Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Redeeming social importance

"Hey consultant"

"What?"

"Need some help"

"Are you paying for this?"

"Maybe"

"Where is the money coming from?"

"From this grant I am writing"

"I see. What grant?"

"Some grant I am applying for"

"From whom?"

"From someone ya. Somebody is giving me money. Is that a problem?"

"Usually not. But I have a feeling I know who this someone is"

"Its not you"

"I pay taxes you know"

"In that case, consider this your tax refund plan"

"You are worse than bankers"

"Actually no. One, it is a question of degree. We don't fleece taxpayers anywhere close to as much as those guys do. Our needs are simple, we are like normal humans"

"Simple needs indeed! You don't have to fleece so much when you have partners who actually work"

"Yeah okay, that too. Two, its about redeeming social importance. Which incidentally is what I need your help with"

"Right. I guess I should be glad at least you admit it what you do is criminal and obscene"

"Nope. I can't believe couple of years outside the country and you have forgotten all their laws. Its only obscenity if it is utterly devoid of social importance. I am telling you that my work, unlike banker work, has social importance"

"Right"

"I am not making this up"

"No, you are not"

"Dude, I am serious"

"Of course you are"

"You don't understand. I improve the country's competitiveness"

"In what? Sleeping?"

"And its technological edge"

"How?"

"And the UK's quality of life"

"How again?"

"Well, by letting people watch four you tube videos at the same time"

"Of course!"

"That was a joke. I really do all these things"

"Let me ask you again. How?"

"That's what I need you to tell me"

"What?"

"Well, I need to explain to these grant people how I am going to create social value with this research"

"But there is no value, let alone social value, to your work. In fact, there is only negative value and I am happy to quantify that if you like"

"Well, you don't really want me to do anything useful, do you?"

"Wait, where did that come from?"

"Finally I find one way of making little money and you find negative value in it. You don't really want me to succeed"

"I am the drama person in this household"

"No drama here. I just want to put in a few paragraphs explaining how I will create value"

"How much is it worth?"

"You ever think of anything except money?"

"Dude, you are asking me to completely make up stuff that's totally not true"

"Yeah but isn't that what you do for a living?"

"Perhaps. But I get paid reasonably well to do that. And I am pretty sure you can't afford me"

"Go away"

3 comments:

Cheshire Cat said...

Shhh. You are a dangerous person. We all need our illusions...

Veena said...

Cat: I am curious now. What are your illusions - exactly what social value do you think your research has?

As far as I know, you and Bill are in this line of work as this lets you sleep as long as you want to. But if you can also con unsuspecting taxpayers that you add a lot of value to humankind, there are quite a few things that I need to learn from you guys.

Cheshire Cat said...

We do add value, but the nature of that value is such that it's impossible to quantify it (I think this can be made into a theorem). Not our fault, is it?

Also, if there's any conning going on, it's equal-opportunity conning. We're paying taxes too, don't forget.