America - The Official Thread

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I'm not sure any of that argues against what I wrote. It sounds like the behavior of a big corporation to me.
Oof. If that’s how “business works” then the government needs to absolutely clamp down and regulate what these guys eat for breakfast. You’re not making a very good argument for this “market” that so many people speak of. The competition I hear about seems to be about who can thieve the thieviest.
 
Oof. If that’s how “business works” then the government needs to absolutely clamp down and regulate what these guys eat for breakfast. You’re not making a very good argument for this “market” that so many people speak of. The competition I hear about seems to be about who can thieve the thieviest.

I'm not trying to make an argument for "the market" or whatever. I'm also not sure that the government knows how to get better results - maybe in some specific areas that could be the case, but heavy-handed general management of corporate activity by government doesn't have a great track record. I'm just observing the facts.

The facts seem to be that companies struggle to get started due to lack of resources and efficiency. They hit a sweet spot of productivity and innovation in the middle where they have resources and efficiencies, and then they grow to the point where they struggle to manage themselves, struggle to incentives or focus, and ultimately end up just using their resources to persist, usually by buying out smaller companies.

The buyout process is not always bad. It works well as an incentive for startup investment. It also works well when an innovation at a smaller firm is funded by a larger firm with the resources to mass-market, mass-produce, and distribute. But the buyout process is also problematic when a large business squashes the innovation in favor of its existing worse solution (this is anti-trust law), and when the business is just too incompetent to make good use of the buyout. It's also difficult to look from the outside at a buyout that didn't pan out and figure out if one of those things happened, or if the buyout just didn't turn out to be a great idea because there was some difficulty in making it work. That also happens.

I'm not offering answers. I'm just making observations. There seems to be a corporation size at which the corporation starts to struggle with management of personnel. I don't think our species has worked this one out fully. The same is true of government. Although, if I'm being totally fair, the problem is a little different with government. Because maintaining focus on the mission isn't a problem with government, but incentives to produce can be. Government also sometimes borrows ideas from the private sector, like the billable hour concept, and it can work but that has its pitfalls as well.
 
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Republicans: "It's about election integrity."

Also Republicans:

Screenshot-20240514-090720-Samsung-Internet.jpg

 
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What I'm saying is not that it's "hard" but they should do their jobs, I'm saying we (humanity) don't know how to do it. It represents the edge of the science of project management.
I don't think it does. I think we know how to solve almost all of the "big company problems", probably all of them. But the solution ultimately boils down to time and money. We know how to make quality products. We know how to treat employees fairly. We know how to communicate at large scale. But none of this comes for free.

What humanity doesn't know how to do is to solve those problems while remaining profit optimal. That's something that is in many cases impossible, because it would require using resources to benefit your customers or employees instead of taking it as profit. That's the edge of project management - how much good guy stuff can we do given that we may under no circumstances drift too far away from making as much money as possible?

These problems only seem insoluble as long as you keep the mindset that a company must pursue profit above all else. Put that aside, and you'll see that actually there are many solutions.

It should not be forgotten that we allow businesses to exist in order to make the lives of citizens better. Life is better when you have access to planes, Iphones, hairdressers and Pop Tarts.

Businesses do not exist to concentrate wealth in the hands of a few jackasses who stumbled into the right combination of nepotism, assholery and bootlicking to make it to the top.
Smaller companies can sometimes get away with focus on the mission, assuming the dollars will eventually come. Later, when they get big (or have been bought), that is no longer an excuse, and the only metric anyone bothers to consider is money. Middle management gets laughed out of the room for referencing the mission as being any kind of consideration over numbers.

"This is going to be good for the environment" or "this is going to improve the lives of our customers" is easily seen as pure nonsense by some manager or "leader" who thinks they're hard nosed about what really matters... money.
Right. That is a problem. It's also not necessary.

One could as easily say that the idea that money is what really matters over customers or the environment as pure nonsense. It's entirely arbitrary, and mostly cultural. It is this way because you were taught that it's this way.

But it doesn't need to be. Just because that's the way businesses are now, doesn't mean that's the only way they can ever be.
 
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I don't think it does. I think we know how to solve almost all of the "big company problems", probably all of them. But the solution ultimately boils down to time and money. We know how to make quality products. We know how to treat employees fairly. We know how to communicate at large scale. But none of this comes for free.

What humanity doesn't know how to do is to solve those problems while remaining profit optimal. That's something that is in many cases impossible, because it would require using resources to benefit your customers or employees instead of taking it as profit. That's the edge of project management - how much good guy stuff can we do given that we may under no circumstances drift too far away from making as much money as possible?
This is somewhat tautological. Anything that has a net cost, and you say that solving big company problems has a cost, and I agree, by definition is not profit-optimal.
These problems only seem insoluble as long as you keep the mindset that a company must pursue profit above all else. Put that aside, and you'll see that actually there are many solutions.
I'm trying. But I don't see the solutions.
It should not be forgotten that we allow businesses to exist in order to make the lives of citizens better.
Well no, I don't agree with that. Business exist because of human rights.
Businesses do not exist to concentrate wealth in the hands of a few jackasses who stumbled into the right combination of nepotism, assholery and bootlicking to make it to the top.
I mean... some of them do.
One could as easily say that the idea that money is what really matters over customers or the environment as pure nonsense. It's entirely arbitrary, and mostly cultural. It is this way because you were taught that it's this way.

But it doesn't need to be. Just because that's the way businesses are now, doesn't mean that's the only way they can ever be.
I agree that the current state of affairs is not the only way it can ever be. I think that we will come up with a better way, but I don't know that we have that better way now. Non-profits don't seem to be a better way. Mid-sized companies seem to offer a better way, because many of them are able to maintain focus on the mission, but I don't know how you keep them from growing too far without doing some really arbitrary heavy handed nonsense that will have unintended consequences.

I agree that we know how to communicate effectively, and I agree that we know how to treat employees well. But I'm not at all convinced that we know what the right recipe is for establishing a conscientious large business.

I'll give you a hypothetical that I pull out of a hat and is in no way based on a very real, very specific global medical company that I have intimate knowledge of. Let's say that your company has a mission to provide excellent customer care. And let's say that you have some kind of research project for a device that will save lives. But let's say that this device will make a lot less profit than, for example, another research project that won't save any lives at all but rather provides the same level of care but harvests valuable data that can be sold off. And let's say that you have limited funds and must choose which to fund.

How do you go about structuring your global organization so that the less profitable item gets made? I don't know the answer to this. Every corporate structure I've ever seen would go for the latter, at least when it comes to large-sized corps. Smaller ones might have a single, or small number, of individuals that still remember why they got into this in the first place and are willing to say profits be damned we're going to save some lives. When you get to large scale organizations, because of the way the reporting structures work, and the way each level oversees the levels below them, the information just doesn't convey and the wrong choice gets made.

Now I speak in absolutes when it's not really the case. I've seen CEOs refuse more profitable endeavors for the sake of the mission. But far more often I've seen the corporate org design do its job and squash the good project because of what people would call "bean counters" but is actually just an easily identifiable and communicable objective measure - money. Sometimes even when the CEO is saying it publicly the people internally are doing the exact opposite - because the people below the CEO either don't believe it or report to someone who doesn't. I don't see a way out at the moment.
 
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Just kidding, no masks for anyone.
Republican lawmakers in North Carolina are pushing forward with their plan to repeal a pandemic-era law that allowed the wearing of masks in public for health reasons, a move spurred in part by demonstrations against the war in Gaza that have included masked protesters camped out on college campuses.
Democratic lawmakers repeated their unease about how removing protections for people who choose to mask for their health could put immunocompromised North Carolinians at risk of breaking the law. Legislative staff said during a Tuesday committee that masking for health purposes would violate the law.
“I smell politics on the other side of the aisle when they're scaring people to death about a bill that is only going to criminalize people who are trying to hide their identity so they can do something wrong,” Newton said.

Oh the irony in Republicans declaring that politics are being brought up to scare people about a bill.
 


Just kidding, no masks for anyone.




Oh the irony in Republicans declaring that politics are being brought up to scare people about a bill.

Party of small government etc. etc.
 
Been in Hospice for 18 months, amazingly; man's a fighter.

Unfortunately, his grandson reportedly announced this week that he doesn't have much time left.
 
Dead whale on Oregon beach.
There's a number of ways this could be handled but there's something to be said for respecting tradition.
We had a dead porpoise on the beach recently. Someone tried to set fire to it.

That resulted in the following official statement: "You can't burn porpoises, that doesn't work."
 
We had a dead porpoise on the beach recently. Someone tried to set fire to it.

That resulted in the following official statement: "You can't burn porpoises, that doesn't work."
Sounds like a challenge.
 
We had a dead porpoise on the beach recently. Someone tried to set fire to it.

That resulted in the following official statement: "You can't burn porpoises, that doesn't work."

You sure it was on porpoise and not by accident?
 
Dead whale on Oregon beach.
There's a number of ways this could be handled but there's something to be said for respecting tradition.
Are you referring to this tradition?

 
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