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Date: -- (:)
From: Markus Mottl <markus@o...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Whither the Caml Consortium?
On Sat, 20 Oct 2001, Brian Rogoff wrote:
> I think altruism and love for OCaml is a lot closer than very specific
> selfish reasons.

I love OCaml, because it helps me solve my problems much more easily. Does
this make my love selfish? ;)

> That's still not quite right, maybe idealism and civic virtue come
> closer?

The older I get the less I am sure what "idealism" is supposed to mean.
Especially the last weeks have made me much older.

Is it: "Act according to what the majority wants even if this does not
correlate with your desires."?

Hm, I am not sure whether I can identify with this without
restrictions. E.g. when I desperately need better and more ADT-libraries,
why should I finance GUI-building tools only because the majority
wants them? - A goal conflict...

Furthermore, the majority may know what it wants, but it may not know
what it needs. It could well be that it also needs better ADT-libraries
rather than GUI-building tools, but due to lack of intelligence they
choose unwisely. - Bounded rationality...

Even if the goals coincided for some miraculous reasons, there could
be a lot of dispute concerning the concrete way to reach them. A means
conflict...

As you see, there could be plenty of causes why a Consortium from which
one cannot exit without a complete loss of investment may be a rather
unfavourable choice. Which might, again, explain its current state.

(Sorry, I am in an illusion-smashing mood today ;)

> I'm not convinced that my, or anyone else's, behavior is entirely
> rational, or at least that the objective function and even the decision
> variables aren't somewhat arbitrary.

People act so as to maximize their utility function, whatever this
may be: in economics this notion is so general that it can explain
any kind of behaviour, which gives it little significance in practice.
But restricting its applicability is impossible without making value
judgements.

> So the model of a corporation as a purely money optimizing entity
> is inaccurate.

If people were maximizing their monetary assets only, they'd all be
starving. Since not all are doing this, only some are. The two groups
do not necessarily overlap.

> But I'll stop here, this list isn't the place for a discussion of my
> world view; if you want that, join the Consortium and I'll send you
> a private, copyrighted e-mail :-).

No spam, please! ;)

> No doubt the process and goals of the Consortium can be tuned.

This will have to happen in any case if they want to be more successful.
I was actually surprised that there was no invitation for discussion
before its foundation. E.g., it seems to me that the fees were set
quite arbitrarily. Some initial "market analysis" as to how much how
many people would be prepared to donate might have turned out useful to
maximize the income of the Consortium.

> Thanks for your altruistic work on behalf of OCaml, Markus!

This is only a misconception: it's out of purely selfish reasons, sold
under the label "altruism"... ;)

Regards,
Markus

-- 
Markus Mottl                                             markus@oefai.at
Austrian Research Institute
for Artificial Intelligence                  http://www.oefai.at/~markus
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