Nov

13

 Whether it's politicians or bankers or previously highly regarded journalism i.e the BBC, it seems no amount of cutting sacrificial heads will vary the course of the ship. The culture has changed, and whether it's due to changes in morals, etiquette, the transfer of private to public companies, or an attitude of extreme competitiveness, I'm not sure. Listening to an interview I believe on the BBC the other day, they mentioned something they could have been sued for, and said something like, "yes we overstepped the mark yadda yadda", all the while staying very business like…. The interview finished with the memorable last line of "we got away with it!", which showed their true colors of course.

I don't have an answer, but I know that the BBC has been inviting problems for years in its transfer from high end to mass appeal, and as one paper editor mentioned recently in West Australia, words to the effect of "after all the masses are not that bright", they want more goss than substance….maybe that is the conundrum across the board.

Market wise…well…the need of most to think about themselves first and foremost, especially in times of chaos, will always provide the cane swinger with opportunities.

Richard Owen writes:

Like so many things perceived to be a linear spectrum (eg. left wing / right wing), at the extremes it bends round in a circle. In an attempt to achieve equality of opportunity, the world is now bending round to extreme disparity from that.

If you allow people access on a meritocratic basis, you need measurement. But all reasonable measurement systems exceed the patience of the professionals concerned.

It is everywhere, from employee measurement systems within General Electric a-la Jack Welch; political voting structures; the index measurement of asset classes. The aspiring middle class has become subject to as much whipsaw as Ed Seykota's SPU contracts.

In politics, you have 10 year duration policy being set in response to sentiment on 2 hour rotation news bulletins. Churchill used to read and paint in the afternoons to give him perspective during the war — can you come close to imagining that for a PM now?

This means the well held canes of family capitalism are stronger than ever.

Add in the fact that branded education and prime property is on the way to being repriced only for that family elite, and you have something quite pernicious in effect. If you look at where Hittlerite Germany really took off, the legitimacy came not through working class populism, but when the aspiring middle class goat soaked by currency default. It's when the 80-95-%tile (who have worked their asses off to always get grade B+) get their hands slapped down that things get really ugly. They are smart enough to create real havoc.

And I think what Craig points out is another symptom of this development.

Anton Johnson writes:

It is human robustness that is undergoing what could be termed reverse-evolution. Numerous historically attenuated genes, ranging from those coding for hemophilia to astigmatism, are now proliferating. Consequently, as a species, we may well morph into that frail, technology dependent brain-vessel depicted in the advanced alien species of science-fiction.


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