[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] Indexes: Main | Date | Thread | Author

Re: Means to an end WAS: Re: [ba-unrev-talk] On Tournaments

Peter Jones wrote:    (01)

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <cdent@burningchrome.com>
> >
> > ... 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
> 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?    (02)

There is a need to identify the variations of the effort that result,
as well as the redundancy.    (03)

Natural selection works by a randomly(?) generating variations,
and then selecting those which succeed.    (04)

With variation, no selection, and therefore no evolution. That
statement could easily identified as as the "creed" that makes
free societies and relatively open markets successful.    (05)

With too much cooperation, there is too little variation, and
no selection, which inherently limits evolution.    (06)

With too little cooperation, admittedly, nothing gets built.
But the marketplace has an interesting way of creating an
exponentially-declining proportion of market share, over
     Market Leader: 50% of market
     #2: 30% of market
     #3: 10% of market
     all others: 10% of market    (07)

At the outset, variation explodes. Think of all the fanciful
ideas for flying machines that we laugh at now. But it wasn't
clear at the time which was the *right* idea. The machines
are humorous in retrospect, because now we know.    (08)

After that initital explosion, successful implementations start
to take off. There were 20 or 30 automobile manufacturers,
once upon a time. Then it condensed to 3 (GM, Ford,
someone else.)    (09)

Internationalization produced a temporary increase in
car companies back up to 15 or so, as we now have
manufacturers from Japan, Germany, and Great Britain.
But in the next 30 years or so, they will inevitably converge
down to the "top 3". When that happens, we'll be back to
seeing the fins change year after year (and not much else)
like we did in the 50's, 60's, and 70's.    (010)

Explosion of variations, at this point in time, is a good thing.
What is needed is better collaboration tools and matching
making services, so that people with compatible ideas can
find each other and work across vast distances. Then useful
cooperation among like-minded people will be balanced
with the variations generated by people with different ideas.    (011)

The true loss lies in the redundancy of very similar
designs where, if IP issues could be worked out and
remote collaboration were effective, a single design of much
greater power could be produced.    (012)

But, of course, it is exactly those problems which the system
is trying to solve.    (013)

With any luck, this effort will be the last one in which a new
technology enjoys an explosion of variation, with an
insufficiency of cooperation.    (014)