Change, by S. M. Miller

Dear Human DHS friends,

I believe the following aphorisms we received from S. M. Miller, member of the HumanDHS Global Advisory Board, is worthwhile to share with you.

With kind regards,

Uli Spalthoff


S. M. Miller

• If the burdens of change are left unattended, those in vulnerable, contiguous positions will bear the burdens.

• Insertion-inclusion requires transformation of the institution rather than simply adding in the excluded.

• If unattended, the best off of the worst off are the most likely to be helped by a program (creaming).

• The rise on educational levels leads to credentialism, the inappropriate raising of standards for access to jobs.

• Organization, administration, or implementation are fateful, especially for programs to benefit the poor.

• As important as what a manager knows, equally important is what s/he doesn’t want to know.

• Behind every agreement lurks a misunderstanding.

• Every act of selection is an act of exclusion.

• Originality largely depends upon a poor memory and ignorance.

• It isn’t hard to know what to do in a situation; what’s hard is getting into a position to do it.

• It isn’t hard to make a decision; the hardest part it to know when you have made it.

• The US is basically a conservative country with brief liberal remissions.

• The US is a nation easy to disturb but difficult to change.

• Americans have highly compartmentalized views so that they can live with quite contradictory attitudes (compartmentalization is not ambivalence).

• Few people think of themselves as hypocrites; they believe in what is necessary for them.

• Committees proliferate in the presumption of democracy and the fact of autocracy (an axiom perhaps restricted to universities.

• Believing is seeing. People see and hear what they first believe.

• The progressive political world is divided between numerous externalizers (“the media were against us”) and far fewer internalizers (“we made big mistakes”).

from: Miller, S. M. (Spring, 1999). Social Policy, p. 52

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