Re: ply to Grant

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Fri Feb 08 2002 - 04:36:10 GMT

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    From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    Subject: Re: ply to Grant
    Date: Thu, 07 Feb 2002 20:36:10 -0800
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    >Microsoft does indeed appear to be the fittest around at the moment, in
    >terms of its ability to survive in the market place. To go back to your
    >analogy with Ford. I recall that he said *you can have any colour you like
    >so long as its black*. The only cars that i have owned have been neither
    >Ford, nor Black. The computer i own is Apple as is the software. If it
    >wasn't it would be Linux. Only the past is a guide to what is fit. If it is
    >in the past it wasn't fit. The definiton of most fit to me is
    >circumstantial, and subject to change without notice. (A point we can agree
    >on?). The horse was used as an example of a succesful species in the past
    >despite the fact that in its place of origin, the USA, it became extinct
    >that essentially, the horse existed only on the sufferance of man because
    >found a use for it in Eurasia. (See Stephen. J. Gould's - Life's Grandeur).
    Again, we seem to be talking about different things. I'm looking at
    evolutionary fitness, which is defined in terms of survival, no matter how
    they achieve it. You seem to be talking about fitness in terms of one
    product or animal being better for some purpose than another. You may find
    the Mac a superior computer for your uses, but as far as propagation and
    evolution are concerned, the IBM PC and Microsoft Windows have managed to
    pervade a larger portion of the space available than their competitors. It
    isn't a strike against the horse that it survived by striking a symbiotic
    relationship with people. There are more of them now than there ever were.
    That's success in my book.

    The concepts about manufacturing that Ford invented and were built on by his
    successors and associates still pervade the automobile manufacturing culture
    and that applies around the world. That's a viable measure of success from
    an evolutionary point of view. We're still making cars pretty much as Henry
    made them, but with lots of new features added. Whether you like Henry or
    not, the culture he built was successful. It still exists. It exists now
    in other cultures besides America. Despite the fact that other men came
    along and made cars better than the Ford factories made, they still used the
    principles of manufacturing that Ford created first. They used the same
    distribution system and ideas about making the car affordable for the common
    man. That was a relatively new idea when Ford set up his system. Many car
    makers thought it wouldn't work.

    Anyway, I'm trying to show how a culture devloped by a person made the
    billions I've been talking about. Other people, using his ideas or memes,
    also made millions and billions of dollars. The company still carries his
    name and his children and grandchildren are still involved in it. In a
    young species like we are, that's a pretty good record of survival of the
    fit, if not the fittest.


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