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Re: [ba-unrev-talk] On Tournaments

I reckon there are conflicting forces in the system. Anecdotal
evidence suggests that competition--in situations where the goals
or rewards are tangible, immediate or play well on TV--
accelerates the process of improving and creating tools that
help reach those goals (software tools for gene sequencing for
example).    (01)

I don't think that's the case in situations where the goals are
more abstract. There competition can't work because the finish
line is not in view, has no shiny trophy on the other side, and
the prize or prizes don't come in small packages.    (02)

That's the center to this whole OHS situation. The vision is
_very_ abstract. It may not be abstract to people on this list,
but if you go out to a bar and try to explain it to some
acquaintances, it's going to take some time before the
implications really settle in.    (03)

On Wed, 19 Jun 2002, Peter  Jones wrote:    (04)

> Jack Park wrote:
> > Is there an upside to this madness?
> >
> > I think there is.  My view is that the other arms race got us to the moon
> > and, for me, that's a good thing.  (Yes, Martha, I do have a narrow world
> > view). My view of this biotech arms race is that we are getting ever so
> > much smarter with respect to biology and disease. For me, that's also a
> > good thing.
> I recall an article in The Economist magazine a while back where a doctor had
> done a mathematical study of how long it was going to take the human race
> to map the proteins if the research groups involved didn't collaborate,
> as opposed to if they did.
> My memory is rusty but I recall that collaboration reduced the time
> needed by some large factor.
> The arms race got 'U.S.' to the moon. It didn't, e.g., get the Africans
> there at the same time.    (05)

Chris Dent  <cdent@burningchrome.com>  http://www.burningchrome.com/~cdent/
"Mediocrities everywhere--now and to come--I absolve you all! Amen!"
 -Salieri, in Peter Shaffer's Amadeus    (06)