American manufacturing is in trouble in part because American business schools focus almost exclusively on finance
, rather than production
.-- found via Boing Boing.
This thesis jibes with my impressions -- or perhaps it just plays into my prejudices.
You see, I've never really believed
in money. I never have. I know it only has meaning and value because everyone agrees
that it has meaning and value, and I've always found it difficult to buy into the consensual hallucination.
I design games for fun. I model real systems for a vocation. When I look at the financial world and derivative markets and all the rest, it all looks a lot more like the former than the latter. It's made up
. It's arbitrary
. And it bugs the hell out of me that, over the course of my lifetime, the people playing these made-up number games have managed to arrange the world so that their Game is somehow the Only Important Thing. no matter what else you do, no matter what else you know, you have to play their Game to have any measure of stability or security in your life.
And yet, they
have no reciprocal obligation. If you have solid, useful, tangible knowledge, you also have
to know their rules at the most basic level, and the more you pick up, the better off you are -- but if you focus on nothing but
the Game, you have distinct advantages, economically, socially, and politically.
And, adding insult to very real injury, they constantly pat themselves on the back
for being "hard-nosed" and "practical" and "only looking at the bottom line".
In short, they're Munchkins
And yeah, the idea that their inbred, detached-from-reality number games have eviscerated the economy, leaving nothing but a hollow shell, a junk-bond paper tiger, a ghost made of numbers -- that makes perfect sense to Your Obedient Serpent.
On the other claw, as valid as these points may be, at this juncture in my life, I am forced to ask: Hey, Athe, how's that workin' for you?
I need to reassess my own
attitude toward their razzin' frazzin' Game, and my own participation in it. Right now, when someone says "investment" and "mutual funds" to me, what I hear is "gambling" and "scam" -- and that's not useful.