Monday, March 31, 2008

From Marc Andreessen's blog post "Oh. Wow".

Future blogger Alexei Barrionuevo writing in the New York Times:

When military forces loyal to Gen. Augusto Pinochet staged a coup [in Santiago, Chile] in September 1973, they made a surprising discovery. Salvador Allende’s Socialist government had quietly embarked on a novel experiment to manage Chile’s economy using a clunky mainframe computer and a network of telex machines. [Who you callin' clunky?]

Chile's socialist government was trying to implement a planned economy using computers. The project called Cybersyn. Let's say, it would have been like one called
supply chain management system nowadays. According to a standard economics textbook, this kind of trials are destined to fail. And in this case, it actually failed as the textbook says.

You do have to give them credit for one thing -- it would have been a better plan than the standard "make s*** up" strategy pursued by so many other politicians.

This dude deserves to go in the history books alongside Doug Engelbart and Ted Nelson, that's for sure.

And tell me you've never wanted to sit in a chair like that...

The above are the remarks by Andreessen. I am not sure if he was really impressed or just sarcastic. It's sometimes hard for me to tell whether Americans are serious or just joking. I could give the computer-based planned economy guys credit for their challenge spirit. Other than that, it was basically a lame project.

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