Saturday, October 17, 2020

What went wrong with Märt and Eva? They both worked fervently for a same international public corporation with a clearly stated mission in which they both believe. Why didn’t they find a modus vivendi that would have made possible their collaboration?

Maybe because their collaboration infrastructure –a mixture of Wikimedia, Phabricator, Slack, Email and maybe other software systems– was not yet enough. Something fundamental is missing. Humanity has yet to find this missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle.

Democracy in its current form can barely be considered a mature system. Using nowadays technologies, even a sandwich bar is difficult to govern in a democratic way. Not to speak about a village, a country or a planet. We are still in the stone age of democracy.

Where to go next? I started to have some ideas.

The existing software systems used for project management provide no serious way of taking into account human imperfection.

Humans are never perfect. We have emotions, motivations and priorities, our reasoning depends on our current mood and physical situation. We have our personal beliefs and convictions (aka world view or faith), we love certain things and hate others. We have a limited memory, limited energy, limited knowledge; we make mistakes, we tend to over- or underestimate our own skills and those of others. We sometimes lie in order to fool or cheat each other, or because we are afraid of saying he truth. Our language is never perfect, a same word or comment can have different meanings for its readers and can cause multiple connotations, emotions and reactions. Humans constantly learn, our world view evolves and changes over time. Our motivations fluctuate and depend on miscellaneous external factors.

Our software systems tend to ignore human imperfection. They fail to bring overview over an issue as soon as it becomes more complex than a few comments. Every comment about an issue can lead to an avalanche of other comments, every comment can potentially raise new issues or relate to other known issues. The intention of a comment can be unknown or subconscious to its author at the time of writing, not to speak about its readers. A posted comment can receive new meanings depending on the reactions of its readers. An author can regret a comment. It is difficult to objectively evaluate the qualities of a comment or the authority and skills of its author.

Let me know if you want to help me to develop this idea.