The Abuse of PowerAugust 19th, 2019
I keep hearing that the worst thing is religion.
I can't make sense of that. Religion is just a belief system. How firmly people believe is widely variable. And if the religion provides a good moral ethic code which is fairly inline with my own, I have nothing against people believing that.
If people are getting caught up in the thinking that Religion is the root of all evil, they are really not focusing on the bigger picture.
Religion didn't cause priests to molest children. Abuse of power did.
Abuse of power is really inevitable in a human society. After all, hierarchies do have several advantages. Making things all uniformly equal is not necessarily the default. Different advantages are awarded person by person and region by region.
Using these advantages should be maximised.
Creating hierarchical systems can solve many logistic issues in log(n) time. So there is great benefit in terms of speed.
As such, out of necessity we need to work things up the chain of command.
Here is the most basic example. Two boxers get in the ring. We have the boxer level. Above that we have 1 referee. The referee level is intended to be a fair mediator between boxers to keep things completely fair according to the rules.
We have solved a very difficult problem in creating a fair fight.
But what if we introduce some abuse of power? What happens if we pay the ref to lean one way in the fight and he takes the bribe? The fair fight is no longer fair. In order to win the fight, the disadvantaged boxer has to be significantly better to make up for the handicap.
If you are looking at Religion as the root of all evil, please look beyond and see that Abuse of Power is really the root of all evil.
Therefore "Don't be evil" ( Google's motto ) would translate to "Don't abuse your power". I think this is the best motto to live by.
If it is inevitable that Abuse of Power exists in a human society, then we should make every effort to reduce this to zero. The first step is to become aware that this is the problem you need to identify and minimise.
A couple ways you can strive to reduce the abuse of power would be:
- Vote for the candidate least likely to abuse their power
- Work for a company that is doing way more good than harm
Software Developer always striving to be better. Learn from others' mistakes, learn by doing, fail fast, maximize productivity, and really think hard about good defaults. Computer developers have the power to add an entire infinite dimension with a single Int (or maybe BigInt). The least we can do with that power is be creative.
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