Tuesday, 19 April 2011

I am so smart, S-M-R-T, I mean SMEs

I wonder who first realised this was kind of a silly idea?

SMEs are invited to submit proposals for the development of a pleasant-tasting, low-priced drink that will enable secondary school students to work safely and with sustained alertness all day.

Was it the high school students who came up with the idea in the first place?
Was it the teacher who sent the proposal to the Victorian Department of Education?
Was it the bureaucrat in the Department of Education (Western Metropolitan Region) who asked the Department of Business and Innovation to help develop the proposal?
Was it the departmental manager who agreed to fund the project?
Was it the underling who put together the TRS (Technology Requirement Specification)?
Was it the poor sod who wrote the advertisement that appeared in Melbourne newspapers last Saturday?
Or was it the education minister Martin Dixon, after a journalist gleefully rang him to let him know?

It's either an hilarious prank, or it's all just a little bit embarrassing. A phone call or two by any one of these people might, perhaps, have prevented a few red faces (and, no doubt, some harshly worded memos).
Health experts said the proposal was so weird it sounded like a hoax.
Australian Medical Association state president Harry Hemley said: ''The most important thing is children get to bed early, have a good diet and don't watch too much TV or play too many computer games."
It's really not that this was the stupidest idea in the world, on the face of it. Kids do need to concentrate at school or they'll end up in a dead-end public service job writing proposals for the development of pleasant-tasting, low-cost drinks. It is, however, a clear example of how government initiatives can and do get funded without following The Crapologist's rule #27*
Ask an expert. None of this would've happened if they'd been there to keep you from acting stupid.
*Apologies to Homer Simpson for bastardising one of his Best. Quotes. Ever. Twice.

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