The Extropian Principles

Twirlip of Greymist (
Sun, 28 Jul 1996 22:34:01 -0700 (PDT)

} /Why is this "domination" (= great success in the market) to everyone's
} /detriment. I don't agree. I think there's currently a good mix of very tough
} Well, I'm doing some development, and my employer agrees that the
} Microsoft tools we're using are cruddy, but given the market demand we
} can't just go off an write X programs under Unix which is what we'd all
} rather do.
} The "best product" wins, but after reading Dawkins and "evolutionarily
} stable strategies" I can put it this way: the best product is not
} defined simply in absolute terms of price and performance. In some
} areas the best product is dependent on the other products in existence.
} VHS vs. Betamax is the example usually offered at this stage. A bad
} standard can win because it is 'good' because it is standard. We might
} all (apart from Microsoft in this case) be better off with a different
} standard, but we can't get there from here, even if we agreed on where
} there was.
} /Do you really think the software market would function better if the
} /government decided what products could be made, by whom, and how much they
} No.
} On the other hand, I am wondering (as of this moment) whether there
} isn't a local extrema problem in the market as well as evolution. THe
} presence of intelligent components (us) alleviates things somewhat, but
} in this case I'm picturing a big mass of people on a hill. Individual
} people can see a higher hill, but can't get there without the rest of
} the people. The whole mass of people acts as a blind idiot, and can't
} get to another hill if it involves going down. So the market stays on
} MS hill.
} There might be a similar problem with libertarianism. Most of us think
} a pretty libertarian society would be better than the current society.
} Even if this was true by the standards of most other people, it could be
} that the stages between here and libertarian dominance are nasty. And
} as most people don't think of making huge jumps at once (rightly;
} normally that is a bad idea) the Lib Party could be stuck even if more
} people heard of and vaguely liked it.
} Merry part,
} -xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>
} Piety, n: Reverence for the Supreme Being, based on His supposed
} resemblance to man.
} -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_