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It seems there's an ideology here (in the Gary Bernhardt sense: https://www.destroyallsoftware.com/talks/ideology), that flat organizations are impossible. Not just bad or inefficient, but literally cannot possibly happen, that it will always and forever immediately decay into a shadow oligarchy (which to be fair can happen).

Is it really that hard to take these people at their word, along with other companies without a stated strict and rigid hierarchy? Little wonder such organizations are hard to build, especially in a culture that holds the very notion in contempt.

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