The value of planning is inversely proportional to the cost of experimenting

Both planning and experimenting are uncertainty-reducing activities. This means that in the face of uncertainty

  1. Lower the cost of experimentation
  2. Plan more and better

In a way, plans are simulated experiments. The best experiments get rid of uncertainty and risk, while plans try to reduce uncertainty, but cannot get rid of risk. Uncertainty always involves risk but risk does not always involve uncertainty. Therefore, it’s always better to do experiments when you can. However, experiments can cost time and resources, so the more expensive the experiments, the more important planning becomes.

This would suggest that planning is more important for physical experiments because Physical experiments are expensive. (§Atomland, Bitland, and Peopleland)

Another corollary is that definiteness in the Thielian sense loses value in cheap-to-experiment environments. Definiteness means that you have a long-term plan. This corollary would imply that the lamented cultural loss of definiteness wasn’t the result of some moral decay. Instead it was correct move in a world where experiments were cheap (ie. High profit software.)


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