Means to an end WAS: Re: [ba-unrev-talk] On Tournaments
Comments below... (01)
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, June 19, 2002 8:10 PM
Subject: Re: [ba-unrev-talk] On Tournaments (02)
> 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). (03)
But look at the redundancy of effort involved.
If 4 teams pursue the same goal and only 1 wins what happens
to the investment of the other three? (04)
Plus, I would actually argue that IF the goals are well defined then
collaboration is faster IF the means are clear too. (05)
> 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. (06)
I would perhaps suggest here that you are pointing to issues about
desire to invest in respect of expected returns.
Plausibly, if envisioning making the abstract concrete cannot be
bring adequate returns then it won't happen in a competitive model.
Then it turns on
1) can you envision a concrete version of the abstract
2) will it pay ROI (return on investment). (07)
> 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. (08)
That covers (1).
Doug has already proven that (2) the ROI should be there. (09)
Ergo, on the assumption that the goals are well defined, then
what bootstrap lacks is definition of the means. (010)
> On Wed, 19 Jun 2002, Peter Jones wrote:
> > 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
> > > and, for me, that's a good thing. (Yes, Martha, I do have a
> > > view). My view of this biotech arms race is that we are getting
> > > much smarter with respect to biology and disease. For me, that's
> > > good thing.
> > I recall an article in The Economist magazine a while back where a
> > done a mathematical study of how long it was going to take the human
> > to map the proteins if the research groups involved didn't
> > 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
> > there at the same time.
> Chris Dent <email@example.com>
> "Mediocrities everywhere--now and to come--I absolve you all! Amen!"
> -Salieri, in Peter Shaffer's Amadeus