Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Teratogens: not just for breakfast anymore.

The genome reacts to teratogens in the environment by going haywire. Sometimes, these bastards cause cancer, sometimes birth defects. Usually, where they go, misery follows. However, on a long enough time scale, they can be useful because once in a while, they induce an advantageous mutation which may be adopted through the delightful process of natural selection.

Taking the evolutionary paradigm as a model, can one make the case for lousy workers acting as teratogens in industry? Most of the time, they act counterproductively and need to be chemo'd to the curb. Occasionally, perhaps, their noxious presence leads to improvements in the way we order industry.

1 comment:

  1. Or, if there are enough of them, they could unionize! Though I think that goes well with the cancer analogy.

    (Note: unions can be useful as a countervailing force against market power. Sometimes. I don't hate unions, please don't hurt me.)