Cost Effectiveness in...

Military Command and Control

The "bullet-proof" systems of Command and Control date back to some of the oldest military conflicts in history, which is the only way to make sense of how backward they seem in some applications today. The overall coherence of civilizations across the globe rest on only two major principles: force, and indoctrination. We are the descendants of the Warrior-Priests who were the most successful throughout history. They are still here amongst us every day, the final arbiters of all our disputes. Until now.

Now we find ourselves in a world in which the way of the Warrior-Priest has so saturated each and every civilization, that there is no more real enmity to be stamped out, no more Us versus Them, no more Good versus Evil. What we are left with is internal and external dissent, a host of conflicts over values, but only a tiny portion of the world actually wants to subjugate anyone else, and these are not people to be envied; we are left with the struggles of Smart versus Stupid, Informed versus Ignorant, and Self-Interest versus Self-Destruction.

Centralized Control Systems

I'm trying to tie all my material together into a neater framework, and finding it a difficult process, which is somewhat understandable considering I have to break a very large problem into smaller parts, and then address all the smaller problems piecemeal. If I were part of a larger organization, I or someone else could delegate responsibility for these smaller tasks, and each would have one or more persons to follow up on these leads to completion. That's part of the great usefulness of having large concentrations of money, labor, and other resources all in one place, directed toward one end; that a great deal of effort in many different directions can be shaped by a central authority into a coherent whole.

We've made use of such systems for a very long time; so long in fact, that we tend not to see these institutions and systems for what they are. They are cybernetic systems which isolate themselves from noise, and ensure that signals from one point to another are propagated correctly. Experts in a field are assured of talking to other experts who will understand what they are saying, and with an efficient minimum of coding, symbols, and other forms of yakking away, and that their efforts will in fact, lead to some significant end that is sought. If the group that they work for is served by their efforts, it is known quickly and easily, as some person is supervising all of these efforts and communications, and can assess that all is indeed well.

Network Systems

But what happens when the methods of communication between any two parties at all becomes exponentially more reliable? This belt-and-suspenders approach begins to seem very costly and inefficient, because anyone at all can do much better with the rather cheaper and more widely-available technology which has superseded the older media and technology. There are some urgent and important, exceptional circumstances to be noted, but overall, most of the technology in the hands of the general public are in many ways superior to the technologies and methodologies used by most government institutions, and many older corporate institutions as well.

In a Cybernetic Age, expertise is no longer at a premium, at least not by necessity. The costs of having any populace an order of magnitude larger be just as informed as the body of experts that are most informed now, are the lowest they've ever been in the history of the world, and are shrinking daily. The mechanisms of our Big Machine are simply far too efficient to be held in check by "experts", or by any institution at all. Individuals are taking up their own causes for themselves, and are hampered only by the theft of their autonomy. They are very passionate about having their borrowed autonomy back, and there are many reasons why, but only one really matters: Passion.

Passionate Professionalism is Inherent to Individuals

The central premise of Professionalism, whether anyone chooses to admit it or not, is that a professional feels at least as much passion concerning an issue, as does any of the persons to whom they render their professional services. A banker should feel more responsibility to his customers and their financial well-being than they do, and this is perhaps the reason why he might make a study of the social utilities and personal functions of the financial services he will be providing. A physician feels passionately about health, and so becomes a physician.

These professions, however many there may be, have become a rather limited set of options; anyone who has chosen to step outside of these well-defined fields has essentially been tossing the dice.

<Developing Content>

"Modern" education and Passion-drain

Customers' passion exceeds passion in institutional service

"greatest force -> weakest point" and distributed problems

tidy, anal -> messy but approachable

finding talent over sorting talent

Passion comes from personal experiences, choices, and yes, fiction

Put the page for this in Visual Notes? Too many dang angles here

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