The philosophy of experience
Can a machine be experienced?
The machine is fundamentally a quantitative concept. Of course, some machines are put together better than others and some perform their function better than others. Also, the machine is a productivity hack. This is all true. But the machine is fundamentally a quantitative concept. With time it deteriorates.
The very essence of quality is that with time it improves: it beats entropy. Life is the most obvious qualitative concept – as long as it’s not mechanized, that is.
Experience is also a qualitative concept – as long as it’s not mechanical. It matters only to a specific point how much experience somebody has on an assembly line. Beyond that point, extra time doesn’t guarantee extra quality. The same applies also to any mechanical activity be it white or blue collar. Think about processes from this point of view. Subordinating man to a mechanical process kills experience. Somebody making the same decisions for 20 years is not more experienced than somebody who has made them twice.
Most people abhor making the same decision twice in order to serve a process: it doesn’t feel right, since no two situations are the same: life simply doesn’t work that way. Company policies do not provide context for life, just as quantity never provides context for quality.
Experience also has a quantitative aspect: how many times one succeeds following or establishing true hierarchy by subordinating quantity to quality. Many people with great careers and decision making power go through life without developing any experience at all – and this is the root cause of many of those corporate problems that become fashionable to “solve” profitably by inexperienced people: innovation problems, culture problems, diversity problems, motivational problems, quality problems, work-life balance problems, UX, CX, EX (user, customer, employee experience) problems, mental health problems and similar.
We will be discussing this and other aspects of the organicity problem with people from various domains. Let us know if you’d like to share your insights on our podcast!