In a study published by the journal Psychology, Crime and Law, Belinda Board and Katarina Fritzon tested 39 senior managers and chief executives from leading British businesses. They compared the results to the same tests on patients at Broadmoor special hospital, where people who have been convicted of serious crimes are incarcerated. On certain indicators of psychopathy, the bosses’s scores either matched or exceeded those of the patients. In fact, on these criteria, they beat even the subset of patients who had been diagnosed with psychopathic personality disorders.
The psychopathic traits on which the bosses scored so highly, Board and Fritzon point out, closely resemble the characteristics that companies look for. Those who have these traits often possess great skill in flattering and manipulating powerful people. Egocentricity, a strong sense of entitlement, a readiness to exploit others and a lack of empathy and conscience are also unlikely to damage their prospects in many corporations.
In their book Snakes in Suits, Paul Babiak and Robert Hare point out that as the old corporate bureaucracies have been replaced by flexible, ever-changing structures, and as team players are deemed less valuable than competitive risk-takers, psychopathic traits are more likely to be selected and rewarded. Reading their work, it seems to me that if you have psychopathic tendencies and are born to a poor family, you’re likely to go to prison. If you have psychopathic tendencies and are born to a rich family, you’re likely to go to business school.
“This is a venture opportunity. This is an opportunity to leverage your position in public service and use that position to enrich yourself, your friends and your family.”
Sounds like what the leader of the ruling military junta would say as the recruitment pitch for a new minister of finance post for his son-in-law, doesn’t it? But it isn’t. This is a quote from Peter Schweizer, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, a conservative think-tank, referring to the job of US congressman or senator.
According to a scathing expose on 60 Minutes last night, members of Congress, who conveniently write the laws that apply to themselves, are legally permitted to act on market-moving inside information when making stock trades – information that would get them thrown straight into jail if they weren’t insulated by their own cushion of blatantly self-serving laws.
Thomas Suarez is in the 6th grade at a middle school in the South Bay. And while most of his peers are probably fussing over new soccer kleets or watching the Disney channel, he’s creating iOS apps and giving TED Talks.
Suarez, whose not even old enough to have a Facebook account, has been fascinated by computers and technology since before kindergarten. He’s established his own company, CarrotCorp and has made two iOS apps that are currently in the App Store: Earth Fortune, which displays different colors of Earth depending on what your fortune is and his most successful- Bustin Jieber, a Whac-a-Mole for Justin Bieber.
What would I cut? I think, really, what I would want to do is be able to go back and take a look at Lyndon Baines Johnson’s The Great Society. The Great Society has not worked, and it’s put us into the modern welfare state. If you look at China, they don’t have food stamps. If you look at China, they save for their own retirement security. They don’t have pay FICA. They don’t have the modern welfare state. And China’s growing. And so what I would do is look at the programs that LBJ gave us with The Great Society, and they’d be gone.
A Republican candidate for President suggests the U.S. take hints for domestic policy from a Communist country.
This latest bill in the United States, named SOPA (a Swedish word meaning “piece of utter garbage”, and I am not making that up), would essentially eliminate due process of law and right to defense. It would create a j’accuse!-style justice system, where anybody in the copyright industry could kill any company on the planet they don’t like.
Here’s how it is intended to work: The copyright industry gains the right to “notify” payment processors such as Visa that a company looks bad. Visa then gets the choice of cutting it off from payments, or becoming liable themselves in case the looking-bad company actually turns out to be doing something bad. This is a very sneaky, effective and outright evil method of extrajudicial justice.
Rather than risk liability, the payment processors would choose to lie flat and just drop these customers. It is not in Visa’s mission to push civil liberties at the expense of shareholder value. This is not wrong in itself; it is the legislators who shall make sure that extrajudicial punishment as proposed here is impossible, and the legislators are not doing their job at all.
You will note that everybody in the proposed system is completely rightsless. At the pointing of a finger, a business is dead.
What SOPA does is to make sure that the net and sharing can’t coexist with Visa, MasterCard and PayPal. This means that only the stronger of the two groups will survive, and the copyright industry has their perception of the strength balance entirely wrong. The net and the human characteristic of sharing culture and knowledge are immensely stronger.
SOPA will neither kill the net nor the sharing of culture and knowledge. But it would kill Visa, MasterCard and PayPal, and it would kill centralized breakable DNS.
“But could this really happen?”, I hear people ask in scepticism. “Visa, MasterCard and PayPal are everywhere! Everywhere!” Yeah. They are. So were Gopher and GIF.