> He or she was so caught up in legal artifice around terms such as prior art, that whether some concept is genuinely worthy of patent protection doesn't even enter the picture.
How do you propose the worthiness of a patent application should be measured and rated?
> He frets about precise legalese surrounding claims
Examiners are bound by laws, rules, decisions and guidelines (called MPEP in the US). The purpose is to provide an uniform service so that applicants do not get a patent granted because of irrelevant issues such as company size or political connections. Nobody in the profession believes the system is perfect, instead we have an enormous body of rules and more that have accumulated over the years and that are hugely complicated also for those working with this every day. These are continuously discussed but so far no alternatives have been agreed on.
> rather than think critically about their value.
Anyway, I am curious about what you mean by value here.
> This is the nature of the bureaucrats who hold our industry hostage.