Friday, September 09, 2005

Crazy like a Fox

I have been working on a post about specialization all week, but I feel the need to distill the ideas a bit more (even a tangent from an aside needs a throughline). However, hopefully early next week I will harvest at least one thread to make a post. As I type this, I am considering breaking the concept into several pieces to increase cohesion.

In the mean time, if you are a citizen of the democratized world and care about the future you must listen to Thomas Barnett's Emerging Worldview talk from Poptech that is hosted by IT Conversations. Download THIS FILE and listen to it. Now, if you are not in the class of people that I described above, then you should listen to it TWICE! There is not a single person in the world who would not benefit from hearing what this man has to say. If you are a citizen of the democratized world, this will explain what that world is trying to do (or should be focused on doing). If you are not, then you will be in the path of this policy, so it would benefit you to understand it. The great falacy of the United States is the call for bi-partisan discussion. What we need is NON-partisan discussion: clear, straight-forward, logical progressions brought to their inevitable ends. I admit that as an engineer, hearing the world political landscape described as an enormous engineering problem plays right into my natural bias, but it also makes sense. Engineering is not an social construct like politics, it's a human approximation of a natural process.

I discovered this brilliant recording after listening to the Gillmor Gang's Podcast from November 5, 2004 where John Udell brought up the topic for discussion. I highly recommend this Podcast as well, in fact you may prefer to listen to this first as it includes highlights and discussion that could enrich your listening of the full audio presentation.

You may ask, why post this now? The talk was given in October 2004, the Gillmor Gang discussed it in November 2004, what's the relevance in September 2005? Other than the fact that none of the facts behind his presentation have changed, a new event has brought new links. The discussion around President Bush's statement that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levee's" is comparable to various statements by his administration that nobody could have predicted there would be such a strong insurgency an Iraq. I see only two possible conclusions: the President and his top officials are either a) apallingly uninformed or b) nefarious in their deceit. I would suggest that the former, while disturbing, is far less sickening than the latter. And yet evidence, such as learning that Thomas Barnett was working for Donald Rumsfeld's "Transformation Guru", reduces the validity of the former option. The information was not simply "out there", it was "in there", not just in the government, in the higher levels of government, where it really should have been consumed and persued. If you insist on holding onto the first excuse, then it must be transformed because the administration is no longer simply ignorant, they are now incompetant. As the picture becomes bleaker and bleaker, as you factor in domestic goals like dismantling... I'm sorry "saving" Social Security, I find that I'm driven towards the less palatable conclusion that Bush isn't bumbling fool I'd like to dismiss him as, he's the wolf in sheeps' clothing that I should not dismiss.

Plus, Barnett is gosh darn funny!

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