Unworkable Ideas

A Microcosm of the Uncorrupted Internet

The Whole

Can anyone really see the whole? I remember talking about “seeing the whole”. It was a beautiful, but completely fake concept. The “whole”. The fucking “WHOLE”.  If you look “at the whole”. If you can see the “whole” system.  From raw material through disposal. Follow the value stream. It seemed so simple and soooo obvious. Look back at all the steps. Figure out which ones added value and remove the steps that don’t. Duh. Sooo fucking obvious. Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before. So many brilliant people have lived on this planet through the years, and we are the first ones to think of the whole.

At the time, we gave ourselves a ton of self-importance like we had done something truly amazing. Some of us thought we were changing the fucking world. Look at how we add “VALUE”. Hey Zeus! My contribution to the value stream is X and X is pretty awesome, so I must be awesome.

Watching brilliant experts walking the gemba. Seeing the value being created, seeing the wasteful byproduct. Their fucking stopwatches by their sides. Timing everything. And everything is timing. Flowcharting this. Flowcharting that. So much time spent flowcharting the origins of value. Who knew that flowcharting is even a verb?

Let’s remove the steps that don’t add value. Muda here, Muda there. Is it Type 1 or is it Type 2? Please debate, endlessly! No wonder there is so much alienation out there. However, for the ‘value curious’ out there, Joe Pine and James Gilmore’s book, The Experience Economy does a great job of describing how value is relative depending on context. Raw material X has a value of Y at one point but add experience A to X and now you have created a whole new value proposition. That is a useful insight. 

Systems that go beyond “local optima”.  The only local Optima I know is at the Kia dealer. What pretentious bullshit! No one can see the whole. If you will pardon my hackneyed phraseology about blind men (yes that is able-ist, so shoot me) and elephants, the whole is a whole lot bigger than any of us. We are just playing with pieces. Pieces that fit, pieces that don’t fit and pieces that we are trying to force fit.  There are just so many pieces. The universe is vast and getting vaster, supposedly.

I am not getting religious here, although it may sound that way. The whole is completely relative. Everything is a part. A moving part. Floating through time. In parallel. Simultaneously, yet sequentially. Linearly and exponentially.

Massive apologies for sounding like an adolescent trying to sound smart. I never got that tendency out of my system, but I am also fully aware that I truly know nothing. The difference with age (and now I have a fair bit of that) is that I realize I know nothing and that most of the rest of the world are also dumbasses with the possible exception of Rory Sutherland. The human folly of this is that so many people are trying to replicate whatever the physical reality is to live in some alternative digital multiverse. Let’s code this. Let’s code that. Tokenize that. At the same time, the world has been fucking with computers for nearly 70 years and we are still developing note-taking apps and calendars.

Sure,video games are impressive, and the Internet is pretty cool too if I am honest. At the same time, in the age of the Internet what use is honesty. Deception is a feature, not a bug. Nature is full of deception. Life is literally sustained by deception.

All forms of life resort to some form of deception. And perhaps the biggest culprit ofall is self-deception.

Sure, I mocked George H.W. Bush and the absurdity of “Thousand Points of Light” back in the day. If you were alive then, so did you. It was stupid on many levels.  One thousand? Why pick a round number? Why stop at one thousand. There are so many more points and pieces out there, yet we live in a world where individuals or groups pick a few of these pieces and make them our reason for being. The importance is inflated.

Pieces are often picked by precedent. You just pick up the pieces where someone else left off. Perhaps, it was wisdom that work got divided that way. There is no real accounting for human talent. Human talent doesn’t really show up on a balance sheet. Maybe via some proxy metric like the valuation of intellectual capital, some aspect of human talent is recorded. But this extremely temporal. The output of any group of humans is different at any point in time.

These are the pieces that somehow got deemed important. It is capitalism’s fault. It is communism’s fault. I fall to pieces. The whole is just too unmanageable. It has to be broken down into manageable pieces.  It is random. Or is it?  Somewhere on the random-verse in how I view Twitter posts, I saw someone post a quote attributed to Mark Twain about how “good judgement is the result of experience and experience is the result of bad judgement”

It is true as long as you learn from your bad judgement. While experience is invaluable in some circumstances, it will blind you in other instances. If only I could know in advance when to trust my judgement and when to ignore it. That is the gift of prophecy. I think that only time travelers have that and they are generally forbidden from using it. Unless that was their express mission. And even then that is an insane risk.

One variable can make all the difference, and it  can make everything different. Just different, not necessarily better.  This is because everything is connected and interdependent.

When you can control the variables, the chances of tweaking something and making it better are much higher.

When the variables are unknown and infinite, your ability to control the situation is much lower than you expect.

You just have to write a whole bunch of shit down, and then you really have to edit.

But unhealthy relationship with information. We think it is more valuable than it really is. All information is freaking temporary

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