08 June 2010

 

Responsibility, Agency, Locality, and Compactness

I read this in Matthew Crawford's Shop Class as Soulcraft a few weeks ago, and it's been stuck in my mental craw since:
[A]s the subsequent history of banking illustrates, any job that can be scaled up, depersonalized, and made to answer to forces remote from the scene of work is vulnerable to degradation, even to the point of requiring that the person who does the job actively suppress his better judgment.
He's referring to banking as in derivatives and the real-estate bubble, but what he's talking about might also fit the Deepwater Horizon gusher or our use of unmanned systems.

If we are to have a shared concept of responsability—response ability—then doesn't that require a somewhat compact agent at a location; i.e., a person on site? Are there necessary breakdowns in the concept of responsibility once the agent is distributed or distant from the scene of the action?

I'm not coming to terms with this well. Input welcome.

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Comments:
i agree with the concept...even applied to government.
kept small, locally-focused...so your rep has to face his constituents at the City Cafe, and explain why he voted for this-or-that.
unlike the Bart Gordon model: he voted how Pelosi instructed, despite his overwhelmingly conservative constituents. numerous rallies outside his office had no effect on his voting habits...and when he read the bloody writing on the wall, he took his retirement, and will relocate to DC instead of risking living among those voters he routinely betrayed.
as always, enlightening, my friend.
 
That Frank? Joey? Dougie?

I think elected representatives in this Republic have an obligation to try as best as they can to represent their constituents best interests, but in the end, they are obligated to vote their conscience, their own sense of what is right and what best for their constituents. Representative democracy isn't direct democracy, and thank the maker for that!

Rallies only represent a self-selected population, not the entire district. And polls have statistical sampling problems.

If the constituents aren't happy, they can turn the rascal out in the only poll that matters: the next election.
 
constituents' best interests

and what is best for
 
But... One more thought along your lines: The New Hampshire model.

I do think there ought to be more representatives with smaller districts, and that there ought to be mandated runoffs.

I'd also replace the 100-seat/50-state Senate with 13 national at-large Senators.
 
I understand your question. It is pertinent.

Keep blogging!!

This is Nancy from Israeli Uncensored News
 
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