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A defense of the inner ring, excerpts from the original.

...

I must now make a distinction. I am not going to say that the existence of Inner Rings is an Evil. It is certainly unavoidable. There must be confidential discussions: and it is not only a bad thing, it is (in itself) a good thing, that personal friendship should grow up between those who work together. And it is perhaps impossible that the official hierarchy of any organisation should coincide with its actual workings. If the wisest and most energetic people held the highest spots, it might coincide; since they often do not, there must be people in high positions who are really deadweights and people in lower positions who are more important than their rank and seniority would lead you to suppose. It is necessary: and perhaps it is not a necessary evil. But the desire which draws us into Inner Rings is another matter. A thing may be morally neutral and yet the desire for that thing may be dangerous.

...

The quest of the Inner Ring will break your hearts unless you break it. But if you break it, a surprising result will follow. If in your working hours you make the work your end, you will presently find yourself all unawares inside the only circle in your profession that really matters. You will be one of the sound craftsmen, and other sound craftsmen will know it. This group of craftsmen will by no means coincide with the Inner Ring or the Important People or the People in the Know. It will not shape that professional policy or work up that professional influence which fights for the profession as a whole against the public: nor will it lead to those periodic scandals and crises which the Inner Ring produces. But it will do those things which that profession exists to do and will in the long run be responsible for all the respect which that profession in fact enjoys and which the speeches and advertisements cannot maintain.

...

— C.S. Lewis, "The Inner Ring"

 

Fill your heart not with acidic desires
to impress,
or to accomplish;
to go to EA Global,
or to win the approval of "the core EAs".

And fill it instead with a burning resolve
to help all beings live good lives
now and forever.

Then, to the extent
that EA inner rings succeed at their purpose
you will find yourself in one —
which you once wanted terminally
but now, instrumentally.

An EA inner ring is just a resource
for the betterment of others.
It is utilized, but not exploited
enjoyed, but not pursued.

It is comfortably inhabited —
but left empty at the start of every day
as the sun rises over the early morning frost.

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