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4545Re: [decentralization] Groove centralizes

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  • John D. Mitchell
    Nov 2, 2001
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      >>>>> "Todd" == Todd Boyle <tboyle@...> writes:
      [...]
      > Corporations are command and control systems, of a type that have been
      > thoroughly and completely rejected by the populations of every country on
      > earth by now. Governments such as the soviet union were spectacular
      > failures.

      > Why do corporations work completely differently from the way open
      > marketplaces function, within democratic society?

      > When developers understand the answer to this question, they will be more
      > likely to write P2P software instead of ever-more-powerful command and
      > control systems.

      > Corporations operate completely differently from civil society, to
      > achieve greater logistical efficiency, reliability and information
      > dissemination by controlling the behaviors of members, all that stuff --
      > we have networks and computers and collaboration software for these
      > things today. Let's use them, to compete as freemen instead of slaves.
      > Freemen are always more efficient than command systems. We'll make good
      > money.

      Methinks that you're missing the historical, corporate evolution factor
      here. Historically, C&C has worked exceptionally well for the types of
      corporations that existed and the context in which they operated. The
      critical decision making in those corporations fit because the workers were
      predominantly just cogs in a operational-execution-efficiency-maximizing
      Taylor-ite machine.

      For examples, both Rockefeller and Ford quite sanely created and exploited
      those efficiencies in their creation of completely vertically-integrated
      organizations.

      That sort of Taylor-istic perspective is increasingly marginalized/subsumed
      (but not eliminated!) in proportion to the shift in importance of
      informational and, more critically, decision-making
      distribution/decentralization through organizations.

      Corporations are (slowly) adapting to this. I find it fascinating how the
      entire Supply-Chain Management (SCM) world has been created to reintegrate
      what was (sometimes forcibly) dis-integrated not all that long ago.


      W.r.t. the free-persons vs slaves shme, a couple of points...

      Most people have (to varying degrees) a strong desire/need for "stability"
      (of all sorts). Markets are, by nature, volatile. Corporate jobs (and
      government sinecure, sigh), for many people, usually provide a sufficient
      amount of stability. I.e., they are making a decision to tradeoff some
      amount of "slavery" in return for that stability.

      [The scariest thing about the 9/11 stuff is the headlong rush that so many
      are in to give up all of our constitutional liberties in the futile attempt
      to restore some (predominantly emotional) sense of (pseudo-)security.]

      Markets are not (always/usually) symmetrical. Check out the latest batch
      of Nobel prize winners in economics for various takes on the asymmetry of
      markets. Also, think about monopolistic power such as MS's and how that
      creates a distorted/asymmetrical market.

      [A problem with the US legal system is that, even worse then generals
      always trying to fight the previous war, the legal system is so completely
      built-upon precedent that they often calcify a specific response to a
      specifc problem within a specific context into general law. Think about
      patterns and refactoring.]


      Combine those two with various illogical/non-rational ways that most people
      actually make decisions and you end up being able to explain many of the
      so-called paradoxes of classical economics. One of those Nobel guys
      examined used-cars markets. Personally, I find the whole fad of
      reverse-auction markets even more telling (at least w.r.t. us geeks :-).

      Take care,
      John
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