Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Systems

Boy will this be a terrible post.

With the death of Vaclav Havel, I've been reading about him and his philosophies.  Talk about your well-rounded guy! Certainly someone to be listened to, if not always agreed with. One thing sticks with me - his faith that all people are generally good. Truth be told, I believe him. So, where does evil come from? Well, if you believe Havel, it comes from systems. For some background, start here:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/12/vaclav-havels-critique-of-the-west/250277/

If you believe this argument, systems are potentially the biggest evil-generator on the planet. I do believe it. The inherent flaw in most systems is that they never plan for the law of unintended consequences, nor can they. It's why a system of checks and balances is probably the best, even though ultimately doomed to fail. Why? Because of the human condition. We are programmed to want to achieve. It's why we're the dominant species. Without that drive, we'd be chimps using sticks to knock fruit off branches out of reach, not designing computers or planning for war.

How many of you have thought of ways to game the system? Any system. It's in our DNA. Did you get pulled over? How about showing some cleavage and flirting a bit. Or maybe trot out your war record and try to bond. See? It works sometimes - you win! You beat the system.

Some folks saw a flaw in the system and figured out a way to make tons of money without doing anything more than writing a computer program designed to move cash on tiny fluctuations in the market. Many have tried something similar - you could argue that they were supposed to. A few actually got it right. Was is fair? Fairness doesn't even enter the equation, actually. It's a system. It's not even a systemic flaw. The system was created by us. Others figured out how to manipulate it better and more creatively than we did. Tough. You could pout a bit if it helps. You could whine that it's not fair, but here's the thing -  you created it! Yes you, with your laws and your elected officials and your lobbyists and your banking deregulations. Greed isn't good or bad. Greed is.

If you accept even some of this as true, what are your options? You could become a great thinker and try to lead your inherently good people and give them opportunities to be good. You could try to create a new system that equals things out (see socialism, communism), or you could study systems. That's probably the best bet. Why? Well, to understand them, of course. But also so you are better positioned to see when others are taking advantage or using it to hurt people for their own gain. Or perhaps even use it to your own benefit. Since you created it, isn't that your job?

4 comments:

SirFWALGMan said...

All people are inherently evil.

The Sister of DrChako and Mrs. Chako said...

Some of us just aren't that bright. Pouting works best for us.

SirFWALGMan said...

http://animalsbeingdicks.com/post/14916707504/scumbag-bison

See man. Every animal is inherently evil and out for itself. The difference between us and a scumbag water buffalo is we attempt to go against our self-preservation instinct and try and live within a society in a good way.

Inherently we are evil but we try and fight against it because we feel this is a good thing.

DrChako said...

That wasn't evil - that was pretty f-ing brilliant self-preservation. Short bursts of speed and a good head butt are often better than distance running.


I stand by my assertation.