The Principle of Noncompromise

The longer an internal conflict persists among an agent’s subordinates, the weaker becomes that agent’s status among its own competitors. If such internal problems aren’t settled soon, other agents will take control and the agents formerly involved will be “dismissed.”

Whenever several agents have to compete for the same resources, they are likely to get into conflicts.

Those agents' superiors, too, may be under competitive pressure and likely to grow weak themselves whenever their subordinates are slow in achieving their goals, no matter whether because of conflicts between them or because of individual incompetence.

However, an agency that has “lost control” can continue to work inside itself – and thus become prepared to seize a later opportunity.

Must every “mind” contain some topmost center of control? Not necessarily. We sometimes settle conflicts by appealing to superiors, but other conflicts never end and never cease to trouble us.

Good human supervisors plan ahead to avoid conflicts in the first place, and – when they can’t – they try to settle quarrels locally before appealing to superiors. But tiny mental/computational agents simply cannot know enough to be able to negotiate with one another or to find effective ways to adjust to each other’s interference. Only larger agencies could be resourceful enough to do such things, to become versatile enough to negotiate by offering support for its subordinates' goals.

“Please, Wrecker, wait a moment more till Builder adds just one more block: it’s worth it for a louder crash!”

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