While trying to find conference reports, presentations or minutes from this week’s Energy Ocean 2009 Conference on renewable tidal, wind and wave energies, I came across this piece of copy advocating for Maine coastal energy initiatives. “It’s In Our DNA?” State funding for technology research is in the DNA of the residents and politicians of Maine? Sounds borgish. You might make the case that “entrepreneurial spirit” could emerge as gene expression. But “lessening” fossil fuel dependence and “leveraging” resources implies a significant change from some previous constant. Does that mean that Mainers’ DNA has undergone some sort of mutation? What’s the source? A high level of natural uranium pervading the bedrock, or perhaps some widespread dioxin contamination? I had no idea.
What else is in our DNA? This glossy image gets it right: high definition is in our DNA. We humans have an excellent system for vision, including sparkling color and a good motion detection system. Raptors do better in some respects, but our species can’t have the best of everything. In the broad range of the animal kingdom, we do quite well. Compared to the vision of the rat, the mole, the rhinoceros or the caecilian, human eyesight is versatile and detailed. This can only mean one thing: when you sell us a TV set, Sony, you’d freakin’ well better get it right.
I didn’t know that supply corporations had DNA. Who’s Pitney Bowes been having sex with, Office Max? Do they do it at night behind the Xerox plant? From which race-relations-respecting corporations did Pitney Bowes inherit its social responsibility? Looking at the historical population of corporations, I can’t easily identify the father or mother. Regardless, from the distribution of this trait in the corporate population I think we could pretty confidently classify respect for diversity as a recessive allele.
And, oh dear, but if it were really true that “The idea of ‘direct’ is central to the DNA of the Dell organization,” then the Dell VP of Global Marketing would have just written “Dell is direct.” Dell’s got gene envy.