When I first started using Linux, there was one thing that really struck me as an excellent way of doing things– “packages.” The basic difference between the way that Linux handles stuff and the way that Windows (I’m not 100% sure about Windows 7, but with older WinOSes anyway) handles program installations is in the way it manages it’s library and driver interdependencies.
That probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to normal people, so here it is simply. Installing programs in Windows is like hiring a bunch of people to work in your office. Each of these employees is a specific application– they’re supposed to do a certain job. One guy is for accounting, one gal is for communications, another is to get you coffee. Your office has bunch of pens, a bunch of computers, a refrigerator in the coffee room, etc. It’s got a very communal feel to it.
Linux on the other hand is like hiring a bunch of people to do a job, but your office space has pens chained to the tables. That, or people bring their own pens. People probably have to bring their own laptops, and there is no communal fridge– you bring your own cooler or your thermos or whatever.
While Windows would like to think that its method is nice because it’s friendly and cooperative, the problem is that each one of these employees steals pens, downloads porn, and forgets food in the fridge. Defragmenting your hard disk or cleaning your registry is like scraping all that shit off the top of the employee microwave.
Actually, why am I even bothering to use Linux vs Windows as an analogy? My point is that when it comes to an relationships of people towards goals, a certain amount of trust is necessary for efficiency. You can save everyone a lot of time by helping people out just a bit, but, if they’re assholes, they’ll take that inch, stretch it a mile, and leave you hanging.
So the trick is, if you want to be successful in a social context, you need to make friends and contacts that you can trust to be independant before you depend on them.
Of course, that’s the tough part, isn’t it? Who can you trust?
And the fact is– even if one thinks “I am trustworthy,” sure– but, you have to also remember “I am human.” I know for a fact that there are some days that I simply don’t want to do my job. Not because I can’t be trusted. But because, simply, something about the way work is working makes me tired– and so every now and then, instead of letting work lean on me, I lean on work. I’m not a machine.
I think in the grand scheme of things, there will always be people who are dependable– but the trick, or rather, the miracle, will be to develop a workplace that has an environment, pay, and benefits that nurture that independence so that workers willingly take on new responsibilities for the sake of their own personal growth which coincide with the goals of the company. Do you think that’s too much to ask?