Generally it’s well established fact that a small percentage of society causes a disproportionately massive amount of problems and suffering for the rest of us. We’ve always wondered what holds humans back from creating the kind of society we’d all love to see. We used to call it evil but now we know that some people don’t have the capacity to empathize or be remorseful.
The documentary I Am Fishead: Are Corporate Leaders Psychopaths? examines whether the people at the top are more likely to be psychopaths than the rest of us.
The neurological definition of a psychopath is someone with small amygdala (lesser fear response) and often less connections to the frontal lobe, the center for reasoning. There are many people like this and the reasoning is that these people are more disposed to taking risks and are therefore more often in a position to take advantage of an opportunity. A psychopath is a risk taker and often fearless of most consequences.
It really boils down to how you define evil. Some derive pleasure from causing others pain, and this is the litmus test for purely evil behavior. If you don’t derive pleasure from killing the man behind the counter because he won’t hand over the money, or from signing the paper that privatizes the water supply in a small nation, but you do it anyway, because you want the reward, this would still constitute evil but to a lesser extent. In the first case, the thrill and positive emotions of performing the destructive act is your reward. In the second case, the reward lies in the payoff from the act, and the suffering you cause is just unimportant.
This is looking at it from an individual level however. From a societal perspective, the ‘lesser’ evildoers, or the sociopaths, are probably more dangerous, because they differ less from the average guy. They are just ready to go that one extra step to attain what they crave. Put in situations where that kind of behavior is rewarded, and the responsibility is diffused or non-existent, they are likely to thrive.
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Tech More: Google Amazon
The Single Most Terrifying Trend Facing Google
Two and a half years ago we wrote a post headlined “Forget Apple, Forget Facebook: Here’s The One Company That Actually Terrifies Google Execs.”
That company? Amazon.
Google is a search company, but the searches it makes money from are the searches people do before they are about to buy something online.
These commercial searches make up about 20% of total Google searches. Those searches are where the ads are.
Two and a half years ago we wrote, “What Googlers worry about in private is a growing trend among consumers to skip Google altogether, and to just go ahead and search for the product they would like to buy on Amazon.com, or, on mobile in an Amazon app.”
We noted that, according to ComScore, “the trend is real.” Searches on Amazon.com were up 73% year over year.
Well, we checked back with ComScore recently, and the news remains bad for Google. Desktop search queries on Amazon increased 47% between September 2013 and September 2014, according to ComScore.
Even worse for Google, that number doesn’t tell the whole story.
In the past two and a half years, the number of mobile internet users surpassed desktop internet users.
desktop versus mobile users in 2014Comscore
On mobile, using Google as a starting point when you want to buy something makes even less sense.
Think about it. Why go through these steps?
Open your web browser on your phone.
Google search “bike gloves.”
Scan some text links.
Click on a link to go to a product page at some e-commerce store.
Click to add the item to your cart.
Input your credit-card info.
Type in your address.
Select the shipping preferences you want to pay for.
When you can just …
Open the Amazon app on your phone.
Search “bike gloves.”
Click one button to buy the product with your usual credit card, and have it shipped to your usual address free.
Two and a half years ago, we wrote that Google’s Amazon nightmare would get scarier if Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets and (rumored) phones ever got wide adoption.
That hasn’t happened yet. Kindle Fire sales are pretty bad. But earlier this month, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made it clear in an onstage interview at our BI Ignition conference that he’s not giving up on the project.
Bad news for Google execs trying to get eight hours a night.
Nicholas Carlson is the author of “Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo!”
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