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Diary
By LoppEar (Tue Sep 21, 2004 at 08:42:01 AM EST) (all tags)
Two short topics for today:

  1. Peer-collaboration vs communism, vs corporate organization. Started from reading this today.

  2. Robots, after being excited by the's diary yesterday.


Coase's Penguin builds on the theory of Ronald Coase, who explained in the 30s that firms exist when the cost of separate transactions with many independent parties is greater than the price-efficiency of a competitive market. The problem Coase was trying to solve at the time was to explain the persistance and dramatic growth of centrally managed corporations, if a market is an ideal way to allocate economic resources.

What a central idea to so much I've been thinking about lately. (I could care less about the Open Source bent of the article, although I'm sure that was interesting.) MillMan got me thinking about organizational structure within corporations, and creating a company that internally operated by free-market principles, as a thought experiment. Didn't really follow up on that, but today it's all back in my face.

Now I'm curious about Coase, have to see if any of his research is readable to me. Starting point.

How far can I stretch the circumstances where cooperation and shared responsibility are better than a competitive market? I don't mean stretch as in forcing it to a form where it doesn't fit, but rather what are the bounds? If I use the given example of cooperation within a corporations members, where else does such an idea apply? For instance, on the idea of co-housing and communal living, there seems to be a fairly direct comparison in scale and possibly structure, although maybe not in purpose. A neighborhood's collaboration is not to increase profits - on the other hand, neither are the motivations for a majority of participants in a corporation (assuming Coase's theory involves employees).

Although independent contracting is a viable means of employment, are there reasons other than necessity that most of us choose not to go that route?

Enough unfinished thoughts, let them stew for a bit.

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Shortly on robotics, I have a bunch of AVR mcu's lying around from earlier interests, and in my youth I spent a decent amount of time building discrete electronics projects. I'm thinking one of my upcoming winter projects will be building small primitive robots, I like the simple emergent behavior of BEAM-style solarbots, I think I'll start there and also look at simple adaptive behavior I can code up in an AVR. Currently looking for sources on inter-robot communication - one robot is only midly interesting to me, a social group of robots is very interesting.

More thought-provocation: "Smart Dust" mesh network sensors.

< Quickie | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Short excitement | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden)
Yes, swarms interest me a lot by the (6.00 / 1) #1 Tue Sep 21, 2004 at 09:04:13 AM EST
The catch is you have to make them and making just one can be a lot of work. One possibility is to build just one and then use a service like this to clone it. In fact when I started work on this AVR based robot:



I vagely had in mind the idea of making a swarm. (Those are AAA batteries and pager motors so it's fairly small.) But it actually took hours to build it and I wouldn't have the patience for an entire swarm.

There are many papers out there on robot swarms and I'm itching to try the stuff out myself.

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The Definite Article

I should have mentioned by LoppEar (3.00 / 0) #4 Tue Sep 21, 2004 at 09:45:52 AM EST
That I have the AVR chips sitting around from experimentation following a diary of yours on k5, possibly about the robot pictured above.

Agree on the mass-production woes, the first will have to be interesting on its own, and not require a swarm, or else I almost certainly won't accomplish anything.


[ Parent ]
heh by infinitera (3.00 / 0) #2 Tue Sep 21, 2004 at 09:20:07 AM EST
My previous employer made use of those things. TinyOS sucks.

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It pains me to agree with infinitera, but… — BadDoggie
eheh by LoppEar (3.00 / 0) #3 Tue Sep 21, 2004 at 09:42:01 AM EST
actually, i was reading about some other company, couldn't recall which, so google brought up that Crossbow one, and it got the point across.. i doubt I have the budget for such things, so I will have to refine what I mean by inter-robot communication down to something feasible-for-me. But maybe not, so I'll keep your non-recommendation in mind. :)

Peace.


[ Parent ]
well, by infinitera (3.00 / 0) #6 Tue Sep 21, 2004 at 11:30:35 AM EST
Every OS sucks. So it's not a major point against it.

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It pains me to agree with infinitera, but… — BadDoggie
[ Parent ]
Indeed by ad hoc (6.00 / 1) #7 Tue Sep 21, 2004 at 11:49:52 AM EST
link
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[ Parent ]
that made the rounds last week by infinitera (3.00 / 0) #9 Tue Sep 21, 2004 at 02:26:17 PM EST
Get with the program!

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It pains me to agree with infinitera, but… — BadDoggie
[ Parent ]
Actually by ad hoc (6.00 / 1) #10 Wed Sep 22, 2004 at 02:28:03 AM EST
it made the rounds several years ago. But I still like it.
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[ Parent ]
>$4,000 by the (3.00 / 0) #8 Tue Sep 21, 2004 at 11:53:52 AM EST
Expensive!.

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The Definite Article
[ Parent ]
pic-joke without a pic by tps12 (3.00 / 0) #5 Tue Sep 21, 2004 at 10:50:03 AM EST
Goatse's Penguin.

Short excitement | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden)