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Literally, regulation by pain and pleasure, more generally, by rewards and punishments for the products rather than the behavior leading to it. E.g., people may be trained to perform a task by explaining to them the role their task plays within the larger system (see metasystem) of which they are a part, but they may also be trained algedonically by a series of rewards and punishments that offer no such explanations. The algedonic regulator must have an image of the expected system of behavior but it restricts fluctuations not in the behavior of its parts but in their OUTPUTs. In business and industry, algedonic regulation tends to lead to alienation from work. Elaborate grading schemes in universities tend to divert attention from the acquisition of useful knowledge and skills to achieving high grade averages which may have little to do with academic or practical competences. A technical example is the use of three different computers to improve the reliability of computing risky military security decisions. If one computer yields a different result the other two are considered correct but if all three differ it may take months to find out why. (Krippendorff)
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