Reward goodness, because evil is the inevitable outcome

I have this theory: because capitalism, every corporation eventually ends up at banal evil.

It works like this.

A company starts and is a growth company: they’re landing deals, scoring big wins. They can do things like tell some government agency accused of being horrible to just fuck off, because it shows the ethical core of their leadership and their bright future. Stock price in the stratosphere.

It eventually levels off, of course. They become a stable corporate entity: good numbers, good dividends. They’ve stopped caring about “company culture” and the quarterly beer bash isn’t really a thing any more: everyone cool left ages ago, except a few people in scattered departments. But that’s OK; you can choose between “Chris, employee #52, who used to host Settlers of Catan games at his cube every Wednesday and was a super cool dude” or “a 4% dividend increase”.

Eventually an account executive rolls in one day, having just sold 10k units to the Chechen warlords to help with their gay-genocide pogrom. “I mean, someone’s going to get that account, might as well be us”, right?

A modern-day example is Microsoft. A friend of mine insists that they’re still deeply evil and she’d never, ever work for them. “They have to be up to something!”, she insists. “They’re going to install a kill-switch into the kernel, or some evil shit, and we’re too happy to notice because we’re just happy to see them not ruin Github!”

To which I say, probably. But in keeping with the theory, it’s important for us to at least accept that they can be not-evil right now and accept it at face value.

Is Microsoft being all open-source and “cool” because they suddenly saw the light? Inasmuch as they hired a bunch of people who had already seen the light, I suppose it’s true.

Really, they’re being all cool and open-source because it makes good business sense. It helps their bottom line, it helps them attract top talent, and costs them almost nothing.

And that’s OK. Because the alternative is to let them do what’s inevitable – be evil as fuck.

I’m not saying you must immediately switch to Windows, use VS Code, and host all your stuff at Azure. Continue to do what works best for you – computers are awful, so if you got one that’s sort-of working, I mean, stick with it.

What I am saying is to just accept that maybe don’t hate, because friends, it can go much, much worse for everyone. Use common sense and judgement, but try to make a little place in your head for the idea that while they’re certainly flip back to pure evil, today, maybe, they’re cool, and being cool to them puts that flip back to darkness off by a day or two.

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