Humans Suck

Humans are notoriously wasteful and counter-productive. DilbertIsNoJoke

HowToWinFriendsAndInfluencePeople reveals that "output" efficiency is only half the game. The other half is "kissing up" or "bonding" with superiors (both real or fake bonding counts). This leads to Dilbert-esque wasteful and inefficient decision making and processes. This puts a premium on "social navigation" over raw merit and logic. The work world, and economy at large, would drive a Vulcan crazy.

I will agree that the very top techies can make up for lack of kiss-up skills via their hard-to-find technical skills and abilities, but this is the exception and not the rule. Most of us are Salieri's, not Mozart's (a great movie, highly recommended, even if of questionable accuracy, per below). Thus, most workers have to play the game to move up the ladder.

We also waste vast resources on "ego products" and sexual lures such as sports-cars, big SUV's, large houses, frequently-changing fashion and home decor, make-up, and hair products.

And most meetings could be replaced with email, wikis, and/or teleconferencing, but managers and decision makers prefer to see subtle social cues of participants, and so burn boatloads of jet fuel and/or time.

That's a cynical view of management, and whilst it's not entirely wrong it puts the emphasis in the wrong place. The main reason face-to-face, in-person meetings are encouraged is because (a) they don't suffer the inevitable latencies, inadequacies, and desperately low bandwidth of technology; and (b) humans simply get along better in person. On a Wiki or Web forum, and sometimes even in a series of teleconferences, petty differences flourish and grow into animosities. In person, humans tend to put aside their differences and get along -- especially if they aren't kept together too frequently. I suspect it has a lot to do with the primal influence of food-sharing and novel pheromones in tribal-visit situations.

I don't know, I've been in some nasty meetings and have heard plenty of stories about others'. Some meetings are good, but many are a waste of time, especially in terms of travel and scheduling. They are a tool that can easily be misused.

Well, yes. I've been in some bad meetings too. The worst ones involved no food and people who knew each other too well.

Get off the wiki and try a MUD.

Make me, Human!

Strictly speaking, the movie (and the story on which it is based) are slanderous on poor Salieri. He was actually quite a kind man, was on friendly terms with Mozart, and gave music lessons for free to all except the very rich. The accusations in that movie are unjustified, though as a story the movie is a good one.

Ironically, the (slanderous) movie increased the listening of his music (an estimation on my part). He was a no-name before (after his time), now people are curious and realize his music is not really that bad. It's like Beatles fans discovering The Who after a band p/r scuffle: they are not nearly as talented and versatile as the Beatles by most accounts, but nevertheless carved out a nice little niche sound.

As they say in Hollywood (AKA "Hollyweird"): bad publicity is better than no publicity, and sometimes more profitable than good publicity.

[Please stop messing with the apostrophes. It may not be grammatically correct, but it improves readability, and I value readability over grammatical purity.]

Misanthropy? I don't know if there is or can be a perfect species. "Perfect" is relative anyhow. Grittiness may be a survive advantage; a fully honest civilization or species would be easy pickings for cosmic con-artists because they'd have no experience against such. Some degree of chaos may be necessary for civilization and organizational techniques in general in the longer run. Organization and chaos may dance together in a Yin-Yang kind of way. Still, an organization that finds a way to harness the benefits of order and planning without creating too many intentional side-effects may prosper more than one that doesn't. The trick is finding and testing such techniques, though.

The rare humans that don't suck often display these characteristics:

"The more I know about people, the better I like my dogs." -Mark Twain

See also HumansRock, GreatLispWar

CategoryPsychology, CategoryHumanFactors, CategorySociology

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