
FAULTY CAUSE AND EFFECT
Example: From what I've seen, more police means less crime.
I AM THE WORLD
Example: I didn't get an immediate police response to my report of a burglary that happened yesterday. Therefore, the police don't care about people who are burgled.
IGNORING EVERYTHING SCIENCE KNOWS ABOUT THE BRAIN
Example: People commit crimes because they feel like it - there's no other motivation.
THE FEW ARE THE SAME AS THE WHOLE
Example: Some police officers prosecute people for speeding. Some police officers speed when going to jobs. Therefore, police officers are hypocrites.
GENERALISING FROM SELF
Example: I'm new to management. Therefore I believe you know nothing about the job either.
ARGUMENT BY BIZARRE DEFINITION
Example: He's not a criminal. He just does things that are against the law.
TOTAL LOGICAL DISCONNECT
Example: We should increase police performance figures because I woke up on the wrong side of bed today.
JUDGING THINGS WITHOUT COMPARISONS TO ALTERNATIVES
Example: I don't insure my car. (Generic insurance company) are too expensive.
ANYTHING YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND IS EASY TO DO
Example: If you have the right resources, how hard could it be to identify the mugger from a crowd of 3000 with no CCTV, descriptions or witnesses?
IGNORANCE OF STATISTICS
Example: Criminals ALWAYS get away with crime because there's not enough police to catch them.
IGNORING THE DOWNSIDE RISK
Example: I know making all officers single-crewed increases their personal risk, but it means there's more patrols around!
SUBSTITUTING FAMOUS QUOTES FOR COMMON SENSE
Example: Remember, 'good things come to those who wait'. So don't bother applying for promotion.
Example: Catching ten street robbers is an excellent result, compared to catching one murderer.
Example: I'm right on this because I'm the senior manager. And I must be the senior manager because I'm right on this.
INCOMPLETENESS AS PROOF OF DEFECT
Example: Your activity monitoring report didn't include how long you spent writing the report, therefore it must all be inaccurate.
IGNORING THE ADVICE OF EXPERTS WITHOUT A GOOD REASON
Example: Sure, the police advise that you shouldn't leave your Ferrari unlocked, running with keys in the engine and aboandoned in the middle of a dodgy area, but I have my own theory.
FOLLOWING THE ADVICE OF KNOWN IDIOTS
Example: The prisoner recommended I don't bother searching him. That's good enough for me!
REACHING BIZARRE CONCLUSIONS WITHOUT ANY INFORMATION
Example: I was assaulted in a club whilst drunk and on a night out. I'm sure that's because police were targetting speeders.
FAULTY PATTERN RECOGNITION
Example: This estate has houses burgled every week six weeks in a row. Next week, we're focusing everyone on a car crime operation on the other side of the division.
FAILURE TO RECOGNISE WHAT'S IMPORTANT
Example: I know you're struggling with someone wielding a knife, but could you tell me where the nearest cash machine is please?
UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT OF SUNK COSTS
Example: We've spent tens of thousands on this divisional restructure. We can't change it back now or it will all be wasted.
OVERAPPLICATION OF OCCAM'S RAZOR (WHICH SAYS THE SIMPLEST EXPLANATION IS USUALLY RIGHT)
Example: The simplest explanation for an increase in crime is more criminals.
IGNORING ALL ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE
Example: Crime always increases when we introduce new paperwork that ties up officers. But without a scientifically controlled experiment, it's not reliable data. So we continue to introduce new paperwork, since we can't tell if it has an effect on crime.
INABILITY TO UNDERSTAND THAT SOME THINGS HAVE MULTIPLE CAUSES
Example: I was mugged for the mobile phone adorning my neck one reason only: The police weren't patrolling on the street at the time.
JUDGING THE WHOLE BY ONE OF ITS CHARACTERISTICS
Example: Sometimes people arrested by the police haven't done anything wrong. Therefore, it's better if the police don't arrest anyone.
BLINDING FLASHES OF THE OBVIOUS
Example: If I stopped drunkenly inviting people to fight me, I might not get assaulted as often.
BLAMING THE TOOL
Example: I bought a burglar alarm but I still got burgled. The burglar alarm must be defective.
HALLUCINATIONS OF REALITY
Example: I can get the police to solve any problem I may have.
TAKING THINGS TO THEIR ILLOGICAL CONCLUSION
Example: If you don't get officers to document what time they take refs, next thing you know they'll never report anything they're doing!
FAILURE TO UNDERSTAND WHY RULES DON'T HAVE EXCEPTIONS
Example: It should be legal to drink and drive, as long as you don't kill anyone.
PROOF BY LACK OF EVIDENCE
Example: I've never seen you arrest anyone, therefore you must be a useless police officer.
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