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Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm not resourced to be as successful as I have the opportunity to be.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thinking new thoughts

The changes in communication in the U.S. have led to dramatic changes worldwide. We have, since the beginning, been a nation of change.

Founded by those seeking religious freedoms, the colonies gave rise to private ownership of the printing press. For the first time in history people had a voice that could challenge authority and those who rebelled against King George used it with great effect. A half century later the development of photography and it's ability to be published in newspapers changed our view of the world. Following that the telegraph changed publication by distribution from a central point of information that was deemed important to a mass public. Again our view of our world grew and changed. This brought about an time which has been called the "era of yellow journalism" as publishers worked through the ethical dilemmas and basic foundations of what should be appropriate for publication on a massive scale. Again our perspectives changed.

In the first half of the 20th century, radio was gaining prominence as an entertainment and information medium. Industrialized production of films opened our eyes to new sights. The development of the field of public relations during WWI brought us new perspectives and influences based on the perceived needs of the nation. Radio began to place shift following WWII with the development of transistors and new applications to radio sets. Television was in its infancy and broadcast networks had visions of becoming major industries giving rise to major "news production" capabilities and facilities. The government informed the public with "public service announcements."

A half-century later the rise of cable and then satellite TV brought more channels, more entertainment, more news and information. The public Internet was born. The proliferation of personal computers opened an avenue for the development of the public Web and our views of our world changed again.

"Socrates - GLAUCON

And now, I said, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened: --Behold! human beings living in a underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the den; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets.

I see.

And do you see, I said, men passing along the wall carrying all sorts of vessels, and statues and figures of animals made of wood and stone and various materials, which appear over the wall? Some of them are talking, others silent.

You have shown me a strange image, and they are strange prisoners.

Like ourselves, I replied; and they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave?

True, he said; how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?" -- Plato's Republic (Jowett translation)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Reaping

"... the plowman shall overtake the reaper, ..." Amos 9:13.

There is a reaping occuring in the economic system of the world. More like the gleaning as most of the reaping has already occured by those skillful in the system. It is we who are not that are left to glean the fields of what we can find that is left.

It appears we are cycling through quicker than before, or maybe we are finding the cycles or seasons of the economy. We must not forget that we, around the world, have only been working in this modern economy for about sixty years.

WWII was a systemic shock to the system and the technological advances developed during the war fueled the Industrial Age system for the next 40 years. It was in the 1980s that the U.S. economy moved into a Technology/Information Age. That was a systemic shift which pushed the older Industrial Age infrastructure to developing economies. The need for manufacturing was/is still there, but the willingness to pay for it has caused the "plowmen" to find more fertile fields.

The development of computer technology and changes to the financial laws opened up Wall Street to smaller investors. The co-mingling of banking, insurance, and investing properties through the changes in banking laws and the ability to invest in Wall Street instruments for $50 a month brought an infusion of cash to the system. The lessening of standards for credit sowed confusion into the system. With confusion comes the unscrupulous.

We now reap what we have sown and those with foresight and vision are plowing new fields.