"Why use a stethoscope when we can just see it through a cardio exam. Slowly and gradually community hospitals will come to resemble FVA hospitals. We will have universal care like the great nations of Europe. And we'll suffer with double digit unemplyment and smaller houses and cars while we wait for the health care that is our right" et al.

The question is why is every profession, not just legal or medicine or architecture and ours, becoming more and more so that the customer is no longer the pitiless captain?

Vincent Andres answers:

1. More and more poor education (+ other reasons) makes more and more people incapable of doing something truly useful. More and more people cannot do hard jobs or dirty jobs. Nevertheless, in order for the global system to keep up appearances, those peoples have to got an official occupation. The system works well. Everybody deserves a place in the system. The system is able to provide everybody a place in itself.

2. Putting everybody several hours in front of a TV per day is a first solution, but this does not well maintain the appearances of people working. (Although there is clearly a trend admitting as socialy acceptable that people have more and more of their time leisuring.)

3. The only other solution is to adapt the level of "jobs" to the level of people, i.e make the job simpler simpler and simpler. Hard jobs or dirty jobs being forbidden, the only other possibility left is penpushers. So the system has to create millions of such jobs. But this has to be done in a credible way. So complexity is created everywhere where it is possible, in Europe, in France, new laws, rules, etc are created on a weekly basis. (even our judges don't know the law in full today). There is also a multiplication of levels, each level being able to produce its own laws/rules (fractal complexity). This justifies the creation of thousands of offices, agencies, businesses, etc, officialy to cope with this complexity, but /in fine/ truly only to provide jobs, or better said, occupations. The system is a gigantic gas factory, and one of its main function now is to add each day more and more complexity, more and more pipes, in order to justify hiring people to build and maintain those pipes. Each of us deserves a place as an extra in this global spectacle.

Of course such a system is in deficit, ie not sustainable by itself on the long term. No country can survive with ~40% of the population playing theatre. It has to import most of its energy from outside. Hard and dirty jobs have greatly to be done by outsiders.

We are currently living in a moment where energy importing from our outsides becomes a bit more difficult. This system, in which we became more and more simple "extras" is analyzed in Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord, 1967  (caution: although the book has great ideas, it is not super well written).





Speak your mind

2 Comments so far

  1. BG on June 1, 2010 8:55 pm

    I recently read Linchpin by Seth Godin. In it he describes Linchpins as the indispensable value creators of the world. A linchpin is the part you can’t live without, the thing that makes a difference. In every organization there are one (or several) people like this. It might be the brilliant inventor who creates the impossible, or the great sales rep or customer service person who makes a connection, or the marketer who knows how to tell a story that resonates.

    As you read the book, you realize that a linchpin goes against what policymakers are trying to make.
    It seems in todays world people want a great job where they are a cog in the wheel being told what to do but, “There are no longer any great jobs where someone else tells you precisely what to do.”.

    He encourages everyone to become an artist in everything they apply themselves to.

    “Art is unique, new and challenging to the status quo. It’s not decoration. It’s something that causes change. Art cannot be merely commerce. It must also be a gift.”

    People want it easy and to be indispensable.

    “Nothing about becoming indispensable is easy. If it’s easy, it’s already been done and it’s no longer valuable.”

  2. douglas roberts dimick on June 2, 2010 1:03 pm

    Evolution of Concentrations

    Based on traditional economic (not federal bureaucracy contorted) parametrics, are we not now suffering from double-digit unemployment nearing Great Depression levels?

    This phenomenon (inverted or rotated triangulation) of consumer economics is the result of rules-based degradation (or corruption, which the Communist Party here in China calls “harmony”) from corporate and political concentrations at state and federal levels of government.

    Evolution of concentrated two-parties/one-channel (i.e., soft money) political systematics since Watergate – whereby nontransparent, backroom governance has been replaced by out-in-the-open concentric acclimation of election campaign financing – mirrors the military industrial complex paradigm that President Eisenhower portended in his January 1961 farewell address.

    Two aspects of the intended consequences…

    Economic efficiency via production formulations intended to minimize labor costs and maximize profits: free trade instead of fair trade policies have benefited MNC p/e ratios but have cost-shifted life cycles of middle-class employment and welfare from private sector to state and federal governments by “redefining” the national job base during US globalized restructuring from manufacturing to service economy.

    This social-economic narrowing of our middle class and particularly the baby-boomer generation within an aging US population has and continues to reduce breath and vitality of most if not all regional consumer markets in America. To date, debt has been utilized at corporate and government levels to anesthetize that chronic, deteriorating state of play.

    Political corruption via two-party-system gerrymandering of congressional/legislative district formulations to minimize independent party competition and maximize party/incumbent financings: reduction in electoral competition and voter turnout a la increased incumbent advantage and campaign costs from redistricting (albeit neutral or cross-party agency) has inverted (or perverted) constitutional dicta of “one man, one vote.”

    Current party-contra-constituent-financing schemes no longer correlate to objective rules, including: convex polygon ratio, splitline algorithm, and isoperimetric quotient. Moreover, 1990’s corporatization of press and media (i.e., the unofficial fourth branch of government) has displaced if not neutralized (or politicized) monitoring of governmental (three-branch) system of checks and balances; accordingly, a corporate-political nexus increasingly obfuscates issues via endemic orchestration of election campaigns into prepackaged (TV dinner-like) formats – see the 1986 movie “Power” staring R. Gere, D. Washington, and G. Hackman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_(film)).

    Once we consider the legal and commercial dynamics associated with these two aspects of the American republic system of democracy, it is not so difficult to understand why we now mandate use of a cardiogram instead of a stethoscope.

    Because I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, I spent ten years preparing so I could be admitted to law school. Once a 1L, my mentor of those 10 pre-law years – the late Herbert H. Sawyer Esq. of Falmouth, Maine – repeatedly encouraged me not to become a member of the Bar. Why?

    ‘The profession has become a business,” he lamented.

    To the extent that the “pitiless captain” represents a literary archetype, perhaps our attention to this tale (as in the context of being a lie) is so misdirected (or deflected), whereby we continue to fail to consider the degree of culpability of the captains of industry and their political co-conspirators.

    A primary lesson in rules-based analysis: relativity of price action is not the behavior of one or more traders but the outcome(s) of their trades.

    In this regard, the suits – the smart boys bartering money with the rest (or most of the rest) sucking kneecaps for votes – share the same mistress, unwittingly or otherwise… quantifiable success with zero accountability and spinner-like press.



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