hybrid economy


In a neighborhood near my home, there is a school playground with an enormous three story chain link fence along one side – presumably as a barrier for errant basketballs. The fence is constructed inches away from an adjacent home. I thought to myself "that would suck - I would probably rather have broken windows than live behind that huge fence". Then I thought of all sorts of examples of aggressive organizational behavior in our society that is tolerated, even though their behavior could easily be perceived as unfair or intrusive. I'm not suggesting that all business behavior is universally tolerated, but rather that their fundamental commercial presence is often quietly accepted. For example, we forgive the school's fence because we deem urban play areas for children are worth the tradeoffs. We also forgive Apple's fierce closedness, Google's ads, and Nike's ubiquitous branding. What's most interesting to me, however, is that we don't have a single standard for what is tolerated. There are some interesting nuances here. For example, I doubt my neighborhood would have tolerated a condo developer building a fence like that, and ubiquitous branding around your religion’s holiday is generally frowned upon.

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