Daily Bread for 10.4.22: The Same Idea Problem

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 72. Sunrise is 6:56 AM and sunset 6:30 PM for 11h 33m 30s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 67.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

The Whitewater Common Council meets at 6:30 PM

On this day in 1957, the Soviet Union launches the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik, into orbit. 

Over the years, Whitewater officials have occasionally admitted that Whitewater has a same-ten-person problem. The aptly-named problem occurs when too few people play too may roles in a community. As there aren’t enough volunteers for all the available roles, the same people show up again and again.

There are thousands of people in Whitewater. The same-ten people problem is not one of demographics but rather a problem of culture. See The Solution to the ‘Same Ten People Problem.’

The problem is either that newcomers cannot participate (because someone else will not relinquish a role) or they do not wish to participate (because they’re expected only to acquiesce to incumbent members’ ideas). In both cases, a culture problem (this is my role for life or newcomers can join only if they conform to current practices) prevents community improvement.

The unwillingness or inability to accept newcomers as equals, including considering the newcomers’ points of view, is a principal reason that Whitewater has struggled since the Great Recession. 

Old Whitewater had an adaptability problem, indeed an unwillingness to believe that it needed to adapt at all, and so it has mostly faded away. But some obstinate, entitled residents remain. 

And so, and so, the government men and women (either elected or appointed) of Whitewater have a choice. Will they continue to think and act as the last generation has, following a course that has has left the city as a low-income community? Alternatively, will they at last look beyond a few to look at all residents of the city?

Free choices (in markets economic or cultural) are by their very nature not under any single person’s control or whim. Obvious point: if this libertarian blogger had the power to will the city in one direction or another, I would never do so. A power to compel like that is a dangerous, if not wicked, power. 

There are a few in this town, however, so adamant that they cannot accept even the slightest deviation from their tired, ineffectual orthodoxy under which well-fed private men insist on the use of public funds for their preferred business schemes. 

A few are sometimes able to get a smattering of others to join them, and using the crudest and most obvious methods they typically try to create an impression of widespread community concern. A small group that talks big does not make its ideas bigger or better. 

A good future, now and always, looks beyond special-interest demands. 

 Bear Feasts on Sweets After Breaking Into Chocolate Factory

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