Why we need a new kind of design discipline for on-demand platforms


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Sorry, no, this is completely bass-ackwards. "Socioeconomic design" is a fundamentally regressive idea. People can be using computers to make every day life and social interactions more scientific, rather than bending over backwards to shoehorn in more primitive commerce rituals. If this sort of thing effects how people interact, then use it in such a way that people can interact more intelligently.


Sorry, there are no processors that powerful yet.


And would a processor that powerful want to deal with people anyhow?


We keep dogs.


Care to elaborate on what you mean by ‘scientific’?

If you using scientific to mean the interaction should be reduced to the two base variables - the good/service and the price, then I’ll strongly disagree.

The buy/sell transaction involves humans and thus involves literally thousands of different variables. To ignore or pretend those variables are of no importance is to essentially make the claim that being able to model the transaction is more important than the effects of the actual transaction itself.

I consider the market like the tendency for water to go downhill. By harnessing it, the developed world has become vastly wealthier than the rest. But if one ennobles the fact that water runs downhill (as Libertarians are wont to do), you are in danger of undo the legal, and even more importantly cultural, constraints (knock down the dams) that enabled us to make use of the market.

Those primitive commercial rituals embody many of the constraints that we place on the market so that as a society we can gain maximum benefit from the transaction.


By "scientific" I mean culture that is oriented around understanding actual phenomena.

That's not what I mean. The problem is that commerce and markets are not truly interactive - they are games which represent more or less pre-programmed behaviors.

Modelling human activity as being "transactional" is itself a choice, a conceptual and practical framework which may or not even be applicable. When transactionality is assumed at the outset, then all further conceptuality requires reducing human activity to fit within these models. This has the effect of a structural drive for social game playing for its own sake to take precedence over deeper knowledge of self, each other, or the world at large.

Measurement of wealth is more or less arbitrary. All one needs to do (as some have done) is devise a system of exchange which makes one's own situation seem advantageous. So "the developed world" simply puts forth the model of a game which it can win, by devising its own tokens and its own rules. Anybody can do that. But seeking any sort of presumed "advantage" is still deeply subjective (lacking in fundamental real-world evidence) and still represents another form of the same pre-programmed behavioral routines of forced social games.

There are many problems with this. The transactions themselves are the primitive commerce rituals. Also, there is no monolithic "we as a society". There are many societies, and what benefits one may well be to the detriment of another. This is the colonialism implicit in giving primacy to "the developed world". Wealth does not represent any sort of real-world goal or activity. The closest markets come to anything practical is the notion of resource management, but they consistently fail here, because they are concerned only with subjective games rather than an understanding of the resources themselves.


Well, I withdraw my criticism, as I misinterpreted your meaning of scientific. However, I've rarely heard the term 'scientific' used in the context in which you used it.

While I'm not certain whether it's even possible to debate over whether a transaction has occurred (it seems fairly axiomatic to me), I do have to wonder whether one can use the term scientific in a non-transactional, and thus non-measurable, context.


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