Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Only the unfit evolve

From Philosophy Now, I learn 'that people and organisations that miss their goals disastrously perform better in the long run.'
Professor Desai, who led the study, said “knowledge gained from success was often fleeting while knowledge from failure often stuck around for years.” [...] He says failure causes a company to search for solutions and it puts the executives in a more open mindset. He doesn’t recommend seeking out failure in order to learn.
...which makes me think of the merchant bankers. Will they perform better now? Only if we make them (despite our politics being dominated by the short-term), I think. You know, their performance was always chaotic, even in the good old days, as the new maths of chaos showed us in the 80's. But they took past success to be indicate a propensity for success; ironically, they were bad at applied math.
......I find that ironic because it was pointed out to me, when I was reading physics (in the 80's), that investment banking was the sort of 'good job' that a physics degree qualified one for. (That was what made physics such a good degree.) At the time, I wondered whether we really would've been a better society had more women wanted to play such games. (Margaret Thatcher, with her Chemistry degree, hardly thought of investment banking as a waste of a physics degree.)
......What can you do? The young are always with us. And we can hardly want to dilute democracy, but, why not give more experienced voters additional votes? Perhaps we shouldn't take the vote away from those who've shown themselves to be very selfish (unless we've locked them up and thrown away the key), but why not give an extra vote to all those who haven't (yet) shown themselves up; indeed, why not give extra votes to those who deserve honours? Wouldn't that be fairer? (It would certainly be safer.)

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