Saturday, April 05, 2008

A sandbox for real life (a ramble)

Every so often I read something that proposes some change that will have some sort of desirable effect. (Being an anarchist, I believe this to be true about anarchy.) But, we live in a situation where it is not only impractical to experiment on every idea that comes our way, it would arguably be immoral. Communism, for example, at least as practiced in Soviet Russia, in which the suffering of the poor was worsened by tyranny.

Now, we can run simulations and create models, but these all suffer from simplification because we have to choose what to leave out of the model or simulation in order to make it generate results in a reasonable amount of time.

So, I wish we had what programmers call a 'sandbox' for real life; a place where we could test theories out in conditions as close to the real world as possible, preferably identical. A place where we could get the results of a hundred years in a few days (or less!).

Of course, that does make me wonder: is the suffering of the sandbox any less than real suffering? Does the fact that it all gets washed away when you're done cleanse the wrongs?

Anyway, enough ramble for now.
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