Good Thing

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What is a Good Thing? It is the opposite of a Bad Thing. Every group of people has their own list of what they consider to be unambiguously Good and accordingly a list of opposing Bad principles.

In general, we do not care if something discussed here "is or is not a Good Thing". We care if it is good enough. This applies to both our own software designs and requirements statements, and corporate practices we are here to expose and change. If it's good enough, we aren't fighting it, because we can't fight everything, at least, not everything at once!

The rest of this is about the general struggle to define goodness within the frame of our Consumerium Services:

In every language, and every glossary within that language, there are certain terms that are invoked as a means of not arguing about their value. For instance, to say something is "fair" is to say it is good enough and should not be investigated or changed or disputed any more. In other words, it is a Good Thing to be "fair" whatever fair means in this context: no one uses "fair" to mean "unacceptable" though they might use it to mean "barely acceptable", e.g. the scale poor, fair, good, very good, excellent in which just being fair is not very good, but good enough. Likewise, "to be unfair" is necessarily always a Bad Thing. Using these words is not debating: it is just restating dogma. Some think to be is the culprit - see E Prime for more on this.

Regardless of these general moral disputes, things must get done and there is a limited time to debate morality: A small group must accept more things as good enough than a large group that has more resources to investigate and improve them. But what a large group must agree to, just to hold together, tends to be rather rigid in nature and eventually impossible to challenge.

For instance, sysop power structure is considered to be a Good Thing from a Sysop Vandal point of view in part because the project seems to depend on the "contributions" of many such vandals with blocking and deleting power. No one participating in this structure is able to conceive of simply eliminating these people and knowing (or hoping) that others will come along to replace them with less bias and more skills. If you believe such people would come along, then, the power structure is a bad thing, and wiki regime change is a good thing. If you believe they won't come along, then, the opposite.

It is very hard to get people to work with others whose belief in any given Good Thing match too closely someone else's idea of a Bad Thing. Accordingly factions help get people together whose ideas of morality match more closely, so they can unite to identify worst practices that they would use the Consumerium Services to try to eliminate off Earth.

Eventually, one will probably realize that one's faction doesn't have all of the answers, and that it is time to look more carefully at another set of views. But this usually comes only after one has stated and defended one's own views and attitudes as a Good Thing, and been motivated to fight against at least one Bad Thing. So dogma might be a natural part of unthought and just a normal stage that people move through in cooperating.


The phrase Good Thing was first used in this way in the excellent history book w:1066 And All That by w:Punch Magazine, which is British history explained, including the various ways different things became Good or not over time.