There is a good reason why what we now call countries, farming, government and civilization all date from a similar period in time - they all exist in relation to each other.
Local, small-scale economics of such matters is fairly simple, but of course it has never truly existed on such a scale, from probably even before that time.
Allocation is what happens when regulation fails. (The two are NOT the same - and so most of your post exists in the wrong context!)
People competing against each other economically has always existed - but what has happened, is instead of government managing such competition and using it for the nations benefit, they have instead been co-opted by the most powerful individuals and corporations, at which point the government will fail to do its most basic job.
Corporations are an artificial creation, created at the behest of governments, to enable and allow for greater economic behaviour. Without regulation, however, such entities become very problematic. Likewise banks, etc..
Unfortunately, what is happening in the US, (especially), is that a lot of people are being conned into thinking that such regulation is NOT what government should do at all - which is one of the main reasons the economy is in the state it's in - which is why so many individual people and corporations are able to take and hold so much money away from the rest of society, instead of using for everyone's benefit.
Unfortunately very few people truly understand economics anymore, and corporations are a large reason for that - for they can exploit such a lack of understanding, (especially the banks).
The symptoms of this problem can be seen and found EVERYWHERE. It's a large part of the problem with regulating the internet etc., aswell as the root cause of the financial problems we've been having.
Another large symptom, especially in the USA, is that a lot of people - (mainly those who just voted for Republicans) - do not understand that the primary role of government is economic regulation - (of the productive use of land and all that is based upon it). All of the other powers and roles of government only matter because of this.
Considering how many people struggle to understand the difference and relationship between semantics and syntactics, and their application in language as content and grammar, it shouldn't be surprising at all...
Having said all that, our basic recognition, understanding teaching and description of language is flawed anyway...
You need to recognise that EVERY SINGLE LANGUAGE is fundamentally based upon and around a collection of basic concepts - I gave you the most basic four in my first reply - because without that, there's nothing to distinguish language from communication in general.
The only question is WHAT concepts you wish to use to base the identity and functionality of a language upon and around.
In English, there is no systematic link between the type of concept and information being represented, and the actual representation itself - the link is almost completely arbitrary. (Let alone that the relationship between the spoken and written forms of the language isn't entirely consistent, either.)
The basic premise of the original reply was to figure out how to create a language where the representation is as much a part of the rules as the information being represented.
In my language each syllable contains 2 pieces of information, not one, and suffixes also makes things easier, too. Each basic concept can therefore have 12 subsets when necessary (and for most types of thing, that will be) - and if not, then the default is a combination of morality and tense.
But yes, as I said, the side-effect of this type of language is that the more complicated and specific the information, the more complex the representation is in relation.
So for a bird, we can start with one concept/consonant for animals. (J is the basic consonant for living things in my language (split into animals/plants/? (maybe fungi?) - was in the middle of working on this with my friend for her story, but haven't heard form her in ages - kinda left it incomplete atm. - only got most of the basic concepts/consonants figured out/basic grammar so far etc..))
The question is how we then split up the definitions between the 11/12 associated vowels - (the most neutral is usually kept for the basic concept itself). Since birds would be recognised as such a basic type of animal, however, it would certainly only require a single vowel in combination (as a single syllable) - let's say, Ji (or Jih). Of course, you could go for a more specific label, based on that it flies, (Jah(wahsi) (animal, thing that happens, high), or has wings (Jah(jihwahsit)).
At the end of the day, the whole reason for language to exist - its purpose - is to enable and allow for more consistent communication. (The ability to communicate more abstract and complex pieces of information is a useful side-effect of this.)
Language functions by using relationships and similarities between different pieces of information to affect the use of their representations, to allow such information to be more easily deciphered.
That such representations can also demonstrate such relationships is merely an effect of communication itself (and ultimately semiotics (semantics) via communication) - and is not part of what defines a language for what it is - merely how it is applied, (which language), though it is very useful, and most languages use it to a certain degree, even if it's not part of their basic rules. What you're looking for is a language for which that IS true, yes?
The foundation of language is the consistent perception and recognition of - and distinction between - four basic concepts, by humanity in general:
Things, properties of things, things that happen, and properties of things that happen.
(Any language that doesn't have such distinctions as its root functionality will not function very well - and anytime you come across a definition for a word that doesn't respect and obey such distinctions, then you know it's wrong and inconsistent, too. You would have thought that recognising and understanding such things would be such a fundamental part of our understanding and study of language that such mistakes wouldn't be made that often, but...)
The functionality of language is to relate specific manners of use with specific concepts - (though not all languages use/possess the same concepts nor treat the same concepts in a similar manner - (hence the difference between SVO/SOV etc..)) (Chomsky's inherent rules of grammar (combinations of the two!) are therefore demonstrably ****.)
The foundation of any language is therefore to fully recognise and understand what particular concepts it wishes to group it's individual combinations into, and how they are linked with a manner of use. (The concepts often fit into a single taxonomic hierarchy, that is then required to understand the full and consistent relationship between the two.)
The problem with most 'natural' languages, is that we do NOT fully recognise and understand what all the concepts are that the language happens to use (including English, which contains/uses 42-55 basic concepts, for example).
Unfortunately, such a lack of understanding then affects the creation and functionality of 'synthetic' languages too.
The scale of functionality of language generally relates to being basic/simple->complex, both in information and representation, though the individual combinations of both are ALWAYS basic/simple (1 piece of information + 1 representation).
The language you are looking for has to function in a particular manner, in order to be consistent with actually being a language, and not merely a collection of individual (semantic) combinations (of representation and information) that are merely used for what they are in isolation.
I happen to have created a language that functions in such a manner for a friend, who required a language for a story she was/is? writing, though it still follows the basic SVO of English in its overall grammatical rules.
(She called the race/group she wanted the language for, the Rah'nuhkii, which then turned out to make perfect sense once I'd created the language around the types of sounds she wanted (think Klingon type sounds - can be very growly/gutteral). (It means 'I will be resurrected' (with I meant to be both individual and collective (as a race/group), even though it's normally singular.))
In this language I created, each syllable, (which is a combination of 1 consonant and 1 vowel), represents specific information that can then be combined to form a specific single piece of information as a single word - (basic information/complex representation).
Each consonant represents a particular concept, and the associated vowel adds additional context (usually morality and tense, but depends on the associated concept), and though there are 18 basic consonants and 12 vowels, each basic consonant has three different ways of being spoken/spelt/applied, to represent three different (related) concepts, making 54 in total. (It therefore has an inherent base-12 numerical system.)
So, yes, similar pieces of information will share such similarities in representation as part of the rules of the language - which one one hand makes it easier to figure out for both it's use and its perception (to decipher), but on the other makes it harder to represent more complex pieces of information. Since it's a fairly (information) dense language, however, (though deliberately not as extreme as some), I wouldn't expect it to be spoken particularly quickly.
The trick to making a language like this work (well, any language, really), is to get the basic concepts right, in a manner that is suitable for its functionality. For this reason, I chose to split up the different types of things at the basic (consonant)level, (living/ex-living (dead)/animate/inanimate/places/information/time/space etc.), instead of merely having one consonant for things, in general, that we would then have to add more to, to make it so specific.
IMO, the most powerful aspect of this language, however, is the ability to add, and use, any such basic consonants (concepts) as a suffix to any individual word - for example: to take a particular piece of information and make it a property (absolute, relative or comparative/similar) - add a t/t/t at the end.
The overall concepts themselves are split into four groups:
Things, properties, things that happen and a mixture of what we call determiners and conjunctions -(especially since numbers and logic are grouped together).
For this reason, this language uses a combination of manners of use AND representations to help communicate such similarities and relationships between different individual pieces of information, consistently - which is what you seem to be after...?
There is actually a very specific problem at the root of this issue, but it's not being fully recognised and understood:
We have a number of different activities that are currently being labelled and considered as being the same, especially when using computers.
Unfortunately, the differences between such activities are so fundamental, that not recognising and understanding them - (or being able to do so) - IS causing problems. And since those whose responsibility it is to inform and teach people about such differences don't even know any better, either, it should be no surprise that the problems, and symptoms, are getting worse.
All this professor is doing is recognising the possibility of some symptoms of this very problem, but without relating it to such a problem in the first place it has no true context in which to exist, (and therefore be studied).
So, the problem is with what we use the word game to represent, and how and why it differs, but is related, to what we can (and should) use other words to represent, such as art, puzzle, competition, work and play.
So how can the differences between them so fundamental?
Because we're talking about differences such as:
Things a person DOES, and things that happen TO that (same) person.
We're talking about differences between things that can and should never be able to be considered and recognised as being the SAME THING.
That people (of any age) can be taken advantage of when getting confused between such different things should be no surprise to anyone.
The main questions, however, that truly need to be asked, are how we managed to get into such a situation in the first place, and what we can do about it...
Which is what I'm working on - (Part 1: On the Functionality And Identity Of Language).
If our understanding, perception and even recognition(!) of language was fully consistent in the first place, then a lot (but not all) of the 'problems' we have with it wouldn't really exist - (because we'd understand why they're not truly 'problems' in the first place) - and vice-versa, some of the actual problems we have are not even being recognised, either, for the same reasons.
We don't count from 1 to 10 - (we start with nothing/0).
Anyone who is taught or thinks in such a manner is already starting off on the wrong foot... Basic addition and subtraction becomes fairly easy once the numerical system is understood, with multiplication and division becoming easier with that foundation.
No - vertical integration and expansion is not, inherently, monopolistic. This is the method of expansion usually favoured by Japanese and other far-eastern companies and conglomerates. For many companies and industries, it makes perfect sense.
In the west, however, we've generally, (though not always), favoured horizontal expansion - buying out direct competitors - and it's THIS that leads to monopolies, and causes problems.
Maybe I should try and explain a bit - (though I'd still recommend you read my blog to fully understand).
As I said in my previous post, simulators can be perceived as games. But it does depend on whether or not an individual person sees all of the elements the word game represents in such an activity.
(Games are about people competing in a structured - (created rules) - environment by doing something for themselves).
The main element which causes problems for some people with simulators, is competition. The main reason for this, is because in order for such software to be viewed as being competitive as a whole, it must involve indirect competition.
All single-player games (and even (created?) puzzles), involve indirect competition.
Unfortunately, however, many people fail to recognise and understand the presence and role of indirect competition, (since it's so prevalent throughout our entire lives and existence, most people have long since learned to ignore it), and as such have trouble recognising many activities as being competitive - (some people even go as far as saying that games are not competitive, when they obviously are, once you understand what competition represents):
The basic use of competition, is as an application of compete:
Compete n. To try and gain an outcome/goal at the expense of, or in spite of, someone or something else.
It's the ability to compete in spite of something else - in this case, the setting and rules governing the behaviour of whatever the player is controlling - that allows indirect competition to fully exist.
Of course, in addition to that, simulators tend to be very open-ended and free to the 'players', which again, many people have trouble dealing with in the context of the word game.
But that's FINE, so long as everyone understands what it is the word game itself represents, (which such activities can then be compared to, but, unfortunately, that isn't the case at this time) - a subjective application of a (hopefully) objective definition, which is exactly how the language is supposed to work!
The problem with art, is similar to many other similar words - such as game, puzzle, competition, and even work and play (as nouns) - in that people constantly, (and consistently), get confused between what a word represents - its DEFINITION - and how such a thing is applied - its APPLICATION.
This is the problem here - since we're talking about trying to judge a definition by how it is applied, which, by its very nature is PURELY subjective!
It is therefore up to an individual to apply such a definition by themselves, and not be dictated to by anyone else. I'm sure that if society didn't agree with any individuals opinion then they'd have ways and means of making it known without having to involve the law, which can't AFFORD to be so subjective!
The ONLY objective standard is a pure copy of any work of art - and so that is all the law itself can defend - (but even then, it may not be in societies interests to do so) - anything else and society as a whole is then being dictated to by someone else's standards - at which point, society will ignore it and just work round it anyway, as it always does - which is what's happening.
More people getting confused between games and general competitive behaviour... But then, whoever decided to call game theory such a thing - when it's purely about competitive behaviour/co-operative behaviour in a competitive environment, is definitely to blame for all this.
Unfortunately for Jane - easy and hard is purely subjective, and therefore has no bearing on the matter at all.
Why someone has decided to re-post this post I made a while ago here, (probably from a reply to a topic on gamasutra.com), I really haven't a clue, since it's not really relevant to the matter at hand... Pointless - my apologies for whoever thought it was a good idea...
This is, I think, slightly, (very?), related to something I'm working on at the minute.
I'm currently working on a study of games as a matter of linguistics, (in relation to the English language), and the amount of confusion that exists around the subject is extremely high, all due to one problem:
The subjective manner in how we USE the language, affects our perception, recognition and understanding of what other words within the language represent.
Since we're taught to use the English language in a very subjective manner, (and the language itself reinforces such subjectivity), how much does this affect our perception and understanding of the world around us, without our awareness of what is happening?