Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 23rd Jan 2013 11:37 UTC
Legal Back in 2010, Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, and a few others settled with the US Department of Justice regarding their anti-poaching agreements concerning employees. While the CEOs did a good job of escaping possible prosecution, the affected employees filed a class action lawsuit about this, and judge Lucy Koh has just unsealed a number of emails concerning this case. They paint a pretty grim picture of Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt engaging in mafia practices, threatening smaller companies with patent litigation if they didn't agree to the no-poaching agreements, or demanding to handle matters verbally as to not leave a paper trail.
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kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

Drawing equivalences between evolutionary processes and human economics is also not a good idea. Especially when using language like "evolve against nature..."


Like it or not, the equivalence is there.

Language like "evolve against nature" is just a convenient shorthand for processes that would take longer to describe in non-anthropomorphic terms and should not be any problem in a discussion without a creationist or eugenicist.

Reply Parent Score: 2

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

But that is what I am trying to let you know: the equivalence is not there. You're simply propagating a set of misconceptions about what natural evolution is and how it works. A principal misconception being the assumption that evolution is about the "survival" of the individual organism. BTW, that is how we ended with the concepts like Social Darwinism, which are directly attributable to economists misunderstanding of evolution (the concept of "fitness" in particular), interestingly enough.


For example, given how most of life in the biosphere is (and has been) in the form of microorganisms, single celled in particular, and with the very large multicellular organisms being far rarer in number than the very small (e.g. there are very few blue whales but a shit load of amoebas). And how the smaller organisms have always being able to weather mass extinctions better than their larger brethren. I could turn part of your argument upside down and make a case about how small companies are a natural consequence of evolution, since obviously evolution seems to "favor" the small companies over the very large corporate giants.


It would be flawed of me to make that case. Just as it is flawed for anybody else to misrepresent evolution in order to comply with a narrative from an unrelated field.

Reply Parent Score: 2

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

A principal misconception being the assumption that evolution is about the "survival" of the individual organism.


Except none of that is present in any of my comments.

BTW, that is how we ended with the concepts like Social Darwinism, which are directly attributable to economists misunderstanding of evolution (the concept of "fitness" in particular), interestingly enough.


No, the concept that the weak should die was around longer than Darwinism. Namely feudalism, the divine right of kings, the aristocracy and the church deserving to be where they were because they were "better".

None of Nazi Germany's or the US's eugenics programs were based even on a misunderstanding of Darwinism, but on Mendelian genetics and the decidedly religious fixation on purity and perfection, and possibly Lamarckism. Darwin's works were banned in Germany, USSR and were/are not well received in the US either.

For example, given how most of life in the biosphere is (and has been) in the form of microorganisms, single celled in particular, and with the very large multicellular organisms being far rarer in number than the very small (e.g. there are very few blue whales but a shit load of amoebas). And how the smaller organisms have always being able to weather mass extinctions better than their larger brethren. I could turn part of your argument upside down and make a case about how small companies are a natural consequence of evolution, since obviously evolution seems to "favor" the small companies over the very large corporate giants.


First, I didn't say growing big is the only solution. I'm saying it is historically prevalent. You can't deny the fact.

Second, I didn't say growing in size is the only way to grow big.

Third, I didn't say growing big is the best solution. I'm saying it obviously works, from an evolutionary point of view. When I say "from an evolutionary point of view", that OBVIOUSLY implies the fact that evolution is short sighted. It works in the short term, even though as you say they don't weather mass extinctions that well.

Fourth, I'm not saying we SHOULD organize our economies in a Darwinian way. I'm saying it is INESCAPABLE that a large free system with independent players ultimately behave in a Darwinian way and become non-free.

Fifth, you can't say that I'm spreading a misconception that evolution works on individual survival, when your own example would spread the misconception that evolution works on group survival.

Sixth, you can talk about Evolutionarily Stable Strategies outside of the context of biology. The keyphrase there is "Stable Strategies". Strategies are not bound by biology. Stable Strategies certainly isn't. Strategies that are Stable by being able to weather change are thus Evolutionarily Stable and need not imply anything about organisms or memes. The only thing that matters is whether a strategy weathers most kinds of change - if it does, it's an Evolutionarily Stable Strategy.

The main point is, to the original comment I replied to, that the free market won't solve anything because it is subject to Darwinian progression leading to the non-free market state we see now.

It would be flawed of me to make that case. Just as it is flawed for anybody else to misrepresent evolution in order to comply with a narrative from an unrelated field.


No, you're reading things into my comments that aren't there.

Reply Parent Score: 2