Work Yourself Out of a Job

One of the central tenets of computer programming is that a good programmer is “lazy.” This doesn’t mean that a good programmer doesn’t do their job; it means that  a good programmer finds a way to make their computer do their job for them. There’s a lot of discussion on how much work you should put into automating your job, but the general rule is that the more you can replace yourself with machines, the better.

I think this should be applied to other fields too. Specifically politicians. Good politicians are those that replaces themselves by automating their job. So what does this mean? It means putting good policies in place: setting up systems so that an individual politician doesn’t need to (and generally cannot) make decisions. Optimizing the structure of society so that good things happen without interference from yourself. It means distributing and giving away power so that you can’t miswield it.

Ultimately, it also means building a machine to do your job. Politicians should be focused on getting computers smarter than themselves to make decisions. They’ve had thousands of years to solve all the world’s problems, and they haven’t been particularly successful. They need to get cracking on building awesome Asimov style robots to solve them instead!

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