What kind of virus is Scrum?

Jason Gorman compares Scrum to a virus. He uses the example of a DNA virus that destroys the cells it infects. But it could be an endogenous retrovirus that infects the DNA of germ (reproductive) cells and thereby takes over an entire species. From an interesting New Yorker article:

It takes less than two per cent of our genome to create all the proteins necessary for us to live. Eight per cent, however, is composed of broken and disabled retroviruses, which, millions of years ago, managed to embed themselves in the DNA of our ancestors. They are called endogenous retroviruses, because once they infect the DNA of a species they become part of that species.

There is even some evidence that:

without endogenous retroviruses mammals might never have developed a placenta, which protects the fetus and gives it time to mature. That led to live birth, one of the hallmarks of our evolutionary success over birds, reptiles, and fish. Eggs cannot eliminate waste or draw the maternal nutrients required to develop the large brains that have made mammals so versatile. “These viruses made those changes possible,’’ Heidmann told me. “It is quite possible that, without them, human beings would still be laying eggs.”

So that kind of Scrum-as-a-virus could be a positive and enduring good (though there’s a lot of suffering amongst the “early adopters”).

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