Thursday, June 30, 2005
The Sweet Smell of City Crotch
Anyhoo, for a really fun story click
In case you're hesitating, here's an excerpt of what you're missing:
"The problem with consultants is they answer more questions than they ask. The consultants would have got it right if they'd, instead of consulting their charts, graphs, theories and matrices, had only asked one Ashfad Mersk about the time he joked with his friend Sulwood Kalev, "Imagine if we never had to hunt again, if only the animals would stay calm in our presence and we could have them all together, take our pick for the slaughter." The two men had laughed heartily at the absurd notion, but within the year an invading nation had introduced full-scale agriculture and, their hunting skills considered obsolete, they found themselves slaving the fields for an overseer, dusk till dawn, until their merciful deaths."
I was reminded of that passage this morning while reading from a book, 'The Myth of Wild Africa', about conservation in Africa. The chapter I'm reading now is about Gabon and its cooperation with the European Community (EC), which in a 4-year span spent more on Western consultants' advice on conservation in Gabon than Gabon spent on actual conservation. According to the authors, "the only problem with [the consultants'] approach is that he didn't talk with anyone - not the villagers, not the local officials, not the central government." Interesting approach. Moron.