X-Message-Number: 16060
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2001 09:48:58 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #16022 - #16029

Hi everyone!

Here I am again after a delay (due to putting out PERIASTRON).

I note in the messages which arrived while I wasn't reading Cryonet
one by Peter McCluskey. In it he is asked "what do you mean by
'optimum rule'". Just to confuse the issue, I will say here what
I understand about that point. It seems that various scientists
with a mathematical bent have looked at rules such as "the greatest
good for the greatest number" and found that in many situations
they simply cannot be satisfied. Not only that, but for arbitrary
populations of people (no, we don't have one group wanting to eat
the other or other such issues, but just "normal" people) it
turns out that there is NO SUCH THING as an optimum.

Yes, if we make extra assumptions we can get it to work for a short
time, at least. 

Over time, there is a tendency for things in arbitrary groups to 
become settled by one person alone. 

What does this mean for Peter McCluskey? Basically that the problem
is much more complex and less solvable than any idea such as the
greatest good for the greatest number to work out in real life.
When we start thinking about values objectively, we learn that values
too can be quite complex.

		Best wishes and long long life for all,

			Thomas Donaldson

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