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Eminence Grise
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Regarding the very interesting link above, check out the graph comparing the decline in computer engineering enrollment with the increase in mechanical engineering enrollment. There's a leading indicator for you :)
Toggle Commented Nov 12, 2009 on LINKS: 12 NOV 09 at Global Guerrillas
Greg Burton, thank you for the thought-provoking reply. I think 1) you're on to something which I need to think over, and 2) I really need to get my own blog. As for FT Hood, I can see it as conflicting loyalties, especially when you view it as Hasan being rejected by one identity group (military) because of his membership in another (Islam). He is a disturbed individual to be sure, but one who felt (right or wrong) like he was being forced to choose.
Interesting stuff, Duncan, thanks. I've been thinking along similar lines recently, regarding the relationship between identity and loyalty: freebooters could self-identify as English, for example, but without any loyalty to the crown or with shifting loyalty as they perceived where their interests lay at any given moment. But even if they were sailing under a flag of convenience (or the Jolly Roger), they were still at heart Englishmen. Thus stratified loyalty: individual interest subordinate to ethnicity/culture/tribe subordinate to state. Applied to the modern world, there are plenty of groups who self-identify with a particular ethnicity, religion, etc. whose loyalty to any state is secondary at best. But what to do about us native, 3rd generation+ American folks who've been raised to give primary loyalty to the state, its institutions and ideology (constitutional democracy), and through various forms of assimilation no longer possess any meaningful links to traditional identities (e.g. ethnicity and religion)? I'm still wrestling with the answer, and probably will be for a while. But for now I'm thinking that one primary loyalty will be to one's profession, like the old guilds or the early Freemasons. I find myself increasingly tied into the local geek community, and could see us becoming self-identified as "makers," that identity and the network ties staying with us as we move from place to place, following the work. Even with a guy like me who does remote contract telework, my social ties and ultimate loyalty is to the local geek network, not the corporations who pay me. And I feel more respect, admiration and *trust* for makers in Finland and Brazil than I do any of the thieves and murderers in Washington DC or my state capitol. Bringing it back full circle, could we see groups working under "flags of convenience" but self-identified as makers first and "citizens" second, with primary loyalty to their particular guild? Okay, thanks for letting me think out loud :)
In my job search, I've run into more and more companies who want to hire someone "for the long run" and who is not a "job-hopper" who will bolt the instant the economy improves. Yet these same companies insist on long hours and low pay. Aside from the obvious disconnect (an employee is more likely to be loyal if treated fairly when times are tough), the sheer hypocrisy is remarkable: it seems clear to me from the events of the past few years that the companies themselves (or at least their executives) have no loyalty to anything but profits. Yet they expect the serfs to be different? Unbelievable. At this point, my chief concern is finding my "tribe" so I can have someone worthy of giving my loyalty to. But in a disconnected, fragmented society, that's proving tough.
Toggle Commented Nov 11, 2009 on JOURNAL: LOYALTY? at Global Guerrillas
Polizeros has an excellent post on super-empowered individuals in the financial sector, "What if The Joker lives in the financial sector too":
Toggle Commented Nov 5, 2009 on LINKS: 5 NOV 09 at Global Guerrillas
Wow, that blows me away too. Congratulations JR!
Toggle Commented Oct 23, 2009 on HENRY OKAH! at Global Guerrillas
And now the aliens we *do* want are leaving:
Toggle Commented Sep 23, 2009 on ILLEGAL at John Robb's Weblog
Looks like we know one place where that $12.2 trillion in household net worth went:
Toggle Commented Sep 17, 2009 on Breakdown in Health at John Robb's Weblog
And if they do it wrong: The Battle of Athens, TN - 1946
I don't find them too strident. I *will* admit they're scaring the hell out of me.
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2009 on The Zeitgeist Zelig at John Robb's Weblog
Via Reuters, "The depressing income and poverty data": * Real median household income fell 3.6% between 2007 and 2008, from $52,163 to $50,303. That’s a drop of over $1,800. * Number of people in poverty increased by a whopping 2.5 million, to 39.8 million: 13.2% of the population, the highest poverty rate in over a decade. * The poverty rate for children under the age of 18 is now an eye-popping 19%: basically one child in every five is living in poverty in the US. * ..."the poverty rate will increase rapidly through 2011 or 2012, at which point about 14.4 percent of the country will be in poverty", and that the number of children living in poverty could rise by 5 million, or 38%, to 18 million. * Real incomes fell over the course of the past decade, from $51,295 in 1998 to $50,303 in 2008: In the four decades that the Census bureau has been tracking household income, there has never before been a full decade in which median income failed to rise. (The previous record was eight years, ending in 1986.) Other Census data suggest that it also never happened between the late 1940s and the late 1960s. So it doesn’t seem to have happened since at least the 1930s.
There is virtually no opportunity for advancement for those who are left behind [in places like Jericho]. There is little money to be made outside of odd jobs, selling drugs or government. We shouldn't be surprised that citizens are turning their local governments into thinly-disguised crime syndicates. They literally have no other means to support themselves except fleecing one another. Our country is in the middle of a massive demographic shift and the people being left behind in their decrepit rural (and sometimes urban) wastelands will increasingly turn to crime and graft to support themselves until we can get some kind of solution figured out. Until then, expect to see more stories like this. [original comment:]
Toggle Commented Sep 6, 2009 on Small Town Militia at John Robb's Weblog
>>TED, that wealthy/connected circle jerk Yep. That is all.
Toggle Commented Sep 3, 2009 on Social Capitalism? at John Robb's Weblog
Just wanted to second gmoke's comment: viewed objectively, our society is not at all serious about education.
Toggle Commented Jul 27, 2009 on Towards free education at John Robb's Weblog
Heard this morning that major banks are refusing to accept California IOUs. So as I read it, when the banks are in trouble, the government has an obligation to help them out. But when the government is in trouble, the banks can't be bothered. Hmmm. Methinks government won't be the only thing localized... And I vote for "Grizzlies" (as in the Bear Republic, more likely as in "grisly").
The banksters will be using that loot to provide security for themselves and their families. Not much sympathy for them in law enforcement circles...
Toggle Commented Jun 26, 2009 on DING at John Robb's Weblog