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Old 07-21-2022, 08:43 PM   #31
sundialsvcs
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"Utopia" envisions a mythically-perfect world in which there is no "competition," because it is somehow evident to everybody that there is no possible way to improve upon it. "Utopia" therefore postulates that "competition is a bad thing." Once we achieve Utopia, we will magically lose our desire to make it better.

But the very simple human reality is that "competition, success and failure" is the progenitor of everything that we now enjoy and take for granted. And, in due time, it will be the source of everything that – until then – we didn't know that we couldn't live without. (Such as, say, the "smart phone" or "GPS.")

And – for every "winner," there were sometimes hundreds of "losers." ("Lotus 1-2-3," anyone?)

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 07-21-2022 at 08:46 PM.
 
Old 07-22-2022, 12:32 AM   #32
Ser Olmy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
"Utopia" envisions a mythically-perfect world in which there is no "competition," because it is somehow evident to everybody that there is no possible way to improve upon it.
Ignoring the fact that "Utopia" literally means "no place", as in a place that cannot exist, a perfect world does not imply a static world.

If you had perfect health, and there was no pollution and no threat of war, and food was plentiful, I assume you would still want to learn new things, travel, meet new people, or go build a boat or a cabin in the woods. Or play football or pool against some friends. You know, compete just for the fun of it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
"Utopia" therefore postulates that "competition is a bad thing." Once we achieve Utopia, we will magically lose our desire to make it better.
No, that's a non-sequitur. Not only is competition as a general phenomenon and ideal living conditions orthogonal concepts, competition isn't even a required element for self-improvement or a desire to change ones environment.

I know that under truly ideal circumstances, I'd be busy building a workshop and a lab, among other things. No competition would be required.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
But the very simple human reality is that "competition, success and failure" is the progenitor of everything that we now enjoy and take for granted.
What about all the great scientific discoveries that were done by incredibly wealthy aristocrats who were literally competing with no-one?

In fact, introducing competition as the main driving force tends to greatly hamper some vital types of innovation, those that have to do with discovery of knowledge for its own sake, with no immediate utility in mind.

For instance, ask any scientist at any university or research organisation how much time they have to spend crafting papers to competitively apply for grants, and then ask them if this makes them more or less productive. (Hint: They all hate it with a passion, and it's a colossal waste of time.)

Incidentally, the same is (or at least might be) true for politicians in the U.S.; most congresspeople spend at least 60% of their day soliciting donors, every day, because they're fiercely competing for funds with other politicians, often from their own party. That's time not spent, say, reading the bills they subsequently vote on.

(But I said this might put them in the same position as the aforementioned researchers, because I don't know if that time would otherwise have been spent on productive activities.)

While I have no doubt that the competitive instinct of entrepreneurs has driven many business endeavours to great success, and that in a cutthroat business environment, necessity does tend to become the mother of invention, it's still pretty evident that the main driving force behind scientific progress is and has always been the innate curiosity of human beings.
 
  


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