[FoRK] Alan Kay Interview

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Sat Nov 17 22:17:03 PST 2012

On 11/16/12 10:27 AM, Gary Stock wrote:
> I had a similar reaction:  professional team sports as practiced today represent the clearest evidence that society is 
> self-destructive -- and that we will follow willingly to our demise.  Corporations score differently, and hide competition 
> under certain cloaks, but it's the same impulse sucking the life out of everything they touch.

Why do you believe that?
Can you explain either of those sentences?

Some things are certainly suboptimal although it seems that your identification of what's broken is different from mine.

> The analogy Kay is wishing for may be musical ensembles... but even some of those get tainted by mindless notions of 
> "competition."
> GS
> On 11/16/12 12:26 PM, Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo wrote:
>> Okay, I'm confused. ... Well, more confused than usual. :-)
>> I have great respect for Kay and I enjoyed this article. But I don't know whether the end of it reflects some of the author's 
>> "reorganizing" and getting it out of context or is there something subtle in there that I'm missing?
>> "Kay: ...  American business is completely fucked up because it is all about competition. Our world was built for the good 
>> from cooperation. That is what they should be teaching.
>> Binstock: That's one of the few redeeming things about athletics.
>> Kay: Absolutely! No question. Team sports. It's the closest analogy. Everyone has to play the game, but some people are 
>> better at certain aspects."
>> I see where he's coming from that when we work as teams we can balance strengths and weaknesses.  But here's my problem: In 
>> athletic team sports, teams exist and train and *cooperate* within themselves for only one purpose -- to compete with each 
>> other.  How is that a good analogy to the original point about competition versus cooperation???
>>            ...ken... 

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