Often we assume that those who know should decide and in one sense that must be true. We sometime confuse knowing about a thing, say science facts, with knowing what to do about a thing. A man can know all the there is to know about his friend, but still not love him well. Merit has a place, but being bright, well credentialed, is not everything.
A meritocracy has limits. Often those who have earned the credentials, won the prizes, cannot see past their own success. Sharing all the same assumptions, they find self-criticism, real Socratic doubt about what they believe, difficult. What might go wrong?
Our guest voice Dr. Eric Holloway reflects poetically on these limits. Holloway is a credentialed man, but also a man of merit. He is looking for virtue and not just more lines for his CV.
Dr. Eric Holloway has credentials: a great texts degree, a MSc in Computer Science at the Air Force Institute of Technology and a PhD in Computer Engineering from Baylor University. He is not impressed with himself and that is the most impressive thing about his opening thoughts on those he calls “the leaders of the moths.”
Who makes the best decisions? Smart people, of course. If they didn’t make good decisions, then they wouldn’t be smart! So, who should be in charge? The people who make the best decisions, of course. And who are these people? The smart people!
The smart people are all about progress. If we aren’t busy growing then we are dying, and no one wants to be dying. So we must alway grow, ever faster, because if growth slows, slower is dying, and everyone hates death. Death is the end of good, and the end of good is bad, so we must avoid it at all costs.
Faster and faster we must drive. Our best leaders are the ones who speed us up, pushing us to ever greater speed.
What about steering? Don’t worry about that. The steerer is the decision maker, and we’ve already put our best decision makers on the job, so no one need worry about steering.
Sometimes there are still questions. Questions about whether we should have made a left instead of a right. Questions about why the horizon suddenly stops. Questions about what happened to everyone ahead of us, why can’t we see them anymore. And, why does the skyline glow red like an unquenchable fire.
But, questions about steering are questions for the decision makers. One thing we must never do, is distract our decision makers! We must not distract ourselves with questions about the steering, to risk slowing down. Moving is life! Stopping is death!
So, onward, faster and faster, with ever greater confidence, the smart people lead us towards the light, our salvation from death!
Bzzt! another moth bursts into flames, its ash settling gently on Bob’s head, as he relaxes in the warm, summer evening.