Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Transformative change vs incrementalism

This is a comment on Nate silver's political disagreements with sirota

There is the logical leap from "no corporate power" to "state socialism" and the whole emphasis on it.

That being said what I think Nate was getting at is that there are reasons to despise transformative change beyond the whole soviet canard.

To make a programming comparison there is an essay out about the cathedral and the bazzar at The cathedral and the bazzar

The point it makes is that incremental solutions deal much better with bugs. And the same applies to policy as law is just software on humans.

Fundamentally I don't trust transformative change because it does not rigorously test every element of its plan for usability, efficiency, and so on before moving to the next step.

I think that incrementalism is the real populist position. Transformative change is much more likely to come from CEOs and dictators rather than a democracy.

To make a corporate comparison

If you look at google the reason why they can put out so many great and solid products is because they embrace the incrementalist mindset. They don't give their engineers direction and if something bubbles up and becomes popular more people can work on it and produce a better more solid product.

Whereas microsoft embraces the transformative mindset. The process is locked down and resistant to input so the leader of the team can execute their goals. The problems are that they generally release bug filled products that execute a singular vision by people who have little ability to change the product for the better.