Thursday, January 7, 2010

economic extension of evolution

Some of the underlying functioning facets of a capitalist society seem to mirror the properties that were (and continually are) felt during the process of natural selection. Like everything else, it is not too far off to say that, what capitalism panders to through commodity in all of its forms are direct the results of the biological manifestations in response to the effects of external variables. The most immediate example would be our omnipresent interest in the exchange of ideas. Another neo-necessity (a term used in a previous post with such a title) is the computer, obviously using electricity, the top neo-necessity mentioned previously. The functioning intentions of this blog is to transfer ideas as quickly as possible to whoever may stumble onto them. The freshness of thought is one which I prefer and one which seems to lend itself to more interaction, revision and hopefully participation. The transfer of ideas or information is not a new phenomena, needless to say, but before the last 100 years or so has been required to take place face-to-face. The commodity that is currently being employed to transfer ideas and information at this very moment is a modernization and extension of one of the aspects of human evolution that resulted in the very commodity itself. Ingenuity through widespread information sharing, collaboration, and idea revision are parts of not only human evolution (this encouraged and nurtured an already growing brain size, gave us the ability to see the advantages of a widespread cooperation, etc) but also the way in which the capitalist system feeds itself in order to keep itself in motion. The constant appropriation of ideas, now from anyone, anywhere, and the expansion of those ideas is flooding the global capitalist market. Someone in one continent may come up with an accessory to a product that was invented on another hemisphere which derived from a product that existed at first 75 years ago.

Product traits seemingly make the same testing cycles as physical attributes in the natural world. Facebook is going through on of the trial periods now. If there are enough negative reactions or responses they, and any other company, will change that part of their product or run the risk of terminating, similar to a biological response to pressures from nature. $urvival of the fittest is an obvious comparison that may not need to be expressed in detail. The cunning survive in both climates, natural and market. Size may help or hurt in both situations. The old is constantly being taken over by the new: Google's Nexus One is making its attempt to control the smart phone tribe as an elder chimp (in this metaphor the iPhone) would be challenged by a younger male. The constant milling over of dominant forces: although some of the forces seem to stay put, we have had a massive extinction in the capitalist era with countless banks, Saab, etc. The big ones fall at some point.

The behavioral and physical manifestations from our subjection to natural evolution has given rise to this capitalist system. Socialism goes against our comfort zone of cooperation with one another through social systems in the past. Sure, we could cooperate on a reasonable scale of lest say 200 people or so but you get in the millions, and forget about it. There is not the personal stake required for such a willingness to take place. The personal stake that is derived from evolution, the inevitability that self preservation is one's ultimate priority. Capitalism is dog-eat-dog. Survival at its most raw and cold. We chose capitalism not because it works but because subconsciously feel comfort in the fact that we believe that we are the only ones that we have to rely on. The comfort of self reliance stems from evolution, that if I can just do this it can be done.


  1. It's both interesting and entirely expected that animalistic evolution and modern human capitalism would function so exactly alike. Nearly every system of growth (government, society, businesses) is subject to the same pattern of rise and fall. A great leader, product or corporation rises, and stays at the top for a while. They probably all think they are the exception, and they'll be the one to stick around. However, Facebook replaced MySpace, Hitler was eventually brought to an end, and WalMart will fall too. AND, like the Dinosaurs, our species will be replaced by some progressive version of us, or by another species all together.

    And it is precisely the 'other species altogether' that might replace us that is the most intriguing. We've all realized, acknowledged, and ignored in some cases the rise-and-fall pattern of nearly everything in our pasts, presents and probable futures; but we as humans don't think progressively enough.
    Generations before us thought the future would bring flying automobiles, an improvement to the vehicles that already existed. Well, 125 years have passed since the first vehicle, and our cars are no closer to flying than the original, though they can talk to us. However, a few short years after the first car, the first flying machine did appear, and we now have incredibly travel efficient, environment destroying, terrorism-prone, mass produced commercial airplanes. The majority of people probably didn't see that coming when they were thinking about flying cars.
    Really, we're not looking deeply enough. People keep thinking about the next "step", the next improvement to an already existing model. All our 'aliens' have a face with eyes and a mouth. All the cellphone upgrades offer new ring tones and maybe the internet, but they all make and receive phone calls.
    Maybe we should ponder all the terrifying progress that might come from a brand new idea.

  2. The insatiable hunger for making money trumps any consideration for unforeseen negative side effects of new commodities. A pencil can be turned into a shiv by someone who misuses it. The problem, as it occurs to me, is the indoctrination that growth in itself is inherently a good for society. We have a hard time, or the inability to see a plateau effect in economic growth, the conceptual chart only goes up!!!! This is the bloodline of capitalism and maybe a difference from the evolution of natural selection. The bigger things can fail, as you mentioned above. Cancer is unregulated cell growth which disrupts the regulated cells that properly function in coordination with the greater whole. Cancer is a bit of a cliche to put on the human activity towards our own society and the environment but works well here.

    The need to make money (to revisit the initial point) is our ultimate deity. Here is a prime example although it may be widely understood, among the many that are out there. If a car company knows about a safety flaw in one of their cars, their minds do not go straight to the dangerous side effects of parts of their cars to the public. Instead they crunch the numbers of probability of how many people will actually get injured because of this irregularity in their product. They then calculate an estimated amount that they would have to pay from a lawsuit resulting from the injury, multiply that by the number of injuries that the software algorithm spits out at them and if that monetary number is less than the cost of a widespread recall to fix the problem in the product, they turn a blind eye to it, after all of that consideration they play dumb, to preserve the financial interest of the company, profits, while knowingly release a product where the public is exposed to an avoidable danger(s).

    Another quick example, which I can not verify but is not too hard to imagine given the mindset of the Bush administration is as follows:
    The U.S. government figured out that it was more cost effective to replace Military Hummers than it was to fix ones with fairly minimal problems. From what I remember hearing (sorry the source is forgotten) is that they would just burn the vehicle on the spot and order a new one. Wouldn't that just be typical.