Advertising Apologies

Samuel Cook defends advertising on the grounds that it: funds; drives culture; creates competition; and influences, rather than manipulates. I have argued at length against each of these apologies for advertising. Funding. Yes, advertising does fund newspapers, online search, social media, and many other useful services. But there are better ways to fund services we […]

The Illegitimacy of Analogy

Reasoning by analogy is a staple of legal practice, but entirely illegitimate. Suppose that the legislature prohibits the separation of a product from its trademark. Suppose now that Facebook posts newspaper stories without placing the trademark of the newspaper beside the story. The lawyer might say: “that’s just like selling an iPhone with the name […]

Capitalisms

I’m an engineer by training. I’m a very systems, process, methodical decision maker. He’s an entrepreneur. Different mind-set. Management runs publicly-traded companies like ExxonMobil. Owners run private firms. The former are bureaucracies, the latter, fiefs. The former are a progressive invention, the latter much older. There is managerial capitalism, and then there is finance capitalism. […]

An Unreliable Interest

The trouble with governance by markets is that self-interest is highly unreliable. The theory is that a firm’s owner will optimize management of the firm because it is in the financial self-interest of the owner to do so. But here we have Eddie Lampert, owner of Sears, phoning it in to Indiana from his home […]