Jul 21, 2020

A cool example of this principle in action is to read the WWII-era “Simple Sabotage Field Manual” (https://www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/...), which reads like an inverted guide to productivity. Some fun bits:

> Managers and Supervisors: To lower morale and production, think of the worst boss you’ve had and act like that. Be pleasant to inefficient workers; give them undeserved promotions. Discriminate against efficient workers; complain unjustly about their work. When possible, refer all matters to committees for "further study and consideration." Attempt to make the committees as large and bureaucratic as possible.

> Employees: Be forgetful. Clumsy. Work slowly. Think of ways to increase the number of movements needed to do your job: use a light hammer instead of a heavy one; try to make a small wrench do instead of a big one.

> When possible, refer all matters to committees, for "further study and consideration." Attempt to make the committees as large as possible - never less than five.

> Apply all regulations to the last letter.

Admittedly, some of the techniques—like releasing a bag full of moths in a movie theater to disrupt enemy propaganda—are oddly specific and not easily inverted.