Note to recruiters

Note to recruiters: We are quite aware that recruiters, interviewers, VCs and other professionals generally perform a Google Search before they interview someone, take a pitch from someone, et cetera. Please keep in mind that not everything put on the Internet must align directly to one's future career and/or one's future product portfolio. Sometimes, people do put things on the Internet just because. Just because. It may be out of their personal interests, which may have nothing to do with their professional interests. Or it may be for some other reason. Recruiters seem to have this wrong-headed notion that if somebody is not signalling their interests in a certain area online, then that means that they are not interested in that area at all. It is worth pointing out that economics pretty much underlies the areas of marketing, strategy, operations and finance. And this blog is about economics. With metta, let us. by all means, be reflective about this whole business of business. Also, see our post on "The Multi-faceted Identity Problem".

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Comment : Email to Chomsky on the Gospel of Jesus' Wife

My email to Prof. Noam Chomsky on the recent paper by Karen King 'Jesus said to them, My wife ...' :

A note on interpretation - notice the clever use of the subordinate clause qualifying "I" in the second sentence. I think I have slipped past Chomsky's defenses in implying that *I* am one of the people in the world with a tremendous historical perspective, which is not something I am going to correct Chomsky on if that is the interpretation he is going with. Just kidding, of course. I am posting this since this topic has significant relevance for India.


Dear Prof. Chomsky,

I read with interest Prof. Karen King's paper "Jesus said to them, 'My wife...". As one of the people in the world with a tremendous historical perspective, I would be interested in your response to some comments I have below from an organizational perspective.

As somebody who studies organizations, one thing that never ceases to amaze me is the extent to which organizations are path dependent. It seems to me that there is one little aspect of the world's longest surviving non-profit organization, the Catholic Church, that seems worth discussing in this regard - the Catholic Church has stipulated celibacy for priests. One of the main reasons given for this has been their assumption that Jesus was celibate.

From their website :

Current church teaching sees celibacy as a gift that God bestows on those who are called to the priesthood. Among the church's arguments in defense of celibacy is the example of Jesus, which must be reflected in the life of a priest. Through celibacy the priest mirrors the love that Christ has for all, a love that the priest, unattached to spouse and children, can also extend.

If it should turn out that Jesus was, in fact, married it seems that it would all have been an inadvertent mistake. Inadvertent and perhaps unfortunate. It is hard to state conclusively that it would have been better for the Catholic Church to have allowed priests to marry, but much scientific evidence would indicate this to be a reasonable contention to make. Furthermore, the recent sociological research on the pedophilic behavior of Catholic priests may have only surfaced the truth in these modern times. What priests may have done in the distant past when such matters could not be laid open by judicial inquiry, we can only guess.

Was Jesus married? We don't know. Did he have a "Mary" for his wife? We don't know the answer to that question either. While we don't know the answer to many questions, at any rate, we do know one thing. It seems reasonable to state that the Catholic Church *did* *not* whether Jesus was married at the time that they instituted celibacy for priests. This means that they instituted a regime without due attention to the sexual needs of their constituents based on knowledge that was far from conclusive. In this, I believe they failed.

I have argued before that organizations are like animals. They have a 'need to survive'. Perhaps, it is out of a need to distinguish themselves from other organizations that they instituted the system of priest celibacy, thereby assuring themselves a greater chance of survival. The premodern Catholic Church, like most organizations even today, tended to take decisions that advanced its own interests. It is only with the Age of Enlightenment have ideas such as the separation of the personal and the professional become the norm. As such, one cannot judge the Catholic Church too harshly.

One must forgive them because they knew not what they did.