Chaos Out of Order

A couple of days ago I had a fit about several programs on C-Span that I’d watched in which all of the people spoke in zombie talk and what they were talking about were problems that occurred as a result of non-sequitur solutions to problems which created bigger problems that they were attempting to solve with even more illogical, non-sequitur solutions. 

Everybody in the program - from the Mayor of a Columbian city, to the USTR, Susan Schwab, to the members of Congress accompanying her on the trade mission spoke in what I've come to call Zombie Talk.  Zombie talk is imprecise labels used instead of the precise term applicable to the immediate situation.  A simple example is the use of the word furniture rather than the word chair when you are talking about a chair - and assume that you can't see the object so you have to guess the object.  In your mind, after listening to a discussion of furniture, you pick up the clues and do a translation to the word 'chair' and from that point, the discussion makes sense.  This example is simple because it's both physical and the object choices are limited. 

Just looking at the language, 'furniture' is a set name.  Chair, couch, table all belong to the set 'furniture'.  By the description of an individual item in the set, you can translate the imprecise word 'furniture' to the precise word 'chair'.  

The more different kinds of objects that are included in the set, the less precise the set name has to be.  For example, consider the people involved in a school:  you have the students, teachers, principal, janitor, secretaries, guidance counselor, etc.  So what would you use as a set name for all those individuals?   How about human resources?  It is descriptive of the set of individuals as a collective label.   But when you are talking about an individual teacher or a student, the label human resource makes no sense. 

Set labels make sense in some contexts.  When you call a moving company, you don't want to list every item you want moved so you say, I want my furniture moved.  For most people, that is as complex as the use of sets and set labels gets.  However, in the world of computers and systems design, their world revolves around sets.  Systems analysts define everything as being a member of a set.  Individual objects that do not fit a set classification are not desirable because they require special handling which reduces efficiency so what Systems Analysts tend to do is to drive for uniformity for efficiency of information handling. 

Uniformity for the purpose of quality control in a manufacturing process is highly desirable.  You do want all products coming off an assembly line to be identical.  But as a general rule, uniformity is highly undesirable because 'one size does not fit all'.  It would be absurd if a societal decision was made to produce all dresses in a size 12 because that is the average size.  It would be efficient from a Systems point of view, but it wouldn't work in the real world where some women wear an 18 and others wear a 2.   Using simple examples, it's easy to see that efficiency for some purposes creates insoluble problems in other areas.

National Information Infrastructure

As I described in a commentary the other day, one of the Clinton-Gore initiatives was to redesign government to be more efficient.  A committee was empowered to look at the government computer systems and re-engineer them - and as a consequence, to change the way government functions all for the sake of efficiency of information processing.  When you redesign processes from the top, it drives changes all the way down the information chain.  As the government standardizes definitions for uniformity for their computer systems, they drive standardization and uniformity to the states, counties and cities - and ultimately down to the people. 

The standardization (aka harmonization) is packaged into programs like 'No Child Left Behind (NCLB)' which was more about the national computer system for management of the education system (i.e. performance metrics) than it was about educating children.  Because automating processes at the federal government level is a huge undertaking, the plans for automation are initially packaged as 'Best Practices'  that ultimately will be coded into law as mandates under names like NCLB.  While the package of NCLB did have some good things in it - for a few school districts, the majority opinion of it at the classroom level is that it has been a dismal failure - and the reason is obvious when you understand that it was marketed as one thing - improvements for education - when it fact it was something different - the mandate for standardization of data collection for federal reporting.

Redesigning Political Units on Logical Boundaries

This morning I read an article titled, 'EU wipes England off the map, and unites the Republic of Ireland with Wales',  This article served as the impetus for me to write this commentary.  The following is an excerpt from the article:  

"The Tories have issued a St George’s Day rallying cry against plans by Brussels to “wipe England off the map”…

The change splits England into three and lumps those parts together with chunks of other countries to create “transnational regions”.

It is claimed these zones - which have been allocated their own budgets - are intended to boost trade between EU nations.

But the Tories yesterday accused the Government of trying “to create a European superstate via the back door”.

Under the programme, known as INTER-REG, counties along England’s south coast form the “Manche Region” along with northern France.

The “Atlantic Region” takes in western England, along with Ireland, Wales and parts of Portugal, Spain, France and Scotland.

Meanwhile eastern England is part of the “North Sea Region”, which covers areas of Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands.

In their reorganization of Europe into logical units for management, the EU Systems Designers ignored everything except their concept of logical units of organization for efficiency of their processes which are their plans for delivery of goods, services and the controls that go with them.   And the same thing is being done with the United States, Canada and Mexico.

When we reach this goal by our unified efforts, we will inspire the world by our example. Together, let us go forward to build an age of prosperity in a hemisphere of liberty. Together, let us use this Summit of the Americas to launch the century of the Americas.  George Bush, Quebec City, April 21, 2001


If you look at a map of the North American Continent - and you think only of logical organization for management, the boundaries of the U.S., Mexico and Canada make no sense. 

So the System Designers solution is to redraw the map to form logical units without regard for the fact that established boundaries are crossed.   

Arizona-Sonora Economic Region


Chaos Out of Order

It should be apparent to all even without a systems background, that the people who are remapping Europe, the United States, Canada and Mexico are Systems Analysts who are redefining the world to meet their own requirements of a logical design - driving uniformity down the information chain that translates into actual physical, cultural and social changes.  In other words, they are creating chaos out of order - our chaos for their order.  They are working with sets of objects with false uniformity.  Since problems can really only be solved 'on the ground' using a precise definition of the problem, Systems Theory as a tool for global and regional societal design is unworkable and will always cause chaos.


Notice any similarities of philosophy?   

"Neutron Jack"

Jack Welsh, Former CEO of General Electric

George Bush: “I inherited a bad economy,” he said, noting that former GE CEO Jack Welsh advised him in late 2000 that recession was imminent. “So we acted immediately after taking office to make the U.S. the best place to do business in the world.”

Modern Dictatorship:

“One thing Bill Clinton will be remembered for in the future is that he presided over record numbers of corporate mergers -- to be exact, 70,000 of them. By comparison, the Reagan era saw 40,000 corporate consolidations. Markets central to our existence, such as food distribution, pharmaceuticals and energy, are oligopolies that can be characterized as highly centralized command economies only a shade more competitive than the economy of the former Soviet Union.

Take this job and ship it:

"In praising the merits of outsourcing, Bush's administration is following the lead of CEOs such as General Electric's Jack Welsh who shifted software development and back-office jobs to India years ago. Today firms such as McKinsey & Co. and A. T. Kearney have shifted the bulk of their research divisions to places such as Bombay and Chennai, India. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has hired junior stock analysts and other research staffers in its Bombay office. .U.S Banks such as Citibank, brokerages such as Merrill Lynch, mutual companies and other financial services companies are planning to relocate 500,000 jobs offshore, or 8 percent of their work force over the next few years. Deloitte Research forecast in April last year that about 15 percent of financial jobs worldwide would be moved to countries sporting cheap labor.

If it can be done sitting in front of a desk, it is game for outsourcing.

The trend is not limited to corporations. Bush's White House plans to subject at many as 850,000 federal jobs to competition from the private sector, including desk jobs that can find their way overseas to politically well-connected contractors with offices in India, Malaysia, the Philippines, and perhaps Russia."

Bush as Jack's Water Boy

Two American companies, General Electric and Honeywell International, were barred from merging by the European antitrust regulator in 2001 after the proposed $42 billion deal was given the go-ahead by U.S. authorities...At the time, the threat of a veto drew some of America's most powerful players to the table. Jack Welsh delayed his retirement as chief executive of General Electric in order to see through the takeover of Honeywell... President George W. Bush even joined in the lobbying in the run-up to the ruling to try to get the deal approved in Europe.

Mercury-laden, 5 times more expensive


As Jack Welsh, former CEO of General Electric, was fond of saying, "if you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete."

Former CEO of GE Jack Welsh said, "the ideal factory would be built on a barge" so it could be hauled around the world to low-wage areas, where it could operate without labor rules, environmental protections or other standards.

"Call it Jack Welch's Third Revolution. Since the hypercompetitive Welch took the reins at GE 15 years ago, he has relentlessly reshaped this icon of the American economy. Through the 1980s, Welch barnstormed through GE shutting factories, paring payrolls, and hacking mercilessly at its lackluster old-line units. Welch's tough tactics presaged much of the reengineering that followed across Corporate America. But he was hardly done. At the businesses he kept, Welch pushed his managers to become ever more productive. Inventories were trimmed, bureaucracies dismantled, and inefficiencies attacked with a vengeance.

Today, Welch oversees a vastly more competitive company than the one he took over. And Welch himself has become the gold standard against which other CEOs are measured. With its stock up 86%, to 95, since early 1995, GE has become the most valuable company on the globe, with a total market capitalization of $157 billion. And with earnings expected to hit $7.4 billion this year, GE is now poised to become America's most profitable company."

Gut Punch

Under Welch, G.E.'s real "core competence" has been financial engineering. Every year, Welch bought dozens of companies to boost G.E.'s profits and its stock price. The process worked like this: Say that G.E. has a stock-market valuation of four hundred billion dollars and profits of ten billion dollars, which means that its stock is trading at forty times its earnings. (Until the recent turbulence in the stock market, this wasn't far from the truth.) Now assume that G.E. buys another company with a stock-market valuation of twenty billion dollars and annual profits (or potential profits) of two billion dollars. What is the value of the combined company? You might think the answer should be four hundred and twenty billion, but that's not how Wall Street sees it. If investors continue to believe that G.E. is worth forty times earnings, the new valuation will be four hundred and eighty billion dollars. As if by magic, sixty billion dollars will be created.

In relying on acquisitions, Welch exploited the myopic way in which Wall Street often values companies. And, as long as G.E. delivered consistent earnings growth, which it managed to do for twenty years, the strategy has been sustainable. But truly great businessmen—such as Alfred Sloan, the creator of General Motors, and Thomas Watson, the creator of I.B.M.—do not rely on financial trickery. They build durable business franchises that last for decades. Welch did no such thing.

General Electric - Windfalls of War

Former CEO Jack Welch was a George W. Bush supporter and a major Republican contributor. Two weeks before his inauguration, Bush invited Welch and other CEO's (including Enron's Ken Lay) to Texas for a summit. Bush reportedly considered Welch for a Cabinet position and, in the summer of 2001, sent members of his administration to lobby the European Union in support of GE's proposed merger with Honeywell, which the EU ultimately rejected.


Throughout 2001, California Congressman Henry Waxman accused Welch of intervening in NBC's 2000 election night coverage and pressuring the network to prematurely declare Bush the winner. Welch admitted he attended an election night party at NBC's headquarters and that he cheered for Bush but denied interfering with coverage decisions. When the major network and cable news division heads were called before Congress in January 2001 to account for the election night debacle, the president of NBC News offered Waxman access to internal videotapes made of Welch on election night, only to withdraw the offer just days later.







Global Insanity is Making Me Crazy

Global "governance" steps out of the shadows. 

I've watched 3 or 4 programs this morning all oriented towards - global problems, global solutions... global village... we are all in
this boat together ... ok now, group hug and let's all sing kum ba ya  (spelling is no doubt wrong but I don't give darn)

The program I'm watching now - at CSIS - is featuring, Josette Sheeran, Director of the UN World Food Program.   She was talking about 'food insecurity'
and  how countries no longer produce their own food - they mostly import.  
Well.....   freaking DUH!      The Structural Adjustment Programs - PROMOTED BY THE GOD DAMN WORLD BANK  and the first Bush Administration
- and in particular, JAMES BAKER III,  demanded that countries restructure their economies to be EXPORTING economies. 
The solution Sheeran suggests?    SUPPLY SIDE ECONOMICS!  




Vicky Davis
April 22, 2008