Sunday, September 6, 2009

Walk softly, but carry a big carrot

Thank goodness, Harvard has just published a study that proves socialism works much better than greedy capitalism, and that terrorist prisoners at Gitmo should be fed carrots for information, rather than waterboarded.

OK, so the findings aren't spelled out quite this clearly, but it is Harvard after all, and how else are we to read this? (emphasis mine):

The public goods game is the classic laboratory paradigm for studying collective action problems. Each participant chooses how much to contribute to a common pool that returns benefits to all participants equally. The ideal outcome occurs if everybody contributes the maximum amount, but the self-interested strategy is not to contribute anything. Most previous studies have found punishment to be more effective than reward for maintaining cooperation in public goods games. The typical design of these studies, however, represses future consequences for today’s actions. In an experimental setting, we compare public goods games followed by punishment, reward, or both in the setting of truly repeated games, in which player identities persist from round to round. We show that reward is as effective as punishment for maintaining public cooperation and leads to higher total earnings. Moreover, when both options are available, reward leads to increased contributions and payoff, whereas punishment has no effect on contributions and leads to lower payoff. We conclude that reward outperforms punishment in repeated public goods games and that human cooperation in such repeated settings is best supported by positive interactions with others.

Is it just me, or does the above read: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"?

Ignore the fact that socialism has been a failed experiment EVERY time it's been tried in the real world. Especially if research conducted by a bunch of bearded and balding liberal intellectuals at Harvard have an epiphany through the blue clouds of marijuanna smoke during some late night study that says otherwise.


  1. There are no words.

    Socialism .... where HAS it worked, by the way?

  2. What comes out of Harvard is always about from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

    BTW: If we're feeding Gitmo detainees carrots does that mean they're rabbits? If so, perhaps we can come up with a better torture mechanism, such as stationing them every 50 feet or so along any NASCAR race track and making them run out in front of the cars at the last possible moment, as any good rabbit knows to do. I'll bet we'll really get some good intelligence then...if they survive.

  3. Socialism is freedom.
    Contuining job loss is successful stimulus
    Dropping temperatures mean global warming.

    Welcome to our brave new world

    Z: Socialism has worked specacularly, if you consider that its goal is to amass the most wealth in as few hands as possible.

  4. I believe are "evil-empire" capitalism is either the longest or one of the longest survivng systems in the world. It's the only logical system.

  5. Z- So I take it you will not be standing in line for Michael Moore's latest either?
    Dr D- We would need to invest stimulus dollars on spatulas. :)
    dmarks- the linked pic looks exactly like that Wal-Mart man who slapped the crying 2-year-old.
    Chuck- How is Michael Moore supposed to make a buck with that kind of sentiment?