On “what to do”

For several years – and maybe even continuing these days – there was a regular competition between decision algorithms. Each algorithm ran 100 ‘votes’ (though a couple of times it was a weighted random close centered on 100) in round robin against all competitors. Winners were based on which had the best total and which had the best average (mean) score.

I quit paying attention because the same algorithm kept winning. Heck, the last couple of times all the competitors were aimed specifically at defeating the winner. Which head to head they did, but as a consequence they did even worse against the others. The winner? An amazingly simple program: Tit for Tat.

The first time, cooperate. After that, do onto the other as it did unto you.

There is a lot of noise, already, in the news about how the Democrats should be bipartisan. How they should compromise with the White House and the Republicans, tempering their newfound power with awareness of others and their differences. It’s a lovely sentiment. The Democrats requested such consistently for the past six years – and repetitively and without fail were completely shut out.

There is a strong case to be made for playing tat to the tit. However, I think this can be done while NOT repeating the previous majority’s methods. Submit the measures, start the investigations with subpoenas, start the bills moving for the changes and promises of the 100 hour plan. But at the same time, no midnight measures. No 4 hour extension of 15 minute rules.

I strongly suspect that this will be much more effective in the long run. No compromise with the wastrels and those who would hide that which thrives in shadows. But do it by the rules.

And when 2008 comes around, and the Republicand p


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