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Gresham's law...

Oh, I am aware of the two examples you cite. I tend not to associate with people who don't consider both unconscionable. We may not get far (I have actually quit academia) but at least we still have fun talking about science.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 22nd, 2009 at 07:49:41 AM EST
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The extensions of Gresham's law into analysis of public behavior is completely appropos, IMO. The real finds are areas where it DOESN'T apply. I have been seeing this phenomenon in my checkered career since the late '70s and the counterfeit always seems to become "the coin of the realm" right up to the point of massive fail. Then the response is to look away, to say "who could have known?" or both.

The Peter Principle is an enabling corollary of the social application of Gresham's Law and the combined effect of these two principles largely accounts for what I have called "institutional incompetence", which is where we have many, even a considerable majority, of able people with good intentions yet the structure and function of the institution itself reliably leads to failed results.

I do not know if "workplace democracy" and "social justice" can mitigate this phenomena, but it wouldn't hurt to try. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that organizations that adopt open and collaborative approaches and encourage creativity can be more productive. My own sense is that social hierarchy is the real poison. And that is my inner anarchist speaking.    

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Nov 22nd, 2009 at 12:18:55 PM EST
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