Pedro Arantes

Purposeful Stupidity

"Citizen-saboteurs" learned those instructions to sabotage organizations or governments institutions.
Zettelkasten, September 19, 2021
## Notes - Purposeful stupidity is a set of instructions that the CIA's precursor, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), wrote in 1944, namely the [Simple Sabotage Field Manual]( - "Citizen-saboteurs" learned those instructions to sabotage organizations or governments institutions. - Organizations become incompetent and slow after the saboteurs apply the techniques to them. - Instructions for organizations and conferences. - Add bureaucracy to expedite decisions. - Talk as frequently as possible and at great length without adding much value. - Attempt to make the committee as large as possible. - Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible. - Haggle over precise workings of communications. - Refer back to matters previously decided. - Be "reasonable" and urge your fellows-conferees to be "reasonable" and avoid haste which might result in embarrassment or difficulties later on. - Instructions for managers. - Always sign out the unimportant jobs first. Assign important jobs to inefficient workers. - Insist on perfect in relatively unimportant products. - Be pleasant to inefficient workers; give them undeserved promotions. - Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done. - Add bureaucracy to the processes. - Instructions for employees. - Work slowly. - Make as many interruptions as you can. - Do your work poorly and blame it on inadequate tools. - Never pass on your skill and experience to a new or less skillful worker. ## References - [Josh Jones. Read the CIA’s Simple Sabotage Field Manual: A Timeless Guide to Subverting Any Organization with “Purposeful Stupidity” (1944)](
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