Updates from August, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Doug Belshaw 8:28 pm on August 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply

    One of the things you have to recognize about the road to socialism is that it will be messy. You have to figure out checks and balances. If it’s democratic then people may say they don’t like it after a point. You have to keep winning people over, and you might lose for a while. We’re talking about a world-historic event, about creating something that’s never existed before, people actually saying we’re not just moving with history, we’re making history. And you’re constantly discovering, learning, inventing, and that’s what makes it exciting.

    Sam Gindin, ‘What a Socialist Society Could Actually Look Like’
  • Doug Belshaw 8:19 pm on August 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply

    Our current politics doesn’t seem to offer much if a future at all. The choice before us appears to be between, on the one hand, a technocratic neoliberalism that embraces the rhetoric of social inclusion but not equality and, on the other, a right-wing populism channeling anger into the worst directions. To be a socialist today is to believe that more, not less, democracy will help solve social ills —and to believe that ordinary people can shape the systems that shape their lives. (Bhaskar Sunkara, ‘The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality’)
  • Doug Belshaw 1:29 pm on August 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: business, golden handcuffs, salary, vendor lock-in   

    Vendor lock-in and golden handcuffs 

    While out for a morning run with my son, a thought popped into my mind. More of an association, really, but then what are thoughts but links between concepts?

    One of the reasons I like Open Source software is that it prevents the kind of vendor lock-in you see with proprietary products.

    Vendor lock-in means that organisations and individuals have to put up with sub-standard software that they can’t inspect for privacy and security flaws. Due to a lack of interoperability with other systems, users don’t have a choice.

    This, in turn, means higher profits for the business making the software, but a lousy user experience. So far, so obvious.

    But going one step further, if you’re making more profit through vendor lock-in, you can pay higher wages to your staff. In fact, you might have to do this, because your product isn’t well-liked by end users. People end up mainly joining your company because of the salary and perks.

    This, in turn, leads to a ‘golden handcuffs’ situation, whereby an individual who is working for the business using a vendor lock-in model, now can’t afford to work elsewhere, or for a more ethical organisation. Their mortgage and family’s standard of living has come to depend on that additional money.

    There’s ways out of this, of course. But that’s for a other post.

    • Noel De Martin 9:17 pm on August 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      That’s why it’s important to keep in mind not to raise one’s living standards everytime you get a raise or find a better job. I’m always keeping that in mind :D.

      Also to this I would add that this also hurts “fair” companies because in order to have competitive employees, they need to pay a higher price. Unless they are able to find people who is willing to accept a salary under market rates in exchange for “ethics”. Which is unfortunately difficult to find. This actually ties neatly with the Principal-Agent problem that I’ve heard Naval Ravikant mention multiple times.

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