In fact, it’s a symptom of partially achieved great success that masks an unacknowledged fact.
“ Nobody knows anything.”
William Goldman - Wikipedia
William Goldman (August 12, 1931 - November 16, 2018) was an American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. He first…
During the aftermath of one of the more recent debacles (anyone remember the Global Financial Crisis), a friend and I were chewing the cud and bemoaning the apparent fact that nobody seemed to have an actual plan, in the management layers who, one would think, are supposed to have plans.
My theory was that in fact the machine had been running itself for some time and they had been taking the credit. When the inevitable correction from 5% growth year on year happened to the new normal of way lower%, they were unable to anticipate or even adjust. Measures such as having a fallback plan, investing in the future, or planning for the fiscal environment were beyond them. The few decisions they made - like sticking their heads in the sand only made things less optimal.
My assertion is it’s a good thing that the system runs itself very well from day to day. This should not be misconstrued as the invisible hand, or some clockwork view of economics or the Illuminati and whatnot. Instead, it’s the power of the large number of solid solutions to problems that we as a species have created.
This is due to:
- systems evolved and battle tested for generations
- engineering effort expended by the trained and knowledgeable
- competition to improve
- regulation of sufficiently important technologies
That spreadsheet one department worships on a monthly basis?
I’d happily fire that whole gang of them, and keep the file.
It Works. They merely claim it needs 25 acolytes to peck at it and email corrections to each other. It really only needs 2.
The Matrioshka dolls of management that acrete onto the more visible functions of a business.
Our societies’ unwillingness to realise we need to move on to more useful things is self evidently the origin of our inflexibility. Coupled with the truly self-defeating bad bets people make by taking on giant debt with their fingers crossed, we upset the system by attempting to know better.
Hence, back to you point: few consequences — the less you try to do or swim against the tide, the less you are exposed to consequences.
King Canute and the tide - Wikipedia
In Huntingdon's account, Canute set his throne by the sea shore and commanded the incoming tide to halt and not wet his…
King Canute had the decency to sit at the water’s edge and expose the delusion — he put some skin in the game. And in doing so, created a parable for the ages.
So, two points:
1: Our systems are resilient to even staggering levels of ill-informed users.
2: Their current weakness is due to zero enforcement of standards in the some of the systemically important areas of life that have sprung up recently.
I assert that the current weaknesses are contingent properties, not essential components of these systems.
Essentially I am saying: “Facebook doesn’t necessarily have to be evil; it just so happens to be.”