Monday, 4 May 2009

Auckland: the rule of squares

Discussing the proposed Auckland uber-city over the weekend, we came up with a few basic rules of thumb about the amalgamation of any bureaucracy of this sort.

Bureaucracies work on 'the rule of squares.' This is both a mathematical rule and an observation on the type people who work there.

What  it means about the entities who work there is obvious.  What it means for the onset of power lust is this: If you double the size of the organisation, then you multiply by four the sense of overweening self-importance of its bureaucrats (that is, by two-times-two). Double the size of the organisation, and you multiply by four their sense of uninhibited (and unlimited) power. Double the size of the organisation, and you multiply by four the sense of disconnection from the real world, and from the people they are supposed to serve.

Remember Auckland before the amalgamation of its boroughs?  Do you see what I mean?  Remember London when Red Ken Livingstone took over the reins of London, and started by attacking every vehicle owner in the city? D’you understand what I’m talking about?

If you double the size of a bureaucracy, you multiply by four all the bossiness of a bureaucracy.  The new Auckland uber-state will be at least four times larger.

Which means when you head cap in hand to the new uber-state seeking permission to add an extension to your lounge, or to add a new bedroom – or to complain about the latest exhorbitant rates rise -- then you'd better be at least sixteen times more obeisant or else suffer all the consequences.

Fancy that, do you?


  1. Where oh where are all those National Party and ACT Party acolytes who used to post here? Remember those guys?

    They raved on and on about how good their messiahs would be. Now the evidence is mounting that their heros are similar in premise, ideology and activity to those they excoriated... Well, we don't seem to be hearing from the old Nat/ACT worshippers no more. Wonder why?



  2. Yeah, sounds good, but it's not exactly physics is it? Easy to make up a rule where there's no way of empirically measuring it.


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