Human Organizations

For programmers every new game is an experiment and it is unsurprising, in a larger perspective, that through experimentation humans and organizations also move towards a positive spiral of development.

Programmers are creative, but will generally appreciate inputs regarding framework and possible global variables from which a new game can be developed. The following framework, rather than fiction, is based in the world of common sense:

  • Organizations grow while fearless, followed by decline when fearful. When fearful, culture becomes defensive, re-organizing into Dark Organizations which can’t cycle back, because darkness is the ultimate human vice that is fearful of light itself.
  • Using physics, light (and dark) is contextualized as follows: “we can reduce entropy with enthalpy” i.e. entropy points towards darkness while enthalpy points towards light.

Typically, previous games enabled the player(s) to design a city to become successful or unsuccessful through allocation of resources. A much bigger version of this game might be an entire civilizational growth and/or decline where the “elite” becomes successful accompanied by rising fearfulness (knowing that cycles go up and down).

For that reason, they want to make the masses too fearful to prevent ending the current cycle. This is (unfortunately) possible by suppressing the brain stem of each individual where fear can effectively rule forever. Other fears like “Russia” are existential in nature, but the ultimate fear is attained when the brain stem finds its horror in light. In darkness, we will find comfort in collective death.

Describing the above in a more industrial sense is as follows:

Since organizations are tools conceptualized by humans, it adopts many characteristics associated with humans. Humans in different geographical areas also develop unique organizations exhibiting different cultures, as documented by Hofstede.

Organizing is an inherent human characteristic and it’s in our gregarious nature to group and work together considering that clustering is an almost universal feature in networks. Within a cluster there appears to be a “unity principle” as well as a “diversity principle” allowing a “double identity” in both these principles.

Regarding the diversity principle, it means that the “identities of the system’s components are irreducible to the whole, since each component still retains its unique individual identity. This corresponds with the statement that organizations adopt its characteristics from (unique) humans despite promoting “unity.”

Since each human desire to be unique, it is normal to think that “one of the most fundamental needs we have is for a sense of identity.” Each person can say that “this” is my name, or “that” is how I do things, regardless of the fact that they also subscribe to a group identity conforming to the unity principle. Even twins have different names and compete with each other. This desire to be “different” pushes each individual to experiment, (to try different things, or try things differently), towards a point where that “need” is fulfilled.  That the basic human need for an identity would unknowingly lead to experimentation by each person, causing the “cluster” to adopt experimentation as an unspoken characteristic, appears to be a silent contributing factor to complexity theory.

The 19th century classic arts provide similar thinking, particularly in the Wagnerian opera Siegfried, where the god Wotan disguised as the Wanderer, informs the god-dwarf Mime that the now broken, but famous dragon-slaying sword “Nothung” can only be fixed by someone “that does not know fear.” But Mime, hampered by an effort to conserve his obsessive pursuit for the ring of power held by the god-dragon Fafnir, is unable to make a similar sword.

Although Mime tried different sword-making techniques, the human Siegfried broke the newly minted swords with ease, resulting in Siegfried having to use his own new technique to shred and melt “Nothung” before successfully re-forging it. The danger of this “experiment” by using all the pieces of the original dragon slaying sword, is that a failed attempt would have rendered any future attempt useless. It was not just courage on the part of Siegfried; he took an enormous jump of faith quite fearlessly.

Wotan himself is a god-wanderer engaging other god-like creatures providing/receiving wisdom, almost experimentally, because sometimes it fails. It is therefore unsurprising that bass/baritone singer Greer Grimsley could not find a career until he “experimented” with the same Wotan-related opera. The spirit of Wotan wandering around as part of “the organization” consisting of Nibelung, Giants and the Gods, subtly advised only the fearless, to experiment. By implication it is only the fearless that will survive, because the sword was then used by the human Siegfried to kill the God-dragon Fafnir.

To elaborate on experimenting, it is necessary to distinguish between current paradigms and outside of it. Experimentation within a current paradigm is more related to improvements and optimization, whereas outside experimentation is unlimited. It also differs from “incremental” improvements as opposed to real experimentation for “technology jumps.”

Siegfried’s fearlessness to experiment is also part of the human genetic and mental make-up, because after all, his character was penned by the great human artist Richard Wagner. He did not prescribe terms and conditions for Siegfried to perform the experiment, but identified a “prerequisite” for fearlessness instead, since the entire opera, was Wagner’s experiment.

Terms and conditions are always fallible and dependable, and are totally unsuited for experimentation.  ”Art” also relates to “science” (Kuhn as quoted by Forster) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions where the following is quoted:

In summary, Kuhn’s argument is something like this:

  1. All novelties of fact (discoveries) or theory lead to the end of normal science.
  2. Normal science does not aim at its own demise.

Therefore, normal science does not aim novelties of fact or theory and, when successful, finds none.

In our industrial society, experiments lead to novelties, which then become part of accepted science, by definition requiring renewed effort towards experimentation, to advance that science again. Therefore, to insist unbridled continuance of “the same” science, is a positivist ideal of which only the rhetorical model remains today. This is why positivist people today are likely to insist on exclaiming things like “but…but” liberalism or “but…but” democracy and specifically “but…but” human rights or “but…but” climate.

Imagine the panic of academics confronted with the requirement to come up with “novel” ideas in their fields of expertise. In the “old” days, scientists had access to laboratories where they could “experiment” towards finding solutions to user or client required statements. The scientific method provides a fairly rigorous procedure resulting in novelties such as patented medication.

However, because patents assimilate into general science after 1sixteen years, new patents will be allowed for different ailments. The problem however, is that some “innovations” are not patented and not “released” or assimilated into general science, resulting in the inability of “science” to adopt later novelties, hence the “inability” to use “laboratories” effectively – as in the past. This leads to a slow down or alternatively, even a productivity paradox as opposed to improvements expected following a deluge of novelties. Put in different words by Nassim Nicholas Taleb:

Research by salaried laborers is becoming a rent-seeking citation ring consisting of large scale imitative rituals, with a decreasing number of results, an increasing cluelessness of participants, and a multiplication of useless rules.

An example of this cluelessness that not even an intelligent manager could prevent, was demonstrated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization when identifying coffee as possibly carcinogenic for twenty-five years.

So as the waves of ailments wash over mankind, chaos ensues because novelties are incompatible with ailments as well as “the” science. This may have caused pseudo-scientists (now) to markedly increase the use of natural experimentation based on observation alone (instead of using laboratories).

One fairly coherent example is the twin studies to observe nature-nurture effect on children. Another type of natural “experiment” however and increasingly used today, is to have a “discussion” around any specific “challenging” topic, in order to come up with new “ideas”. One example is university students asking to abolish science , itself. Why experiment; why have sciences; are supposed to be magic soil for fruitful arguments meant to create a neo-novelty somehow and is indicative of how academia is in fact conserving the status quo (like the dwarf Mime). The fearful “neo-novelty” is intended to conserve collective “neo-science.”

The idea of observation itself is good, but that just means that observations are carried out within the current scientific mantra, which cannot itself generate novel ideas, or move society “forward,” or be classified as “progressive” because it literally perpetuates the current system. All this is simply a positivist expression of existing ideals, almost a nostalgic backlash to ideologies long gone: the end of history.

These people want the dragon to re-appear out of the mist, which would explain the infatuation democrats in America have with the scary Russia, a country with an economy as big as Texas and that African-Americans have with their “magical/noble” Africa where tribes kill each other with consummate ease. The pretext or simulation we live in is astoundingly similar to the “conservative” Mime unable to re-forge the sword that would enable him to “invite” the dragon (for the ring of power, which in this context may be the “migrants” having the ring of power because they are sacking Western Civilization with consummate ease).

Whatever “scenario” we live in and that professional scenario planners are so eager to present to the elites is essentially based on observations made in “scientific” style, to demonstrate unscientific and irrational behaviour of people. That someone would think humans be rational is strange, because humans will experiment by themselves regardless of prevailing conditions. The “scenario” therefore, is truly only in the mind of the fearful planner (playing the music of fear for receptive elites).

This is also true of organizations, because organizations will also experiment, for example in ways to make more money, or be more efficient. But suffering the same pretexts humans do, many organizations will persist in “discussions” about “challenges” to bring about “change” and while this happens, most of them will go bankrupt or will simply remain below the radar.

Many organizations are willing to “re-structure” retrenching thousands of employees. Or other organizations such as unionized employees, will simply double down and defend their positions regardless of “saving the business”. And in this scenario, both sides will continue experimenting with new techniques to slay their pre-texted (simulated) dragon(s) essentially forever.

Previous civilizations never seemed to have realized that time requires real change, for example, as would be required after performing a Zero-Base Budgeting exercise. Most employees/elites simply use last year’s budget for next year’s planning. Apart from novelties such as black powder, that have actually changed organizations in a beneficial way, time in itself requires regular fresh assessments to drive questions that will initiate fearless experimentation instead of maintaining “but…but” my job or “but…but” my trust fund.  Zero-base budgeting is therefore not new, but it requires better implementation.

In other words, periodically taking a fresh look at the world will result in real experiments leading to real novelties resulting in a real civilization enhancing enthalpy (the opposite of entropy). But that require swords be re-forged, not only for new dragons, but mostly for dragons previously missed. The self-regenerative “time” dragon can only be slayed through regular assessment and opposition, where one method is to enforce zero-based budgeting, but a second experiment could be to put a time limit on organizations, because after all, we know that civilizations and humans have time limits. (The current trend is that robots want to live forever too)

As indicated above, patents are only protected by law for a fixed period of about 16 years, business executives have informally indicated that CEO’s should be replaced in less than 15 years and Jim Collins suggested that almost all companies cannot sustain performance for fifteen years.

The self-regenerative time dragon can be effectively engaged by converting companies to projects, with targeted completion dates, instead of allowing the erosion of its natural experimental ability (enthalpy) over time. For example, looking at old stock exchanges the following demonstrates how early Dutch “investments” were made in a single shipping voyage.:

To lessen the risk of a lost ship ruining their fortunes, ship owners had long been in the practice of seeking investors who would put up money for the voyage – outfitting the ship and crew in return for a percentage of the proceeds if the voyage was successful. These early limited liability companies often lasted for only a single voyage. They were then dissolved, and a new one was created for the next voyage. Investors spread their risk by investing in several different ventures at the same time, thereby playing the odds against all of them ending in disaster.

Therefore, converting stock exchanges to project exchanges is technically quite possible, because lots of shares in early Netherland/Belgium (shipping) were effectively project shares.

Most people know about companies, even listed companies, but would need some introduction to the concept of projects. It is well developed with continuing improvements in academia because it is the fastest growing management skill over the last 30 years.  Although it started in the military, industry has joined the effort where standards are kept in the form of the Project Management Body of Knowledge.  Moving from the military, to industry, the obvious next step would be to implement it in public space.

In the case of nations, geographically demarcated borders remain the undisputed “property” of the nation’s government, but selling or buying from neighbouring countries every twenty years may become a new tradition (Alaska was bought from Russia), also including other matters regarding borders (such as trade) which can be addressed from a zero-base.  The internal properties of Government may be sold (again from a zero-base) forcing the Government to re-motivate why it should have those properties at all, or forcing any buyer to reveal why he should have it, at all (again).

Private properties must also be sold every twenty years and it may be quite possible that the owner wants to buy his own property back, as it were. Again, the owner will be forced to re-assess his situation and motivate why he will buy “that” property again, from a zero-base.

Civilizations have tried various organizational structures in the past and present, in private and public, local or global and in all cases it failed. Implementing a civilization limited to project organizations of twenty year maximum duration and forced to perform yearly zero-based budgets is going to be hard(er) work, but it is the only way to stop entropy.

Organizations are mankind’s only sword to engage the self-regenerative time-dragon therefore we need to fearlessly re-forge it, regularly.

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