an issue with fairness
#1
I have observed a certain phenomenon, which is pervasive. but I'm unable to understand what it actually means.

Think of cache memory in computers : a memory location accessed more is considered more likely to be accessed more.

If you have a stubborn kid and a quiet kid, and limited resources/time, you give more to the stubborn kid, and hope that the quiet kid will be happy with less than his/her fair share.

If you have a lazy employee and a hard-working one, and you have limited patience, you cajole the hard-working one to do it, and let the lazy chap off the hook, because it's so annoying trying to get work done out of unwilling horses.

In every field of life, we always test who is more pliable, and we always make them bear the brunt of any negative action. We avoid hurting those who are not pliable, because it's not worth the trouble, might get hurt in return.

This is very natural, but also very unfair. Why? What does this mean? Non-linear positive feedback?

I would like to know what the underlying issues are, and how we can go about being fairer in this respect.
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#2
(18-Apr-2014, 07:44 AM)milindsmart Wrote: I would like to know what the underlying issues are, and how we can go about being fairer in this respect.

Firstly by understanding what "fairer" even means. The "need" vs "deserve" is a classic ethical problem. Personally Michael Sandel's justice series was great for understanding these things. I like Rawl's approach specifically.

(18-Apr-2014, 07:44 AM)milindsmart Wrote: I would like toIn every field of life, we always test who is more pliable, and we always make them bear the brunt of any negative action. We avoid hurting those who are not pliable, because it's not worth the trouble, might get hurt in return.

I see this being justifiable only if it was about "getting things done" (the efficiency argument). Humanism would demand more than something so coarse (http://nirmukta.net/Thread-Building-a-FA...35#pid7735)
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#3
Now going to watch Sandel. Looks intriguing and solid from first glance. Thanks.

However, I don't think "need" vs. "deserve" is the question here. More of "deserve" vs. "easy and practical". Assume that there is no disagreement that the slacker at work needs to compensate and do his bit. It's only that it's hard to make people work when they don't want to, even when everyone agrees that they "deserve to", EVEN when they themselves sometimes accept it. It's just easier to tell the person who's already working to do a little more. Usually no incentives are given to the worker, making his compensation equal to the slacker.

(18-Apr-2014, 07:44 AM)milindsmart Wrote: This is very natural, but also very unfair. Why? What does this mean? Non-linear positive feedback? I would like to know what the underlying issues are, and how we can go about being fairer in this respect.

I think you missed this part of what I'm saying. I agree that only pursuing efficiency is not good. But inevitably the scenario described above happens. It's obviously unfair. Do you agree?

My query was about why it's so widespread and what we can do about it. It seems to display itself everywhere in human society.

It's even shown among non-living things, as I said in initial post, about caching in CPUs. Are there other things that work like this? Is there a basic principle at work?
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#4
(29-Apr-2014, 11:39 AM)milindsmart Wrote: It's even shown among non-living things, as I said in initial post, about caching in CPUs. Are there other things that work like this? Is there a basic principle at work?

Cache's are used to gain performance (which is what I called efficiency).. And that is applicable to all of the other examples that you have given. This is the reason why its widespread. Not because its easy, but because it gives more returns with less effort.

(29-Apr-2014, 11:39 AM)milindsmart Wrote: However, I don't think "need" vs. "deserve" is the question here. More of "deserve" vs. "easy and practical". Assume that there is no disagreement that the slacker at work needs to compensate and do his bit. It's only that it's hard to make people work when they don't want to, even when everyone agrees that they "deserve to", EVEN when they themselves sometimes accept it. It's just easier to tell the person who's already working to do a little more. Usually no incentives are given to the worker, making his compensation equal to the slacker.

The unfair part is having same compensation. This whole scenario can be made fair by adding consent and incentive.
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