Inventing the Master Journeyman, part 1

Scientific management had within it the makings of a great idea (if incomplete) before the advent of automation and post-scarcity drove it to become the Human Resources Leviathan it is today. We can’t blame this particular failure on the men who originally invented it, because 1) it’s unreasonable to expect them to have gotten it 100% right on the first try, and 2) the perversions of the modern hiring market represent a failure of modern practitioners to adapt their practice to the demands of an information economy. Or, more to the point, the latter represents moral failures of courage in the intellectual property sphere which

1) punish creative producers by assigning all accountability to those who actually do anything while restricting all authority to insulated bureaucrats who have no vested interest in creative problem solving, and
2) price job training out of the reach of those who actually need it to succeed in a post-industrial world (and yes, this includes European-style socialist “pricing”).

In this essay I’ll attempt to bridge this woeful gap by redefining some of the common industrial job roles and inventing a process which could incentivize a realistic approach to on-the-job training. I will also come up with a new name, because anyone with an IQ north of 150 can tell you a process called “scientific” management will be doomed to inevitable failure.

We’ll begin with a brief commentary on the historical models as described in Fundamentals of Manufacturing, 3rd ed. which is edited and published by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers out of Dearborn, Michigan (i.e. an institution historically connected with the Ford Motor Company).


Various facets of manufacturing management can be traced back to the Egyptians. However, the origin of “modern” manufacturing management dates back to the Industrial Revolution. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, society was primarily agricultural and craft based. People generally used and consumed what they created or goods were created locally. The Industrial Revolution marked the beginning of modern industry and the necessity for an evolution in manufacturing management theories and practices. Many people such as Adam Smith, Charles Babbage, Frederick Taylor, Henry Gantt, and Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, among others, contributed to this evolution. Many contemporary manufacturing management styles and practices find their roots in the developmental work of these individuals.

You can probably imagine the Egyptians took a different approach to sick leave than we do today. But it would be a mistake to think the Egyptians were mere charioteers holding whips over the backs of slaves, because the precision we observe in the pyramids alone demonstrate a dedication to quality assurance in the realization of some ingenious astrology cultist’s architectural vision. Humans have not, in all the days since, created anything that will outlast the pyramids. However, we expect that the common artisan in such a system, undoubtedly himself something of a mere brute, was not required to adapt his skillset beyond those trades which were common to that society, or to manage his schedule with productivity software for an optimal work-life balance. Rather, we expect that he was apprenticed in a single, common trade which he took pride in practicing reasonably well for long, hard days, after which his products would be inspected for quality by some sort of proto-technocrat.

His work would be defined by his output P, which would represent certain numbers of finished products A, B, and C having qualities Q = {a1, a2, a3… b1, b2, b3… and c1, c2, c3…}. Each quality q in Q, perhaps a chamfered corner or a sharpened pin head, would have to be produced by some procedure in his skillset S and capital good available in his toolset T. For the purpose of this analysis, we will assume* the prescription of “the right tool for the job” such that there is a surjective composition of ordered triplets mapping T onto S onto Q. That is, there is a surjection from T onto S followed by a surjection of S onto Q as illustrated in the following diagram from X onto Y onto Z.


The proto-technocrat would then inspect the day’s work, perhaps 4A, 3B, and 1C, for the prescribed qualities and sign off on them, transferring legal accountability for Q to himself. If the astrology cultist cum engineer issued a purchase order for P having qualities Q, and one of the four As was missing its a3, then the proto-technocrat could be held responsible for failing to uphold his end of the agreement.

*I will refer to this assumption as the Industrial Conceit.

About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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2 Responses to Inventing the Master Journeyman, part 1

  1. Heaviside says:

    >2) price job training out of the reach of those who actually need it to succeed in a post-industrial world (and yes, this includes European-style socialist “pricing”)

    I hear Germany has much better vocational education than the U.S., or almost anywhere else for that matter.

  2. bicebicebice says:

    the most important thing is to spamm “it involves a lot of math”, this will scare away the current shitbirds nesting in HR and flip the entire thing over. Otherwise, I will tatoo on my face that the thard is the dumbest creature that ever lived and just lives to please apes by inflicting self-harm.

    However, with post-scarcity stimuli provided by machines, I expect the sapes to overdose after a month and simply die off from excess and the depression of not having a shitty socialist blob-job to squander destroy and oppress.

    the future is already extremely bright

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