Thursday, 16 July 2015

On good men who do something

History is littered with many good men, who stood tall in the face of evil.
Men who were ultimately overrun by that evil.

Yet, there are those rare few who not only stood tall, but managed to change the course of history, even if only for a relatively brief span of time...

What separates the former from the latter?

I will tell you what: Nothing.

The difference: the good men who stood behind them.

All good men are the same. All good men are one. All good deeds are equal.

Although we are easily tricked into believing it, greatness is not determined by the size of the evil it opposes.

But what if my evil is your good? Perhaps all the world needs is a concise, precise consensus and definition of evil. It struck me that the best research published in history all seem to start with concise definitions.

...And it is not something that I have seen academically well defined; only in religious writings, where it's wrapped in symbolism and code. There's nowhere where you can read a concise, peer-reviewed, well-known paper on the definition of evil.

Or is there?... https://scholar.google.co.za/scholar?hl=en&q=evil&btnG=&as_sdt=1%2C5&as_sdtp=
The first hit is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beyond_Good_and_Evil

Well, isn't that just a shifting of the goal posts? "Evil isn't what we thought it was, it's something different." And again, just like religious writings, acedemic writings are wrapped in tradition and definition that are meaningless to the man on the street.

Is it really a moving target, along with "good". An ephemeral concept, that once you think you have it, it changes... does it change in the same ways for different people, as they experience more of the world? And is there a definition that most people will eventually settle on, that is not in contradiction with those of another, or that if that is so, that definition could easily be swopped for the agreed-upon right one?

I dare say there is. But what if that is indeed our conundrum, and that the state of the world can be explained by how easily good can be mistaken for evil?

Let's track back to where I started:
http://www.martin-niemoeller-stiftung.de/4/daszitat/a31

Read that, translate that, colour the sketch you have in your mind of history a bit, and then re-read this post...

Do you see the outlines of an archetype forming in your mind... the same one that powers the good times that you don't appreciate with the same vivacity if you haven't lived through the bad. Or can you? Can you learn from the mistakes of others and do the substance in their story carry the same weight as what they paid for with their life, even if you don't?

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

How do you lead a free market?

 My question is: How do you lead an industry with the necessary vision to keep everything as lean and everyone as efficient and productive as possible?

How do you incentivise:
  • manufacturers to innovate, in order to not have to rely on marketing and engineered obsolescence to sell more product than is needed
  • infrastructure builders to share resources, in order to save costs which can get passed on to the public,
  • service providers and workers to specialize, and not spread themselves too thin, in order to avoid the "jack-of-all-trades" trap and rather to do one thing, and do it well and proper, 
  • and everyone to charge the fair price that will give them the majority of the market share right away, without having to wait for competition and market forces to force them to charge less. (As a bonus, less competition will in turn reduce market fragmentation and overly redundant standards and infrastructure.)

Also:
  • how do you get the banks and governments to buy into and play their part in this big picture of efficiency, and
  • the public, to understand how it all fits together and to understand the voting power of the money in their wallet
Money which represents value and abundance, which they will ultimately have more of, to spend on more useful things that will have been invented in the absence of companies just churning out more versions of the same made-to-break items...

In a nutshell, how do you institutionalize a distinction between necessary and unnecessary work? Does unnecessary work have a place in our society?

I have a lot more to learn, share, ask, and debate on this...