June 13, 2023

Words and meanings

control (kənˈtrəʊl)


  • the power to influence or direct [other] people’s behaviour or the course of events.
  • the ability to manage a machine, vehicle, or other moving object.
  • the restriction of an activity, tendency, or phenomenon.
  • the ability to restrain one’s own emotions or actions.
  • a means of limiting or regulating something.


  • determine the behaviour or supervise the running of.
  • maintain influence or authority over.
  • limit the level, intensity, or numbers of.
  • remain calm and reasonable despite provocation.
  • regulate (a mechanical or scientific process).


hierarchy (ˈhʌɪərɑːki)


  • a system in which members of an organization or society are ranked according to relative status or authority.
  • the clergy of the Catholic Church or of an episcopal Church.
  • the upper echelons of a hierarchical system.
  • an arrangement or classification of things according to relative importance or inclusiveness.
  • the traditional system of orders of angels and other heavenly beings.


chaos (ˈkeɪɒs)


  • complete disorder and confusion.
  • the property of a complex system whose behaviour is so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions.
  • the formless matter supposed to have existed before the creation of the universe.
  • the first created being, from which came the primeval deities Gaia, Tartarus, Erebus, and Nyx.


anarchy (ˈanəki)


  • a state of disorder due to absence or non-recognition of authority or other controlling systems.
  • the organization of society on the basis of voluntary cooperation, without political institutions or hierarchical government; anarchism.


The interesting thing about all of these definitions (from Oxford Languages), is that all but one are descriptions.

That odd one out is an opinion.  From someone further up the hierarchy, used to being in control of people other than themselves.

Voluntary cooperation is a form of control.  It’s just that each participant gets a say in in defining what it means (sometimes as they go along), and agrees to join in.

We do this all the time, mostly without noticing.

As a child, I called it play.

And it could be how we work.

Discipline makes Daring possible.