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The Opposition
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Competition and the Arms Race of Deception
Mar 8th, 2018 at 3:59pm
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Competition isn't always healthy.

When humans were primitive, they would probably only fight with another tribe. 90% of their interactions with other humans had to be cooperative, or they would destroy their tribe.

The tribe that chooses internal hypercompetition, loses. The tribe that devotes less of its attention to harming its other members comes out ahead.

Internal hypercompetition amounts to a waste of resources. Everyone competing for everything is not only unnecessary, but it wastes time and energy as well as often being unsuccessful in filling the position with the best possible person.

The competitor who devotes 20% of his energy to seeming better and only 80% of his energy to doing his job will triumph over the one who devotes 100% of energy to doing his job. The statistics won't lie, but the fellow with the superior deceptive ability will be able to inflate his 8 units of productivity to seem better than his rival's 10 units. And when the fellow with the 10 units starts getting badmouthed by the 8 unit people, he won't have devoted enough of his time to constructing a defence and counter-deception to avoid getting the sack.

People in modern day have become very good at not doing their jobs at all. Virtually 100% of workplace effort is spent on making oneself seem better, including cultivating friendships with managers, which does more to secure their positions than actually working harder ever could.

The counter has been a push for statistics-driven performance evaluators, but this doesn't stop managers from ignoring them and hiring their friends, and it also doesn't stop the clever employee from juking the numbers.

http://fortune.com/2016/02/24/salary-bonuses-merit-raises-effectiveness/

Rewards don't work.

http://www.businessinsider.com/stack-ranking-employees-is-a-bad-idea-2013-11

Stack rankings don't work.

Why should these things not work in the corporate world when everyone knows conditioning and positive reinforcement works swimmingly on an individual level?

In addition to the issues raised by the articles, they drive employees to invest even more in deception and dominance rather than performance.

The first article admits that low performers are upset when they don't get their merit-based raises, and then the employer hands it out anyway!

I call bullshit on the idea that everyone complains or is successful at complaining. So in reality, what is happening is that the money in the merit-based raise pool is being spent on successful complainers at the expense of higher performers.

In other words, those who invest in dominance over performance.

Constant competition in every aspect of our lives may even be driving our high divorce rates, obesity epidemic, and violent crime.

We're not supposed to compete with our mates, but we discard cooperation for power struggle, perhaps because we compete so constantly that we can't turn it off. If this is, as I hypothesise, unnatural, then the high stress levels associated with it could be driving people to overeat or even commit violence.
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
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Snarky Sack
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Re: Competition and the Arms Race of Deception
Reply #1 - Mar 9th, 2018 at 1:06pm
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The Opposition wrote on Mar 8th, 2018 at 3:59pm:
Competition isn't always healthy.

When humans were primitive, they would probably only fight with another tribe. 90% of their interactions with other humans had to be cooperative, or they would destroy their tribe.

The tribe that chooses internal hypercompetition, loses. The tribe that devotes less of its attention to harming its other members comes out ahead.

Internal hypercompetition amounts to a waste of resources. Everyone competing for everything is not only unnecessary, but it wastes time and energy as well as often being unsuccessful in filling the position with the best possible person.

The competitor who devotes 20% of his energy to seeming better and only 80% of his energy to doing his job will triumph over the one who devotes 100% of energy to doing his job. The statistics won't lie, but the fellow with the superior deceptive ability will be able to inflate his 8 units of productivity to seem better than his rival's 10 units. And when the fellow with the 10 units starts getting badmouthed by the 8 unit people, he won't have devoted enough of his time to constructing a defence and counter-deception to avoid getting the sack.

People in modern day have become very good at not doing their jobs at all. Virtually 100% of workplace effort is spent on making oneself seem better, including cultivating friendships with managers, which does more to secure their positions than actually working harder ever could.

The counter has been a push for statistics-driven performance evaluators, but this doesn't stop managers from ignoring them and hiring their friends, and it also doesn't stop the clever employee from juking the numbers.

http://fortune.com/2016/02/24/salary-bonuses-merit-raises-effectiveness/

Rewards don't work.

http://www.businessinsider.com/stack-ranking-employees-is-a-bad-idea-2013-11

Stack rankings don't work.

Why should these things not work in the corporate world when everyone knows conditioning and positive reinforcement works swimmingly on an individual level?

In addition to the issues raised by the articles, they drive employees to invest even more in deception and dominance rather than performance.

The first article admits that low performers are upset when they don't get their merit-based raises, and then the employer hands it out anyway!

I call bullshit on the idea that everyone complains or is successful at complaining. So in reality, what is happening is that the money in the merit-based raise pool is being spent on successful complainers at the expense of higher performers.

In other words, those who invest in dominance over performance.

Constant competition in every aspect of our lives may even be driving our high divorce rates, obesity epidemic, and violent crime.

We're not supposed to compete with our mates, but we discard cooperation for power struggle, perhaps because we compete so constantly that we can't turn it off. If this is, as I hypothesise, unnatural, then the high stress levels associated with it could be driving people to overeat or even commit violence.


There's a lot of truth in that.  When I work with young people I tell them the following parable/riddle:

There are two processors who work for a supervisor.  Two or three days a week, the supervisor invites them to have lunch.  One of the processors always says, "I think I'll stay and get my work done."  The other says, "Sure, I'm starved!"  When the supervisor gets promoted to manager, which processor will the supervisor recommend to be promoted to supervisor?

The kids always say the one who stays and works and I tell them, "You will not succeed in the business world unless you understand that nearly every manager would pick the one who goes out to lunch."

We Americans, especially Houstonians, spend far to much time at work for it to be just a place to make money.  We don't allow ourselves time after work to socialize, so we socialize at work.  Those who are good at socializing with the bosses are much more likely to be invited into the inner circle.

I'm sure the same applies under a socialist system.  You think Li'l Kim promotes the generals who train troops the hardest or the ones who kiss his crazy behind?  You think Hitler picked Goebbels for his expertise in propaganda?  In socialism that "works" because there is no objective measure of failure.

Under capitalism, that works because the freer the market, the easier it is to succeed with less effort at productivity.  Doesn't take a workaholic genius to run a cell phone store or an automotive plant or a modern farm.   


  

"I think I'll backtrack." - Jeff
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Re: Competition and the Arms Race of Deception
Reply #2 - Mar 9th, 2018 at 3:07pm
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Snarky Sack wrote on Mar 9th, 2018 at 1:06pm:
I'm sure the same applies under a socialist system.  You think Li'l Kim promotes the generals who train troops the hardest or the ones who kiss his crazy behind?  You think Hitler picked Goebbels for his expertise in propaganda?  In socialism that "works" because there is no objective measure of failure.

Under capitalism, that works because the freer the market, the easier it is to succeed with less effort at productivity.  Doesn't take a workaholic genius to run a cell phone store or an automotive plant or a modern farm.   


I think the reverse is true, and it's precisely because socialism doesn't create the excess of capitalism. Kim can't afford to pick the better socialiser over the harder worker. Dictators tend to pick the people who get things done and the friendships come post hoc.

You're admitting something about capitalism that's very true: Due to large profit margins and entry barriers, competition won't rise to fix the niche distribution that competition created. Some people got rich, have businesses, and they don't have to vigorously compete anymore. They don't have to lower prices any more than they have to hire that first worker.

In a socialist country like China, children can't "grow up" and realise it's better to be lazy and go to lunch than to be a hard worker. In a socialist country, when people start doing that, your population starves.

I will never dispute that only capitalism is moral, because only property rights are moral, but the reason it's not the only system out there is because people don't like the unfairness it creates. People want the world where that first processor gets promoted. That isn't capitalism.

If only we could have both.
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
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Re: Competition and the Arms Race of Deception
Reply #3 - Mar 9th, 2018 at 5:49pm
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The Opposition wrote on Mar 8th, 2018 at 3:59pm:
Competition isn't always healthy.

Compared to what? Mercantilism? Central planning?


  
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Re: Competition and the Arms Race of Deception
Reply #4 - Mar 9th, 2018 at 5:50pm
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The Opposition wrote on Mar 9th, 2018 at 3:07pm:
I think the reverse is true, and it's precisely because socialism doesn't create the excess of capitalism.
Dolt. You are singing the praises of poverty and famine?
  
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