Tuesday, January 9, 2018

How to tackle the bad consequences of noble intentions

Sharing an opinion / inference of mine regarding the question of what is it that makes things like this happen:

Here's my take.

Evil cannot accomplish these things. To accomplish things like these, you need to be two things:

1. Full of noble intentions.

2. Convinced that you, more than anyone else, know what is the right thing to do.

So following up on that, if you were to ask me what is the antidote, here's what I'll say :

1. Dump the noble intentions thing. Just stop using it as a metric for measurement.

2. Avoid like the plague, people who are convinced that they know what is the right thing to do. Instead, have room for doubt, feedback, multiple minds.

And then, to all the people who want to do something about these things, here's some unsolicited advice:

1. Don't accuse them of being evil or having bad intentions. You'll be barking up the wrong tree, and will make their noble intentions feel braver under fire.

2. Look up to folks who value feedback and who want to give more power to mechanisms that enable actual stakeholders to fix things by themselves. Rather than looking up to folks who say that they know how to fix everything.

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