David Simon, the creator of TV series The Wire, was in Sydney recently for the Festival of Dangerous Ideas – I wasn’t fortunate enough to attend, but I followed closely his comments on everything from Queensland’s bikie laws to social disadvantage. Simon is a wide ranging thinker who is effortlessly able to mix drama with cutting social critiques and a deep understanding of organisational psychology.
The Wire, which ran from 2002 to 2008, was touted by some critics as the greatest TV series ever made. If you haven’t watched it, you should. Each season explored a different bureaucracy – the police, the city hall, longshoremen, the education system. Together, the series provided a fascinating insight into organisational dysfunction, why and how it occurs and what the costs are. Fans will recall the great example of juking the stats, where performance-based measures backfire in an environment of mutual distrust Read the rest of this post