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Google Technology

Sorry, Larry Page: Tech-Industry Viciousness Is Here To Stay 201

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "At this week's Google I/O in San Francisco, Google CEO Larry Page stood onstage and took unscripted questions from an auditorium of conference attendees. That's an unusual move for any chief executive, the sort of thing that risks giving their PR people a heart attack. But Page wasn't up there to offer insights into strategy or drop hints about upcoming products: he wanted to talk about how negativity in the tech industry stood in the way of innovation. 'Despite the faster change we have in the industry, we're still moving slow relative to the opportunities that we have,' he said. 'And some of that, I think, has to do with the negativity. Every story I read about Google, it's us versus some other company or some stupid thing.' Being negative, he added, is not how the tech industry makes progress. But minutes later, Page couldn't resist swiping at Oracle and Microsoft. And Google's battles are just one small element in the circular firing squad that comprises most of the tech industry: Apple versus Google versus Samsung versus Microsoft versus Oracle versus Salesforce versus lots of little startups. Those battles won't fade away anytime soon, because corporations have one goal: profit. And so long as other rivals' technological innovations or marketplace maneuvers stand in the way of that profit, the lawsuits and the CEO sniping will continue. The part of Page's talk that centered on peace and love played well to the audience at Google I/O; but it's easier to argue that the true mode of the tech industry, at its core, is Darwinian competition. Do you agree?"
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Sorry, Larry Page: Tech-Industry Viciousness Is Here To Stay

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2013 @12:49PM (#43754963)

    Hard. Sometimes viciously. Mother nature has already shown us that dog-eat-dog is the best way to adapt, survive, and even thrive. The business world is the same way. Take your kum-buy-yah bullshit and go sell it to someone else. I have work to do so my company can kick your company's ass and put them out of business.

    • by Salgak1 (20136) <salgak@sLIONpeakeasy.net minus cat> on Friday May 17, 2013 @12:54PM (#43755027) Homepage
      Don't remind me, I just had a headhunter pitch a job to me, with her going on and on about their "diversity, respect, and social responsibility", and how the employer "strives to help you become the best person you can possibly be. . . ". I guess excellence and profit motivation aren't attractive anymore. . .
      • Excellence is very alive and well. Even she said it, "become the best person you can possibly be". I think most people especially of the younger crowd want to seek out ways to learn more and better themselves. Learn more, improve your skills and abilities, and be the best you can be.

        The difference on "profit motivation" is money for money's sake is perhaps beginning to disappear from the younger generation. It is more widely recognized that wealth alone does not make everything great, for: what purpose is m

      • Profits are for the corporate officers, all that other stuff is the same pablum they've been saying for decades instead of paying employees more money. All that stuff is great and is a necessary part of a good job, but when the focus is on the fluff that's just a way to keep the peons from focusing on the dollars.

    • Larry Page: Every story I read about Google, it's us versus some other company or some stupid thing.

      He means like in these stories?

      http://www.wpcentral.com/google-microsoft-remove-youtube-windows-phone-store [wpcentral.com]

      http://www.businessinsider.com/google-admits-it-was-blocking-wp8-maps-2013-1 [businessinsider.com]

      Stupid thing indeed, to send lawyers to make things worse for Windows Phone users who are mere pawns in Google's strategic games.

      For example, the imaging tech in Nokia's flagship Windows Phone is far better than Android phones, look at the below videos for proof.

      http://crave.cnet.co.uk/mobiles/samsung-galaxy-s4-video-is-shakier [cnet.co.uk]

      • by game kid (805301) on Friday May 17, 2013 @01:23PM (#43755371) Homepage

        Besides, Page is the same guy that got into a "shouting match" with Brin (I'll let Slashdot find the WSJ link this time, I've linked it enough) because Brin was getting in the way of sharing personal user info for money.

        He's given the viciousness, and now he can go take it like the karma-challenged man he is.

      • Stupid thing indeed, to send lawyers to make things worse for Windows Phone users who are mere pawns in Google's strategic games.

        Buy a ms product and expect not to get shit on? Ah, come on! W phones should come with toilet paper.

        • Stupid thing indeed, to send lawyers to make things worse for Windows Phone users who are mere pawns in Google's strategic games.

          Buy a ms product and expect not to get shit on? Ah, come on! W phones should come with toilet paper.

          What? Google's is the one doing the shitting.

          Anyway, right now WP has the best Youtube app right now and the only one with no ads and a preload button for later viewing.

          http://www.wpcentral.com/windows-phone-8-version-metrotube-now-available [wpcentral.com]

    • by AuMatar (183847) on Friday May 17, 2013 @01:03PM (#43755155)

      Except it hasn't. There's a reason why empathy and altruism exist, and both have shown positive correlation with the ability of the species to survive.

      • by alen (225700)

        are you kidding?

        the USA and others are still willing to kill people over access to natural resources

      • Socially I absolutely agree. Commerce should be a vicious shark tank though, that's the foundation of capitalism. Don't try to apply social methods to commerce, or commercial methods to society, and you're good. The government only needs to step in when the competition fades, that's when you get monopolies causing trouble.

      • by sjbe (173966) on Friday May 17, 2013 @01:16PM (#43755267)

        There's a reason why empathy and altruism exist, and both have shown positive correlation with the ability of the species to survive.

        Species exist on a spectrum between complete selfishness (everything for me) and complete altruism (everything for the group). Some species tend more towards one end or the other of the spectrum. However the success of a species typically depends on the circumstances and the balance between the two. Our success depends on the tension between the two. Sometimes a little selfishness is good for the species as well as the individual. It's actually beneficial to society that I earn a good living instead of immediately donating every penny to charity. However never donating a dime isn't ideal either. The balance is somewhere in between.

        E.O. Wilson wrote about this [amazon.com] dynamic recently. Interesting read if that sort of thing tickles your fancy.

        • A better way to look at evolutionary competition is that a competing entity can decide/try, as one possible adaptation strategy, to co-operate with one or more of its former competitors. This can be looked at as purely an evolutionarily selfish move. You have just decided to increase the size of your "self" by allying partially or totally with the other(s). If the co-operation works out, then there will then be a new set of bigger (and generally more capable) competitors competing at the next level (not to
      • by eth1 (94901)

        Except it hasn't. There's a reason why empathy and altruism exist, and both have shown positive correlation with the ability of the species to survive.

        *Species* yes, individuals, not as much. In our species, anyway, empathy and altruism might help the group, but you notice the successful *individuals* are often the ruthless ones.

      • by Hentes (2461350)

        And what does that have to do with negativity? Do you have to be optimistic to give to a charity or what? Criticism is the strongest force driving human progress.

    • by k6mfw (1182893)
      usual... someone who is doing well says "too bad, life is tough, you gotta work hard, etc." but when someone else does it better, they scream, "unfair!"
    • by spire3661 (1038968) on Friday May 17, 2013 @01:16PM (#43755275) Journal
      This clap-trap is insightful? Wouldnt it be nice if we could evolve to a point where we dont feel the need to trample our peers to survive? At our level of intelligence, cooperation is FAR more productive then competition.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Nadaka (224565)

        The libertariantards have been out in force recently. Remember that socialism is the devil and the only cure of the inequity of man is to ruthlessly crush your adversaries and climb up on top of their mutilated corpses while fondling your nearest Ayn Rand novel.

      • We definitely make faster progress on scientific developments through cooperation instead of competition. Overall I think we have a lot of growing up to do as a species and especially as a society. Other countries that have gone for cooperation for medical treatment instead of competition are doing better per resources used than we are. Competition has a high overhead.

      • by NewYork (1602285)

        "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else." - W. Churchill

    • because for my comments to prosper, yours must suffer.

    • dog-eat-dog is the best...

      Norm Peterson: ...and I'm wearing Milk-Bone underwear.

    • Making a profit and being a decent human being/member of society are not mutually exclusive. You can claim all you want that one has to be an asshole to get ahead in business, but it simply is not true.
    • by flyneye (84093)

      I personally can't wait until the day this evolves into mafia-like battles and these erstwhile nerds start fighting with fists and guns like real men.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      This is America. We compete.

      This is why you risk your neck against anyone that collaborate. On historically near term, most probably against BRICS [wikipedia.org].

    • Competition makes sense up to some extent. But when you're literally drowning in an olympic-sized pool of bills, we're not talking about "dog-eat-dog", adaptation and survival. We're talking about something that's becoming pathological. It's somewhat of an "I-want-more" disease, where you're spiralling down the "give moah" path and there's no end in sight.

      Wat these giants don't get is that their high level fight is making thousands of people suffer directly; no raises because armies of lawyers must be paid,

    • by ATMAvatar (648864)

      Hard. Sometimes viciously. Mother nature has already shown us that dog-eat-dog is the best way to adapt, survive, and even thrive. The business world is the same way. Take your kum-buy-yah bullshit and go sell it to someone else. I have work to do so my company can kick your company's ass and put them out of business.

      Not all species, nay, not even all human cultures and periods of history follow this rule. If you look across the continuum of group sizes, that's not even true at all levels in even the most competitive society. It's rather unfortunate (and rather telling of how immature we as a culture are) that so many aspects of our lives are ruled by cutthroat competition, where 0.9 + 0.95 + 1 = ~1 rather than something closer to 2.85.

      We've figured out that at the smaller sizes, cooperation is superior. After all, s

    • by manu0601 (2221348)

      Humans have two modes of interaction: cooperation and competition. Cooperation is at work when building societies, and it is always odd to see that competitive corporations is allowed by a legal framework (patent, private property) that is a byproduct of cooperation-built society.

    • by MrKaos (858439)

      Hard. Sometimes viciously. Mother nature has already shown us that dog-eat-dog is the best way to adapt, survive, and even thrive.

      Except that it didn't. What the science is showing us is that it was the Bonobo chimps tendancy for co-operation allowed them to rear and protect more young and develop the problem solving abilities that led to tool making and the evolutionary advantage of a larger brain.

      It's a shame that you think that way because I always though Americans were at their best when they work with others for mutual benefit. Perhaps you think you are a rock-star technologist and have forgotten that it takes teamwork to create

    • by ultranova (717540)

      Mother nature has already shown us that dog-eat-dog is the best way to adapt, survive, and even thrive.

      Except that dogs adapt, survive and thrive by cooperating. In fact I'm pretty sure that a dog that resorts to cannibalism will be put down pretty fast, by humans or other dogs.

      The business world is the same way.

      Yes: cooperation is the best way to succeed there too. That's why we have anti-trust laws: peaceful cooperation is such a winning strategy that companies will always resort to it unless prevented

  • by dhavleak (912889) on Friday May 17, 2013 @12:52PM (#43755001)
    It's not just that tech industry viciousness is here to stay -- it's also that Google is a pretty strong participant in it. Google's been pretty good at appropriating the language of open source when it suits them, and using EEE tactics once they have the upper hand.
    • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Friday May 17, 2013 @01:28PM (#43755425)

      ^^^^^ This.

      The honest truth is that all of these companies are vicious when it suits them, and conciliatory when it suits them. And it suits them when it means that it will make them more profit. Google, I honestly believe, was at one point the sort of altruistic company that many still paint it as, but with its rampant growth it has moved well past that point. Today's Google is far different from the Google of 10 years ago, and they are definitely the sort to engage in the embrace, extend, extinguish tactics you were talking about.

  • by mbone (558574) on Friday May 17, 2013 @12:55PM (#43755041)

    I think that the real purpose of the Google I/O in San Francisco was to show just how clueless Google's top executives are in their "Billionaire Bubble."

  • Money.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vortran (253538) <aol_is_satan@hotmail.com> on Friday May 17, 2013 @12:55PM (#43755043) Homepage

    Money is power. Power corrupts. Ethical behavior is incompatible with the pursuit of profit. This is the essence of the old adage "Money is the root of all evil." Think about this very carefully while you consider what values of your own are compromised because you're a slave to your paycheck. Now multiply and amplify that ad infinitum.

    Please read this twice if you feel the need to refute anything herein.

    • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Friday May 17, 2013 @01:03PM (#43755157)

      Google is no better at greed for money.

      See how Google started removing borders around ads and made the shading super light in order to get ad clicks from older people and people with bad monitor calibration:

      http://ppcblog.com/fbf0fa-now-you-see-it [ppcblog.com]

      http://blumenthals.com/blog/2012/01/31/is-google-intentionally-trying-to-minimize-the-fact-that-these-are-ads/ [blumenthals.com]

      Those carefully and scientifically calibrated colors must be worth atleast few hundred million of extra revenue from their cash cow by making gullible people click on ads mistaking them for real search results.

      "Study:Contrast sensitivity gradually decreases with age"
      http://www.eyeworld.org/article.php?sid=818&strict=0&morphologic=0&query= [eyeworld.org]

      Chrome is a trojan horse to weaken Mozilla which is becoming less powerful because Google uses its ad dollars to bundle Chrome with Flash, Acrobat and Java updates by default thereby reducing Firefox's share and has the nice side effect of reducing Google's payments to Mozilla for searches.

      And Web DRM? Of course it's going to be a HTML standard very soon because IE, Safari and... ding! Chrome are going to be supporting it fully with 80% marketshare and people will blame Firefox if Netflix doesn't work in it and recommend you switch to Chrome to see movies! iOS, Android and Windows Phone, BBOS will add support for 100% tablet and phone support for the DRM.

      Chrome on Chromebook already has the EME DRM module. Firefox and Opera are powerless to stop it. We have already seen this play out with the h.264 HTML5 video support in Chrome fiasco when Google promised it would drop H.264 from Chrome to push WebM but did not and Mozilla was left holding the bag with WebM and had to recently had to eat crow and add support for patent encumbered H264. The web is owned by the corporates, not individuals anymore, there was some hope when Firefox was at 40%, not anymore. And we all willingly gave them the power by believing in "open" and "do no evil" and switching in droves.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        I would gleefully go back to Mozilla if they stopped with the adding fluff and went back to being fast and correct. It's a bloated turd right now, over 1/2 the code needs to be thrown away.

        Mozilla back to it's roots and become the fasted and smallest memory footprint out there? I would love it!

      • by yuhong (1378501)

        The color in question is #fff8e7, BTW.

    • by mbone (558574)

      Apparently markets corrupt [sciencemag.org] as well, just by their nature.

    • I know so many people who would roast babies for a living if it was socially acceptable and paid well.
    • Re:Money.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by eriks (31863) on Friday May 17, 2013 @01:32PM (#43755473) Homepage

      Not refuting anything you're saying (Because I agree wholeheartedly), but the quote from 1 Timothy is:

      "For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil."

      Emphasis added, since I think that's the most important part of the quote. Money is just a tool. It may be a tool that we need to leave in the dustbin of history, and I'd personally like to see that happen, since there are many ways we could live without a monetary system entirely, but as a pragmatist, I don't see it happening anytime soon, at least not without a very strong catalyst.

    • Ethics (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sjbe (173966) on Friday May 17, 2013 @01:34PM (#43755495)

      Ethical behavior is incompatible with the pursuit of profit.

      Nonsense. Pursuit of profit *can* lead to unethical behavior but it does not follow that pursuit of profit *must* lead to unethical behavior. Buying something and then selling it to someone else for a higher price has no component that is fundamentally unethical. If you have a good I need and I'm willing to pay a price for it (a price that is low enough that it does not cause me injury) then we both get something we want/need and both are better off. There is nothing unethical about that exchange.

      I won't even get in to the question of what you consider unethical behavior or why. Ethics are societal conventions and standards which differ between people and groups, not immutable laws of the universe. Perhaps you do consider pursuit of profit to be unethical. That does not mean that the rest of society must consider it so.

    • by Swamii (594522) on Friday May 17, 2013 @01:48PM (#43755673) Homepage

      Ethical behavior is incompatible with the pursuit of profit. This is the essence of the old adage "Money is the root of all evil."

      The actual quote [biblegateway.com]:

      "The love of money is the root of all evil."

      This is an important distinction. When a man loves money more than personal morals and ethics, only then does his business become unethical.

      • by femtobyte (710429)

        When a man loves money more than personal morals and ethics

        From where in the quote, or elsewhere in the scriptures from which the quote is drawn, are you getting the "more than" qualification? The text seems pretty clear that "the love of money" is problematic ("the root of all [kinds of] evil"), period. There is no exception made for "a little love of money is OK," any more than "a little love of murder is OK."

        • by geekoid (135745)

          It's implied in the context. You should read timothy 6.
          anyways the whole point of the chapter is to keep the poor happy where they are ignorant and believing.

          And the literal greek translation is: Root for all the evil is the love of money.

          Just FYI.

          • by femtobyte (710429)

            And what in the context implies that "a little love of money" is OK? The context does imply that the rich --- with their corresponding great love of money --- are those most grievously ensnared by the evils coming from money-loving. But there is nothing promoting some "middle path" where a moderate amount of money loving becomes acceptable. The following verse (1 Tim 6:11) reads "and thou, O man of God, these things flee, and pursue righteousness, piety, faith, love, endurance, meekness". Elsewhere in the s

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Ethical behavior is incompatible with the pursuit of profit.
      false.
      "This is the essence of the old adage "Money is the root of all evil."'
      its: "the LOVE of money is the root of all evil."

      which is false, but at least get the damn quote right.

    • by superwiz (655733)

      Money is power. Power corrupts. Ethical behavior is incompatible with the pursuit of profit.

      I'll give you two out of three.... which ain't bad.

      All corruption begins with nepotism. No one can deny loved ones...it's part of what makes them their loves ones. Any behavior which is not done for profit is not ethical. Yep, I know you think it's sociopathic to think that way. I even realize that you think less of me because I know what you think and still disagree. The link breaks at the 2nd sentence though. Power attained through means other than profits is what corrupts. Political power, milita

  • Media (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Friday May 17, 2013 @12:57PM (#43755071) Homepage

    It's time for Sarten-X's semi-weekly anti-media rant.

    The reason the news stories you read about are always us-vs.-them is because you're reading news stories. It's not what's really going on. In a newspaper, the story about the big technology company donating millions of dolalrs in products and support to a third-world country takes a nice little corner on page 12. Meanwhile, the front-page big headline is a story about the company that sues another company for just as much.

    People love controversy, and the media is happy to supply it. It doesn't matter how good your company is or what your corporate charter's stated mission is, you're still portrayed as a Big Evil Company that's out to greedily gather money and decimate your adversaries. On the off chance that you keep your dealings clean enough to not get sued (and don't sue others), you can bet that the media will invent an adversary for you, combining the markets of your closest competitors into a shady conspiracy, just for the sake of a story.

    Sorry, Larry Page: News-media viciousness is here to stay.

  • by kevkingofthesea (2668309) on Friday May 17, 2013 @12:57PM (#43755075)

    This submission, and the comments so far, have missed some key differences between negativity and competition. It is possible to compete without being negative towards your competitor. Good competition (from the consumer's point of view) involves both (all) sides striving to create the best product they can. Bad competition is when, rather than improving themselves, competitors seek to cut each other down.

    • by idontgno (624372)

      What you say is true but unpersuasive. The surest way to win is to make sure everyone else loses. And that is why negativity works.

      If the "W" on the score card is the only thing that matters, almost anything is acceptable.

      And, on a related side note, I've seen behaviors that make me believe that for some people, it's more important to make someone else lose than it is to make one's self win.

      • > What you say is true but unpersuasive. The surest way to win is to make sure everyone else loses. And that is why negativity works.

        In a non-zero-sum game, the surest way to win can be to take action which increases the total reward pool, and making sure everyone else loses may be suboptimal (and can even be a way to guarantee that you lose.)

        Recognizing the actual payoff matrix in the game is key to winning, and many many things (in business and elsewhere) are not zero sum.

  • 15" and 17" monitors that really aren't that big due to the bezel
    smaller than advertised hard drives
    hyping features that will never happen a la microsoft
    lying about the competition

    everyone has done it, everyone has been the target of it. that's how it goes

  • by jwthompson2 (749521) * <james@@@plainprograms...com> on Friday May 17, 2013 @01:10PM (#43755231) Homepage
    FOSS ain't exactly a love fest, and they lack to direct profit motive of large corporations. Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds aren't consistently known for being just the nicest guys you've ever met. The only open source community that overtly talks about being nice and polite is the Ruby community with it's "Matz is nice, so we are nice" mantra that falls down just as often as it shows through. Competition and even brutal competition are part of life, for good and ill.
  • Summary. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SeNtM (965176) on Friday May 17, 2013 @01:20PM (#43755317) Homepage
    Can we all be a little less Star Wars and a little more Star Trek???
    • Have you seen the latest Star Trek?
    • by u64 (1450711)

      About being a little more Star Trek,

      Picard: The economics of the future are somewhat different.
      You see, money doesn't exist in the 24th century.

      Lily Sloane: No money. You mean, you don't get paid?

      Picard: The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force of our lives.
      We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity.

      - Star Trek: First Contact

      Somehow i think the notion of 'no money' sits uncomfortable with advertisement companies, such as Google.

      • Somehow i think the notion of 'no money' sits uncomfortable with advertisement companies, such as Google.

        Companies are abstractions that don't have comfort levels. Certainly, profit-seeking investors in any company (not just companies that make money by selling advertising placement) would be uncomfortable with not receiving money for their investment, as would people working in most companies (again, regardless of what business they are in) in the present economic context. Whether those people would be unc

  • I would say that the negativity is exactly what makes the tech industry as successful as it is. Geeks, being the borderline socially inept creatures that we are, generally, tend to care very little about the feelings of others and have no hesitation calling each other out. It makes us better. It encourages us to make sure that our ideas are sound before we share them. Then once we share them, we are encouraged to refine them, because we have to. Geeks are vicious. We will call each other out. Geeks h

  • Perhaps it's my upbringing, but I see life as war. Not a race, but a war.

    Do onto others before they do unto you. That's the credo I feel this world operates on.

    This goes doubly more for business. There are, and I've met, some good honest people out there doing great work with little reward, or even little desire of more reward. But for one of those, you have 10 who want nothing more than to kill every single competitor, steal their ideas, products, clients / customers, and then lie, cheat and steal the

  • by g2devi (898503) on Friday May 17, 2013 @01:57PM (#43755759)

    Larry wasn't swiping at Oracle and Microsoft any more than a person who is being picked on isn't bullying if he says "it's not fair".

    As for negativity, it's not only here to stay, it is actually beneficial in some cases. Some companies add restrictions to their EULAs that state you are forbidden to comparing their product to others (e.g. via benchmarking). I'm sorry, it might be "negative" to say one product is better than another, but it's irrelevant. People want the best value for their money and not just "a good enough deal".

    Imagine how poor the Linux kernel quality would be if Linus was too worried about offending contributors? Imagine where free software would be if Stallman wasn't so negative on even the hint of proprietary software?

  • by seebs (15766) on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:01PM (#43755793) Homepage

    A guy whose company uses stack ranking is not in a position to complain about non-cooperative behavior.

    • Google does not use stack ranking in the sense you are referring to it (the form that promotes competition between employees to avoid being in the bottom X% that gets fired or top Y% that gets promoted).

  • Yeah, pretty sure when people talk about cooperation, love, honor, etc IN THE WORKPLACE, they are not asking you accept the products of their work for free. They are asking you to work for free. $1500 for a prototype FOR DEVELOPERS. That is for people who will actually add value to the product. I am sorry, did I see Google release an IDE? There is a new C++ out is badly in need of an IDE. Did Google release that? Sure, they set up google code to give away other people's work. They enable a lot of bus
  • What does this story have to offer?

    The world is a competitive place, except when it isn't. And why is that, exactly? Why do social insects exist? Why, for that matter, do social mammals exist? We wouldn't even have social networking unless the roots of cooperation in our genetics and culture are nearly as deep (and indispensable) as nature red in tooth and claw.

    Competition will never not be present, which provides an excellent enclosed gondola for all the slippery-slopers out there. How nice is that

  • is people with too much time on their hands.

  • Yeah, the marketplace has exactly nothing to do with Darwinian jackshit.

    The marketplace only exists because we conscious and moral-values-driven humans have conceived of, passed and enforce laws which create a very artificial system of regulations which we call "the marketplace".

    It starts with the man-made, very fictional concept of a corporate entity, goes on to regulate that entities conduct wrt to other such entities, assigns consumers protections, defines product safety, workplace safety and pollutio

Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.

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