“JAWOPPA” means “Just Another Way Of Pushing People Around”—my own coinage (if I remember correctly). I’d be very pleased if this usage caught on … but what I’d really like to see is a lot more recognition of the principle it refers to. Folk wisdom has it that “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you” means “you’re in a world of trouble now”—this idea could be restated (much less eloquently) as “nearly every government program turns out to be JAWOPPA”.

OK. The main thing was to get it on the record; I’ll link here whenever I decide to drop “JAWOPPA” into future posts. But here’s the reason this post is appearing today: somebody in a recent KTM thread linked to this outstanding source on the notorious “Delphi method”. I was Delphied at my first job in the pros (mid-90’s) and disgusted by it; I only learned its name in recent years.


  1. Fascinating. What do you do in those situations? Refuse to participate? Find chinks in the “delphi”?

  2. i don’t have to deal with this kind of thing any more;
    the only political work required of perma-temps
    around here is occasional submission to absurd
    time-wasting rituals. nobody even pretends
    to want our input in any decision-making process;
    whoever shows up for class every day and
    turns grades in on time is considered to’ve done well.

    and this is pretty much the reason i’m still at it.
    as i see it, the main reason i was fired from
    my tenure-track job was that i tried to take
    “faculty governance” seriously. there’s more
    in the “about professoring” section of my “essays” page.

    so: what do *i* do? flail around helplessly
    and complain a lot. on good days, i’ll admit,
    i sometimes feel a certain amount of pride
    about not having compromised certain principles.
    but most days it’s mostly self-loathing …

  1. 1 Required Reading « Rolfe Schmidt

    […] about the Delphi Method and follow the links.  It is fascinating.  Thanks go to Vlorbik […]

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