Filter versus Force

The smaller and more optional the group, the easier it is to define the rules.

Let’s say you only want to hang out with people that wear blue hats. It’s very easy to start a “Blue Hat Club” where the requirements for admission is a love of azure headwear. It’s much, much harder to try to take the broader community you already belong to and force everyone to wear a blue hat.

That’s filtering versus forcing. You can filter for just about anything. You can effectively force very, very little.

This is also why small groups are so much more effective than larger ones at just about everything. Economies of scale aside, it’s way easier to filter for the kinds of working traits you want than to force all of a very large group to adopt them.

This principle applies to just about everything. Don’t try to force all of your larger social circle to engage in the activity you want – present the activity and create a smaller group of people who actually want to go birdwatching or whatever. Don’t try to force your larger society into your cultural beliefs, create or join a smaller community based around those beliefs. Don’t try to force your large company to adopt the practices you think are best, splinter off with the group that agrees with you.

“Live and let live” is powerful medicine for nearly all aspects of live. The smaller community you choose or create will be superior to the larger one that you eternally argue with and have power struggles within. Just leave it be.

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