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[Editor's Note - This story has been moved up the display queue so that new arrivals can see what has been happening. JR 02-07-22 09:52 UTC]
https://web.archive.org/web/20131130191257/http://www.shirky.com/writings/group_enemy.html [archive.org]"So these are human patterns that have shown up on the Internet, not because of the software, but because it's being used by humans. Bion has identified this possibility of groups sandbagging their sophisticated goals with these basic urges. And what he finally came to, in analyzing this tension, is that group structure is necessary. Robert's Rules of Order are necessary. Constitutions are necessary. Norms, rituals, laws, the whole list of ways that we say, out of the universe of possible behaviors, we're going to draw a relatively small circle around the acceptable ones.
He said the group structure is necessary to defend the group from itself. Group structure exists to keep a group on target, on track, on message, on charter, whatever. To keep a group focused on its own sophisticated goals and to keep a group from sliding into these basic patterns. Group structure defends the group from the action of its own members. ...
This pattern has happened over and over and over again. Someone built the system, they assumed certain user behaviors. The users came on and exhibited different behaviors. And the people running the system discovered to their horror that the technological and social issues could not in fact be decoupled. ..."
Yes, because Robert's Rules and a constitution have kept the US congress working perfectly... They achieve so much and never use those rules to stop progress for their own gain.
Working perfectly, no. But the US congress has been functioning for about 30 times as long as SN.