Creating Kafkaesque systems deliberately to dissuade competition, make is super difficult

I will give an example of this type of madness.

INDIA - Every year millions of people compete for a less than 10,000 college seats in IITs across India, the only colleges worth pursuing a degree in, due to the dismal conditions of education in the rest of the country.

So when the competition is so huge, it is possible that roughly 50,000 or 100,000 students are eligible to pursue the course, but due to the lack of those many opportunities, the government has to find a way to reject eligible candidates. Since these institutes are funded by the government, they have invented IIT-JEE, Joint Entrance examinations, the difficulty of the questions asked in the exam are way beyond the capacity of a student pursuing Grade 12 - After getting IITs you realize that you know the complete syllabus of the Sophomore year of graduate school.

People invest 10 odd hours to prepare for this exam and waste two to three years of their lives, learning nothing else! Only the lucky ones (not the best), get into the exam. The exam has become more of a lottery and less meritocracy. So what should we call such a system, that has an overflow of people with merit but due to lack of opportunities has to install a wall that chooses people based on some complex arbitrary system?

What do you call this phenomenon of deliberately erecting - random, confusing, impossible, arbitrary, puzzles and mazes, an artificial system to filter and judge people.

If there were 10,000 students and 1000000 college seats, I don't think we would have any competition what so ever.

This repeats in India again, when people go crazy over government jobs, especially the civil service jobs. IAS Exams, they are titled a quick search on youtube would reveal hundreds of thousands of videos about how to crack this exam. Everybody in India competes rendering the process utterly ambiguous and useless in the end.
asked on Friday, Oct 11, 2019 08:30:36 PM by boniaditya

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Steven Hobbs
Q. "What do you call this.."
A. Elitist proprietary selection to sustain power and control.
answered on Saturday, Oct 12, 2019 12:57:12 AM by Steven Hobbs


Your question seems very Kafkaesque to me; I am having a hard time finding a logical argument in there. The best I can find:

P1: There are many more applicants to Indian colleges than there are available seats.
P2: Selection criteria are used to decide who gets admitted.
P3: The selection criteria are based on an exam.
P4: The opportunity to take the exam is random.
P5: The exam is very convoluted and difficult.
C1: The exam is not a good device for selecting students.
C2: Selection of students is random.
C3: Selection of students is not based on merit.

I believe this is a valid argument, although I can see some people questioning conclusion 1. I don't think the argument is sound. I may have misunderstood, but concerning premise 4, doesn't everyone who wants to get to take the exam? Random exam admission does make the process random, and I don't think that works well with using an exam to select candidates. Premise 5 is also not necessarily true; some people may not find the exam convoluted or difficult.

If all the premises are true, and you want to have college admissions be based on merit, you would have to allow anyone who desires take the exam, and you would have to make the exam at the proper level of difficulty to have 10,000 students out of 1,000,000 pass. (Another way to do this is to give an exam, no matter how convoluted or difficult, and take the 10,000 highest scores.)

I feel as though I may be missing something in your post. Please let me know.
answered on Sunday, Oct 13, 2019 09:51:31 PM by Jim


It is not a fallacy. What is going on is not a logical fallacy. It is just a stupid, impossible situation - a game where you cannot win. The smart thing to do would be to not play the game. Screw that system.

Then I am sure there are also vulture-like training systems that promise success for a fee, but just take advantage of the people who make themselves victims by playing this game. All of this just to be bureaucrat in a stinking government job? This is India. I thought they have good access to computer programming training there.
It is Kafkaesque in the respect that so many people succumb to the lie that they need to participate in this scam. Always pass up the opportunity to get sucked into an impossible scheme with no real winners.
Wait - I think there is a fallacy here:

The fallacy is that "You need to do this." No - you do not need to do this.
Never be afraid to say No! to playing someone's stupid game.

Actually, there are a lot of computer training schools in India
answered on Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019 10:07:18 PM by JW


The prospect of managing an economy and democracy of 1.5 billion people, or even a republic of that size, is to me an np hard problem but I may be underestimating the difficulty of the problem . . Only China approaches the same issues.

The solutions to such problems are recondite, a subset of which is the issue presented in the question, and deal with facts not in evidence (to sound like a lawyer in court).

OTH, the acceptance of such answers by the population depends on fallacies of multiple types: argumentum ad populam being my first choice. That the populace might be expected to accept such a scheme makes argumentum ad verecundiam come to mind.

This is not a forum to solve such problems, and I've no idea what an alternative might be, but an argument that there is no other way than the process presented and that therefor it should be left as-is, is the essence of argumentum ad ignoratiam

My sincere best wishes that boniadatya works this through. It will not be solved by logic alone, imo. Maybe he knows a guy who knows a guy...
answered on Friday, Oct 18, 2019 03:23:46 PM by DrBill