Thursday, January 2, 2014

Started New Year With Hi-5?

I'm curious if anybody started the New Year with a hi-5. A good hi-5 is awesome and it's hilarious when your friends hi-5 fail.

I was kind of surprised to discover that there isn't already a hi-5 competition. So for fun I created a page on facebook to try and get the ball rolling...

Hi-5 Competition

How would a hi-5 competition even work? I guess there would be two person teams. And each team would need a name. The judges would give points for style, enthusiasm, accuracy, loudness and...? How would the judges be selected?

Ummm...would each team be able to pick a song to hi-5 to? Would that be optional?

Should there be an entry fee? And the winning team gets all the money?

What about a category for random partners? For some reason I'm thinking it would be kinda interesting. We could see which two strangers hi-5'd each other the best . It would be like finding an awesome random arena partner (if you catch that reference you're a geek :D).

While I'm at it...let's consider the more or less relevant economics (haha...any excuse to talk about economics!)...

First up to bat is Kirzner!
Entrepreneurial discovery represents the alert becoming aware of what has been overlooked. The essence of entrepreneurship consists in seeing through the fog created by the uncertainty of the future. When the Misesian human agent acts, he is determining what indeed he 'sees' in this murky future. He is inspired by the prospective pure profitability of seeing that future more correctly than others do. These superior visions of the future inform entrepreneurial productive and exchange activity. The dynamic market process is made up of such profit-motivated creative acts in regard to the future. - Israel M. Kirzner, How Markets Work 
In this case, I'm the alert! :D I became aware of the fact that there isn't a hi-5 competition. So I, the entpreneur, the Misesian human agent...acted. What motivated me to act? Profit. Of course it would be nice to become a billionaire as a result. :D I'd buy a ton of acres in the southernmost part of Texas and create the closest thing to Eden in the US.

But even if I didn't make a single penny...I could still profit by all the enjoyment I derived from seeing unbridled enthusiasm at its finest...and knowing that I was instrumental in bringing that much more joy to the world.

So that's the vision which prompted me to act. But every action has an element of risk. I don't have a crystal ball...I can't see the future. Maybe it's a mistake because there won't be enough interest. Maybe it will be a mistake because there will be unforseen negative consequences. Clearly though I judged that it would be a bigger mistake not to act.

Next up to bat is John Holbo. Here's part of what he wrote during our discussion on selling votes...
Consider three ways of allocating votes.

You get more votes the longer you are willing to sit in a chair in a room for hours on end with nothing but nothing to do.

You get more votes the longer you are willing to do the downward-facing dog.

You get more votes the more you pay.

These are all potential methods of measuring intensity of preference. In some ways they are all better than the system we have got, because they all attempt to measure intensity at all, whereas one person-one vote does not. That said, they are all obviously flawed.
Resources can't be put to their most valuable uses if we don't know the intensity of people's preferences. A hi-5 can help reveal the intensity of somebody's preferences...

"Let's go on a road trip to our favorite orchid nursery!"

Enthusiastic hi-5...right?

Starting a facebook page for a hi-5 competition also indicates some degree of intensity in my preference for this particular use of society's limited resources. This is because I had to sacrifice alternative uses of my limited time. I could have spent that time trying to find orchid celebrities!

Markets allow us to decide exactly how much we are willing to give up for what we want. This accurate input helps ensure that the output will match society's actual preferences/priorities.

Next up to bat...coconuts??
Also in August 2011, the CEO of Milestone Capital, Ved Prakash Arya, was crushed and killed when a coconut palm tree fell on him in Mumbai. Following the incident, the local municipal authority resisted proposals to cut down the trees, noting, "We don't allow chopping down of coconut trees. The possibility of coconut trees falling down is very rare. The tree sustains huge wind velocity and suits the weather condition of city." - Wikipedia, Deaths by Coconut
Is hi-5'ing riskier than sitting under a coconut tree? Did you know that there are some coconut trees in the southernmost part of Texas? Lately I've been thinking more and more about starting a botanical garden down there. It would have tons of coconut palms and orchids. The goal would be to move both of them further and further north.

Is this a valuable use of society's limited resources? Is there a demand for a botanical garden in Southern Texas that's got an abundance of coconut palms and orchids growing everywhere? Would it be worth the risk of some people potentially being bonked on the head by coconuts?
An individual human life has no equivalent. But that is not to say that nothing can be ranked with, let alone outrank, a human life. The French government knows that each year several drivers lose their lives because of the beautiful roadside avenues of trees, yet they do not cut them down. Even aesthetic pleasure is (rightly) allowed to outrank a certain number of human lives. - James Griffin
How many more drivers would lose their lives if those beautiful roadside trees looked like this...or this? Perhaps it will be a moot point though when cars drive themselves.

So which would create more joy? A hi-5 competition or a botanical garden in Southern Texas? I don't know...but I think I know why orchids are so successful.

Each of their seeds represents a unique idea...and they throw a lot of different ideas out there. Each seed pod can contain a million seeds. If you throw enough ideas out there...then you greatly increase your chances of success!

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