Systems Automate Outcomes

Systems can lead to outcomes being achieved without expertise being required.

Arthur Chu, Jeopardy! champion:

So I told myself, “I’m not going to make these decisions. I’m going to outsource my decision making to the experts. I’m going to write down a playbook. I’m going to come up with some scripted plays and just discipline myself and say this is exactly what I’m going to do in the game. And I will not have to think about making those decisions. That part will be automatic, and I can use all of my brain cells to know the answers because that’s what I need them for.”

Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish:

It is an important mechanism, for it automatizes and disindividualizes power. Power has its principle not so much in a person as in a certain concerted distribution of bodies, surfaces, lights, gazes; in an arrangement whose internal mechanisms produce the relation in which individuals are caught up. The ceremonies, the rituals, the marks by which the sovereign's surplus power was manifested are useless. There is a machinery that assures dissymmetry, disequilibrium, difference. Consequently, it does not matter who exercises power. Any individual, taken almost at random, can operate the machine: in the absence of the director, his family, his friends, his visitors, even his servants (Bentham, 45). Similarly, it does not matter what motive animates him: the curiosity of the indiscreet, the malice of a child, the thirst for knowledge of a philosopher who wishes to visit this museum of human nature, or the perversity of those who take pleasure in spying and punishing. The more numerous those anonymous and temporary observers are, the greater the risk for the inmate of being surprised and the greater his anxious awareness of being observed. The Panopticon is a marvellous machine which, whatever use one may wish to put it to, produces homogeneous effects of power.

(I haven't read the whole thing - this is just what I came across while flicking through a coffee table book at a party last night. There may be better quotes.)