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   RE: Academia needed the Web (Re: Success factors for the Web andSemantic

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  • From: Joshua Allen <joshuaa@microsoft.com>
  • To: 'Bob Kline' <bkline@rksystems.com>
  • Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2000 15:18:40 -0800

> Is arbitrage (which basically means buying something in one market and
> selling it in another at a higher price) really the word you want here?

Yeah, I know dictionary.com uses the narrow definition, but "buy low, sell
high" is just one example of arbitrage.  "Arbitrage" is widely used in
finance, public policy, etc. to mean "exploiting imperfections or
inefficiencies in the system for personal benefit."  Since it is assumed
that all people work in their own best interests, "arbitrage" is not
considered fraudulent or dishonest.  People will always find ways to obey
the letter of the law but not its spirit, and in fact this trend in finance
is looked upon favorably, because arbitreurs ultimately expose
inefficiencies and thus lead the system to become more efficient.  So I used
"arbitrage" simply because it acknowledges the "human nature" aspect of
people looking for loopholes -- in general arbitreurs are not criminal or
even scorned.  Of course markets/systems abhor arbitrage, and we try to
design preventing arbitrage, but people are crafty.

> PS: Could you set your email user agent to omit the winmail.dat
> attachment for postings to the mailing list?  Thanks!

Sorry -- the previous mail was sent from Netscape on a Unix box through
outlook web access, and this one is being sent with a daily build of Outlook
10 directly from windows; I bet this one actually behaves properly!  The
joys of eating our own dogfood...


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