Subject: Re: street performer protocol
From: Bernard Lang <>
Date: Sun, 7 May 2000 00:49:22 +0200

On Sat, May 06, 2000 at 05:50:36PM -0400, Jonathan S. Shapiro wrote:
> I *did* mean to say that the corporate structure needs to be fundamentally
> altered. Otherwise, you simply feed new people into it and it generates the
> same behavior all over again.

so, who does the deed does not matter ... if he were not prepared to
do it, he would have been replaced. I do not mean to exonerate people
from being responsible for their actions... they have to be held
responsible... but the corporate entity is responsible too, and has to
be dealt with adequately, especially given the fact that it wields a
lot more power.

> > If the executives of a company do not do what the
> > shareholders expect, they are being replaced.
> The large shareholder has this power. The small shareholder basically
> doesn't unless something really extraordinary happens.

this is immaterial ... shareholders as a whole. No one in particular
(in general), and that is the problem.

> >   Not that I would be averse sending CEOs to jail more often.
> Speaking as a former CEO, I think you overestimate the power of the CEO
> rather badly.

That is not the point. It is a matter of balancing the pressure.  If
Desmaret, the CEO of Total, had been jailed for wasting hundred of km
of French coast, the next CEO would have good excuses for more
conservative policies when choosing tankers. I do not care whether he
made the decision himself, he is the policy maker.

> >   If we do not control corporations, harshly, they'll control us
> > ... and are already doing it to a large extent. They have more
> > influence on politicians (as corporate entities) than the voters.
> I am not a great believer that the sky is falling, but Larry Lessig's book
> ("Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace") makes this same point in a compelling
> way.

 I wish I could get a copy ... ordered it quite a while ago ... out of
print, they tell me.
> Leave aside whether corporations are evil;

noy evil, just indifferent ... living in their own shere, and not
caring, not even being aware.

> As corporations come to wield power in our lives in degree
> comparable to that of the government, we will come to need
> protections from that power. In this regard the law is far
> behind. The battle being waged about aggregation of personal
> information in the US is a good example. Corporations are putting in
> place systems and norms that will retain them in power for a long
> time.

the whole point !

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