Tuesday, January 24, 2017

CURMUDGUCATION: Competition vs. Quality

CURMUDGUCATION: Competition vs. Quality:

Competition vs. Quality

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It is an oft-stated truism-- competition creates excellence.

If you are running a race, you will run faster and harder to beat people who are also running fast. If you are playing football, you will train to be better than the team facing you on the field. It seems sensible.

There are some problems with this model just on its face. The people in the front of the pack, the winners, will get stronger perhaps, but the race will also separate out some losers, who will either have to either accept losing as their lot in life. Or they'll figure out ways to cheat. After all, if the definition of winning too narrow, like "being first to cross the finish line"-- well, there are plenty of ways to accomplish that without having to run the whole race faster than anyone else.

If we really believe that every student in America should get to attend a school that's a winner, then a competition that only a few can win seems like a poor model.

Competition may deliver excellence for a few, but it will not deliver excellence for everyone. 

But there are other issues. If we make the reward for winning something important like, say, your food, then by losing, racers lose the very thing they need to compete. Competition will make them weak and hungry, the very opposite of breeding excellence.

But competition often does not breed excellence at all-- in fact, it can create the opposite effect.

Consider a market competition this way-- that vendors are competing for the chance to sell their 
CURMUDGUCATION: Competition vs. Quality:

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