in reply to Re: Organizational Culture (Part I): Introduction -- autogestion
in thread Organizational Culture (Part I): Introduction

Thanks for your thought provoking reply (as usual ;-). Because of the many interesting points you raised, I'll make a separate response to each one that piqued my interest.

> The hunting and gathering society was not pervaded by idea of prevarication

I may have misunderstood your intent but -- taking prevarication to mean evasion of the truth; deceit, evasiveness -- it is widely accepted that prevarication was indeed common and widespread in hunter-gatherer communities ... and among many other Ape species too!

Stronger, lying and bluffing is rife throughout the animal kingdom (not just in Apes), deception conferring strong evolutionary advantages. See for example:

I'd also like to highlight, by quoting Sapiens, that the time scales involved indicate that the ancient hunter-gatherer era is the dominant influence on our genes today:

For nearly the entire history of our species, Sapiens lived as foragers. The past 200 years, during which ever increasing numbers of Sapiens have obtained their daily bread as urban labourers and office workers, and the preceding 10,000 years, during which most Sapiens lived as farmers and herders, are the blink of an eye compared to the tens of thousands of years during which our ancestors hunted and gathered ...

The flourishing field of evolutionary psychology argues that many of our present-day social and psychological characteristics were shaped during this long pre-agricultural era. Even today, scholars in this field claim, our brains and minds are adapted to a life of hunting and gathering.

Why, for example, do people gorge on high-calorie food that is doing little good to their bodies? Today's affluent societies are in the throes of a plague of obesity ... If a Stone Age woman came across a tree groaning with figs, the most sensible thing to do was to eat as many of them as she could on the spot, before the local baboon band picked the tree bare.

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Re^3: Organizational Culture (Part I): Introduction -- prevarication
by shmem (Chancellor) on Jun 14, 2021 at 18:33 UTC
    I may have misunderstood your intent but -- taking prevarication to mean evasion of the truth; deceit, evasiveness -- it is widely accepted that prevarication was indeed common and widespread in hunter-gatherer communities ... and among many other Ape species too!

    This may well be the case, but isn't very helpful. References to the animal kingdom must not lead to indulgence. As long as I define myself as human, there is a strong distinction between animals and humans - not wrt to the physical apparatus, where this distinction is pointless (which is why the term zoonosis is ridiculous), and not by the psychical pontential - but by the basic needs and aims of what can be coined human.

    Somebody said (was it Steiner?): "humans have instincts, while animals are instincts". Which of course is an over-generalization, since animals do love and have emotions, and the same or even more potential than humans, and many species are e.g. able to transcend themselves and help even members of other species out of critical situations (think dolphins). And then, much of human intelligence is instinct driven, is tied to instincts and nothing but a refinement of them.

    So, among the most basic needs of a human (his animal needs aren't looked at here, among which are many human liberties) are: transcendence and introspection, pursuit of knowledge and happiness (which is distinct from animal pleasure, but a delight of inner peace and achievement). This leads to the necessity of containment of men's animal condition and its instinct-driven forces (which btw is the meaning of Genesis 1, 28 "fill the earth and subdue it": it is men's own earthly condition which shall be subdued and filled with humanness). This never ever can be achieved by war against the animal condition, nor by negation or torturing it, only with love.

    Having said this and coming back to prevarication: the human needs are present and don't die, and if they are overcome by the animal condition and subdued (by self or society), they don't go away but are perverted, and lead to abuse of both the animal and human condition of the human being. And this is the kind of prevarication Discipulus talkes about, at least I perceive it that way. It leads to atomic bombs and gain of function virus research.

    I can smell abuse of power miles against the wind, and in hindsight I guess that this is one strong reason for me not to pursuit any kind of career whatsoever. And in the same notion, "Codes Of Conduct" are a bill of shame any community expedites to itself, not only to those who are blamed for making such proceedings necessary, but also for those who believe in fixing anything with that codes.

    Prevarication is related to privatization (in fact "privare" in latin means "to rob"), and capitalism is built upon privatization and abuse of power, and it is nothing but the expression of lack of "subdueing the earth" wrt some aspects in the above sense.

    There are and have been other ways. E.g., even in the US, and more so in Canada, there are small towns whose inhabitants leave their ignition keys stuck to the cars: to make sure anybody in need of a car gets one. There are as much or more unlocked doors in Canada (in percent of households) as those with rifles in the US. Go figure.

    perl -le'print map{pack c,($-++?1:13)+ord}split//,ESEL'
      Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals . . . except the weasels. — H. Simpson

      The cake is a lie.
      The cake is a lie.
      The cake is a lie.

        Heh. Nice... but would you mind being more specific?

        perl -le'print map{pack c,($-++?1:13)+ord}split//,ESEL'

      Well said. Points made apply to many more areas of life and work. I totally agree. And at least once in my life I did apply the "I am Human, I refuse to downgrade", so, I am proud I try to be Human.

      But the total sum of the trajectory of average human is "the belly", food, substinence, economy. And that amounts to a force so strong that takes away even the strongest humanists or it breaks them. Are there any humanists among the daily commuters of the metro in New York (judging only by films, never been there)?

      Economy is Capitalism today. But there are different stages to Capitalism although it has always been brutal to a varying number people although, sometimes, it balanced out with its positive effects, like driving economy and technology to a max. Today it is brutal to a maximum number of people.

      OT: Are there alternatives? Yes, I claim that technology as it is today can drive and sustain an alternative economy, although I respect the point of view of those saying "it has been tried before", my point is that technology is an important, qualitative factor in this new endeavour. And so, I am all for the abolishment of Capitalist Economy, confident that the alternative will succeed.

      Back to the point of "Codes of Conduct", they are embelishments to the brutality we feel all around us. And often distract from the real issues. Like for example, human labour exploitation, different opportunites depending on income and class, 2nd/3rd-world exploitation (vaccines and India is a case in point), unemployment (for those who feel the need to Create). It reminds me of the anti-bullying campaigns in schools which totally ignore that the majority of those kids are already hit by inequalities and later will be bullied within and by the Economy they are destined to serve.

      The above issues have become central in my life when it fell in my hands a marxist pamphlet in a boring train ride. That's why I keep mentioning them here, mostly as "FYI" and definetely not as "Proselytism", in PM with every opportunity (and elsewhere), but I do sense that I am overstepping the mark, PM being a Perl-forum. Well, I can not stop and I think PM is not just a Perl-forum and Perl is not just a computer language.

      bw, bliako

        Hello bliako,

        Off Topic..

        all times I ear about our economy model, it comes back to my mind the best description I ever encountered and, no, it comes not from a '800 theory book :)

        > I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus

        Alternatives? Maybe we are too late, maybe not. Passing years I'm more and more persuaded that the first change must occur in our minds. I hope we will dont need a catastrophic event to realize the situation. The central point, in my opinion, is the the global values scale behind everything: we are stuck to a view where the monetary profit is only and ultimate value for everything. I have a different scale: first of all there is our dear planet made by earth, air and water: without this in more than decent condition there is no chance for human beings to survive. At the second place there is the humankind: we are a lot! Probably too much to not over exploit the planet and probably we need a serious birth control for next centuries. That said all humans have the right to live decently and in freedom, but not the rigth to overhelm the neigbour nor the planet. After these points if there is room for personal profit, we can discuss about it..

        ..but not too much!

        How this can be related to free software communities? It is and a lot. We want to be named as a naif interlude in the software era, finally and forever dominated by companies? Or maybe we will realize that we need a big effort to define a new ethic making our communities more and more stronger? I have already stated my points recently and autogestion is the key word for the solution I see. But a big theoretical and practical effort is needed to make some step forward, from the, sad, point we are.

        Being sceptical about Internet Democracy applied to general politic ( we had bad experiences in my country ;) if we are talking about Free Software communities a lot can be done: representativeness can be achieved with easy: a survey about the cpan RT tool would have been a good idea, before announcing the intent to shut it down: maybe you can have more votes based on the total upstream value of your modules on cpan, maybe core module developpers can have +1000 vote, maybe the pumpiking can have 10000 votes.. or what we decided togheter.

        That is the point: the little power we have has to be dissected, reasonably removing the possibility to be used to overhelm something or someone. Responsability will be toward the bottom of the community, not toward a boss or an abstract idea. Participation will be asked from a minimal kind of to something more challenging.

        about Code of Conduct

        > Back to the point of "Codes of Conduct", they are embelishments to the brutality we feel all around us..

        Well.. I think CoC come from another mentality, in my opinion typical of the Anglo-Saxon (how do you say nowadays: Western?) colture. For peoples accostumed to Roman Laws (and Bizanthyne ones!) for centuries the Anglo-Saxon approach seems semplicistic, naif and somehow childish. I dont want to offend, I want only highline a different cultural approach.

        I remember filling same paper to take a flight passing from Canada: I was very surprised by the question: are you a terrorist? and it made me laugh. The point is: they dont expect someone admitting to be a terrorist but the opportunity to slap your lie in your face during an eventual judgement.

        So what is a Code of Conduct? Dont be an asshole.. It sounds not very different from the above terrorist question. But certainly we need a minimal, but shared and community born, framework to rule or circumscribe interactions. For example what communication channels are admittable? We have so much that it becomes a hairy thing to shave, but we have to.

        So call it organizational colture or autogestion it is something we need desperately.


        There are no rules, there are no thumbs..
        Reinvent the wheel, then learn The Wheel; may be one day you reinvent one of THE WHEELS.

        > Capitalism although it has always been brutal to a varying number people although, sometimes, it balanced out with its positive effects, like driving economy and technology to a max. Today it is brutal to a maximum number of people.
        Yes, I suspect an ancient hunter-gatherer had a more satisfying, varied and enjoyable life than either the agricultural revolution farm labourer or the industrial revolution factory worker. Once you make "progress" it seems impossible to say "hey, that was a bad idea, let's go back to being hunter-gatherers!". :)

        OTOH, if we remained hunter-gatherers indefinitely we'd certainly become extinct within a billion years or so, while now we have a chance of longer-term survival by becoming a spacefaring civilization (while admittedly facing a good chance of self-destruction in the next few hundred years if we fail to gain a foothold in space).

        > Back to the point of "Codes of Conduct", they are embellishments to the brutality we feel all around us
        I am not at all comfortable with them but ... as a chess fan, this morning I was disgusted by yet another cheating scandal, this time in a Covid charity fund raising event, which resulted in banning this user with the message:
        This account has been closed for violating our Fair Play Policy. These rules help keep chess fair for everyone.
        I was so disgusted with the disrespect this billionaire showed to the great Vishy Anand that I leapt out of my chair and punched the air with my fist when he got banned! Curiously, it seems casual chess players do not understand this emotion, at least most of the chess cheaters are not part of the serious chess culture.

        The rise of Covid has forced most chess to be played from home, where it's impossible to know, for sure, if someone is using a chess computer. Sadly,'s desperate policy of banning "cheats", based on statistical likelihood that they are using a computer, sometimes results in innocent folks getting banned. OTOH, chess computers have become so strong that they risk totally destroying the game of chess unless stern measures are taken.

        Update: More links on the recent Covid charity chess cheating scandal:

        See also: Cancel culture (wikipedia)

Re^3: Organizational Culture (Part I): Introduction -- prevarication
by Discipulus (Abbot) on Jun 14, 2021 at 06:30 UTC
    hello again eyepopslikeamosquito,

    > taking prevarication to mean..

    Ouch.. I have this habit to choose words from my mother tongue hoping they have the same meaning (and the same semantic) in English due to their common latin roots!

    This time, as many other ones, I was was unlucky: it seems that English maintained a meaning closer to the Latin one, infact prevarication has quiet the same meaning of prevaricatio but in my language it took a more common meaning of violent arrogance or simply the act to overwhelm, overcome, overpower someone else.


    There are no rules, there are no thumbs..
    Reinvent the wheel, then learn The Wheel; may be one day you reinvent one of THE WHEELS.