posted on 2021-04-24

Let's not generalize over people

i really like culture; and, to that end, i really like diversity of thought.

diversity is pretty fragile, however; if you don't take particular actions to preserve it, forces like markets rapidly optimize their own efficiency by throwing diversity under the bus: a population with more uniform needs is easier to satisfy.

another force that does this, however, is generalization: every time one makes assumptions about a general population, they become susceptible to make decisions that bring about a world that works better for people for whom this generalization holds, but worse for the rest — and so, in the long term, a world that will try to optimize out that latter population for its own efficiency.

in labor, for example, i don't particularly care that the economy is built so that workers feel less alienated. what if there is some person who doesn't care about alienation, and just wants to maximize how much pay they take home so that they can spend less time working and more time doing something else they want to do? this is why i favor less one-size-fits-all schemes that intend to "make work better for everyone" by making assumptions about what people want out of work, and more schemes that let people able to better negotiate what they want on a case-by-case basis. the two main schemes that come to mind which would radically empower people in regards to their interaction with the labor market are unionization, and UBI.

posted on 2021-04-24

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