[ExI] [Bulk] Business Ethics - Oxymoron?

spike spike66 at att.net
Sat Sep 26 17:57:34 UTC 2015

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf
Of spike
Subject: Re: [ExI] [Bulk] Business Ethics - Oxymoron?

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf
Of BillK

>>...Now, business is very competitive...Does competitive business practice
mean that ethical businesses must lose and go bust?


I noticed a couple of corrections are needed on my earlier post.  I also
include further thoughts.

>...In mid and late 1970s, a leading theory was that smog was caused by
hydrocarbon emissions from engines ...  California state government passed a
number of regulations restricting the amount of hydrocarbons in the exhaust

Correction, the regulations were specifically the concentration of unburned
hydrocarbons, rather than the amount.  The concentration could be measured
directly.  In any case, a big engine running cleanly enough to pass the
hydrocarbon concentration test will emit more unburned hydrocarbons than a
small engine running too dirty to pass that same test.

>...  We bike hipsters learned how to defeat the restrictions by adjusting
the choke to make the engines run richer and closer to optimal, but not
everyone did that.

I don't know why.  Even a bike running dirty because of owners adjusting
their CVs would produce lower absolute levels of hyrdocarbons than a clean
running car because it is hauling around a lot less metal.

>...Kawasaki came up with an interesting solution.  Since the emissions were
measured not as hydrocarbons per mile but rather as the concentration of
hydrocarbons in the exhaust stream, they managed to create a venture effect
one-way valve that let air into the exhaust stream as the pressure pulse
went below atmospheric pressure...

Doh!  I typed venturi effect, but my Gatesian autocorrect auto-incorrected
it to venture effect.  Perhaps Venturi effect should have been capitalized
since it was named after a person.  This is an interesting autocorrect in
this case, because the whole scheme was a business venture in a sense: it
allowed Kawasaki to sell jillions of bikes in 1979 by sidestepping the
obvious intention of the emissions regulation.

But this gives me an idea in any case.  We could write a gag autocorrect
script, where the software injects autocorrects with its preferred
vocabulary specifically gathered from X-rated material.  It would keep the
grammar correct and easily understood.  As an example, the autocorrect would
systematically replace the terms "very" and "extremely" with the verb more
commonly used as an adjective term "fucking."

But I digress.

>...The total amount of hydrocarbon was not reduced, but rather the exhaust
stream had fresh air mixed with it, reducing the concentration of
hydrocarbon in the exhaust....spike

After California disallowed Kawasaki's workaround, motorcycle manufacturers
compensated for performance-robbing emissions regulations by building bigger
engines on their bikes.  This is easily seen by comparing today's
motorcycles with those sold in the 1970s.  So now we have leaner cleaner
bikes which burn more fuel.  I would be interesting to compare the absolute
amount of unburned hydrocarbons in today's bigger compliant engines with the
old smaller non-compliant ones.

I speculate that Volkwagen will end up getting a lot more grief for false
advertisement than it does for cheating the emissions test, for I suspect
there are no specific laws against rigging the cars to behave differently
while in test than when on the road.  Obviously it violates the spirit of
the law, but perhaps not the letter.  It kept its workaround secret, as
opposed to Kawasaki, which was open and up front about how they were passing
the test.  Kawasaki knew this "fix" would only last a short time (they were
right) but didn't lie.  Volkswagen now has millions of disillusioned owners
who thought they were buying a clean Diesel, who may never buy another VW
and may never buy another German vehicle.

But we learned something important, something the biker crowd from long ago
already knew: clean Diesel doesn't perform as well.  Engineering is the art
of judicious compromise.  Having clean exhaust has its price.


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