The Buxton Index; a measure of long term planning interest

The Buxton Index is an idea which measures the length of the period, measured in years, over which the entity makes its plans.

The late late pioneering computer scientist Edsger W Dijkstra discusses it in an essay, here:

The Buxton Index of an entity, i.e. person or organization, is defined as the length of the period, measured in years, over which the entity makes its plans. For the little grocery shop around the corner it is about 1/2 years,for the true Christian it is infinity, and for most other entities it is in between: about 4 years for the average politician who aims at his re-election, slightly more for most industries, but much less for the managers who have to write quarterly reports.

The Buxton Index is an important concept because close co-operation between entities with very different Buxton Indices invariably fails and leads to moral complaints about the partner. The party with the smaller Buxton Index is accused of being superficial and short-sighted, while the party with the larger Buxton Index is accused of neglect of duty, of backing out of its responsibility, of freewheeling, etc.. In addition, each party accuses the other one of being stupid.

The great advantage of the Buxton Index is that, as a simple numerical notion, it is morally neutral and lifts the difference above the plane of moral concerns. The Buxton Index is important to bear in mind when considering academic/industrial co-operation.

What is the average Buxton Index of the average aid organisation?  3 to 5?  How does this relate to the planning time frame of various state and non-state partners?  Should it be more?  Do they line up?  Does this explain anything?

PS – Thanks to Futurismic for the tip.

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