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I'm thinking there's a bit of truth in this theory. Especially the idea that autonomy is a motivator. But it's a motivator within a wider context. It's like a little ball inside a big ball. You can rattle a round a bit, but that big ball delimits your ultimate autonomy. It also make sense that paint-by-numbers jobs requiring robotic behavior are most fertile for monetary incentives. After all, if it's not money, then what's your incentive? To be *more* like a robot? To be *less* autonomous? It's severely goal directed and the goal is money. The mortgage has to be paid. That raises an interesting point: how many times have you heard people say about their dead-end job that it's what they do so they can earn money to do the things they love? They see it as a price to pay for something better, not that better thing itself. Further, despite looking like an argument for socialist dogma, this is a strong explanation for the efficacy of the free-market system. The ivory tower Marxists who frown and wonder why their glorious theories always bear poisonous fruit, should take note and realise what non-Marxists have always understood: it's not so much freedom to make money that creates efficacy, but the freedom to direct one's own life that promotes human happiness and productive abundance. It also explains why production, not consumption, is the prime mover. And why government "stimulation" of the economy creates perverse short-term incentives and long-term problems. Treating the populace--especially entrepreneurs--like hamsters on a wheel instead of individuals who have a desire to improve their own lives through self-motivated, self-directed, productive action is not only in-efficacious but morally bankrupt.
Toggle Commented Oct 14, 2010 on The Vast and Endless Sea at Coding Horror
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Oct 14, 2010