Alignment of Interest

alt text dates/2021/11/17 writeups

↖️ The Sovereign Mind

Alignment of interest is something that, I would argue, we don't take into account enough in our everyday lives.
It is the effect when two or more sides have interests that align, thus making the pursuit of said interests easier.

Active thinking over our day to day exchange dynamics

People You Want Things From

The most common situation that makes us think of this concept is our interaction with other people. If I want something from someone, it is important for me to make it in his interest to help me achieve it, eg: buying things: you are making the interest of giving you that bag of groceries a reality when you pay, by making "paying" your interest, you align yours with theirs, same as the merchant does when he makes the interest of giving "his" stuff to you. Generally you don't want to give your money, but when that interest is required to accomplish another that you do, you work to align those.

  • [I] This is a system, an economical system that is constructed external to us and we relay on it. We can construct similar systems ourselves (and we do)

People You Care About

We don't always make this "tit for tat" so directly on the surface though, a good example of that is people that we love, friends, family members, etc. We are a lot less likely to expect payment from a friend when we expen d energy to help them pursue an interest of theirs then we are to help a random stranger with the same thing. But of course, we want to help our loved one s, it is in our interest. A mother will go to immense lengths to help her kids achieve their interests because she really wants to do so, it is in her interests.

  • [I] Interest is not equal to Perceived Interest - When we help someone with their interest it's not always their actual interests or even communicated interests but instead inferred interest the thing we think they need.

Random People, the World

Sometimes it is also in our interest to just help somebody out, we are a social species and it is in our nature to help each other to an extent; if someone dropped some books, forgot to bring cash to get coffee in the morning, got lost and needs direction most people will help out because we want to help, but we don't (by default) want to invest a lot of energy without getting some back, so if those same people asked for money to buy a computer, a ride to far away place, your shoes, we are much less likely to comply. But this "calculation" goes the other way too, in cases where our help is more urgent and important we still find ourselves helping, a case of life and death for example.


Yes you, the entity you negotiate most with is yourself. Every small thing you want to do and is hard is a negotiation where you try to align interests with yourself. You not always "interested" in doing the dishes very much, but it is in your interest that your things will be more organized, less stinky etc. Which leads to aligned interests, enough elements in you agree that washing dishes is a cause worth pursuing that it happens eventually. Well... or it doesn't, sometimes you make that argument and it doesn't catch, sometimes the cost to benefit calculation doesn't add up well enough and enough of you thinks it's not in it's interest to do such a thing right now, I'll do it later....


A really interesting thing is that like people, services are built on Alignment of Interest, any service you use weather it is free parking, hotel food delivery or google maps, has their interests aligned with yours, and yours with them to an extent, a lot of suffering comes from the lack of alignment, or lack of clarity on the matter. You are frustrated that Adobe doesn't fix their bugs and crushes in their software? Well too bad, because your interest in having a bug free software to use do not align well enough with their interest to line their pockets, (a case that happens a lot in monopolies of any kind) they know you are not going anywhere, because they know there is nowhere to go and so sure, they would like to have software that works better, but is that interest strong enough compared to the others? Evidently no. Not only is it not strong enough, it even conflicts with some interests! To fix their crap, they'll need to expend money and energy, while they know they already have the market, which means they are not going to gain any meaningful amount of new customers, nor will they make much more money in general with that approach (it can be argued that in the long run it will be beneficial for them to do so as at some point there will be competition and they should be ready, but evidently they did the math on this one and decided it's not worth it, remember, Alignment of Interest > ^55353a|).
When you use google services for free, we all know there is still payment, you pay with your time (watching ads), data and your privacy but their is an alignment of interest because you decide it's worth it as their tools are too valuable to lose

Tools and "passive" Interest

In general tools, be it software or mechanical real life ones like a shovel, are bound by this principle in a sometimes-abstract way. Media Player's "interest" is to help you consume standard media files, as long this aligns with your interest of watching you pirated pirates of the carabian movie all is well. But if you decide you also want automatic subtitle download, advanced streaming, live annotations etc. The interests would not align anymore and you would need to find another tool.
Same goes for a shovel, it won't help you cut a tree down very much, so you need to use a different tool. It is "Not interested in helping you" in a way.
This sort of interest is called passive interest as it's the given tool or element passively posses it. A concept that lives in the users mind

As you can see a lot of times interest aligns with ability, a shovel's passive interest would be to dig a hole, because it matches it's ability, same as when a teacher is more likely to help you learn and a food store is more likely to sell you food. They have the ability to do so, which underlines and bases the negotiation process. no matter how much you try to align interests with a dog to do your homework, it's not going to work because it doesn't have the ability to do so.
While the
For inanimate objects the interest is still based on ability but doesn't have anything on top of it so it always is equal to it's ability

Control and Responsibility

Change my mind!