My Campaign Promise and Platform: Don’t Change Anything

There is much crossover between design and politics that many realise. Firstly, there is the idea of shaping behaviour in the aggregate by making and implementing decisions. Then there is the typically willing lack of empathy to the people who have to deal with what you decide. These are both, still, typical design practices.

If you really hunker down and give it a think, politicians are designers of our lives. From tax abatement policy which shapes how the cities and towns in which we live develop, expand and contract, to what to allow who to do and to whom. You get this good school. You get this shitty access to the surrounding job market because reasons. Again, designers and politicians share a shit ton of hubris in their visions for other people.

I’ve lived in three countries now and the thing that they all have in common is they’re all chock full of people who hate whoever is in charge. We are are a fickle species, primates that have invented trousers but can’t get over the fact that we’re just not that realistic about the world and what other trouser wearing primates in that world can accomplish.

In my reading, I’ve often thought about the glacial shifts, vagaries and unexpected shit-storms of change in how we decide how we live or don’t with one another. The Mongols of Genghis and Kublai’s day had some interesting ideas and a ton of bad ones, as did the Iroquois Confederation and just about any other polity. But the commonality is that there was always an idea sold to a large number of people the promise to make that idea happen to the people who need to do so.

If I were to run (or stand if you’re in the UK) for any sort of office, or start my own political entity, my programmer and promise would involve not changing anything.

Here’s the rub. While keeping things the same, you’re also not allowing them to get worse. Stasis. This is generally viewed to be bad, as in static means no progress, despite it also means no regression. So not getting any worse also means improving, that is because you get used to thing’s, meaning they are easier to deal with. So you didn’t fix any streets, but they didn’t get worse, and you got used to the streets how they were. They in fact improved because there wasn’t any disappointment any longer.

I’ll let you know when the ballots are out and I trust I can count on your votes.