Re: Conflicts of Interests

From: James Rogers (
Date: Mon Jul 09 2001 - 09:10:04 MDT

On 7/6/01 8:01 PM, "Chen Yixiong, Eric" <> wrote:
> In general, I dare say, if our economy shifted from a reward oriented society
> (where one seeks to
> maximise control of resources and power), to a compensation oriented one
> (where one receives
> reimbursiment for contributing useful to the society), then we would not have
> this problem. Such a
> society will allow people to pursue their interests and research without
> worrying about having to
> feed themselves, or their families.

You are simply replacing one power structure with another, and one that
arguably has more power to be arbitrary and capricious. First, who decides
what is "useful to the society"? I guarantee that every power seeker will
be lining up for that job.

Second, even if the decision of value isn't in direct question, how is
"doing research" a creation of real value? Much research is the actual
determination if something has value. If twenty people are doing research
on the same problem and only three come up with viable solutions, what do
you do? If there is no payoff associated with the risk, then any crackpot
can "research" something important indefinitely for equivalent reward under
your system even if they don't produce results. If you only pay researchers
for results, then it looks a lot like the capitalism you are indirectly
arguing against. The accumulation of power and resources is often an
artifact of doing well-designed research; if you intend to prevent this,
then you end up with situations where you frequently end up paying people to
waste time.

Can you address these issues? (Without resorting to behavior modification,
of course.)

-James Rogers

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