Furthest Right

Daylight Enslaving Time

It brings no joy to observe a wasted week where people stumble around like zombies in a sleep-deprived state because someone has taken a rubber mallet to their inner clocks. We all know this is a disaster, but nothing can be done. This illustrates the problem of complication (not complexity) in modern states.

To under the depths of this problem, we have to distinguish complexity from complication and recognize how they serve different uses:

Simple systems have very few parts that behave according to very simple laws. Complicated systems can have very many parts too, but they play specific functional roles and are guided by very simple rules. Complex systems can survive the removal of parts by adapting to the change; to be robust, other systems must build redundancy into the system (eg by containing multiple copies of a part).

Complicated systems resemble bureaucratic systems. There are many rules, in fact rules that interpret rules are common. There are procedures disconnected from an end goal. Compromise ignores the final state of anything. And finally, there are exceptions, footnotes, loopholes, and tests at every level.

These systems are complicated in the sense that they are sprawling but rigid. Instead of getting to the core of any issue, they create lots of options around it and then try to constrain those with exceptions and footnotes. These systems are easily gamed and alarmingly fragile.

Complexity on the other hand refers to resilient systems. These are simpler at their core, with a few major patterns tied to goals, and methods follow ad hoc in the wake of that. Their patterns replicate throughout the system but rarely appear the same, although they are the same shape, form, or structure underneath the optics and appearance.

To most modern people, complexity — like that of ecosystems, culture, art, aesthetics, and other organic things — seems unfathomable. It appears simple, but then requires clarity of intent instead of jumping through hoops and wading through red tape to see what lottery win or loss the system spits out as an option.

With Daylight Enslaving Time, our society created a complicated system. There are rules, exceptions, and interpretations that result in a complicated interpretation that requires rigid enforcement. Collateral damage and other externalized costs are not taken into account.

For our society to change from Daylight Enslaving Time, it would have to reprogram billions of devices, rewrite reams of code, and alter every schedule. This is the nature of complicated systems: they are so rule-bound that changes are impossible, which keeps the system in an inertia of its past agenda which can never change.

Unless someone managed to prove that Daylight Enslaving Time is going to kill lots of people within the next election cycle, little will be done about it. The system is too fragile to react. This tells us all that you have to know about the survivability of Late Stage Democracy.

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