If you follow British politics, you know who Dominic Cummings is, and you probably don’t like him. This is to be forgiven. Dom Cummings is currently at the apex of Westminster politics, he is unelected, and yet, disguised as a mouth-breathing sofa masturbator, reigns supreme over Whitehall and its civil servants. Since banning some publications from No 10 press briefings and refusing to put ministers up for media rounds on some broadcast shows, Cummings has been particularly unpopular, and branded as an enemy of the open public sphere and government transparency. In some totally cool other recent news, Cummings briefly hired a forecaster who happened to be a eugenicist. Nice.
Like him yet? Nobody does. That’s not his style, and it’s not the point either. People, and students in particular have been increasingly convinced that public figures who they don’t “like” are irrelevant and not worth listening to. As cosy as this sounds, it’s not very good for you and turns you into a zombie with a comfort zone the size of a plant pot. So, why should you listen to an unelected adviser whose ambitious ideas are causing an earthquake under our oh-so-fragile democracy? Because, he’s a genius (close enough, anyway).
Cummings is on a one man mission to reform the civil service to an efficient, high performance machine of scientific government, and his online blog is a multidisciplinary manual on how to maximise performance capability of organisations and individuals alike. He uses geometry, architecture, physics, theoretical computer science, and economics to envision a super-efficient governmental machine based on academic expertise and scientific thinking. He plans to replace humanities graduates with ‘genuine cognitive diversity’ in No 10 which, in yet another blow to the employment prospects of us humanities students.
At least he tells us how we’ll need to adapt our thinking to survive in the high-performance economy that Cummings’ approach anticipates. By reading Cummings’ blog, you should be able to improve your ability to make rational and productive decisions, and how to manage people and projects down to the very physical space you work in. Despite the doom and gloom awaiting us humanities students, all this seems like it might be suspiciously relevant to the one purpose every student shares. Getting a job (in case you had forgotten, which can be easy to do, I admit).
Cummings uses his blog as a platform to advertise exactly the type of intelligence and thinking he thinks needs to occupy the very heart of government. Your ability to manage people, projects, and crises is probably 70-80% of what any interviewer is trying to work out, and top of any employers list of important attributes, so why not give it a read? Cummings’ ideas are so outlandish that it would be pointless trying to list them here, so go and read Cummings’ blog. Don’t be scared of the Big Brexit Bogeyman. Dominic Cummings won’t turn you right wing, but he might just land you a job, and he’ll certainly make you more interesting.
Image: duncan c via Flickr