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Amazon’s “purposeful Darwinism”

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Purposeful Darwinism?

From Mercatornet,

The retail giant is conducting an experiment to see how far it can push white-collar employees.

After reading the quotes and claims by former and current employees, both named and anonymous, “purposeful Darwinism” doesn’t quite capture what is being described, rather English philosopher Thomas Hobbes’ abbreviated view of the state of nature is more fitting: “And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.”

“Nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk” said Bo Olson, a former books marketing employee. “Raising children would most likely prevent her from success at a higher level because of the long hours required,” is what Michelle Williamson explained regarding what her boss, Shahrul Ladue, told her regarding motherhood (Ladue did confirm this claim). ” A woman who had breast cancer was told that she was put on a ‘performance improvement plan'” write Kantor and Streitfeld, ” Amazon code for ‘you’re in danger of being fired’ – because ‘difficulties’ in her “personal life” had interfered with fulfilling her work goals.”

Someone should clue in these “taking Darwinian Theory to the max” people: Darwinism is a form of evolution that explicitly denies purpose or meaning, and even the reality of the human mind that would have such purpose or meaning.

Unless of course, the purpose and meaning is to keep founder Jeff Bezos one of the wealthiest and most influential men in the world. But that isn’t a goal of evolution, just a late stage in the history of Western politics.

Michael Cook asks at Mercatornet,

But it ought to make us ask once again what kind of society these tech giants are creating. Will it be kind of corporate totalitarianism in which families are irrelevant? In which the blue collars workers are paid too little to support one and the white collar workers are too committed to be interested?

Well, apart from demographic collapse, it leads to a world divided between largely progressive billionaires with ideas for reengineering society and a growing army of serfs and government dependents who—broadly speaking—must vote the billionaires’ ticket. The traditional working and middle classes decline, as they cannot indefinitely support the groups between whom they are squeezed.

Support for traditional civil liberties declines as such liberties mean little to billionaires who are above them, and nothing to serfs who cannot afford to think of them. Hence the enormous tolerance for fascism on campus today (the students are learning how to be bureaucrats in a post-civil liberties era), and growing demands for censorship generally, as people who cannot afford to think for themselves do not understand or care about those who still can.

Or maybe this is how Darwinism really always works? Time will tell.

No news blogging till this evening due to O’Leary for News’s alternate night job.

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Another famous company was big into purposeful Darwinism. What was its name? Hmmm... Oh yes, Enron. johnnyb
SA, I was thinking the same thing. Bezos didn't even try to challenge any of the specific claims in the articles, such as firing employees who had miscarriages or cancer treatments, but instead just gave this blanket denial of any knowledge of these practices. Come on Jeff, you don't have the data? Its not nice to fib Jeff. I think I will shop elsewhere from now on. phoodoo
This is off topic, I just want to make sure News doesn't miss this latest "science fiction": http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/aug/18/first-almost-fully-formed-human-brain-grown-in-lab-researchers-claim Jim Smith
Unless of course, the purpose and meaning is to keep founder Jeff Bezos one of the wealthiest and most influential men in the world.
Some of these white-collar Amazon employees are also doing quite well. Source: I have a couple family members who work at Amazon, and they're making truckloads of money. I wouldn't trade my modest lifestyle for theirs, but it seems to suit them. daveS
It's good to question yourself when you reflexively order from Amazon.com. For a few extra minutes you can purchase the same products from other retailers or direct from publishers or producers. Silver Asiatic

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