The Instigator
Molokoplus
Pro (for)
Losing
8 Points
The Contender
Seerss
Con (against)
Winning
34 Points

Technology R&D Needs Unification

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/6/2009 Category: Technology
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,382 times Debate No: 7267
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (7)

 

Molokoplus

Pro

In the past, it has been beneficial to have all of a country's technology resources focused onto one progressive area. Competition stops many companies from investing more time into outlandish technological developments. A unification of all technology companies and resources would be beneficial to humanity in the long run. I extend the challenge to any takers.
Seerss

Con

I hope that this is a good debate and wish my opponent luck.
First, I will start out with a definition. Don't worry, I won't give you a huge list and I won't bog the debate down in the little details.

Competition: The pillar of capitalism in that it may stimulate innovation, encourage efficiency, or drive down prices.

http://en.wikipedia.org... - Economics_and_business

Now according to this definition, to do away with competition would be to do away with the pillar of capitalism, slow innovation, discourage efficiency, and may raise prices.

But, really, the 3 points that I'm going to focus on are these (I know that this is in speech format, but after a while it becomes difficult to write any other way):
1)Competition has helped push technology forward, and continues to do so.
2)There is no current organization that has this power, and if one was formed to carry out the task that Pro is proposing, then there would be far too much power in one place.
3)Doing so would set a dangerous precedent for other industries.

Now, as I said, competition has helped push technology forward, and continues to do so. The best example would be the iPhone. Nowadays, people can hardly think of a time with touch screen devices. It has spread from the phone industry to laptops, electronic GPSs, and many other devices.
http://www.nextag.com......
http://www.epinions.com......
http://www.visualplanet.biz......

So, what would have probably happened had the iPhone not come out? I'm sure that, eventually, we would possess touch screen capabilities, but not nearly as soon. The same goes with Application stores, and many other things. And that's just one product born out of competition between technology companies, in this case Apple and other phone companies.

Cars, another piece of technology, also thrive on competition between other companies. Well, maybe "thrive" isn't the right word, but it has pushed the industry forward, and those that aren't fast enough have disappeared. Do you really think that cars would have as many safety features, low prices, and advanced technology in them if they weren't constantly striving to be better than their competitors? No, of course not, and why would they. They would have no one that they needed to beat, so they could even just stick with the same model, because they wouldn't need to have anything better. And if anyone claims that a moral conscience would make them spend more money in order to help the public, then they don't know crap about business.

Moving to my second point, there is no one organization or government that has the power to do something like unite the thousands of tech companies that exist all around the world. And that is a very, very good thing. If something came along with the power to uproot thousands of companies from their home countries, move them to one country, then force them to combine, then we all have a new master. So, even if it were, somehow, possible to do what my opponent is proposing, I would very strongly recommend that we don't do it. That is too much power.

And finally, it would set a dangerous precedent. If they (they being the almighty power that can combine some of the most independent people against their will into one company) did this for the "benefit of humanity", what would stop them from doing it again? Do we really want a single bank, one that didn't have to compete with lower interest rates? Or a single airplane company that didn't have to lower fairs and raise safety standards?

I eagerly await my opponents response.
Debate Round No. 1
Molokoplus

Pro

I thank you for taking up the challenge of this debate and wish you luck as well.

Now, I don't think you completely understand what it is that I propose. While it is true that a unification would eradicate capitalism, the positive consequences would far outweigh any petty price difference that would probably arise. Unification is necessary for us to make substantial leaps in science and engineering. The iPhone merely took existing technology and bettered it slightly in order to put something new on the market. My case is that companies cannot afford to put as much time into truly revolutionary technology research because they are bogged down with the need to make a consistent profit in order to keep running. Therefore, instead of working on holographic video chat, for instance, Apple just spent some time touching up touchscreen technology (sorry for the pun). Same goes for Application stores; they merely make use of existing technology, instead of being truly progressive.

Your argument assumes that competition is the ONLY thing in the world that can motivate human beings to accomplish great things. No, a moral conscience is not what I have in mind, but a desire to learn and achieve has driven countless scientists in the past. Pasteur, Tesla, Mendel, Franklin, Einstein, etc. Disregarding this, would not you agree that money makes an excellent motivator of most people? You should, as you clearly know a lot about business. Why not then take all extraneous assets from the former companies and use it as incentive money for breakthroughs? That is, because advertising and sales would not longer exist, use those millions as a prize. The only difference would be that all research knowledge would be publicly available to all researchers. I will mention this again later on.

Your second point is the hardest to counter. Yes, this would be an extremely large amount of power, bringing with it a certain amount of risk. But once again, I say that this move must be done for the eventual benefit of ALL HUMANITY. Perhaps a computer could run the management of all the tech companies. Perhaps a socialist democracy of all employees of the unified company could manage. Perhaps all world leaders could vote. These details do not matter; the only important thing is true progress.

Though a unification would set a precedent, such a thing is hardly important. We have outlawed monopolies again and again. When Rockefeller founded Standard Oil, this set a precedent. Yet Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890, and the Clayton Antitrust Act in 1914. The government can worry about preventing more trusts from arising.
http://encarta.msn.com...(monopoly).html

I say that such a move is necessary for humankind because we are facing a crisis. We have high disease rates, starvation, overpopulation, a polluted atmosphere, and we are running out of natural gas and oil. There are so many more ailments that afflict human kind that can be overcome with science. However, with the urge of making profit (capitalism) and not on making paradigm shifts, such science will take much longer to be developed. Watson and Crick took many years longer to derive the structure of DNA than they would have in Rosalind Franklin had been working with them the whole time. As it was, they only figured it out once they managed to sneak a look at her X-ray diffraction pictures. http://en.wikipedia.org... The Manhattan Project employed 130,000 people in order to produce the most revolutionary change in energy since fire. http://en.wikipedia.org... Humans need to work together and share information with each other in order to create the essential technology of the future.

You might respond back with concerns based on economics. But we NEED to start working now on the tools that will save our race from extinction.

I look forward to reading your rebuttal.
Seerss

Con

First, I would like to apologize for taking so long in responding. It has been a hectic last few days (Exams will do that to you. I should probably get back to those…)

I will start off by quoting my opponent.
"While it is true that a unification would eradicate capitalism, the positive consequences would far outweigh any petty price difference that would probably arise."

I am both shocked and amazed that my opponent would call the eradication of capitalism a "petty price difference". Capitalism is one of the founding principles of America. The idea that any man can rise to fame and fortune if he works hard enough, that is capitalism.

My opponent also does not seem to realize that this will not only take every major tech company and force them, against their will, to become one mega corporation, but it will stop any entrepreneurs from emerging in the field.

What will happen to America's famous "little guy"? The man that comes up with a brilliant idea, works hard for it, and makes it rich, he will no longer exist. Because, if he comes up with any breakthrough technology idea, he will immediately have to join a massive, most certainly government run, company. Which may sound good and fine, but many entrepreneurs leave are entrepreneurs and not managers because they don't want to work in a company. They want to be their own boss.

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu...

Although this isn't a totally tech related example, it is how many entrepreneurs think. This person would not have been able to leave the corporate world and start her own business had what my opponent is proposing been in effect and she was in a tech field.

Next, I will address my opponent's rebuttal to my point about an organization having too much power. He said that it has a certain amount of risk, but that it will eventually benefit all of humanity. I contest both of those statements, and the first I will address now and the second is what this entire debate is arguing.

Here is a simple, easy to imagine scenario: The upper managers of the Super Company become slightly corrupt. They do not even need to be evil or cruel or totally under someone's influence, just a little corrupt. So, they decide to raise the prices in a country that they don't like, or have been told not to like, and lower the prices somewhere else, maybe their home country. They don't have to change the price much, just a little bit, maybe $1 higher, and a dollar lower. It really doesn't seem like much, until you take into account the millions of purchases made ever day on tech products. Suddenly, one country is paying billions more every day, and one country is keeping billions. That builds up, and a country is suddenly much wealthier than the other. Its influence rises, its power rises, and everything is unstable. A minor change, just a dollar, and suddenly the balance of power is gone.

Having a computer run a massive company like that is almost as bad, as computers do not have imagination or intuition, both of which are more important than the cold logic that it posses in spades. If a person came up with a new, amazing product, the computer would do what computers do, which is judge it on logic. If it wasn't a logical decision, then the computer wouldn't make it, where a human might see promise and take the risk.

That isn't even mentioning the organization that could make the companies come together. Who has the power to make Apple and Microsoft managers work peacefully together? Or the power take a small business run is, say, Japan, uproot it against it and Japan's government's will, and force it to move to a new country, say the US, where they have new bosses, work ethics, and coworkers. Do we need an all-powerful, all mighty group of people that can do whatever they want wherever they want? What if they become corrupt? What happens then?

Once again, I will quote my opponent:

"Though a unification would set a precedent, such a thing is hardly important."

He goes on to cite Standard Oil, and how it was a precedent. I believe that this is a great example. For if we don't learn from the past, we are doomed to repeat it. I would like to point out to the judges (you the readers), that Standard Oil was started twenty years before the first anti-trust laws came out, and as soon as they did, attorneys almost instantly attacked Standard Oil, which was an oil monopoly. Why would they do this, you might ask. They did it because they recognized the danger that monopolies pose to an economy. Standard Oil had many advantages: they were all in America, they paid American taxes, and they had very efficient oil production, making it cheaper than their opponents. So, if it so obviously beneficial to an entire country, why dissolve it? I will quote (yes, I know I do this a lot) a congressman said when arguing for the act:
"trusts have made products cheaper, have reduced prices; but if the price of oil, for instance, were reduced to one cent a barrel, it would not right the wrong done to people of this country by the trusts which have destroyed legitimate competition and driven honest men from legitimate business enterprise".
-Representative William Mason

http://en.wikipedia.org......

As for the Manhattan project, I will make this brief (not because the subject isn't relevant or important, but I am tired. Sorry, lol).

At its most basic, the Manhattan Project was driven by competition. The United States believed that Germany and Japan were building and atomic bomb as well, and so that motivated them to start and finish the Manhattan Project in the amount of time that they did. So, if you look at the US and Germany as companies, they were racing to develop a product that would eliminate the competitor. The US, driven by this sense of urgency, made the bomb first, and because of it, won the war. If they hadn't, then Germany or Japan would have had it, and the US would have lost.

http://en.wikipedia.org......

Finally, I do not suggest, nor do I personally that people can only be motivated by money. But, that is what makes most businessmen as driven as they are. Scientists are allowed to be driven by curiosity and a moral conscience, but, usually, if a businessman does that before he is extremely successful, he will be eaten by the other businesses.

I eagerly await your rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 2
Molokoplus

Pro

This seems to be a frantic debate, as we each have responded with only a few hours left. Sadly, I do not have as good an excuse as you, as I have just been occupying myself with other things lately. But moving on to my final round...

>>Capitalism is one of the founding principles of America. The idea that any man can rise to fame and fortune if he works hard enough, that is capitalism.<<

I knew that I would have to face this type of challenge when I proposed this. Yes, any man can rise to fame and fortune in a capitalist system. But what good will it do when we have no oil, and our alternative energy methods are hopelessly unprepared? Or when a new disease hits, and we have no adequate means of defending ourselves from it?

>>What will happen to America's famous "little guy"? The man that comes up with a brilliant idea, works hard for it, and makes it rich, he will no longer exist.<<

Indeed, he will not exist. Instead, he will have shared the brilliant concept with the world's brightest minds, who will augment and improve it out of recognition. An electrical engineer who designs a new hearing aid for nerve-deaf people might be helped by a tissue engineer who figures out how to graft it into skin cells instead of wearing it. Such an invention is more important than individual wealth.

You are correct in your assessment of the human running of such an immensely powerful corporation. However, who is it to say that a computer cannot take a risk? Certainly one could program an instruction of (potential payoff)/(potential financial loss) > 50% or some similar formula, to allow the computer program to make business risk. If an idea has any merit, it stands the same chance of being followed up on as any idea today. I could go further into a computerized management, but I think that the idea speaks for itself. No corruption (in the human context), instantaneous decisions, incredible depth of knowledge to call upon when making choices, etc. This is probably the only way to run such a massively powerful company as what I propose.

>>Who has the power to make Apple and Microsoft managers work peacefully together? <<

The managers wouldn't be working together. The debate is titled :Technology R&D Needs Unification. Research and Development teams are the only ones who would work together. From what I have observed, research is research, and most researchers and scientists are motivated by discovery. Furthermore, I never said that every single scientist around the world would have to move to the U.S. Unification of research would only entail the universal spread of all results of any and every experiment, and cooperation in any aspect of developing a product. Perhaps having a dispersed company could even benefit progress, as different environments could have different impacts on thinking.

>>"trusts have made products cheaper, have reduced prices; but if the price of oil, for instance, were reduced to one cent a barrel, it would not right the wrong done to people of this country by the trusts which have destroyed legitimate competition and driven honest men from legitimate business enterprise".
-Representative William Mason<<

lol you do quote a lot. But once again, you criticize my resolution based on ECONOMIC concerns. In a nod to your style, I shall quote myself from last round.

"You might respond back with concerns based on economics. But we NEED to start working now on the tools that will save our race from extinction."

I knew that your response would make use of the obvious difficulties and dangers inherent to creating a unified company. Once again, I say that this is not important. This debate is not a "Technology R&D Unification is feasible right now" or "We Must create the most powerful monopoly ever to destroy price reliability". It is that mankind must work together to create advanced technology through the spread of all knowledge and technical ability. This is an argument of maiming one person to save the lives of a hundred thousand. Yes, there will be a shift in our way of business. This shift will lead to the most revolutionary technological advancements in the history of mankind.

>>At its most basic, the Manhattan Project was driven by competition...<<

I knew this would come up. Yes, America started the project because we heard rumors of Hitler working on the Bomb as well. But the point of my using this flawed example was to show that, using a massive amalgamate of resources, we created a radical shift in power production. If Germany and Japan were enemies considered to be competitors, could not extinction be considered the ultimate enemy, and therefore, the ultimate competitor? Should not we focus our efforts on prolonging human life instead of being forced to constantly find new ways to extinguish it? Besides, would you not agree that, had U.S., Germany, and Japanese scientists been working together from the start, atomic power would have been produced much sooner? And with a much more peaceful purpose in mind?

>>usually, if a businessman does that before he is extremely successful, he will be eaten by the other businesses.<<

That is why a unified technology company is necessary: to rid the world of that type of thinking and expectation. Within the unified company, business will be eliminated, so that the only motivator should be curiosity and a moral conscience.

Humanity is nearing the limit of its expansion. We need to develop new methods of doing everything: transportation, heat, refrigeration, housing, medicine, spaceflight, etc. This list can continue forever. What cannot continue, however, is the secretive nature of research that is forced upon us by the constraints of a capitalist system. My opponent has not disproved, let alone mention, the fact that more people working on a problem yield better results, faster. Obviously, if everyone has access to the same knowledge, the odds greatly improve that at least one person will have an idea to improve it. Furthermore, with competition eliminated, the unified company could devote much more time and money into less conventional methods than competitive companies could. While this seems counter intuitive, consider that a company who does not fear losing money can spend much more time in a far-fetched line of scientific inquiry than could a small, competitive company.

I have shown the benefit of having a unified technology R&D. I have also defeated my worthy opponent's attacks on its creation. For his final round, my opponent must show that the sharing of ideas and knowledge would not benefit humankind. Obviously, this is not so. Therefore, I urge you, the reader, to vote PRO and move humanity in a positive direction.
Seerss

Con

First, I would like to thank my opponent for a very good debate, and I'm sorry that this is, once again, very close to the deadline. My only excuse is that I consider myself to be a qualified, professional procrastinator.

I'll start off by addressing my opponent's rebuttals. In response to me stating that capitalism is one of our founding principals, and that this would destroy it, he said that uniting the research will help us in the long run, and we will be saved by it.

But, if we look back historically, individuals, not organizations, have made almost all major breakthroughs. And of those that haven't been made by individuals, it is usually a very small group. Electricity, the light bulb, flight, the automobile, DNA, modern biology, the list goes on and on. Even my opponent's example, the atomic bomb, was based off research and experiments from a single person. And, as I said earlier, the making of the actual bomb was driven by competition, a pillar of capitalism.

My opponent goes on to say that America's famous "little guys" disappearing isn't a bad thing. But, like my source stated, entrepreneurs aren't usually entrepreneurs because they couldn't get funding from a big company, they are what they are because they want to be their own boss. Many of them once worked in companies, and, once they decided they had gotten enough experience, left. My opponent would do away with this option of leaving, and force them, against their will, to work in a large corporation. Even more than the loss of capitalism, this betrays America's ideals, which say that any man is able to do what they want in the pursuit of happiness. A person could be miserable and hate their boss, but, unless they want to get out of the field that they studied in, they are stuck there.
He goes on to say that forwarding technology is more important than individual wealth, and while this is good and noble in theory, but I'd like to see you tell that to the engineers while they try to pay their mortgage or send their kids to college. It is hard to advance technology when your designers are starving or being foreclosed on.

In response to his theory about computers, have you ever seen Terminator? Just joking, but as I said earlier, computers have neither gut instinct nor empathy, and both of those are more important than odds or statistics.
In response to him saying that the managers wouldn't work together, just the researchers, all I have to say is that then the managers would no longer have jobs. Because their would only be one company in each industry. If all of your designs and new research is being shared with the competition, then it is very hard to stay in business.

My opponent then states that we need to not focus on economics, and instead survival, I say that they are the same. You cannot survive without an economy. It has been tried before, in a time called the Dark Ages. The same goes for his comment about getting rid of business in this mega-company.

It should also be noted that my opponent did not mention the power that would unite these tech companies in the last round. Why, because it is impossible to be pro for that kind of unlimited power. It would be far too dangerous.

Please vote con.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by animea 8 years ago
animea
NYCD, while I agree Con wins. You are judging this round wrong. Con should NEVER "win without saying a word" because then you entering your own opinion into the debate round instead of what is actually being argued. This is the same as a Christian voting pro God even if the pro made terrible arguments.
Posted by NYCDiesel 8 years ago
NYCDiesel
Nikola Tesla was successful in large part due to his competition with Thomas Edison.

Intel and AMD have made vast leaps in technology due to their constant competition. Same goes for Apple and Microsoft, Sony vs. Nintendo vs. Microsoft, Ford vs. GM vs. Chrysler, etc.

Even pharmaceutical companies make great strides in research and development due to competition: Beckton Dickinson vs. Bard vs. Pfizer, etc. Medimmune had to compete for the contract to develop the avian flu vaccine, but this just means they have the most government funding. Competition for those funds has led to other companies joining in the race for developing a vaccine, and that race has engendered other vaccines... as other races for vaccines have in the past. Medication for AIDS, for instance, was discovered while developing a vaccine for a different virus.

Competition drove Sony to develop Blu-Ray, and competition drove the prices of the players down. Competition drove the development of LCD HDTV's vs Plasma HDTV's vs DLP, and the development of Laser HDTV's. HDTV itself was a development engendered through competition.

How advanced is the technology of Russia, where for years R&D was a government function in the entire USSR?

Pro's notion makes no sense. Con wins without saying a word...
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
Pro argues the evils of monopoly and then proposes the wisdom of monopoly. Con pointed out the contradiction, which is fatal to Pro's case.
Posted by Seerss 8 years ago
Seerss
lol I think that I forgot to put in one of my arguments in the last round. I had about 2 minutes and 30 seconds until I forfeited. Oh well, great debate! :D
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by KRFournier 8 years ago
KRFournier
MolokoplusSeerssTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:13 
Vote Placed by philosphical 8 years ago
philosphical
MolokoplusSeerssTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
MolokoplusSeerssTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Vote Placed by s0m31john 8 years ago
s0m31john
MolokoplusSeerssTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by NYCDiesel 8 years ago
NYCDiesel
MolokoplusSeerssTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
MolokoplusSeerssTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by Seerss 8 years ago
Seerss
MolokoplusSeerssTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07