Re: [unrev-II] Economics and the Garden of Eden

From: Jack Park (
Date: Thu Jun 22 2000 - 15:32:07 PDT

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    > I have been having problems with how one might use a DKR.
    > We have been talking about 'user requirements' but I keep
    > running into quicksand. Let me explain by giving a simple
    > example of a problem and three users.
    > User One is a white male Republican who believes that Greed
    > is Good and should be encouraged and unfettered.
    > User Two is a black female Democrat who believes that greed
    > is useful for motivating people but should be regulated by
    > the Government to minimize the damage and prevent revolution.
    > User Three is a Pacific Islander who believes that taking
    > from the community and keeping it for yourself puts you at
    > the bottom of the social ladder.
    > So, a fisherman with modern technology comes to a Pacific
    > island, wipes out the fish population and much of the reef
    > then moves on with the intent of selling the fish for money
    > and keeping the money for himself.
    > I presume that even User One considers this undesirable
    > but I am aware that may not be the case.
    > How do the three users use a DKR to attack this problem?
    > I don't see it. Worse yet, most of the serious problems
    > that I am aware of, seem to fit this pattern.
    > Could someone enlighten me?
    > Dewain Delp

    It strikes me that there are several ways to respond to this request for
    enlightenment. I take just one of them here for furtherence of discussion
    on the DKR.

    I am following the theory that the DKR is about improvement (whatever that
    may mean), and that the situation posed above appears to cry out for some
    response that would result in improvement (again, whatever that may mean --
    here, preventing a hitech fisherperson from using up the resources of an
    isolated community is clearly suggested).

    Firstly, I don't think the political darwinism was necessary in setting up
    the scenario. Just the mention of a hitech fisherman's over consumption
    should have been more than enough.

    Now, where does a DKR come in? Again, there are likely several ways in
    which a DKR would be of service here, but the one I shall chose is the
    scenario in which the news item of the fisherman's behavior, when entered
    into a DKR, results in some inference (perhaps even an automated alarm
    system) that leads to some, perhaps federated behavior (enactment of laws,
    empowerment of police protection, whatever) that results in the ultimate
    prevention of such events.

    How does the existence of a DKR add value here? The potential for automated
    alarms is one of great value to society. Monitoring natural resource
    consumption in any domain is of great value. Today, we rely on an enormous
    number of heterogenious knowledge sources for that. I'm not a big fan of
    centralized anything, but it does seem to me that linked DKRs could perform
    the task in a decentralized way, alerting all who subscribe to such alerts.
    This can be accomplished with the same kind of value-added and reliability
    that the human brain of an individual is capable of exhibiting. (Don't like
    that? Consider blasting along the freeway at 70 mph, the road narrowing, and
    you and 10 other cars are moving along smoothly, all under the guidance of
    3.5 pounds of body fat in each car).

    The open question related to how the three individuals in the scenario would
    use the DKR. The answer that I draw from the scene I just painted is this:
    the PA enters the observation into a local DKR and goes onto the internet to
    order some emergency food to be sent ASAP. The others simply go on being
    greedy or voting for more government programs. History, in any case, will
    take its course.

    Besides, just one of many thousands of possible uses is presented here.
    There are others that, to my mind, are vastly more important, like cancer
    prevention, finding an economic system that would work within the rule of
    law yet remain benign with regards to the environment.

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