The Dim-Post

November 5, 2012

Vacancies close Friday

Filed under: Politics,satire — danylmc @ 9:02 am

New Position

Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

Are you passionate about the meaninglessness of language, the impossibility of knowledge and the non-existence of reality?

Are you keen to share your  hopeless, doomed skepticism with officials at the highest level of government?

Then you might be our person!

We are seeking a: Senior Epistemologist to join our team in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

 This is one of the three central agencies responsible for co-ordinating and managing public sector performance. Your role will be to brief the Prime Minister and other senior Cabinet Ministers on the uncertainty underpinning all of human existence, especially the uncertainty of managing departments and being accountable for their performance in a universe that cannot be proved to be real.

As Senior Epistemologist you will have responsibilities across – but not limited to – the following areas:

  • Did unemployment rise in the last quarter? How can anyone prove it did, and if they can, doesn’t that proof require an additional proof, and so on into infinity? You will play a key role in communicating the meaninglessness of negative economic statistics to the New Zealand public.
  • Did the Prime Minister say something embarrassing? How can anyone say anything when all experience consists of flawed, subjective memories? What are memories? And aren’t the Labour Party rubbish? Formulating positions on these issues, and then changing that position and denying that the first position ever existed while insisting that the whole thing is just a media beat-up will be a key part of your role.
  • If the Prime Minister appears to have misled Parliament and the public, you will build relationships with key media figures and explain to them that there is no Prime Minister and no Parliament, just probability waves fluctuating within a quantum vacuum, so rumors of leadership struggles in the opposition party are more newsworthy.
  • George Berkeley famously asked, ‘Does the reality of things consist in being perceived? Or is it something distinct from their being perceived, and that bears no relationship to the mind?’ You will apply this doctrine to Official Information Act Requests.
  • You will co-ordinate junior epistemologists and other communications staff to disprove the existence of various events, statements, official reports, statistical findings and scientific facts as the role requires.

Our ideal person needs excellent interpersonal, communication and relationship building skills, and a committed belief in the inadequacy of language and rational thought in understanding the world. Weekend and evening work will be required.


  1. Hah, brilliant!

    Comment by Chris Bull — November 5, 2012 @ 9:07 am

  2. Would you need to suffer from a chronic dose of “Foot in Mouth” disease to qualify? Or wear blinkers?

    Comment by Alison Deaker — November 5, 2012 @ 9:09 am

  3. Not going to lie, I’d actually love that job.

    Comment by Lily — November 5, 2012 @ 9:10 am

  4. Also, be in charge on ensuring you cancel the census, suppress the MSD’s Social Report, and do away with the MfE’s five-yearly State of the Environment report. Then make sure the government refuses to do any interviews with anyone except an approved list of government patsies asking soft questions designed to reinforce the non-existence of the various events, statements, official reports, statistical findings and scientific facts no longer being reported on.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 5, 2012 @ 9:17 am

  5. Doesn’t Kevin Taylor already have this job?

    Comment by Gregor W — November 5, 2012 @ 9:17 am

  6. As the man says, “perception is reality” – I’d wondered if he’d been looking at Berkeley

    Comment by lyndon — November 5, 2012 @ 9:21 am

  7. I have to admit, I would like to drop a rock on the PMs foot.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — November 5, 2012 @ 9:30 am

  8. Finally! My dream job.

    Comment by TerryB — November 5, 2012 @ 9:57 am

  9. An aged Aunt Molly who has Alzhiemers would be ideal for the job. What salary did you say?

    Comment by xianmac — November 5, 2012 @ 10:05 am

  10. Yes, finally that degree in postmodern theories about the nature of reality and truth will come in handy.

    TBF to govt, they didn’t cancel census. That was kind of the earthquake in Christchurch’s fault. Yes, they could have done the census anyway but would have probably not been the best use of govt’s resources in time of crisis. It also wouldn’t really have that been that representative or useful if the results were like “10% of NZers were displaced from their homes by a natural disaster etc etc.” Next one is in March, 2013. State of the environment and MSD Social Report however. Now that sucks.

    Comment by LucyJH — November 5, 2012 @ 10:08 am

  11. take a step back lagoon plethora myopic slug plutonium fop sandal smoothie kick the tyres

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — November 5, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

  12. Up for it, Tim?

    Comment by Dan — November 5, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

  13. Fnord!

    Comment by chiz — November 5, 2012 @ 2:15 pm

  14. Re. cancelling publication of “State of the environment and MSD Social Report however. Now that sucks.”

    Especially when MSD has continued to publish, both online and in hard copy, a quarterly, full colour PR magazine called “Rise”, intended to inspire beneficiaries to set their sights higher and become, for example, a famous All Black, mountaineer, business person, etc. It must cost significantly more to produce “Rise” than it cost to produce the annual Social Report or the five-yearly State of the Environment, which suggests the rationale for cancelling them was something other than saving money.

    Comment by Laura — November 5, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

  15. Dang, competition for this job’s gonna be tight. There’ll be Cam Slater and Bomber Bradbury, but they will be distracted by wrestling each other in the mud pond just outside the Cabinet Office.

    That’ll leave a crack in the door for Chris Trotter to sneak some liberal leftie propaganda thru’, but for the fact he will get ankle tapped by Josie Pagani while getting out the lift, leaving space for her hubbie John to weasel his way into the position. Sadly for the Pagani duo, John hustled thru’ the wrong revolving door, and found himself back in the employ of David Shearer. The cry of ‘Nooooooo!’ reportedly set off another round of quakes in Christchurch. The mystery is whether the howl of despair came from Pagani or Shearer.

    Meanwhile, sly PR svengali Matthew Hooten simply redefined the job description to ensure he was the only suitable candidate, and in fact, that he constituted the hiring committee. Despite this inside running, Hootie was shocked to discover he had missed out on the sinecure, when on his first day at the DPMC he found a smirking John Tamihere with his feet up on the official linguistic discombobulator’s desk.

    Rumours Hooten has been seen in friendly cafe converse with Shane Jones were denied by JT, who noted that conversation over a cuppa has been illegal since that affair in Newmarket that didn’t happen with a non-existent person rumoured to be the PM, who was actually at a baseball game out of state.

    This message was not brought to you by David Cunliffe. Even if the postcode is from Herne Bay.

    Communications Commisariat for the Correction of Prunciation.

    Comment by bob — November 5, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

  16. Bob – it is nice to know someone listens to N2N at 11am on Mondays, because, if you are on the radio and no one is listening, are you on the radio?

    Comment by Matthew Hooton — November 5, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

  17. I have to be honest…I had to look up Epistemology on Wikipedia. And even then I have no idea what most of you are on about. Sorry for being as dense as Bat Guano. Love David B.

    Comment by PPCM — November 5, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

  18. This job will be even more vital if the Spider God or Cthulhu are elected in Epsom. The gibbering and mutilated victims of such insatiable cosmic evil will need to be advised of the subjective and trivial nature of their suffering.

    Comment by ropata — November 5, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

  19. I have had an episiotemy would that qualify me? Surgically planned excisions could come in really handy in this job starting with Gerry Brownley leading on to Kate Wilkinson oh and then there’s that man who attended a tea party named John 🙂

    Comment by Freespeech — November 5, 2012 @ 5:24 pm

  20. “Bob – it is nice to know someone listens to N2N at 11am on Mondays, because, if you are on the radio and no one is listening, are you on the radio?”

    But if you don’t know bob (or anyone else) is listening to you when you are on the radio, then do they exist? And if the listeners to you on the radio don’t exist, then are you on the radio? And if you aren’t on the radio, is there anything for bob (or anyone else) to listen to?

    Or, perhaps a more pertinent question … why are you on the radio at all?

    Comment by Flashing Light — November 5, 2012 @ 5:53 pm

  21. “Our ideal person needs excellent interpersonal, communication and relationship building skills, and a committed belief in the inadequacy of language and rational thought in understanding the world. Weekend and evening work will be required.”

    You forgot to mention wears non-gay shirts.

    Comment by gn35 — November 5, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

  22. This is so brilliant. So, so brilliant.

    And, of course, terribly, terribly sad.

    Comment by John-Paul — November 5, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

  23. Heartbreakingly true.

    Comment by Dianne - SaveOurSchoolsNZ — November 5, 2012 @ 7:15 pm

  24. It’s just like every job description I’ve ever read.

    Well then Hooters, have you ever thought of changing your first name to Oscar, because you’re so, so witty? Tell us about all the hilarious satirical plays and stories you’ve had published. At least tell a dead baby joke, funny guy – that’ll have my sides splitting.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — November 5, 2012 @ 11:17 pm

  25. Well, I certainly don’t exist Flashing Light, so it would be most inappropriate for me to listen to Matthew Hooten on the radio. Consequently, I am pondering how it is I am aware of these ethereal voices on the airwaves – am I having an existential crisis? And if so, am I David Shearer?

    P.S. Matthew H – yep, that’s me, Commie Radio’s listenership of 1. But don’t fret; come the revolution Comrade Fidel will have cloned millions of us, specifically so we can drink the executive boardroom bars dry. Oh, the anguish at the Northern Club 😉

    Comment by bob — November 6, 2012 @ 12:19 am

  26. PPCM – You’re not alone. I think Danylmc meant to refer to solipsism, not epistemology.

    Comment by Chris — November 6, 2012 @ 12:52 am

  27. Isn’t Sir Peter Gluckman already applying this approach with respect to having any meaningful policy response to climate change?

    Comment by Mr February — November 6, 2012 @ 1:29 am

  28. Toby Manhire stole your joke

    Comment by calebmorgan — November 28, 2014 @ 11:50 am

  29. A welcome return to form, danyl 🙂

    Comment by SHG — February 3, 2015 @ 2:13 pm

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