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Tit-for-tat is one of the worst habits of conversation/debate in the book. In any system where we can possibly eliminate tit-for-tat, we do: imagine, say, that if your computer transmitted erroneous traffic, the server might send an error as payback.

In writing, relationships, systems, we permit hierarchy and linearity as expedients, even though they are often unnatural. They endure, however, as they delight those who genuinely appreciate them, because freedom and choice make them uncomfortable.

If one held stock in our values, the market would go in both directions at once: incremental improvements marked by crashes; sudden spurts of idealism, slowly ground down by cynicism and compromise. Unlike in the market, one should buy as high as possible and never sell.

I just discussed with a friend the merits of a multi-national discussion group in which we both participate: 1. It’s hard to gauge what is trendy, universally, making cheap signalling much harder. 2. To aid linguistic clarity, people avoided jargon, which aided overall clarity.