All of Kyle's Comments + Replies

Odd. I would have spent that small space of time deliberating whether to move the the candle that the director couldn't see, just to pull one over on the director.

This is very reminiscent of a C.S. Lewis quote (I think from The Abolition of Man) about "chronological snobbery." Of course, I can't supply the quote. But it had to do with thinking that all cultures that existed before yours were inferior, that everything only gets better, and that, since your civilization was the most recent in history, your way of perceiving the world is inherently more accurate.

"Corporations split - therefore they reproduce - therefore they evolve."

Okay, now those guys have issues.

Yes...  The splitting has absolutely nothing to do with the process in the case of a corporation.  And there's no strict inheritance...   But there is some similarity.  Corporations which have a good internal structure and culture are more likely to survive.  And they longer they survive the more likely they will be used as role models by other corporations.  So it's the same kind of feedback loop that drives natural selection, only with a very different set of constraints and able to access the processing power of more advanced computing machines than just DNA.

A small caveat: the word 'evolution' doesn't have to refer to the scientific theory of biological evolution. The word existed long before the theory; otherwise, the theory would have become attached to a different word. Since the word itself means "incremental change over time," then it is perfectly appropriate to refer to a new computer chip design, or a corporate reorganization as evolution. Make your own guesses about whether something totally different, such as uploading a personality, can be called "evolution."

This. I regularly refer to cultural trends, business models, and technology as undergoing evolution, without the slightest inkling of doubt or shame. Real Life is about compromises to that most obstinate debater Nature, and if one must deal with the pragmatic issue of conveying ideas in a conversation in a short period of time, "evolution" is perfectly acceptable shorthand for "process by which a system becomes incrementally more efficient via an ongoing process of simultaneous diversification and selection, similar to biological evolution if someone were to replace the concept of random genetic variation with human ideas and natural selection with artificial selection." That simply takes way too long to say.

You may be attacking a straw man there: I'm a firm believer in an afterlife, but I've never heard it argued from the basis of "people need hope." Generally, people who make that kind of argument have taken a web of beliefs, say from a particular religion, scratched out most of them, and attempted to prop up the rest on some other basis. Since the old conclusion is there before the arguments, they're almost guaranteed to be vacuous.

Christians, at least, couch their belief in an afterlife with phrases like "if there is no resurrection, then ... (read more)