Thursday, December 11, 2008

Economic Meltdown 2008 (EM08)

Ok, the cult of Tommy Friedman is out and in pretty full force. He guested on Charlie Rose again tonight, and while I think he gets some, perhaps a lot, of macro right, I think he loses it in micro.

I'm about a third of the way through, and the topic is Obama's cabinet, so far names that we all know. The first big problem I have with Tommy Boy is his statement that Obama has to be "radical" in terms of his approach because things are so jacked up. Now, while I agree in principle, the fact that he's choosing nothing but dinosaurs to help him shows nothing but, you guessed it, CONSERVATISM. How in the world are we going to revolutionize this system when dinosaurs are running it? After all, the meaning of "conservative" is "conserve," to maintain the status quo.

Again, the prime example of not moving with the times are in our face; my poster children are Yahoo choosing dinosaur Semel while Google did nothing of the sort and leap-frogged over them. Some might argue - persuasively so - for AOL/Time-Warner (or, "asshole/slime-barfer"), whose losses are so mammoth I've often wondered to anyone who'd listen as to how Parsons kept his job for so long. (I still don't have an answer that makes sense, so I chalk it up to he must have big dirt on a LOT of key peeps...)

People cannot STAND change, real, fundamental change, actually, revolution. Not the revolution with a capital "R" that is marked by bombs and guns but a revolution in thinking and doing. In short, like a casino, our system is unfairly rigged for the elites who control everything.***

Until a challenge to that system happens, people will continue to just be, as gamers say, "pwned."


*** Curiously and counter-intuitively though, there's a sorta famous industrial shrink experiment. From memory it goes something like this: an assembly line is measured for average productivity per hour. Then a change is made; the lighting is slightly increased. Productivity goes up. More lighting. More productivity. Etc.

Then, a curious thing happens. The lighting is decreased and... productivity goes up! Conclusion? People react - in this case, favorably - to change.