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Q&@
THOUGH
THE HISTORY OF WRITING
IS RIFE WITH SIMILAR MISHAPS,
THE BENEFITS OF A MORE EFFICIENT ADMINISTRATION
HAVE GENERALLY OUTWEIGHED THE COSTS, AT LEAST FROM THE GOVERNMENT'S PERSPECTIVE?!
No ruler could resist the temptation of trying to alter reality with the stroke of a pen, and if disaster
resulted, the remedy seemed to consist in writing ever more voluminous memos and in issuing ever
more codes, edicts & orders!? Written language may have been conceived as a modest way to reshape
reality. When official reports collided with the more objective realities, it often was reality that had to
give way. Anyone who has ever dealt with the tax authorities, the education system or any other
complex often corrupt bureaucracy such as military equipment & enlistment knows that the truth
hardly matters. What's written on your form is far more important (zie bv. ook Erika, Vledder, Eilat/Avdat,
Petra/Elji!
)? The Storytellers Continued with Holy Scriptures, High Society & Downtrodden Masses! So, is it
true that when text and reality dó collide, reality sometimes has to give way? Isn't that just a common but
exaggerated slander of bureaucratic systems?!!!!! Because most bureaucrats, like burrowed rats - whether
serving a pharaoh or Mao Zhedingdong - were reasonable people, and surely would have made the following
argument: 'WE USE WRITING TO DESCRIBE THE REALITY OF FIELDS, CANALS AND GRANARIES! IF THE DE-
SCRIPTION IS ACCURATE, WE MAKE REALISTIC DECISIONS. If the description is inaccurate, it causes famines
& even rebellions. Then we, or the administrators of some future regime, learn from that mistake and strive to
produce more truthful descriptions? So over time, our documents are bound to become ever more precise..'?!!