Victus Spiritus


The Chains of Incumbent Systems

16 Mar 2010

This post let me air out some rebellious feelings and frustrations with a world that changes 100times slower than I'd like. Patience is a virtue.
I've got a bone to pick with fixed wages, incumbent business systems and outdated financial models. I'm thankful that they've been the foundation of our economy and sustained my life until now, but they have unerringly lead to a society of doing just enough. Productivity is stuck in a local optimal that's shrinking every day.

Hourly pay, and fixed salary paradigms have lead to the wholescale factorization and commoditization of genuine effort. I want to see people experiment, and break things. I want to hear objections based on personal views. I loathe broadcast meetings, just email me and don't waste my day. When a business becomes so bound by existent systems that creative problem solving is impossible, something is obviously wrong.

Sure there are heroic exceptions that excel despite the system around them. But each step of rationale, genuine effort is met with a bureacratic wall of "do just enough". Even though the exceptions haven't bought into this zombie philosophy, the rest of the crowd doesn't want you making them look bad. I know. I've been part of that "stay in line" system for far too long. Even though I'm struggling to find value in my hourly job, I cope with my cognitive dissonance by writing what I truly believe, and putting my best energy into a startup that's building a personal relevance engine. The sad part is that the rest of the crowd could be amazing if they only tried, if they only listened to that small voice in the back of their minds that says, "no more pushing papers". We've become a zombie nation, of commoditized intelligence and action, but we don't have to stay this way. We can't afford to.

You know how to make things work better in your own little part of the world. Do it! Go break something that has tied your creativity up. Break free of existing formats, legacy structures or completely circumvent barriers to your ideal solution. Even if you're wrong at least by trying you get closer to getting it right. Be relentless and courageous in your personal quest for value.

Life is about experimenting and learning each and every day. Imagine an entire world where we all followed our internal compasses. I bet we'd be surprised by what we can collectively accomplish, as new more fluid organizations formed to overcome unimaginable (by today's standards) challenges.

Perpetuating an irrational system is a biproduct of misguided expectations. We must strive to cultuvate a culture that is confident in the stability of change. There is no preset course to a better future, we have to continually evaluate our assumptions and motivations. Go break some chains, and show the rest of us how it's done.