I used to think that religion is for weak people, people who prefers to delegate comfortably their thoughts and sometimes manpower to one central authority.
It hits me lately that politic follows the exact same pattern, annihilating any self-consciousness and thus self-esteem. Electing a president at the head of a nation creates the feeling that you did your job as a citizen for the next X years but being a citizen is not a one-shot, it’s a daily challenge to find your place in the society not as a consumer but as an actor. Our societies are relying on one person with his government to drive our countries for a few years without any long-term vision, a scapegoat for our lack of thinking, our lack of acting, our lack of humanity. Where is your dignity when you can’t even think and act by yourself?
In 1721, Montesquieu published his Persian letters and the 14th is very important to me, here is an extract (in French) but I recommend the whole reading:
O Troglodites, what moves you to this; uprightness becomes a burden to you. In your present condition, having no head, you are constrained in your own despite to be virtuous; otherwise your very existence would be at stake, and you would relapse into the wretched state of your ancestors. But this seems to you too heavy a yoke; you would rather become the subjects of a king, and submit to laws of his framing-laws less exacting than your present customs. You know that then you would be able to satisfy your ambition, and while away the time in slothful luxury; and that, provided you avoided the graver crimes, there would be no necessity for virtue.
Such an idealist! Nobody can live and work in this context today. Virtue, really? Almost a hundred of geeks at Github are proving that it’s possible, see that blog post from Ryan Tomayko:
Telling people what to do is lazy. Instead, try to convince them with argument. This is how humans interact when there’s no artificial authority structure and it works great. If you can’t convince people through argument then maybe you shouldn’t be doing it. […] Essentially, I try to create little mini-managers, each responsible for managing a single person: their self.
Confirmed by Brandon Keepers, working there for 6 months:
Anarchy works wonderfully in a small group of individuals with a high level of trust. Everyone at GitHub has full access and permission to do whatever they want. Do great things and you earn respect. Abuse that freedom and you violate everyone’s trust.
Marriage is another way of delegation, behind the love story that’s a way to state administratively (and sometimes religiously) that you’re forming a couple. Validating your love by a piece of sheet and a ring instead of daily attention, it surely deserves a huge celebration in our attention-deficient world.
That’s why I’m agnostic. That’s why I’m a blank voter. That’s why I’m running my own company. That’s why I’m not married.
The worst part is that by delegating, you can loose your knowledge too. Think about it in our geeky world of Clouds, Proxys, Frameworks, each introducing more and more opaque layers.
We are Tailorizing the Web and soon nobody will be able anymore to put a service online without heavily relying on an uncontrolled — delegated — stack.