On guilds

A guild is an institution that crystallizes tribal knowledge into institutional knowledge. Guilds are the coalescence of atomized technocrats into a political class, and may be compared to industry standards organizations today, e.g. ISO, OSHA, the American Petroleum Institute, and so on. They are distinct from unions and other associations of craftsmen because they are political actors (rather than merely economic) and have selective memberships with very high average competence.

If you’ve ever worked a day in your life, you know that most people operate on a combination of head knowledge (memorized solutions to common problems) and tribal knowledge (the total head knowledge available in the people they can ask for help). Institutional knowledge can be thought of as centralized repositories of “best practices” discovered by craftsmen through trial and error and written down by the more intelligent, conscientious practitioners. Looking up a written solution, understanding it, and applying it correctly are beyond the abilities of most people. However, everyone in a significantly large organization knows there’s a “smart kid” in the engineering department who can translate institutional knowledge into head knowledge, and then communicate it as tribal knowledge.

Monasteries were the first guilds in modern (post-Roman) Western Civilization. (This obviously doesn’t include Byzantium.) The production and retention of institutional knowledge relies on the technology used to record it, the cultural capital to be spent maintaining cloisters of prolific writers and archivists, and the moral capacity of a society to think ahead. Black societies cannot produce technocrats at present because their tribal knowledge doesn’t include the idea of a “guild”. They only understand the neurotic and demagogue archetypes.

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About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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22 Responses to On guilds

  1. Koanic says:

    Fascinating.

  2. Akuma says:

    “Looking up a written solution, understanding it, and applying it correctly are beyond the abilities of most people. However, everyone in a significantly large organization knows there’s a “smart kid” in the engineering department who can translate institutional knowledge into head knowledge, and then communicate it as tribal knowledge.”

    See this is why books are better as blunt force trauma objects than anything else that can be turned into a weapon. It’s also why nerds become evil megalomaniac INTJs.

  3. One interesting thing about modern technology is that it could allow groups to create something much better than an institute or a guild because web IT allows for a-priori design of social ontology. Huwhites I think are going to be hampered by the animism they imbue they give to social technologies, which seems ‘advanced’ on the surface but in actuality leads to sluggish adaptation to change amongst their slave hordes who so heavily rely upon it, whereas cultures that just do what works because it feels good could be better positioned to benefit from being able to spin up a corporate headquarters and a federal reserve and a manufacturing facility and a distribution network on demand.

    This is what makes Jack Ma so smart. He just goes into a country and gives them 3 million smartphones with Alibaba installed and all of a sudden they’re inducted into the global capitalist system.

  4. MM says:

    Modern “medicine” is my most hated guild tbh.
    Its even worse than the propagandists because there are enough actually smart doctors that they should be able to fucking do something.

    • Son of Distant Trebizond says:

      > actually smart doctors

      Where the hell did you find those?

      Which rock are they hiding under?

    • Boneflour says:

      The medical system is so bloated and broken that curing people is probably illegal.

      Excerpt from a doctor/medical director interview on some obscure blog: https://the-moneychanger.com/articles/jonathan_wright_april-2015

      “Here’s another good one: let’s say you’ve got a knee or hip problem. Your doctor draws out some blood and uses the centrifuge to get platelets out of your blood. He takes those platelets and injects them into the knee or hip. That relieves a lot of people’s symptoms so they can avoid surgery for a while longer.

      That’s been going on for years. Cost for treatment? $400 to $800. Guess what? The FDA has proposed that centrifuges in offices be banned, unless you have an FDA approved centrifuge and use FDA approved materials. Wait! What materials is this doctor using to inject your own platelets? He’s using your own platelets! The FDA won’t allow you to use your own platelets! FDA wants you to be forced to buy platelets processed from umbilical cords and placentas by only one special company approved to do this—imagine that! And there are two such centers in the eastern United States. You could get this treatment for $400 to $800 from your regular orthopedic surgeon. However, those two FDA-approved places, using platelets from somewhere and somebody else, cost $4,000 to $8,000. They are actually making this procedure less safe.”

  5. Boneflour says:

    I like this post. This is a good post.

  6. Boneflour says:

    Offloading intelligence (via guilds, writing down rules, writing scripts, search algorithms, whatever) does two things at once: It increases total systemic intelligence… and decreases average individual intelligence.

    I read somewhere that Socrates disliked writing because he thought it would erode our capacity for memorization. I forget what, exactly… lemme Google it real quick. (is joke)

    When your startup visionary gets the flowchart down to where a clueless middle manager could run through it… you hire clueless middle managers instead of startup visionaries. You do this because you need your smartest people engineering more systemic intelligence for your trained monkeys to operate.

    (I’m pretty sure this is how Bezos runs Amazon, btw. Low level employees complain about being treated like mindless drones… mid-level management is full of clueless metric monkeys… wicked smart top-level management is busy buying up other visionaries and expanding the system.)

    Intelligence offloading paradoxically enables massive engineering marvels to be completed by dozens of trained monkeys and the one guy that can still read the manual.

    The pattern repeats within every system and subsystem until you have the dumbest/lowest quality people possible running each component. The only reason immigration will fail is because Somalis/rapefugees are SO low quality that they will exceed the tolerance of the system.

    And in fact, overestimating your system’s idiot tolerance is a major cause of system failure. How many companies have gone out of business because the owner’s idiot son started running things? How many corporations have stagnated because the genius visionary put his trusted assistant as next in line for the top position? (cough Tim Cook cough)

    Intelligence offload is a great tool. When someone says “read old books” or “let me Google that for you”, they’re directing you to the location of some offloaded intelligence for you to access. It’s the kind of thing you use to build skyscrapers and Amish villages too. But the failure modes are nasty. It’s a hard problem to solve completely, and worth thinking about. Maybe eventually we’ll get it down in a flowchart that our smart guy can read.

    Aeoli, if you want to use this as a guest post, go for it. It feels like a waste writing essays in the comment box but having a nice poast prompt helps me focus. Gotta square this circle somehow.

    • Koanic says:

      Is good comment.

    • bicebicebice says:

      Print out every blogpost/comment/post you find interesting and wallpaper your home with it. Don’t forget floors and ceiling too.

      Thats how you get to keep it for the longest amount of time, brains are iffy at best. Relabel your harddrives brain#1 brain#2 etc. Good luck.

    • Akuma says:

      “Intelligence offload is a great tool. When someone says “read old books” or “let me Google that for you”, they’re directing you to the location of some offloaded intelligence for you to access. It’s the kind of thing you use to build skyscrapers and Amish villages too. But the failure modes are nasty. It’s a hard problem to solve completely, and worth thinking about. Maybe eventually we’ll get it down in a flowchart that our smart guy can read.”

      Good observation. This is an emotional vs logical problem solving issue. That’s why the failure cycle is boom and bust. Most people don’t want their problems solved, they want empathy or sympathy. Remember the majority of the population is entrenching Gammas, so they need feels. Meanwhile the genius has solved the problem and has to humor the children until they catch up.l

    • MM says:

      Id love to have you guest post on my gay blog thing :)
      Just email me 12345werstersd@gmail.com

      • Boneflour says:

        If you want to copy paste and put my name on it, go for it. I’ll think of you when I get a ramble that’d fit with your style.

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