The final part of this series will focus on why it is called the Adaptive Dilemma. The previous two trainings were helping to orient so that you can pull it together and understand why we (individually and collectively) have such a hard time getting the outcome we want in the world.
If you missed part two of the series covering the dogmatic versus scientific orientation you should go back and start there as this article will build off the foundations from part two.
The Adaptive Dilemma Part 2– https://guardianacademy.io/the-adaptive-dilemma-2-dogmatic-v-scientific-orientation/
The Adaptive Dilemma is an amalgamation of many of the principles we have shared within The Guardian Academy (TGA), but it will also explain the difficulties of diffusing crypto and why so many people are struggling in DeFi. Eventually, it’ll all work itself out, but the answer won’t lie with the technology as so many believe.
Quote Of The Day
Instead of looking for saviors [with good news] we should be calling for leadership that will challenge us to face our own problems-problems that require us to learn new ways [do work]Ronald Heifetz
Let’s bring this quote back to seeking dopamine without effort and how it’ll destroy a person. What this quote is saying is those that who look for saviors and good news without learning new ways of doing work will destroy a person. The same overall message, from a different decade.
Leadership Vs Authority
Authority is granted by someone else (voted into office, promoted, chosen, etc.)
Leadership does not have to be granted. You do not have to have constituents, you can lead yourself.
This is important because leadership challenges people to be better.
A leader says “Hey things are bad, but you’re part of the problem.”
Authority is granted to whoever gets voted into office.
Authority says “I’ll give you these things that will solve your problems and you don’t need to work on yourself. These other people are the problem.”
Politician 1 Vs Politician 2
- We have this problem but we can make it better, in order to fix this you have to work on yourself.
- We have this problem but don’t worry I’m going to draft these bills over here because these other people are the problem.
Who do you vote for?
The majority would vote for politician 2. The one that demonstrates poor leadership, but promises easy solutions. Often times authority gets more and more divorced from leadership because people seeking dopamine without effort want to believe that the authority can solve the problem for them.
Leaders often won’t get into positions of authority because most of the time there is a cycle that leads to an authority-driven doom loop of (Self Victimization). As problems get worse and new problems develop due to Authorities constantly satisfying people’s desire for dopamine without effort, people seek authorities promising even greater dopamine.
Some problems are technical and others are adaptive. This is the adaptive problem that leads to the adaptive dilemma.
An expert or authority can diagnose and fix without any additional input or effort. An example could be antibiotics or tetanus shots. If you have a bacterial infection, the doctor knows the technical solution which is an antibiotic.
“My car doesn’t work.” You bring it in, the mechanic diagnoses and fixes it and you leave.
The solution is from authority.
Adaptive Problems are complicated and dynamic. It requires behavior modification from other parties. An example could be being overweight from “bad” habits.
If you are overweight and having difficulty with going upstairs and you go to two doctors.
Doctor #1– They say to you “The way you’re behaving is not good for you and it’ll cause problems in the long run for you and everyone else around you as well. You can solve the issue by working on yourself and the habits that lead you to this point.”
But you want a second opinion because you don’t believe it’s your fault that you ended up like this.
Doctor #2– Says “Oh, no worries about this weight you don’t need to change any habits. Taking this pill 5 x a day will solve all your weight and breathing issues.”
Which doctor would most people choose, typically?
Doctor #2 unfortunately. The one that promises an easy fix without any work. That is poor leadership. But that’s the one that often gets the patients, votes, or customers.
The problem is that many of our problems in life are Adaptive Problems but we try so hard to make them into technical problems.
“Don’t make me look in the mirror to fix myself.”
Many adaptive problems get turned into technical problems by authorities so that they can get the vote.
Authority with poor leadership: Gives you a “pill” and promises you don’t have to do any work. (Turning an Adaptive Problem into a technical one).
Authority with good leadership: Helps you understand that your behavior needs to change and gives you the resources and support to do it.
The Adaptive Dilemma
- Seek authority for a technical solution (even if the problem is adaptive).
- Choose the technical solution over any adaptive solution.
- Votes are cast for authorities that demonstrate poor leadership.
- Since we avoid the idea that WE need to change, and have authorities that validate what believe, we conclude THEY (some other party) are the problem.
- The “US vs THEM” narrative grows stronger (this is polarization). The stronger the polarization the more people try and make the problem a technical one.
- We blame the authorities and the media even though we continue to vote for them.
- It gets so bad we must DO something. So we seek a technical solution.
- And around and around we go…
2022 example FTX collapse- “Oh crypto is bad.” Well, this wasn’t a crypto technology thing, it was a human thing with bad actors.
Breaking The Loop
- Recognize that problems can be technical, adaptive, or both.
- Most of the problems with technology (like crypto) are adaptive problems.
- Examine our own behavior before pointing fingers at the tech or other parties.
Reflection- Opening some loops
How often are we looking for a technical solution when our own behavior is the solution?
How can we seek leaders that are willing to help address the adaptive component?
Journal, reflect, and drop your 6WU.
Drop your 6WU- Wisdom Comes From Multiple Perspectives
Drop your 6WU into the Adaptive Dilemma thread below.