Authority is written, not taken.

Authority is written not taken.

It's also not given. At best, responsibility is agreed upon, but that is different from authority.

Having only heard the title of his talk

authority is taken, not given

(quoted by Jon Siracusa @ ~53:00)

I disagree with Marco Arment (at least in terms of what I predict he's going to say I with his talk having only heard the title and Arment's views on ATP and imyke's glee at his being mentioned in the content of this talk) on this subtle distinction between taken and written.

We mostly agree, but I say he's too forceful about it. To take or give implies loss somewhere, but there need be no loss.

Not in terms of actual Marco but strawman Marco that I'm imagining for helping to argue my point (like a scaffolding for the structure of the argument.) Warco? Not really like Mario vs. Wario, but that'll do (though he's a sega guy, so maybe he won't get that reference…). Hell, the title may even have changed, fortunately I only need to have heard Siracusa (or Dan?) say it and that counts to talk about it as even an imaginary Warco type position.

So Warco believes that we need to take authority… well, I ask, why? What is it that it needs to be taken from? If it's not a something or a someone or a some then how are you really taking it?

To me it seems more like authority must be created, and agreed upon (in the way that a language is regionally «agreed upon»). To take implies that something has been obtained that in some way is now deprived from something else. To write authority suggests a blank piece of paper, and it is not that some realization of a predicted probability is plucked away from some work of infinite possibilities of all the things that 'could' be written on the paper.

Of course “all the things that 'could' be written on the paper” doesn't really make sense in any consistent way. It makes about as much sense as 'how many possible fat men could be standing in the doorway?are they standing there now? Is that impossible?' It's simply not the most appropriate way to approach the problem.

So if we're working from that metaphysical perspective then, ok Warco, you can take whatever you want from there. Because I don't see you as taking anything from anywhere, anymore than Einstein or Jobs...or other people about whom people other than Walter Isaacson have written biographies of.

— Grammar Break

I'm sorry about the prepositional ending; but put it earlier and you basically have that old Churchill joke

Hanging prepositions! That is something up with which I will not put.

Anyway, this is why I really wish I had access to footnotes.

— end grammar break

I prefer to see authority as almost a magician, bringing bursts of unexpected newness into the world.

I did not have to take from anyone. I took words from others in one sense(I'm quoting them), but in another sense I just reflected them back with some commentary(i.e., as a result their words are (at worst) equally and (at best) more valuable, so it's more of a win-win-win-etc. I forget how many it's supposed to be).

To quote critically!
Tis like taking a hot iron and annealing it. It grows stronger with every cycle.

And I've paid someone for the ability to put these words in a place where you can read them. So if you by this far, are still disappointed with the article. I'm not really sorry. You did make this happen. But so did I, but I don't think I did anything wrong, even if you're bored.

The point is, you didn't have to read me. And there is no way I can make you read me. But I authored something, and authorized you all to use it by putting it on this site, and you all then appointed me as author enough for you to have read this. I'd say that by that standard…

I write my own authority.