I’m not in the law field so don’t know any judges or judges to be.
I would offer that in many (most?) cases, the judge is not supposed to offer new thoughts but instead follow precedents.
The legal field is often already very rigorous in applying analytic/rational frameworks to the new problems. The debate comes from which frameworks to use.
The question was “why didn’t we ramp up sooner?”. I answered the question as best I knew how. Everyone is acting like I’m the one that decided to not use option pricing.
And yes, government paying for things that might not work is hard. Besides generic mind killing, there are people that don’t want the government to spend money and the people who don’t believe in vaccines at all. They all vote.
If you want to eliminate testing and government approval, I’d be willing to have that conversation. I don’t think many would though.
Why would anyone pay to ramp up production on something that might not do anything? Or might even make thins worse?
But why would the government, or anyone, pay for a vaccine that couldn’t be used? An unapproved vaccine does nothing for anyone.
Don’t worry so much about “fairness”
Along with all the points you brought up, “fairness” is also where politics gets involved and slows things down.
In extreme cases, people destroyed vaccines rather than give them to someone that jumped the line.
They can’t ramp up until they are approved. You don’t make a billion doses only to discover a year later you aren’t going to get paid for them.
Sounds like they are going with “lack of planning”.
If you wanted to convert that into “someone” sounds like they are blaming it on DC city politicians for not figuring out the plan with them
Yep. Lot of overlap between this, Moral Mazes, and Dictator’s Handbook. That’s why I started posting these summaries. To make it easier to start that discussion.
Awesome. Looking forward to it.
I’ve also put summaries of 3 out of 6 chapters of Gervais Principle on my shortform. (The other chapters frankly weren’t that interesting to me).
Working on a summary of Moral Mazes right now. Not sure if I will post it since, we already have Zvi’s version.
I’ve pondered this before and this post has made me ponder it again. I like the addition of ‘valuing time’. Thank you.
I think the problem is treating this like there is a single answer. There is context every time you make the ‘should I pay someone to do this for me?’ question that will change it quite often.
An example...Should I pay someone to clean my place? Normally the answer is ‘no’, because my place is small and relatively easy to clean. And perhaps more importantly, I’m not going to work more either way so how much I make for an hour of work is irrelevant. Paying someone to do something for me when it just gives me another hour of Netflix that I probably won’t enjoy that much is really silly.
But maybe I have a hot date coming and, for whatever reason, I don’t have time to clean my place....then it might be worth it. Or maybe I’m sick so laying like a lump has more value than the average hour of TV.
I’m not sure there is an answer to ‘what is my time worth’ because it is relative to the options I have at that time.
I’d love to see more explorations of the connections/overlaps/gaps/disagreements between Moral Mazes, Dictator’s Handbook, and Gervais Principle like this recent post. I’ve started hacking away at it in my shortform, but would love some help/an excuse to quit.
Sociopaths look for ways to systematically claim paternity for successes, and orphan failures.
The basic mechanism by which Sociopaths transfer blame to the Clueless, while reducing the overall severity of the penalty, is an application of Hanlon’s Razor: never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.
Because Hanlon’s Razor is often true, it is a believable dodge even when it is not. Coupled with another uniquely human trait, the tendency to link penalties to intentions rather than consequences (eg. first-degree murder vs. vehicular manslaughter), Hanlon’s razor can be used to manufacture predictable risk free outcomes out of fundamentally unpredictable situations. How? By shifting blame from a locus where it would be attributed to malice, to one where it can plausibly be attributed to incompetence, the severity of penalties incurred is lowered. Hanlon’s Razor is double-edged, and Sociopaths use it to feign incompetence themselves or to charge others with incompetence, as necessary.
When ends are defensible, but means are not, Sociopaths feign incompetence, and you get the first kind of Hanlon Dodge. When means are defensible, but ends are not, Sociopaths engineer execution failures via indirection and abstraction in the requests they make, thereby achieving their ends via “lucky accidents.” This is the second kind of Hanlon Dodge.
In summary, seasoned Sociopaths maintain a permanent facade of strategic incompetence and ignorance in key areas, rather than just making up situational incompetence arguments. This is coupled with indirection and abstraction in requests given to reports.
Divide and Conquer
Losers are far too smart to fall for Hanlon Dodge maneuvers as individuals. You need to work them in groups to get them behaving in sufficiently stupid ways.
Loser group dynamics offer a natural exploit: almost anyone can be made to ally with, or turn against, anybody else, with no need to manufacture reasons. Almost any sub-group can be played off against any other sub-group, since there are no absolute loyalties. The presence of myriad fault-lines within a Loser group presents a canvas for divide-and-conquer artistry.
Gilded Cage (Bureaucracy)
The predictability allows Sociopaths to automate much of the risk-management they need. Instead of having to expend effort executing Hanlon Dodge maneuvers, putting on justification theaters or engineering divide-and-conquer situations, they program the organization to act in those ways by installing bureaucracy-ware. Bureaucracies are structures designed to do certain things very efficiently and competently: those that are by default in the best interests of the Sociopaths. They are also designed to do certain things incompetently: those expensive things that the organization is expected to do, but would cut into Sociopath profits if actually done right. And finally, they are designed to obstruct, delay and generally kill things that might hurt the interests of the Sociopaths.
There are only three ways to get a bureaucracy to do anything it wasn’t designed to do: by stealth, with secret and deniable support from allies in the staff hierarchy; by getting air-cover from a sufficiently high-up Sociopath who can play poker with whichever oversubscribed Sociopath is in charge of exception-handling for the specific process (i.e. jumping the appeals queue and calling in favors to ensure the required ruling); and through corruption and bribery.
Putting the whole picture together, you have a story of systematic risk elimination of the rewards and penalties earned. Blame is partitioned among the individual Clueless (via Hanlon Dodges), Loser groups (via divide-and-conquer) and the designed-to-fail bureaucracy.
The Clueless and Losers debate whether or not ends justify the means. Sociopaths use whatever is justifiable to cover up whatever they want to get done. The result is a theater of justification.
Continued from Part 1
The Gervais Principle is this: Sociopaths, in their own best interests, knowingly
promote over-performing Losers (ie Clueless) into middle-management
groom under-performing Losers (ie Sociopaths) into upper-management
leave the average bare-minimum-effort Losers to fend for themselves.
The business wouldn’t survive very long without enough people actually thinking in cold, calculating ways. On the other hand, Sociopaths know that the only way to make an organization capable of survival is to buffer the intense chemistry between the producer-Losers and the leader-Sociopaths with enough Clueless (ie over performing Losers) padding in the middle to mitigate the risks of business. Without it, the company would explode like a nuclear bomb, rather than generate power steadily like a reactor.
Why does “over performing Loser” = Clueless? The simple reason is that if you over-perform at the Loser level, it is clear that you are an idiot. You’ve already made a bad bargain, and now you’re delivering more value than you need to, making your bargain even worse. Unless you very quickly demonstrate that you know your own value by successfully negotiating more money and/or power, you are marked out as an exploitable clueless Loser.
So why is promoting over-performing Losers to middle management logical? At the bottom, the overperformers can merely add a predictable amount of value. In the middle they can be used by the Sociopaths to escape the consequences of high-risk machinations like re-orgs. That’s why they are promoted: they are worth even more as Clueless pawns in the middle than as direct producers at the bottom, where the average, rationally-disengaged Loser will do.
Why does an “under performing Loser” = Sociopath? The future Sociopath must be an under-performer at the bottom. Like the average Loser, he recognizes that the bargain is a really bad one. Unlike the risk-averse loser though, he does not try to make the best of a bad situation by doing enough to get by. He has no intention of just getting by. He very quickly figures out – through experiments and fast failures – that the Loser game is not worth becoming good at. He then severely under-performs in order to free up energy to concentrate on maneuvering towards an upward exit. He knows his under-performance is not sustainable, but he has no intention of becoming a lifetime-Loser employee anyway. He takes the calculated risk that he’ll find a way up before he is fired for incompetence.
So why is grooming under-performing Losers for upper-management logical? You need a steady supply of Sociopaths for sustainable performance or growth and you cannot waste time moving them slowly up the ranks, especially since the standard promotion/development path is primarily designed to maneuver the Clueless into position wherever they are needed. The Sociopaths must be freed up as much as possible to actually run the business, with or without official titles.
Finally, you need someone to actually do the work. The average-performing, rationally-disengaged Losers can create diminishing-margins profitability and will suffice.
The career of the Loser is the easiest to understand. Having made a bad bargain, and not marked for either Clueless or Sociopath trajectories, he or she must make the best of a bad situation. The most rational thing to do is slack off and do the minimum necessary. Doing more would be a Clueless thing to do. Doing less would take the high-energy machinations of the Sociopath, since it sets up self-imposed up-or-out time pressure. So the Loser – really not a loser at all if you think about it – pays his dues, does not ask for much, and finds meaning in his life elsewhere.
Sociopaths contribute creativity and cold-bloodedness and drive decisions that others are too scared or too compassionate to drive. They are the ones capable of exploiting an idea, killing one good idea to concentrate resources on another at maturity, and milking an end-of-life idea through harvest-and-exit market strategies. They enter and exit organizations at will, at any stage, and do whatever it takes to come out on top.
The Clueless serve as a Cat’s Paw for Sociopaths and as a buffer in what would otherwise be a painfully raw master-slave dynamic in a pure Sociopath-Loser organization. They don’t leave the org until they have absolutely no choice. They hang on as long as possible, long after both Sociopaths and Losers have left. They build up a perverse sense of loyalty to the firm, even though the firm is not loyal to them. To sustain themselves, they must be capable of fashioning elaborate delusions based on idealized notions of the firm.
Losers do the actual work of an organization. They produce, but are not compensated in proportion to the value they create. They made a bad economic bargain and traded freedom for a paycheck. They’ve given up some potential for long-term economic liberty (as capitalists) for short-term economic stability. They enter and exit reactively, in response to the meta-Darwinian trends in the economy. But they have no more loyalty to the firm than the Sociopaths. They do have a loyalty to individual people, and a commitment to finding fulfillment through work when they can, and coasting when they cannot. The Losers like to feel good about their lives. They are the happiness seekers, rather than will-to-power players.
Losers have two ways out, which we’ll get to later: turning Sociopath or turning into bare-minimum performers. The Losers destined for Cluelessness do not have a choice.
A Sociopath with an idea recruits just enough Losers to kick off the cycle. As it grows, it requires a Clueless layer to turn it into a controlled reaction, rather than a runaway explosion. One of the functions of the Clueless, recall, is to provide a buffer in what would otherwise be a painfully raw master-slave dynamic in a pure Sociopath-Loser organization. Eventually, as value hits diminishing returns, both the Sociopaths and Losers make their exits, and the Clueless start to dominate. Finally, the hollow brittle shell collapses on itself, and anything of value is recycled by the Sociopaths, according to meta-firm logic.
Continued in Part 2
Gervais Principle—the three (6?) different types of people in organizations according to the Gervais Principle. I think eventually I’ll do a full on post on it, but thought I would start with some shortforms to make progress and get any questions/feedback before I do the whole thing
Overperformers—promoted to Clueless
Enlightened, risk taking underperformers—promoted to sociopath
Enlightened, risk-averse underperformers—coast/get by/bare minimum effort
Good call out. Thanks.
That distinction would only matter on Levels 2 and 4 right? Since 1 and 3 are saying things you believe to be true....?
A quick connection between Immoral Mazes and Simulacrum levels.
Simulacrum levels 3 and 4 are about saying things to signal to your preferred ingroup.
One of the methods of identifying whether or not you are in an Immoral Maze is people describing their jobs in terms of who they work for. In other words, they are more interested in showing loyalty to that ingroup rather than “object reality”
Therefore, there is probably a high correlation between Simulacrum Level 3 and 4 and Maze behavior.
How did it go?
X-reasons: Updating your beliefs for epistemic reasonsY-reasons: Updating your beliefs for pragmatic reasonsZ-reasons: Updating your expressed beliefs for signaling reasons
X-reasons: Updating your beliefs for epistemic reasons
Y-reasons: Updating your beliefs for pragmatic reasons
Z-reasons: Updating your expressed beliefs for signaling reasons
Would it be fair/accurate to say?
X-reasons: Simulacrum Level 1
Y-reasons: Any level depending on what pragmatism calls for
Z-reasons: Simulacrum level 3 or 4