Why is it that in so many hierarchical institutions authority is separated from competence? Why do so many such systems continue to exist?
“Two things reduce prejudice: education and laughter.” ― Laurence J. Peter
# Federated Governance
What sort of governance i suitable for a software project that is in many ways about decentralised architecture? How should we govern and sustain the federation?
The question here poses itself with regard to how the software is designed at several levels. How should search be structured, how should plugins me listed and developed - and these questions point to the fact that in software projects governance and code are interalated - code is political.
Let's look at search. How should we structure it? With a centralised server that indexes the federation and allows any plugin to call its methods (Google for the Federation)? Or a Decentralised Search where every server in incentivised to curate its own part of the puzzle. Is the appropriate answer to this question technical, or social?
Governance is a theoretical concept referring to the actions and processes by which stable practices and organizations arise and persist. wikipedia
Hierarchy is useful partly because it can reduce the communication overhead by limiting information flow; this is also its major limitation. wikipedia
We see many examples where governance and hierarchy appear at odds.
Do hierarchical organizations survive only if they first work as cooperative small enterprises, finally reaching critical mass where they are advised, "You've got to act like a real business now" and in come the "experts" to run the company?
Do hierarchies flourish because at a certain larger scale authority always benefits regardless of its decisions, good or bad for the enterprise, as we saw in the top tiers of banking after the 2007-8 crash, or when, say, Carly Fiorina walked away with $21 million in cash and $19 million in pension benefits after crashing Hewlett-Packard's stock 65% vs. only 15% for the S&P?
We'll need some terms and definitions to help with the discussion of governance. We start with rule-making, rule-makers, and rules in general. Rules-in-Use