Re: Incentives LO1466

Michael McMaster (
Wed, 31 May 1995 15:56:36 +0000

Replying to LO1412 --

I've always objected to the analogy of the pig being committed and
the hen being involved. This suggests to me that commitment is a
matter of exhortation and I personally don't like the implications
nor find them very powerful in practice. Merely cute.

Try this interpretation. The pig isn't the slightest bit committed
to providing bacon. Generating meat and fat is a natural process of
survival. Unfortunately for the pig, some farmer is in a position to
commit that survival programme for his own uses. A clear subversion
of the pig's "commitments". The hen, is also carrying out natural
processes and its "commitment" is of the same order as the pig's.
fortunately for the hen, its own commitments allow it to survive in
peace - maybe even benefit - by the mutuallity of commitment that is

I said to myself that I wouldn't get hooked. But I couldn't resist
that one.

Michael McMaster