Friday, May 27, 2005

Valley Droids

A friend of mine just commented that Jdate has been sending him "valley droids". I knew that valley was the San Fernando valley, but I wasn't sure about droids. Internet to the rescue - has an amazingly opinionated definition:


n. [from `android', SF terminology for a humanoid robot
of essentially biological (as opposed to mechanical/electronic)
construction] A person (esp. a low-level bureaucrat or
service-business employee) exhibiting most of the following
characteristics: (a) naive trust in the wisdom of the parent
organization or `the system'; (b) a blind-faith propensity to
believe obvious nonsense emitted by authority figures (or
computers!); (c) a rule-governed mentality, one unwilling or unable
to look beyond the `letter of the law' in exceptional situations;
(d) a paralyzing fear of official reprimand or worse if Procedures
are not followed No Matter What; and (e) no interest in doing
anything above or beyond the call of a very narrowly-interpreted
duty, or in particular in fixing that which is broken; an "It's not
my job, man" attitude.

Typical droid positions include supermarket checkout assistant and
bank clerk; the syndrome is also endemic in low-level government
employees. The implication is that the rules and official
procedures constitute software that the droid is executing; problems
arise when the software has not been properly debugged. The term
`droid mentality' is also used to describe the mindset behind this
behavior. Compare suit, marketroid; see -oid.

This is maybe even more than you wanted to know...


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