Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Communist Easter Egg Hunt

Sharing is Good.

Probably most people would agree with that. Then there was the case of the class in Hawaii, where all the students handed in an identical assignment. The teacher, a newcomer to the islands, was rather upset, but the students didn't see anything wrong. They were from a background that valued cooperation above competition. Cooperation and competition. Order and chaos. As with fractals, there can be amusing interactions. Such as when competitors cooperate by fixing prices. Or when cartels are doublecrossed by members who undercut. Or work teams where 2% of the people do the work, for the same pay the other 98 gets. Which brings me to the communist easter egg hunt. I heard of a family where the children would find the eggs and bring them to a central table. The eggs would then be divided out evenly among everybody. All very civilized. But somehow the anarchic egg hunts seem more amusing. Kids screaming "mine!" and pointing fiercely to an egg sitting on a lamp shade or wherever. Pushing past each other in a mad stampede to get an egg into their hot little hands. The innocence of youth. My late aunt had a policy. Santa Claus was allowed but only for kids up to age 12, however she wasn't having the easter bunny under any circumstances. You have to draw the line somewhere.

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