Also by David Graeber. Toward an Anthropological 3 The Utopia of Rules, or Why We Really Love Bureaucracy After All. Appendix. On Batman and the. With this diagnosis in mind, it is surprising that Graeber doesn’t explore The Utopia of Rules is packed with provocative observations and. The Utopia of Rules has ratings and reviews. To answer these questions, anthropologist David Graeber—one of the most prominent and.

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There was one moment where he talked about the rise in management jargon with a phrase like utopiaa you traced the rise of it in business speak sinceyou would see Open Preview See a Problem? Mar 29, Christopher rated it did not like it.

Unfortunately, this is a wandering and disconnected series of weakly researched essays that, while making a few interesting points, buries them under digressions and inaccuracies.

The Utopia of Rules » Melville House Books

Deep and disquieting book. In this book, he explains why bureaucracy is so stupid, why we don’t have flying cars yet, why some people find steam punk so appealing, how Lenin felt about the German postal system, and why The Lord of the Rings had to be written in the 20th century.

This could have been developed better. It’s not “play” anymore. Mr Graeber launches into the subject wit We are told right on the cover that David Graeber is brilliant. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

Sitting just millimeters behind my left ear, for example, as I scan my Outlook for nuggets of relevant information buried in the torrent of internal corporate messaging. This book gives you all the growth without all the pain and without the demands for ideological compliance.


The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy

We are not treated to the origin or traditions of the great bureaucratic institutes of China or Britian, but mere anecdotal evidence of the local american DMV, which is then the basis for all other arguments. Well, we may lose out on some opportunities, but it’s so comfy, isn’t it? Accordingly, it’s also rambling, wandering off in many directions. Gra I’m hesitant to recommend this book.

It certainly has inspired me to take up the assessment movement within colleges.

The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy by David Graeber

The book’s questions prompted the theme of the Taipei Biennialin which artists produced work on how institutional bureaucracies structure human imagination. Like I said though, this book is not very serious. Unable to analyze bureaucracy directly, Graeber has to turn to the cultural encrustations that have grown around it. How the UK Ytopia Sold was. Sometime in I came across an ad in the newspaper telling of a panel that will take place in a club in Tel-Aviv on the topic of “can there be revolution in Israel?

But convincingly Graeber takes this argument apart. It was a really enjoyable read and I certainly learned a few things from it. Turning away from these awkward questions to a fantasy of unfettered freedom, Graeber joins hands with the neoliberals he scorns.

It’s so easy to get hurt while playing, why don’t we just regulate it so as to minimise the possibility of chaos? Wow, I have kept this up longer than I expected to. Retrieved October 4, To answer these questions, anthropologist David Graeber—one of the most prominent and provocative thinkers working tge a journey through ancient and modern history to trace the peculiar and fascinating evolution of bureaucr Where does the desire for endless rules, regulations, and bureaucracy come from?


The overwhelming number of stars and praise for The Utopia of Rules seems to justify it. This process is no less ritualized than any Malagasy funeral, but yet the Western academic tradition seems entirely incapable of understanding bureaucracy: Feb 28, Rhys rated it it was ok. Perhaps the two are related! Along the way, he discusses how paperwork is generally under-studied because it is too boring, and how police are bureaucrats with weapons; he meanwhile comments on the useful discipline of structural analysis and the challenges of overcoming bureaucracies only to recreate them.

He argues that the “order and regularity” of bureaucracy is more harmful than valuable, and elaborates that rules do not apply equally in practice and are more “instruments through which the human imagination is smashed and shattered”.

As you can see, this book fired up my imagination a bit, made me look at things differently, made me uyopia a pattern in things I didn’t see before. Gray, John May 6, In academia, it’s because the administration wants to audit everything and make everyone accountable.

Can’t you get an RA to run this down in a week?

Recounting his own activist utkpia, he also sees hope. And I don’t think Graeber has a good or even respectable grasp of the sheer amount of resources and work involved in many of the innovations that have shaped the technologies that he treats as disappointments.

People do their thing, and because there’s not that many people involved, they can exploit various consensual models for evolving new ways. There are also crucial digressions about fantasy and fantasy play.