Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

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Competition and Frameworks

Chewing some more on the role of competition/conflict, inside and outside legal boundaries, in society.. not super organised..

  • Petit Bourgeois capitalism difference from corporate capitalism...
    • First - theoretical ideal within a broad capitalist framework - business extracts enough wealth from whatever it manages to provide a decent (but not extravagant) living for those it employs, some form of cushion against insolvency, and possibly some small level of growth - income beyond that goes towards investment in infrastructure and lower cost of product/service - businesses that are like this that are not after the bottom line are not significantly different on a broad economic level than state services in a more state/society-owned economy (although they may lack the inner democracy that we might, depending on what conception we go with, expect)
  • The diversity both aim for act to counter, in theory, people from diverging too far from the above theoretical ideal (although in some cases the mechanism becomes more of a noose than a bowtie - the baseline is livability, not comfortable living, for the employees, and too fierce a competition would presumably cause the companies to pay just sustenance wages)
  • Small-town petit bourgeois capitalism presumably diverges from perfect competition through politeness - if there is already a hardware store in town and the margins are not so thick that the owner/employees are making out like bandits nor is the town so large that it's too much a burden for people to go to the one, then more probably won't materialise. In the case of the first, if the owner's not being a jerk, competition is unnecessary (and presumably not profitable, although people don't necessarily think that way so much - small town values hand in hand with petit bourgeois capitalist structure?)
  • Corporate capitalism presumably diverges from perfect competition through the classic barriers to perfect competition - they fit better into the broader capitalist model, but high barriers to entry (including especially intellectual property, high economies of scale, exclusive contracts, brand identity, etc - the classic barriers kind of blend together so some of these might fit just as well under other classic "faults"). Some form of competition is usually constant under corporate capitalism, and values supporting capitalism and capitalists (using the sense meaning those who own part of or entirely some means of production as a means to profit, especially those who have little/no involvement in the company - think Venture Capitalists, as opposed to those who support capitalism in a political/philosophical sense)
  • Thinking about the first - implicit threat of "If you misbehave badly enough, I will do something to threaten your interests and possibly limit your ability to so misbehave in the future" - on some level that's a necessary part of human interaction. I like it, although I particularly like it that it's vague and presumably relies on reasonability as its basis. It functions best when everyone can see the inner financial affairs of every business (possibly worth noting that "perfect competition" has a slight variant on this as a prerequisite - perfect information). I don't think this basic philosophy is limited to economics - it's something that's a foundation of much more - law, good manners, relationships, etc. I think it's a big part of understanding conflict - kind of a philosophical tendency in that sphere.
  • Its relationship to legalism - legalists want to have mathematical rules to understand conflict - they want a system that is itself simple and fairly complete, so they can fully understand what is asked of them and plan for it. A subset of them want basic, simple rules so they can manipulate them or optimise themselves in them so they get the most returns in situations of conflict without feeling that they have cheated others involved (self-sleight-of-hand?).
  • Legalism - frustrates society's will, or if society can be told "that's just the law, what can you do?" and they accept it, makes them alienate social desires from themselves or at least yield in relevant situations. Sometimes this is positive - society's views can be guided by laws (race laws changed perceptions of race in the south surprisingly powerfully over 20 years, for example), and in other times negatively.. the positive and negative judgements only making sense when we step into our particular value framework.
  • Importance of vigilanteism - rule of law is important to a society, and a certain adherence to it helps keep society civil, although some conflicts are important enough that only moral cowards (from my metaframework of values combined with my personal value framework, people who are so cowardly with their values that none are strong enough to be morals, and they have at most ethics, if not all pragmas) would refrain from stepping outside matters decided in the framework of law. Judgement on when and how are decided by one's moral framework, and judgement on what happens afterwards relies on one's wisdom. Sometimes these conflicts with legally decided matters are needed to deal with corruption (that is, the system not working as it theoretically should by publically stated understandings of the governmental system - e.g. companies buying laws), some are caused by possible dissatisfaction with that system itself, some by immediate need that make exceptionalism make sense (whatever one must do to meet one's most basic of needs, one presumably should do, regardless of Categorical Imperative), and some by one's own morals disagreeing from commonly held morals (this list is not exhaustive though)
    • Supplement: It would be a sad thing to tell those who would dominate by laws that we are unwilling, regardless of how egrarious the societal harm caused by said laws, to ever say "screw the laws, we're going to do what's right for society, your privileges be damned"
  • Remembered debates on "deformed workers states" and "state capitalism"
  • Example of people doing the unexpected to shame/point finger at those they feel have behaved improperly.. maybe another (although in this case I hope for a flat out ban - delicious analysis though - WTO versus American interests - I would *love* to see the U.S. divorce from the WTO)
  • Ancient greek notion of hubris, considered fully - way of thinking, more than precise dictum

How would the world be different if people widely held to Marx's "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" instead of the golden rule or some relative of it? Of course, this assumes that people do in fact do so..

Last night, I finally finished "Being Hurt and Hurting Others: children's narrative accounts and moral judgments of their own interpersonal conflicts" - it was very good reading. It was particularly interesting to find what's presumably honest introspection from young kids who acted agressively. I would've liked to have had them address family size as a possible additional factor in the development of this type of social awareness, but I'm sure there are plenty of additional n-level correlations/understandings that they could've covered..

I recently have been helping some random people learn C over the internet (which is surprisingly rewarding) as well as some Unix basics. For those of you who haven't seen the idiom before, an idiomatic way to copy directories around on Unix that I learned .. many years ago:

  • To copy /home/pgunn/src/myproject to /home/pgunn/deploy/myproject:
  • cd /home/pgunn/src
  • tar cf - myproject | (cd /home/pgunn/deploy/ ; tar xvf -)
  • Variant second step for if the second directory is on another machine called
  • tar cf - myproject | ssh "cd /home/pgunn/deploy/ ; tar xvf -"
  • If bandwidth is scarce, you might insert z into both tars to get gzip compression. If bandwidth is even more scarce and your time is not, you might insert j instead to get bzip2 compression.
Not meaning to offend y'all's possible pride in unix sensibilities, but I've seen some people who should've known better go through the trouble of making a tarball, scp'ing it over, and unpacking it manually, or worse, booting up some kind of a graphical client for this kinda thing.



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