Category Archives: hierarchy

Who gets the benefits from the doubts?

self-mutilation(tasteful self mutilation)

If faith is rationalized knowledge you can’t prove, and forgiveness emotional resolution to avoid manipulation, who are you really doubting?

Truth telling is a regular affair. If empathy is the engine, spoken truth is the grease of civilization. Most of the time, the benefit of the doubt is not only implicit, but entirely unvisited. Analysis of every statement, every gesture, every promise would undo civilization. Investment would be exhausting and a terrible trade.

When a flash of insight presents a doubt, the temptation is to ignore it. Civilization is a big machine, and the wise human knows the gears must turn to perpetuate the economy of scale. Down time for repairs will have a non linear cost, but the conscience is first and foremost is a risk engine. The dilemma is usually treated as such, ‘is your conscience groaning more loudly about the risk of a lie, or the risk of addressing it’. This can work but introduces a new risk, gaslighting.

Gaslighting seems silly at first but can be the flat edge to a long wedge. First the lies are subtle and inconsequential to the operation of your society, with one exception, you. You learn to NOT trust your gut and ignore insight.

If a high EQ empath is faced with a single dishonest threat, the dishonest actor eventually becomes silhouetted against their more honest context. Your risk engine retunes itself with it’s flow of higher quality data, and they stand out. The problem is addressed and civilization’s machine chugs on.

There is systemic risk, the risk the conscience is poor at managing a flurry of lies. The intelligent and psychopathic defector WILL notice this golden opportunity. Instead of identifying a narrow pattern of doubt, the conscience is too noisy to be useful. Doubt is aimed inward. ‘I must be the problem.’ Without warnings of risk the conscience becomes a liability.

If you are untrained in proposing and rationalizing conspiracies, you can be taught to throw away your conscience or even program it against your own interests. Not just you. Everyone. Flooding people with enough lies to disable their conscience requires a conspiracy. Those that discourage conspiracy theory are likely in the institutional gaslighting business, better known as propaganda.

Who benefits from the doubts? The institutions people are directly involved in. The hierarchies that are riskiest to fork or otherwise defect from. Today that is their governments, their schools, their employers. Those wise to history know finding a criminal conspiracy can be as simple as asking who benefits? Cui Bono.

Doubts are yours, and no good comes from throwing them away. Rationalize them. Not because the conscience is never wrong, but if you don’t use your risk manager, you lose it. Researching, fact checking, and setting traps for the unscrupulous benefits you. Detect reality. Accept no lies, not even the small ones. Painful honesty keeps your conscience active, well tuned, and in a position to defend the economies of scale that afford us the luxury of leisure, and it’s prosperous civilization.

Your empathy, and it’s outrage, IS the machine. The top priority must be keeping the context honest. Demand people with high EQs. Always observant, tough as nails, and a zest for learning. Test their empathy. Protect the machine with vigorous curation. Reject the benefit of the doubt. Doubt people. Doubt systems. Doubt away.

The why of how devops works


Business vs disruptive technology

Why do devops pushes go wrong?  Lets talk a bit about what devops is.  Devops is an attempt to merge the strengths of open source bazaar with the order and certainties of business hierarchy.  By clinging to the nomenclature of automation (as least as old as the water mill) as a complete stand in for a social phenomenon, organizations undermine their own efforts.  Businesses set the wrong organizational objectives in motion and then react to the inevitable failures by further detuning the successful components.

Why do companies seek out devops workflow techniques?  In the positive case they want to increase profit.  They are acting as futurists.  Improving their potential before it’s required.  In the worst case they are reacting directly to one or more complexity horizons.  Their social communication has been stymied or dwarfed compared to people communicating in functional code on the other side of the horizon.  They just can’t compete.

How people work

Many people have struggled with gift culture as the origin of open source.  Gift culture permeates open source, but is not it’s source.   Gift culture naturally expresses in any society where reputation currencies are in circulation and rewards are only expressed as probabilities.  In other words, gift cultures are the lubricant of free markets.  Once a person’s foundation of their hierarchy of needs is satisfied, people  work for improvements in reputation.  Accomplishments are the coinage of gift culture’s currency.

Bazaars are the most free, and have the most moving parts, so lots of lubricant is needed.  They are highly complex organic machines.  Adding components as they grow.  Their advantage is self healing anti-fragility.  Their disadvantage is huge pools of waste.  Individuals work to improve reputation, not for profit, because reputation currency offers better long term stability.  Most bazaar market machinery enjoys little or no economy of scale.  This is where devops can help a business reenter or influence a market dominated by the bazaar.  By merging the strengths of both.

Economy of scale of what?

Economy of scale is what automation brings to the devops equation, but it is not novel without nurturing gift culture.  What does a probability driven gift culture bring to the equation?  Imagination turned systemic.  Not for short term profit but for reputation and credibility.  Becoming known as a kind of problem solver becomes insurance (a mid and long term trust structure) against ostracization and obsolescence.  A guarantee of future (perceived) utility to society.

For a devops initiative to succeed you must also nurture gift culture.  To do this you must trust some appropriate objectives to with the people closest to them.  Then analyze their output for organization wide economies of scale.  This is typically done in codes (statistical or mechanistic) bypassing complexity horizons.  This is done to harness skills of the members of the society, as they try to build their personal portfolio of accomplishment.  With the grease available to them, workers can build the machinery the business needs, without having to express their solutions beyond code.

Traditionally business reserves access to objectives for the very top, and tactics are employed at the very bottom, with various strategies employed by middle management to glue them together.  This is eventually effective but requires translating all action to human non functional language.  This translation inefficiency is why businesses can’t keep up.  Most technical fields are in a race against the complexity horizon.  With clear objectives great strategy and tactics write themselves.  Why?  Code as a communication tool is fast.

Doing dumb things faster

This brings our first failure into focus.  A focus strictly on automation.  Automation is both positive and critical as it pushes forth the code created at the bottom of the hierarchy, embracing it in a way that creates economies of scale.  It is the end but not the means.  The means is worker access to corporate objectives and some freedom to implement them.  Look no further than Google’s policy of self directed projects to see how this works.  If you don’t nurture the gift culture both with recognition for good work and self directed opportunities to fulfill company objectives, you will miss great opportunities for new economies of scale.  Continuous integration really means technician access to objectives.

Ladders and snakes

This frames the secondary risk of failure.  Businesses are traditionally hierarchical because not all actors are trustworthy.   Most, but not all, employees seek to excel by improving their reputation. If you move objectives down the tree towards the bottom of the organization, it will present strictly selfish actors(sometimes psychopaths) with golden opportunities that they will take.  This justifies a metered scaling of moving objectives down.  This is where the failure lies.  Metering serves a purpose, to limit the destructive capacity of discovery of bad actors, but it is often used as an excuse to never push objectives to those expressing code.  A guaranteed failure for devops initiatives.  Potentially fatal to the whole business if it is already competing with a successful devops deployment.

As an important note psychopaths can be valuable intelligent members of a team, but they have special needs.  Rather than discard them it may be possible to create purely technical work roles with no direct reports and and no singular authority over data.

A well oiled machine

The misunderstood role of gift culture as the end and not a side effect may cause businesses to supplement perks for access to organizational objectives to far less effect.  Fundementally people don’t want to just feel like their reputation is good.  They authentically want to improve it.  Being able to both see AND influence most if not all company objectives is critical to identifying the potential economies of scale that the bazaar is often structurally unaware of.

The key to understand the difference between devops and mere automation is the complexity horizon.  Where functioning technical solutions are by far the most efficient way to express both better strategy and objectives, and retool objectives when necessary.  Technicians need access to objectives.  Then both the game theory centric corporate objectives and individuals long term reputation objectives can combine to create the well oiled machine.

About Civgene:  Understanding the currency of gift culture and the complexity horizon would not be possible without Civgene.  Civgene is a novel scientific theory which provides a framework to view all societies.  Please consider exploring it further to grow your understanding of human behavior, particularly in groups.

The cult test


In a previous civgene, I presented a series of axioms that led to the cult test.   Most societies operate at least partly on faith.  Stating assumed truths that individuals can not plausibly test with vigor.  The cult test presents three conditions that if a fundamentalist religious or political faith infringes on outsiders freedom, it has slipped into cult.

The cult test is as follows. If any condition is met, it’s a cult.
1. Denial of exit.
2. Aggression toward outsider speech.
3. Refusal to commit to peace with outsiders.

Freedom is a core human behavior (differs from animals) because it’s how humans allow each other space to make the most of their emotional metadata, usually forming faiths.  A faith being knowing something you can’t prove.  An emotional output from the metamind (the conscience/subconscious), a passively driven risk engine connecting unlike things based on emotional similarity.  A probability engine.  Effectively rationalizing a faith can take a second or longer than lifetime.  Hence the utility for an indeterminate time to make your own decisions, better known as freedom.

Faith alone is not the goal but the means to achieve the goal of all life, autonomy.  Cult occurs when faith becomes an end not the means. Everyone’s set of faiths must inherently be different (aside from biological differences) because the metadata connected to their memories and their experiences are different.  As experiences deviate so will faiths.  Denying this process for an individual is detrimental to the common benefit of human society.

Some faiths will occur in common so expression and organization of common ideas is beneficial.  Rationalization can be rigorous so invention, specialization, and currency operate like in other economies.  But also like other economies stagnation can occur if psychopathic or animal kingdom work-a-likes are substituted for effective intelligence, and progress stagnates.  Damaging and even completely crushing autonomy.

All three conditions of the cult test are designed to protect the natural functionality of the empathic mind without interfering in opportunities of economies of scale (rapid rationalization.)  Just like all logical constructs, logical constructs about natural forming but yet unproven probabilities can have advantages for all people.  The conditions of the cult test together form to protect the fundamental human right, the right to fork.  The right of human beings to pursue their biological advantage of rapid risk assessment without human created hierarchical blockage.  Faith is what gives human beings their complete intelligence, and also is what is cited by those who try to dismember that intelligence for personal gain though hierarchy.

The key to retaining our freedom is the ability to distance yourself from destructive hierarchies while embracing constructive ones.  The cult test ensures that right by disallowing the combination of pure faith as a potentially manipulated or even completely fabricated external process, from the ability to enforce your adherence to an external faith structure.  The cult test protects the rapid rationalizer seeking community from slavery, by separating physical and mental force from faith and it’s beneficial ideas.

I present these additional axioms to permanently disconnect the relationship of force and faith.

  • Faith is subconscious realization (emotional metadata).
  • Reason is rational thought combined with faith.
  • Faith can occur without reason.
  • Force is only moral in the face of clear and present danger.
  • Determining clear danger can include faith.
  • Determining present danger must include literal observation and therefore rational thought.
  • Clear and present danger can be determined either by reason or rational thought alone.
  • Force justified by faith alone is a farce.