How often do you rely on other people’s decision? I bet it’s more than you realize. It’s actually mind boggling to me how much we all rely on each other’s assumptions to function. Enough to make the concept of “operating from first principles” seem comical.
Every aspect of my daily routine relies on decisions made by others going back so far we’ve simply lost track. And I’m not even talking about the big shit.
Let me give you a example. I’m writing this post on my iPhone inside of a mobile application called Jetpack. It’s a mobile content management system that’s part of the wider the WordPress ecosystem.
I’ve blogged using WordPress for nearly two decades. I’ve been using Apple products for thirty years. MacOS and its successor mobile iOS have been the dominant operating system for my entire life.
Isn’t it astonishing to think that the software (and hardware) that I use to organize my thinking relies on engineering decisions made by PHP and C developers decades ago?
And those decisions rest on top of other decisions made by other engineers. I am in Europe so charging my ridiculously powerful pocket computer that is running WordPress software requires a power adapter as American appliances run on 110 volts, while European appliances are 220 volts.
Decisions, resting on top of decision, resting on top of other decisions rule my life. They run your life too. And it’s entirely possible somewhere in that decision tree someone made a decision for reasons that you wouldn’t make. So try to remember that your life relies entirely on the work of other people that are just as likely to be wrong as you.