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Targets and tick-boxes: thinking about bureaucracy

Marina Warner, David Graeber and the perils of paperwork

By Jonathan Derbyshire  

I was an academic in a previous life, and occasionally people ask me why I left the university to work in a “dying industry” (print journalism, that is). Occasionally—very occasionally—I ask myself the same question. But a conversation with those of my contemporaries from graduate school who stuck it out—and there are a few, along with the man who jacked it in after doing a PhD on the early Heidegger and went on to make millions…

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