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RPGnet's decay (TBP madness)

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KindaMeh:

--- Quote from: Pat on June 29, 2022, 10:48:53 AM ---
--- Quote from: KindaMeh on June 29, 2022, 10:01:40 AM ---
--- Quote from: Ghostmaker on June 29, 2022, 07:39:14 AM ---
--- Quote from: Stephen Tannhauser on June 28, 2022, 04:54:21 PM ---
--- Quote from: Ghostmaker on June 28, 2022, 11:04:05 AM ---The Democrats have had fifty years to shore up RvW, but they couldn't be arsed because it was a good political grift.
--- End quote ---

This is unfortunately an inherent weakness of any kind of advocacy movement or organization, political or not. To paraphrase Upton Sinclair, it is difficult to get people to commit to permanently resolving an issue when their paycheque depends on it not yet being resolved. (Which is one reason court-mandated resolutions have become so popular: unelected judges become the only people willing to make decisions that will incur the wrath of large portions of an electorate because the backlash won't cost them their office.)

--- End quote ---
Corollary: Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy applies here as well.

--- End quote ---

Thanks to your having mentioned it, I now know what that is. And yeah, I guess that fits this situation in that folks with dedication to goals pushing to resolve this one would go against those with a dedication to the establishment's interests to keep it running. So for now at least, without the public being willing to make such behavior too costly to the establishment's interests to ignore, the "protectors" of even the political branch of the establishment who mostly run it keep the idealists in line, for the "greater good" of their party and its mobilization or more broadly to give the establishment something to do and "work" on.

Tying Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy to corporate censorship and refusal of goods and services on a political basis, perhaps exemplified at times by sites like RPG.net, maybe part of why we see no action politically is because ironically to some extent voters care? Not enough for it to be costly to the establishment to ignore lasting and significant change on, but enough to make minor attempts and major promises on corporate interests and big tech more of a draw in the polls. Hence leading to a similar situation? IDK, just spitballing here. It's possible I shouldn't be trying to apply the law outside a raw and more literal bureaucratic context. Regardless, this theorized principle or tendency did get me thinking.

--- End quote ---
That's the entire premise of public economics. There's a tendency for people to judge social and economic decisions or movements by their stated intentions, rather than looking at the end results, or the incentives that encourage people to act in certain ways based on their self interest. That leads people to assume that government employees are selfless "public servants" with no motivations or goals other than to help, or to claim that if you don't immediately spend more money and sacrifice basic rights in support of social program X to help people Y, then you're evil and actively trying to hurt Y. Conversely, this willful blindness and self-delusion is never extended to companies, who are nearly invariably assumed to have evil motivations, even though the entire premise of the free market is voluntary exchanges based on mutual benefit.

There's a reason why bureaucracies always grow and increase in power, why government power always grows and centralizes, why cronyism and corruption happens, and why even the best government programs seem so poorly aligned with the people they're supposed to help. It's called human nature. People in those positions seek to further their own goals, and even if they start with the best intentions, it's easy to rationalize away small compromises that provide personal benefit. Since they're likely to socialize with people in similar circumstances, they'll reinforce each other's decisions. They're naturally inclined to believe they're useful and having an impact, and will blame failures on external factors, like lack of resources, not enough power, interference, or scapegoats outside their normal circles (like companies). They'll do favors for their friends and family, and they'll seek to increase their own power and perpetuate the organization and their part in it. Unlike businesses, who constantly have to adjust their decisions based on the harsh demands of the balance sheet, there is no clear metric by which public organizations are measured, so there is no inherent means of correction when all these incentives drive them off course.

Incidentally, that's also why stateholder capitalism and the ESG movement are so perfidious -- they're removing the one clear corrective that forces businesses to be efficient and serve their customers, and replacing it with the vague and amorphous goals of public policy, which are so easily and almost automatically warped to serve the invested elite instead of the intended beneficiaries.

--- End quote ---

This sounds intuitively true but also terrifying. A lot of of this felt pretty eye opening and caused me to think about things in a different manner, even if some of it I also already agreed with. Maybe I should look more into public economics and add that to my list of basic things to dedicate some time to becoming informed about.

All that being said, how can a bureaucrat or bureaucracy, or at least the people structuring them, or the people electing the people that do that, avoid some of these pitfalls? Or is it just inevitable really that they will be pushed in that direction? Basically, if one wants to fix problems like “ corporate censorship and refusal of goods and services on a political basis, perhaps exemplified at times by sites like RPG.net” (quoting because lazy and afraid I’ll mess up what I think was a decent phrasing) for instance, either from within the system, as the system, as the people who make the system, or as a voter, how can it practically be done? And at what level do we think movement towards this change is best or most viably applied? (I’d assume regardless we want the citizens on board, else tyranny and oligarchy, but still asking.)

KindaMeh:

--- Quote from: KindaMeh on June 29, 2022, 11:06:56 AM ---
--- Quote from: Pat on June 29, 2022, 10:48:53 AM ---
--- Quote from: KindaMeh on June 29, 2022, 10:01:40 AM ---
--- Quote from: Ghostmaker on June 29, 2022, 07:39:14 AM ---
--- Quote from: Stephen Tannhauser on June 28, 2022, 04:54:21 PM ---
--- Quote from: Ghostmaker on June 28, 2022, 11:04:05 AM ---The Democrats have had fifty years to shore up RvW, but they couldn't be arsed because it was a good political grift.
--- End quote ---

This is unfortunately an inherent weakness of any kind of advocacy movement or organization, political or not. To paraphrase Upton Sinclair, it is difficult to get people to commit to permanently resolving an issue when their paycheque depends on it not yet being resolved. (Which is one reason court-mandated resolutions have become so popular: unelected judges become the only people willing to make decisions that will incur the wrath of large portions of an electorate because the backlash won't cost them their office.)

--- End quote ---
Corollary: Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy applies here as well.

--- End quote ---

Thanks to your having mentioned it, I now know what that is. And yeah, I guess that fits this situation in that folks with dedication to goals pushing to resolve this one would go against those with a dedication to the establishment's interests to keep it running. So for now at least, without the public being willing to make such behavior too costly to the establishment's interests to ignore, the "protectors" of even the political branch of the establishment who mostly run it keep the idealists in line, for the "greater good" of their party and its mobilization or more broadly to give the establishment something to do and "work" on.

Tying Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy to corporate censorship and refusal of goods and services on a political basis, perhaps exemplified at times by sites like RPG.net, maybe part of why we see no action politically is because ironically to some extent voters care? Not enough for it to be costly to the establishment to ignore lasting and significant change on, but enough to make minor attempts and major promises on corporate interests and big tech more of a draw in the polls. Hence leading to a similar situation? IDK, just spitballing here. It's possible I shouldn't be trying to apply the law outside a raw and more literal bureaucratic context. Regardless, this theorized principle or tendency did get me thinking.

--- End quote ---
That's the entire premise of public economics. There's a tendency for people to judge social and economic decisions or movements by their stated intentions, rather than looking at the end results, or the incentives that encourage people to act in certain ways based on their self interest. That leads people to assume that government employees are selfless "public servants" with no motivations or goals other than to help, or to claim that if you don't immediately spend more money and sacrifice basic rights in support of social program X to help people Y, then you're evil and actively trying to hurt Y. Conversely, this willful blindness and self-delusion is never extended to companies, who are nearly invariably assumed to have evil motivations, even though the entire premise of the free market is voluntary exchanges based on mutual benefit.

There's a reason why bureaucracies always grow and increase in power, why government power always grows and centralizes, why cronyism and corruption happens, and why even the best government programs seem so poorly aligned with the people they're supposed to help. It's called human nature. People in those positions seek to further their own goals, and even if they start with the best intentions, it's easy to rationalize away small compromises that provide personal benefit. Since they're likely to socialize with people in similar circumstances, they'll reinforce each other's decisions. They're naturally inclined to believe they're useful and having an impact, and will blame failures on external factors, like lack of resources, not enough power, interference, or scapegoats outside their normal circles (like companies). They'll do favors for their friends and family, and they'll seek to increase their own power and perpetuate the organization and their part in it. Unlike businesses, who constantly have to adjust their decisions based on the harsh demands of the balance sheet, there is no clear metric by which public organizations are measured, so there is no inherent means of correction when all these incentives drive them off course.

Incidentally, that's also why stateholder capitalism and the ESG movement are so perfidious -- they're removing the one clear corrective that forces businesses to be efficient and serve their customers, and replacing it with the vague and amorphous goals of public policy, which are so easily and almost automatically warped to serve the invested elite instead of the intended beneficiaries.

--- End quote ---

This sounds intuitively true but also terrifying. A lot of of this felt pretty eye opening and caused me to think about things in a different manner, even if some of it I also already agreed with. Maybe I should look more into public economics and add that to my list of basic things to dedicate some time to becoming informed about.

All that being said, how can a bureaucrat or bureaucracy, or at least the people structuring them, or the people electing the people that do that, avoid some of these pitfalls? Or is it just inevitable really that they will be pushed in that direction? Basically, if one wants to fix problems like “ corporate censorship and refusal of goods and services on a political basis, perhaps exemplified at times by sites like RPG.net” (quoting because lazy and afraid I’ll mess up what I think was a decent phrasing) for instance, either from within the system, as the system, as the people who make the system, or as a voter, how can it practically be done? And at what level do we think movement towards this change is best or most viably applied? (I’d assume regardless we want the citizens on board, else tyranny and oligarchy, but still asking.)

--- End quote ---

Actually, looking back, this might be too broad a question/series of questions and could potentially disrupt this thread. Was trying to figure out what could be done about the systemic realities that give rise to problems like those I feel emphasized by RPG.net. But maybe reform is a bit too big and broad a subject to tackle within this particular thread without derailment. May try starting a thread if I can figure out how to do that, but probably should not hog space here.

Battlemaster:
It looks like they had a spate of bans on July 4. Is that how they celebrate a day dedicated to liberty?

Shitpost from jeffy I will not see in 4..3.. 2..

Ghostmaker:

--- Quote from: Battlemaster on July 04, 2022, 09:33:56 PM ---It looks like they had a spate of bans on July 4. Is that how they celebrate a day dedicated to liberty?

Shitpost from jeffy I will not see in 4..3.. 2..

--- End quote ---
Yes. Because they should have the liberty to stamp out wrongthink.

(that was sarcasm)

The best one IMO was Withnail&I catching a one day for pointing out the absurdity of demanding people account for whatever interpretations a listener might put upon their words. Probably because that's literally TBP policy (the onus is on the poster).

Battlemaster:
Sarcasm? Really?

OK, yeah, in all fairness when dealing with that bunch it may be necessary to point that out.

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