From Open Source Ecology
Jump to: navigation, search



OSE considers these properties characteristic of a humble mindset:

  • Being Teachable. Lack of a know-it-all attitude allows one to be open to learning new things. Respecting that no matter how much one knows, there are always new insights and depths of knowing.
  • Theory and Practice. Understanding the distinction between knowing theory and knowing how to put that theory into practice.
  • Growing. Understanding that the more one knows, the more one is aware of how little one knows
  • Importance and Trifling Insignificance. Awareness of both one's trifling insignificance - and of one's importance. One's importance is understanding that the initiative of a single person or a small group of people is how the work moves forward. One's trifling insignificance involves understanding that
  • The All-Knowing.Awareness that one can never know everything, and that what one does know may be incomplete and inaccurate - as in the basic premise of general semantics.
  • Peak Performance. Awareness that there are always people who are better than you at something. Or if there aren't, there will be in the future.

And to top it all off, humility is a characteristic that allows one to not be trapped in the morasse of patent protection tendencies:

  • Enclosure of Intellectual Property Finding enclosure of intellectual property - as in the patent system - repugnant. This stems from understanding that we all stand on the shoulders of giants. This means believing that we all add only a small drop to the vast pool of human knowledge. As such, the concept of 'patenting an idea' is ridiculous to the humble person, because 99.9% of that idea is enabled by prior human knowledge and invention - and is nothing new. And that the number of 9s after the decimal is increasing - as any new human knowledge builds upon an ever expanding body of work. To claim that a trifling addition now becomes one's sole property at the exclusion of others using it is a disgrace to the human race that prevents genuine progress from happening. The counterargument to this is that intellectual property allows a temporary monopoly to fund research. The counterargument to this counterargument is that the funding mechanisms for research need to be disrupted to allow more rapid progress. Progress by monopoly is competitive waste, and does not from first principles lead to optimal innovation.


See article by Brooks on Humblebrag


  • How letting go of ideas can set you free - [1]
  • Jim Collins puts it well - humility and will to do what it takes - is what makes a Level 5 leader. [2]. This is mission neutral - companies without 'purpose' can be level 5. Humility of a special kind, is what differentiates the great leader from the good leader.