Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Government, the People, the Businesses

Thanks to the political climate of the previous administration, government secrets have been much talked about. ArsTechnica reports on a NSA surveillance program so secret that it became virtually unusable. I won't say any more about this. (They are probably watching...)

Science issues also remain perpetually in the news, and a new Pew study sheds some light on why. It seems the public largely admires and trusts scientists, but their views on the conclusions of the scientific community differ. There is also a huge political divide. Again, thanks to the previous administration, this isn't exactly a surprise.

I have long believed that the stock market optimizes for the wrong variable (quarterly profit growth) with only secondary regard for quality or customer satisfaction. Software consultant and author Bruce Eckel writes about what it might be like if a business really, truly focused on its employees. I think he's making a mistake by leaving the customer out of the equation, but thinking differently about business would certainly seem to be a good idea in a steep recession time like this.

It would be easy to look at these three isolated stories, declare the Bush administration an Epic Fail, and move on. Sadly, I see a bigger pattern at work. What does one do when education, government, and industry all show signs of failure at the same time? Well, how about you folks with kids teach 'em how to learn, teach 'em compassion, teach 'em ethics, and give 'em a hug every night before bed. They're going to have a mess to deal with if we don't work it out. No pressure.


fergus said...

The NSA link takes me to the NYT article on LED lights.

Brian said...

Conspiracy! Nope, just incompetence. It's fixed.