Re: [unrev-II] OHS/DKR for regulating markets

From: Clark Quinn (
Date: Fri Jan 28 2000 - 13:33:58 PST

From: Clark Quinn <>

I have been very impressed with a number of posts, particularly Eric Armstrong's and Paul Fernhout's. I wish to bring up a point that I think may affect the design of the system.

>So, for markets to be humane, there must be charity for those unable to
>participate in the market, and there must be laws governing activities
>with external costs, and there must be regulations to prevent chaos.
>Notice I am applying a word "humane" which is value laden to the design
>of an economic system. As moral creatures, I would argue we must. The
>only question is what are our non-economic goals, and how can we
>structure our economics best to achieve them? For example, in "Small is
>Beautiful", E.F. Schumacher talks about what "Buddhist Economics" would
>be like -- where the most important value of the work was the spiritual
>uplift of the worker.

The point about taking it upon themselves has to do with their values, whether they believe this is an important thing to do. It is clear that there are people whose values including making profit at the expense of others, even indirectly

I'd like to argue that we have lost a community-wide moral compass. This is a role religion used to fill, but I agree with Joseph Campbell that the established religions have lost their relevance. And communities have grown and become heterogeneous as well, which means that we don't necessarily have shared values.

There is a need and an opportunity. My personal belief is that a society needs a core set of values that are shared and include our attitude towards those less fortunate, among other things. There has to be coherency between the values professed and the actions of the community, and explicit education and feedback on actions, for that value system to be persistent. (I believe that myth and ritual play a part, and am interested in how that happens.)

You are likely asking, what role does and OHS/DKR have in this? Sure, it's a possible topic to address through an OHS/DKR, but is there more?

I have already argued, I think, that an OHS/DKR needs to serve not only as a collaboration tool, but as an education tool. Properly construed, it should scaffold those wishing to learn about the issues to become participants, as well as those who are up on the issues and working towards a solution. The system needs to be 'explorable'. This implies that there be marking of components and introduction to the framework. I note that the Technology Template Project /OHS Framework does mention that addresses and links are readable and interpretable, but I think you need to make the conceptual model clear as well.

>A separate issue from understanding is action. Since different people
>have different (economic) interests, even when part of the same group,
>their individuals actions may differ even given the same information. I
>think this is fundamentally not resolvable.

My point here is that an OHS/DKR may also need to support developing beliefs and values, as well as ideas, to support legitimate participation. What this may mean, concretely, is linking arguments and assumptions to an underlying belief structure. The question is, is this explicit to the system, or merely a use of the system to document another facet.

-- Clark

Clark Quinn
(510) 768-2408

--------------------------- ONElist Sponsor ----------------------------

GET A NEXTCARD VISA, in 30 seconds. Get rates as low as 0.0 percent Intro APR and no hidden fees. Apply NOW. <a href=" ">Click Here</a>


Community email addresses: Post message: Subscribe: Unsubscribe: List owner:

Shortcut URL to this page:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Tue Aug 21 2001 - 18:56:40 PDT