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We have grown up in world influenced by SigmundFreud?. He was of the opinion that people were inherently bad and self-interested. Without supervision they would tend to be lazy, foul, and destructive. This attitude went on to influence FrederickWinslowTaylor who created the ScientificTheoryOfManagement?. This theory has been the single largest influence on Western business management in this century (possibly ever).

However, it isn't correct. As it turns out, people given enough chances and responsibility tend to do a good job. Even acting in their own self-interest, most people recognize that a job well done results in rewards, whereas a poor job results in punishment. Most people aren't purely self-interested either, operating from some moral and ethical code.

First impressions count most, though. The PygmalionEffect shows that people live up to your expectations of them, either good or bad. If you immediately assume they aren't trustworthy, they will not be trustworthy.

Therefore, operate from a PrincipleOfFirstTrust. AssumeGoodFaith in others from the start, and you will in most cases get GoodFaith.

But, some people are too dense to get it. They are the rotten apples that spoil the whole bunch. Fortunately, if you trust people enough to empower them, SoftSecurity can usually make up for any problems.

Robert Axelrod, a political scientist at the University of Michigan, and one of four members of the BACH group (Burks, Axelrod, Cohen, and Holland) who first discovered Complexity in the mid 1980s, has run IteratedPrisonersDilemma games on computer models and has empirically verified that the PrincipleOfFirstTrust is true. Agents that begin by cooperating instead of conflicting always outperform agents that don't. You can read more about it in his books and articles on cooperation.



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