ThoughtStorms Wiki

Like PlatformWars but not necessarily about platforms ...


ZbigniewLukasiak started an interesting discussion on his blog :

He thinks that often there's little fact of the matter as to which standard is best, but people fight over them viciously for emotional reasons.

I responded that perhaps it's not emotion but EconomicRationality ...

Once I invest in learning standard X at cost Xc ... even if I recognise that there's not much difference between X and Y, I still have reason to prefer X to paying the cost of learning Y (Yc). Especially if I recognise that X and Y are more or less interchangable, I'll think "there's no good reason, except some historical-dependency for us to use the other guy's choice : Y - I must persuade him to adopt X, then I don't pay Yc" Of course, he's thinking the same.

Rather like the AuctionOfTheTwentyPoundNote, once I've started paying to argue for X, even if the total cost goes above the total cost of learning Y, I'll still keep arguing for it. Why? Because all that evangelism is a sunk cost ... whereas the cost Yc is still all in front of me if I give up and let him win.

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