Of the ten ways science makes the workplace more productive, number eleven is an admonition, as well as a summary of this corporate decalogue: Avoid any overlap in interior design between an office and a prison, as the latter provides little or no natural light, requires absolute conformity, and reeks of the emotional and physical excrescence of, respectively, fear and hatred and the kitchen slop pushed through a steel slot every morning, afternoon and evening; while the shouts and nonstop noise of anger and insanity reverberate against the gray concrete walls and iron bars, as other inmates cast “fishing lines” of string fashioned from torn bed sheets, with an attached weight for stability, to deliver coded messages about premeditated acts of violence, and the possession and sale of contraband.
Notwithstanding this loud, brutal, rancid and florescent-lit atmosphere of confinement, convicts seem to be in better shape than their “free” counterparts in Silicon Valley (or elsewhere) because muscle training is a serious prison pastime.
What science does not offer is a way to eliminate the wasteful, duplicitous and crippling effects of office politics.
In other words, what some people call science is, in fact, “scientism.” It is nothing more than the practice of feng shui, translated into the idiom of percentages and numbers of dubious province.
When science can rid the workplace of envy, greed, gossip, pride, sloth and factionalism, I will be the first to submit my resumé to this commune of excellence.
Declare it the dawn of the Singularity, or the transcendence of our existing biological limitations, but please, do not call it science.