I would like to see what it does to ramblings of random trolls on Twitter.
I have seen this in real life in small: Getting a startup off the ground. Investors want to see a business plan and a capable team and prospective customers. Employees want to work for a company that has a chance to succeed and is able to pay their salary. And you need customers who want a supplier that has a track record and great products. Assurance contracts wouldn’t work even less than in the real estate developer case because the volume is too small and even worse you often don’t even know what your product or customers will be in the end. How does this work at all? It is not blatant lies. It is more like coming up with a great future state that appears doable and positive and getting some tentative commitment. With this, you go to the next person(s) and grow the vision a bit. and include the latest tentative commitments. Repeat until you succeed. This will only work with participants that are sufficiently risk-tolerant (angel investors, students, people open to experience etc.) but for these, this can create a sufficient positive reinforcement that the endeavor takes up.
So is this simulacrum level 3 or is it something different, or a combination?
This reminded me of a summary of the job of real estate developers by Scott Alexander:
I started the book with the question: what exactly do real estate developers do? … Why don’t you or I take out a $100 million loan from a bank, hire a company to build a $100 million skyscraper, and then rent it out for somewhat more than $100 million and become rich?As best I can tell, the developer’s job is coordination. This often means blatant lies. The usual process goes like this: the bank would be happy to lend you the money as long as you have guaranteed renters. The renters would be happy to sign up as long as you show them a design. The architect would be happy to design the building as long as you tell them what the government’s allowing. The government would be happy to give you your permit as long as you have a construction company lined up. And the construction company would be happy to sign on with you as long as you have the money from the bank in your pocket. Or some kind of complicated multi-step catch-22 like that. The solution – or at least Trump’s solution – is to tell everybody that all the other players have agreed and the deal is completely done except for their signature. The trick is to lie to the right people in the right order, so that by the time somebody checks to see whether they’ve been conned, you actually do have the signatures you told them that you had.
I started the book with the question: what exactly do real estate developers do? … Why don’t you or I take out a $100 million loan from a bank, hire a company to build a $100 million skyscraper, and then rent it out for somewhat more than $100 million and become rich?
As best I can tell, the developer’s job is coordination. This often means blatant lies. The usual process goes like this: the bank would be happy to lend you the money as long as you have guaranteed renters. The renters would be happy to sign up as long as you show them a design. The architect would be happy to design the building as long as you tell them what the government’s allowing. The government would be happy to give you your permit as long as you have a construction company lined up. And the construction company would be happy to sign on with you as long as you have the money from the bank in your pocket. Or some kind of complicated multi-step catch-22 like that. The solution – or at least Trump’s solution – is to tell everybody that all the other players have agreed and the deal is completely done except for their signature. The trick is to lie to the right people in the right order, so that by the time somebody checks to see whether they’ve been conned, you actually do have the signatures you told them that you had.
Now I wonder whether it is actually “blatant lies” or more like the pretend to pretend to develop the real estate.
How troubled one is by this essential solitude depends on how much one is troubled by ordinary aloneness of course. I’m an introvert and recharge by alone time (though I value social contacts too).
But my ‘imagining’ of your mental state, and my ‘knowing’ of my own are both guesses.
I love how you draw attention to this similarity. It sounds and feels similar to some meditation experiences I had.
There is still a quantitative difference. The access to one’s own feelings and mental states is more direct. But you still dissolved the quantitative difference into a qualitative one.
I saw this headline on Slashdot:
Almost a Third of Recovered COVID-19 Patients Return To Hospital In Five Months, One In Eight Die
I tried to find the original study and it seems to be PHOSP and there is this on Medarxiv:
Results Mean follow-up time was 140 days for COVID-19 cases and 153 days for controls. 766 (95% confidence interval: 753 to 779) readmissions and 320 (312 to 328) deaths per 1,000 person-years were observed in COVID-19 cases, 3.5 (3.4 to 3.6) and 7.7 (7.2 to 8.3) times greater, respectively, than in controls. Rates of respiratory, diabetes and cardiovascular events were also significantly elevated in COVID-19 cases, at 770 (758 to 783), 127 (122 to 132) and 126 (121 to 131) events per 1,000 person-years, respectively. RRs were greater for individuals aged <70 than ≥ 70 years, and in ethnic minority groups than the White population, with the biggest differences observed for respiratory disease: 10.5 [9.7 to 11.4] for <70 years versus 4.6 [4.3 to 4.8] for ≥ 70 years, and 11.4 (9.8 to 13.3) for Non-White versus 5.2 (5.0 to 5.5) for White.
Conclusions Individuals discharged from hospital following COVID-19 face elevated rates of multi-organ dysfunction compared with background levels, and the increase in risk is neither confined to the elderly nor uniform across ethnicities.
It means that I’m inspired to make experiments with replies too.
It’s lsusr. He is trying out things.
It seems Trump signed a second Executive Order about AI on Dec 3rd, 2020 which is kind of about friendly AI:
Sec. 2. Policy. (a) It is the policy of the United States to promote the innovation and use of AI, where appropriate, to improve Government operations and services in a manner that fosters public trust, builds confidence in AI, protects our Nation’s values, and remains consistent with all applicable laws, including those related to privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.
Executive Order on Promoting the Use of Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence in the Federal Government
While there is a lot of talk about superficial trustworthiness (“foster public trust”) it also makes clear that it protect the actual values underneath.
(I post it here because I’m not sure it deserves a linkpost)
I just saw this in the 2019 review and was surprised I didn’t see it earlier. I’m using two phones for a while now and it just have been standard advice for executives for ages (2014?). Just google “executive two phones”.
Thank you. I agree with your view. Motte and bailey of management yep. I especially liked this:
Seems analogical to social sciences: in theory, they are much more difficult than math or physics, so it would make sense if smarter people studied them; in practice, it’s the other way round, because if something is too difficult to do properly, it becomes easy to bullshit your way to the top, and intelligent people switch to something where being intelligent gives you a clear comparative advantage.
Thank you a lot. Your detailed account really helps me understand your perspective much better now. I can relate to your experience in teams where micromanagement slows things down and prevents actually relevant solutions. I have been in such teams. I can also relate to it being advantageous when a leader of questionable value is absent. I have been in such a team too—though it didn’t have such big advantages as in your case. That was mostly because this team was part of a bigger organization and platform where multiple teams had to work together to something done, e.g. agree on interfaces with other teams. And in the absence of clear joint goals that didn’t happen. Now you could argue that then the management one level up was not doing its job well and I agree. But the absence of that management wouldn’t have helped either—it could have led to a) each team trying to solve some part of the problem. It could have led to b) some people from both teams getting together and agreeing on interfaces and joining goals or it could have led to c) the teams agreeing on some coordination for both teams. a) in most cases leads to some degree of chaos and failure and b) establishes some kind of leadership on the team level (like you did in your first example) and c) results over time in some leadership one level up. I’d argue that some kind of coordination structure is needed. Where did the project you did implement in your first case come from? Somebody figure out that it would provide value to the company. Otherwise, you might have built a beautiful project that didn’t actually provide value. I think we agree that the company you worked in did have some management that provided value (I hope it was no moral maze). And I agree that a lot of managers do not add value and sometimes decrease it. On the other hand, I have worked for great team leads and professional managers. People who would listen, let us make our own decisions, give clear goals but also limits, help, and reduce impediments. This is really not a secret art. The principles are well-known (for a funny summary see e.g. Leadersheep). But it turns out that building a big organization is hard. Politics is real and professional management is still mostly a craft. It rarely approaches something you can call engineering much less hard science. And I am looking for that. That’s part of why I wrote this shortform on processes and roles. Everybody is just cooking with water and actual organization structures often leave something to be desired. I guess that’s why we do see extraordinary companies like Amazon sometimes—that hit on a sweet spot. But by talent or luck, not by science. And the others have to make do with inadequate solutions. Including the managers of which you maybe saw more than I did.
Have you ever managed or worked closely with great team-leads?
is not of type
Most people are naturally pro-social.
(No, this can’t be applied to AI.)
I don’t like cynical views and while I have encountered politics and seen such cases I don’t think that paints a realistic view. But I will run with your cynical view and you won’t like it ;-)
So we have these egotistical managers that only want to keep their job and raise in ranks. Much closer to non-social AI, right? How come more delegation works better for them too?
Mind you, I might be wrong and it works less and less the further up you go. It might be that you are right and this works only because people have enough social behavior hard-wired that makes delegation work.
But I have another theory: Limited processing capacity + Peter Principle.
It makes sense to delegate more—especially in unpredictable environments—because that reduces your processing load of dealing with all the challenging tasks and moves it to your subordinates. This leaves less capacity for them to schema against you and gives you the capacity to scheme against your superior. Und so up the chain. Capable subordinates that can deal with all the stuff you throw at them have to be promoted so they have more work to do until they reach capacity too. So sometimes the smart move is to refuse promotion :-)
A posting on LessWrong.
A reply seems not to reply to it.
People are different.
I wonder whether that is why early close communities like monasteries did have and needed to have such strict rules about all aspects of life. For example the Rule of St. Benedict.
So group houses did have enough socializing. More than they wanted. This suggests that there is a sweet spot between lonely singles and group houses. Thinking about it, I’m lucky and pretty close to such a sweet spot. My four kids and I live in one house and they also live in the household of their mother and step-father across the street, That means seven people in two houses who can meet each other but also have enough private space.
What do you think the sweet spot is?
Wouldn’t they simply reintroduce the practices, step by step, under a different name?
I assume that that’s what happened. Some ideas from scientific management were taken and applied in less extreme ways.
I am curious what the main causes of conflict were. From your account, it looks like COVID precautions were the main reason and this is also mentioned in the OP and in other comments.