Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: mobility (Anti-Microsoft sentiment)

Author:David McCusker
Posted:9/20/2000; 7:43:39 AM
Topic:Debunking the OSS Bazaar?
Msg #:21535 (In response to 21521)
Prev/Next:21534 / 21536

Josh Allen: The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. This is how it is and how it always will be.

Yeah, that's one of the forces involved. That's what happens when the rich play to get richer, and the poor keep playing short sighted. But there are forces to increase social mobility, too, and even ones more strictly capitalistic folks might approve.

Anyway, whether approved by capitalists or not, some systems in the US tend to churn the social classes a little bit, so folks can change their socioeconomic status. It's one of the basic things discussed in American government college classes. Education is one of the big elements in social mobility.

From a functionalist point of view, social mobility is useful for keeping energetic but dispossessed troublemakers in the system when otherwise they would turn to revolution to solve their problems. This is also in American Government 101. Gee, it seems like this idea might be applicable in this context. :-)

Bill Gates recently did the first thing I finally cared about with his money when he arranged for large numbers of scholarships. Some folks might consider this merely charity. But I think of it as capital investment when the beneficiary is civilization and not yourself. Of course, one must be able to afford the luxury of caring about others.

Josh Allen: No amount of postulating on the part of anyone will change that.

Is what I wrote above considered postulating? It seems a done deal.

Josh Allen: Griping about salt is missing the point and once again getting a bit too sensitive about what could be a good discussion.

The following does not intend to say you are a child. I have kids and they have bitten me before when younger. There are certain things you do when your children bite you, or otherwise hurt you. The most important thing is to tell them in no uncertain terms that you have been hurt, so they understand the consequences of their actions.

Griping about salt in wounds intends to inform you about what things hurt other folks more than others. I'm not griping on my own behalf at all because (must watch my language here), I just don't give a doughnut. I had thought Microsoft might be interested in playing less hard ball once in a while, because that's not "how it always will be".

In school ground rules, saying you've been hurt makes you a baby and causes you to lose face. But that's for little boys. Adults are less prone to posturing and pissing contests, because it's a waste of energy and because is an easy thing to see through with experience.

I'm writing too much here. But my message is that some contracts with folks outside your company are either not acceptable or not very effective outside of an autocratic context. One contract that does not work is "be tough to be a winner", also known as "take your lumps if you want to play with the big boys", etc.

That kind of contract only works well when a pecking order is stable, such as inside a fiercely competitive company where folks jockey for position constantly. Pecking orders are complex, especially since they depend on who is setting the standards. Anyway, treating folks outside the company as the lowest part of the pyramid is chancy at best.

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