RE: An anthropological exploration of why decentralization expedites progress.

Robert S. Thau (
Mon, 16 Aug 1999 17:21:50 -0400 (EDT)

Joseph S. Barrera, III writes:
> His historical examples support his thesis. But
> it's hard for me to accept that the German beer
> industry "suffers" in comparison to the American
> beer industry. Diamond uses "efficiency" as the
> measure of success, but one could make a argument
> for longevity (or low rate of business failure)
> being a better measure of success. And there are
> plenty of very-long-lived German breweries that
> have survived for centuries, even in the face of
> competition from the "more efficient" American
> beers.

Or, you could just argue that the German system is more successful
than the American from the customer's point of view, since it provides
them with a much better product, which is just as widely available
within its country. (Diamond freely admits his own preference for the
German stuff).

There are non-quantitative measures of success...