Winning the Hardware Software Game Winning the Hardware-Software Game - 2nd Edition

Using Game Theory to Optimize the Pace of New Technology Adoption
  • How do you encourage speedier adoption of your product or service?
  • How do you increase the value your product or service creates for your customers?
  • How do you extract more of the value created by your product or service for yourself?


Latest Comments

  • Anonymous said More
    Great explanation for the relationship... 4 days ago.
  • Anonymous said More
    nice analysis, thanks Wednesday, 21 October 2020
  • Anonymous said More
    The fact that CBD from marijuana is... Sunday, 14 June 2020
  • Anonymous said More
    This was excellent and extremely... Tuesday, 21 April 2020
  • Anonymous said More
    Well written. Well constructed. Tuesday, 13 August 2019

I’ve been thinking a lot about the current state of government, the huge behemoth it’s become, and the humongous amount of disagreement among citizens (and non-citizens) about what role government should play in our lives. Of course, trying to change just about anything in government has become exceedingly difficult, because any proposed change whatsoever elicits loud protest from those who might be made worse off. This got me thinking about whether or not there is any change that (reasonable) people would all agree to.

This thought, in turn, led me to wonder what the fundamental role of government in society is. In other words, if we were to start from scratch, what responsibilities would everyone agree that government should have?

More specifically, suppose you have a group of people who arrive in a new land over which no one else has any claims. The group views all members as having been created equal and wishes to establish a society in which each citizen is endowed with the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The initial environment is one of free markets and anarchy.

Why free markets and not, say, communism? I assume each person has no inherent responsibilities or duties towards others (other than, perhaps, within families), which means each person is free to pursue his own interests, independently of the other members of the group. Should any subset of the members choose to form their own sub-community (e.g., a commune), that is up to them, but membership in any such community is purely voluntary.

The group agrees that it would be useful to establish a government that could provide certain duties for the members of the new society. In particular, they all agree that what they want is a government that will serve only to uphold the rights of the people -- life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -- and nothing more.

What type of government would the citizens establish that would be acceptable to all?

First, let’s define what we mean by liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Merriam-Webster defines liberty as

the quality or state of being free:

a : the power to do as one pleases

b : freedom from physical restraint

c : freedom from arbitrary or despotic control

d : the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges

e : the power of choice

More succinctly, I define liberty as the freedom to act and the absence of coercion.

The right to pursue happiness may be defined as

...The right to pursue any lawful business or vocation, in any manner not inconsistent with the equal rights of others, which may increase their prosperity or develop their faculties, so as to give them their highest enjoyment.

Butchers' Co. v. Crescent City Co., 111 U.S. 746, 757, (1884.)

The establishment and operation of any form of government requires resources. More specifically, the citizens being governed -- or some subset thereof -- must provide the government with the resources needed to fulfill its duties. This means that citizens (the taxpayers) are prevented from enjoying the full fruits of their labors to the extent that they must sacrifice some of their income to pay for government. And to the extent that those taxpayers must be coerced into paying taxes in support of government -- that is, the taxpayers don’t agree with the amount being collected and/or the way their taxes are being spent -- those taxpayers sacrifice their liberty.

On the other hand, we know from history that there are some duties or opportunities that society would benefit from having that cannot or will not be sufficiently provided by free markets and anarchy. In these cases, at least some citizens can be made better off with some form of government intervention.

I envision the most efficient form of government to be one that establishes and enforces a set of laws that will provide the proper guidelines and incentives for members of society to behave in a way that all members find acceptable. Only when a system of laws will not accomplish what the members of the society need, will it be appropriate for government to step in and provide a larger role in the workings of society.

So, the goal then becomes to find the optimal mix of liberty, opportunity and government. That is, starting from free markets and anarchy, an optimal type of government will be one that establishes and enforces a system of laws to encourage efficiency and fairness and provide equality of opportunity, while respecting individuals’ liberty to the greatest extent possible. Only when the existing laws alone are not sufficient to provide liberty and opportunity to all will other forms of intervention by government be warranted.

Continue to Part 2

More Blogs

Cannabis Cultivation: Seeds vs. Clones

26-09-2020 - Hits:1763 - Ruth Fisher - avatar Ruth Fisher

Cannabis plants are dioecious, that is, they are either male or female. Plant reproduction occurs naturally, when male plants pollinate female plants, causing female plants to produce seeds. New cannabis plants can thus be cultivated by collecting seeds from fertilized females and replanting them, or by buying seeds generated by...

Read more

Cannabis Cultivation: Indoor vs. Outdoor vs. Greenhouse

22-09-2020 - Hits:1448 - Ruth Fisher - avatar Ruth Fisher

There are three basic locales for growing cannabis: indoors, outdoors, or in greenhouses. Greenhouses enable growers to benefit from natural light, while also being able to strategically block out light to induce quicker flowering. Budget-friendly greenhouse operations are more subject natural climate variations, while higher-end greenhouses are more similar to...

Read more

Would the Endocannabinoid System Have Been Discovered Earlier without the Ban on…

10-06-2020 - Hits:1588 - Ruth Fisher - avatar Ruth Fisher

Cannabis was used medicinally in the Western world from the mid-1800s through 1940, even though doctors did not understand cannabis’s mechanisms of action. The Marijuana Tax At of 1937 Federally banned the use of cannabis in the US for either medical or recreational uses, and it restricted scientific studies of...

Read more

How Regulations Shape the Cannabis Industry

16-05-2020 - Hits:2367 - Ruth Fisher - avatar Ruth Fisher

  The cannabis industry is highly regulated, and the various regulations play a powerful role in shaping the structure, and thus outcome, of the industry. This analysis examines the following questions: How do cannabis market regulations shape market structure? Are the resulting outcomes favorable to suppliers and/or consumers? What are the pros and cons...

Read more

Cannabis Industry Rollouts: Lessons Learned from States’ Experiences

27-04-2020 - Hits:1754 - Ruth Fisher - avatar Ruth Fisher

Bart Schaneman from MJ Business Daily recently released, “2020 Cultivation Snapshot: U.S. Wholesale Marijuana Prices & Supply.” The information contained in the report helped cement certain insights I’ve had about the evolution of the cannabis market. Background info In addition to the myriad other laws and regulations, all states essentially have two...

Read more

A Data-Generating System: A Framework for Data Assessment

14-04-2020 - Hits:1069 - Ruth Fisher - avatar Ruth Fisher

Suppose I gave you, the Data Analyst, a dataset of information on sales of Ford automobiles, and suppose I told you to use that dataset to predict total national sales of Ford automobiles for next 12 months. What would you want to know about the data you were given? If you...

Read more

Hemp and CBD Market Supply

06-04-2020 - Hits:1890 - Ruth Fisher - avatar Ruth Fisher

The information in this post was compiled in an attempt to understand 2 issues: Does the cultivation of hemp differ depending on the hemp product supplied (fiber, seed, or flower)? Is the CBD produced from hemp (cannabis with ≤ 0.3% THC) identical to the CBD produced from marijuana (cannabis with > 0.3%...

Read more

Trends in Cannabis Patents Over Time

08-12-2019 - Hits:2353 - Ruth Fisher - avatar Ruth Fisher

Patent Counts by Year I searched the USPTO patent database for all patents for which the patent abstract contained any of the following terms: cannabis, cannabinoid, marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinoid, or cannabinol. My search yielded 914 patents. As seen in Figure 1, there were only a handful of cannabis patents each year until the...

Read more