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mtc comments on Lost Purposes - Less Wrong

68 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 25 November 2007 09:01AM

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Comment author: mtc 25 November 2007 05:31:07PM 2 points [-]

It seems to me there are plenty of 'sane' corporations out there, even very large ones. Eliezer-

Corporations have the singular purpose of making money, and its generally very simply to determine if and how well a given company is doing this. The problems you describe with our education system or Soviet shoe factories apply to a certain extent within a corporation itself, but if a company strays too much from its purpose of making money (starts going 'insane'), this becomes quickly apparent in the form of declining profits. And of course if it can't find a way to remedy this, the corporation goes bust. The end.

I guess I was just sort of surprised you mentioned corporations here, because the pressures in a free market tend to mitigate the sorts of problems you identify in public education and communist economies. Perhaps you had something else in mind when asking if corporations can be sane; If so, I'd like to hear it.