“Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.” — Clay Shirky

“The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.”
― Oscar Wilde

Yet another good thing I got by playing Civ4.

@neauoire A decision theorist would simply guarantee the institution a big golden disbandment payout when they can demonstrate that they have solved the problem. I wonder if this has ever been done. The main obstacle would be that non-decision-theorist members would always say "you can give us that money now, it's fine, you can trust us, we'll be honest"

@faun You'd also want to shut down the institution funding the institution disbandment to shut down when they have shut down all institutions.

Do you know the Cobra Effect?

@neauoire I've heard economists saying "unintended consequences" a lot, but I usually just file such cases as "not genuinely thinking in a consequentialist way". Consequentialists irl know that consequences are often unintuitive and that measuring what is really happening is very important, that there's a huge difference between signalling a desire to solve the problem - expending energy in the problem's direction - and really doing anything about it.

@neauoire Mainly wouldn't expect that specific thing to be a problem because "have shut down all institutions" never has to come about. One institution disbands, another opens.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.