Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Daily Growler Exacerbation Society, The Wolf Man Alone

Foto by tgw, new york city, 2007

Exacerbating Continuing Present Continues Continuing in Its Continuous Way
First of all, I've always been amused by the irony of the Nobel Peace Prize being given by the man who invented dynamite. Dynamite is the invention that has not only disturbed world peace through its use in modern warfare but is also disturbing world peace by ruining environments around the world: being used to raze neighborhoods in the war on the poor brought by the eminent-domain-pirates and their gentrification developments (like Donald Trump blasting out beautiful natural landscapes to make room for one of his monotonously cheaply construction tacky Trump Cities--Trump's view of community as gaudy as his bad 80s sweepover (and constantly blond-highlighted) hairdo); to implode perfectly good old buildings for the resurrection of the latest in architectural copycatness; to blast off the tops of mountains so as to not only rape them of their natural beauty but to also rape them of their natural treasures; to blow out ancient canyon walls in order to build an unnatural concrete dam that creates an unnatural lake (like the City of San Francisco did in Yosemite National Park flooding what John Muir called "one of the most beautiful and peaceful valleys in the world" for their city water supply). With this in mind, I wasn't so shocked on awakening this morning to the news that in Oslo the keepers of Alfred Nobel's prize monies have awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama. It makes sense to me. And the Norwegian dude trying to explain it to the Obama bashers made sense to me, too. This dude said they gave the prize to Obama because they believed the rhetoric of his speeches in which he declared himself for change with emphasis on changing the world view of the USA from one of distrust to one of peaceful negotiators and restorers of our original values (whatever the hell those are). Obama's speech in Cairo to the Muslim World (sort of a hollow speech to me) impressed these keepers of the dynamite dynasty monies with its intentions. And that's why he won the Nobel Peace Prize, for his good intentions. Ironic since he so far in his short time in office has done nothing to change anything, ironically escalating our two illegal attempts at occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, including extending the Afghanistan Occupational War (Obama's blessed war) over into Pakistan, where everyday now 100s of innocent civilians are dying and these abominable drone flights continue bombing the bejesus out of that renegade Pakistan state in which yesterday in Peshawar (a city in which it was once reported Osama bin Laden rented a villa) 40 or 50 people were blown to bits by a car bomber and yesterday in Kabul the Taliban claimed they were responsible for blowing away 30 or 40 innocent bystanders in front of the Indian Embassy--they did it against Indian they said. Do car bombers use dynamite for their bombs? Or fertilizer bombs like Timothy McVeigh?

And also along the lines of peacemaking, just today Congress decided to leave the Patriot Act as is--well, maybe letting the government spy on more Americans and forcing people to "profile" terrorists in their spare time and turn suspicious-looking (Muslim-looking) Americans in to the SS troopers so they can be considered enemy combatants and sent off to one of the many prisons still being operated all over the world--including Guantanamo, which hasn't shut down yet--so the Patriot Act (a Bill Clinton invention) will continue on continuing except now with more invasive incursions into We the People's privacy--necessary because Obama says al-Queda is still intent on killing Americans and threatening New York City--their eye is on the New York City subway system now. President Obama is carrying on with Georgie Porgie Bush's War on Terrorism, more ferociously than Bush in a lot of ways. Like today or tomorrow he's going to approve sending 40,000 more tired and worn-out US soldiers as canon fodder into that unendable mess in Afghanistan.

But, you see, ending those wars is not the peace referred to by this Nobel Peace Prize the Norwegians just gave President Obama. They are giving Obama this prize because they believe even though he's carrying on the same-ole same-ole US shit of war and destruction and backing dictators and cruel regimes around the world, like our constant defense and support of Israel no matter their criminal intentions, if he's given this prize, it will wake him up to his original ambitions of change, of changing the image of the USA around the world and working against conflict in favor of negotiation and diplomacy.

I've always puzzled at Israel. They seem to have to take their revenge for the Holocaust out on somebody. They can't take it out on Germany; Germany's too world established and economically powerful now. They can't take it out on Russia; there's the same problem there; so who do they take it out on? Why the Arabs, who to Israelis are dogs not humans anyway, and who are rather helpless against Israel's USA-supported economy and military (we give Israel 30 billion dollars a year--without our help, Israel would crash tomorrow morning).

You see, to these Norwegian peaceful dynamiters, President Obama, folks, was the seemingly only hope for peace for the whole world. The world cheered as he amazingly won the 2008 presidency. The people of the world had great expectations for President Obama. Their faces showed happiness for the first time in a long time as the world watched the pomp and ceremony surrounding his inauguration. Just look at the masses of people who came out for that inauguration. All over the world, Africans, Chinese, Koreans, Canadians, Arabs, Bahamians were wearing Barack Obama teeshirts and giving the peace sign. Finally the USA was taking a good long look at itself and was seeing what the rest of the world saw, a criminal USA that needed to be put on trial under the strong will of a considerately strong judge. They thought Obama saw it, too, and was on their side and his speeches gave them hope that he could do what he said he could do. "Yes, We Can," the world was shouting with him! That's why the dynamiters gave him their peace prize. As the Norwegian dude said, they hope the prize will move Obama up to his greatest potential, that of World Peacemaker and Uniter!

The dynamite dynasty has been fooled by the legend of Barack Obama and not the real man. The real man has readily admitted all along, he says so in his book, that he believes Ronald Reagan was on the right track with his Free Trade Capitalism. He also admitted in his book that his true heroes were the Wall Street wheelers and dealers, the purveyors of this Free Trade Capitalism. Barack Obama is a Harvard Law School-trained corporate lawyer. Check out what corporate lawyers study. Obama was editor of the Harvard Law School Review, a position you don't get if you are a leftwing humanitarian. There are no humanitarians in the corporate world. There are only money-mad-and-grubbing criminals in the corporate world. That's why they need Harvard Law School corporate attorneys on their staffs. Obama is what the corporate world calls one of the "best and brightest."

I was in the corporate advertising world at the time "best and brightest" came on the corporate slogan line. It all started in the 1980s with the concept of "Bridging the Gap." Which means placing electronic bridges from Corporate America across the world's seas--uniting the Corporate World into what became after those gaps were bridged, the Global Marketplace.
At the same time something called Quantitative Management was evolving into becoming a gold standard for the Global Marketplace (when accounting firms (formerly tax preparers) merged and realigned themselves proactively (a Quantitative Management word that started being slung about around "war rooms" in the "Bridging the Gap" '80s) as Management Consulting Firms.

Quantitative Management originated in college Industrial Engineering departments (my college's Sociology Department was originally in the Industrial Arts Building). It was the science created by math and physics best and brightest just learning how to use Brainiac computer systems to do "modeling"--creating models of anything from the solar system to the world's water supplies, though the Quantitative Management aspects of modeling were used to model corporate entities, the pluses and minuses of a corporate structure based on empirical inputs covering all aspects of a company's operating system, but especially advanced in terms of what they called "management decision making." Remember when dictionaries had to deal with whether decisionmaking was a combo word or two separate words?

Here's an online definition of decision making:
Noun1.decision making - the cognitive process of reaching a decision; "a good executive must be good at decision making"
officiating, officiation, refereeing, umpirage - the act of umpiring; "the officiating was excellent"
higher cognitive process - cognitive processes that presuppose the availability of knowledge and put it to use
determination - deciding or controlling something's outcome or nature; "the determination of grammatical inflections"
eclectic method, eclecticism - making decisions on the basis of what seems best instead of following some single doctrine or style
groupthink - decision making by a group (especially in a manner that discourages creativity or individual responsibility)
closure, resolution, settlement - something settled or resolved; the outcome of decision making; "they finally reached a settlement with the union"; "they never did achieve a final resolution of their differences"; "he needed to grieve before he could achieve a sense of closure"
judging, judgement, judgment - the cognitive process of reaching a decision or drawing conclusions
change of mind, flip-flop, turnabout, turnaround, reversal - a decision to reverse an earlier decision
choice, pick, selection - the person or thing chosen or selected; "he was my pick for mayor"
cull, reject - the person or thing that is rejected or set aside as inferior in quality
alternative, option, choice - one of a number of things from which only one can be chosen; "what option did I have?"; "there no other alternative"; "my only choice is to refuse"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2008 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
Most of us who have earned our livings off the corporate world have heard all of the above words or phrases used relating to our work at one time or another since decision making came on line in the 80s (all of this stuff evolving right along with desktop publishing and PCs). [When I typed "decision making" into the Webster's Dictionary website I got back the following: "The word you've entered isn't in the dictionary." The most frequent on-line definition found is the one from Princeton quoted above.]

The process of Quantitative Management is 1) Identify the problem; 2) Determine goals and objectives for solving the problem; 3) Gather the necessary data; 4) Formulate an analytic model of the problem; 5) Select alternatives to be evaluated; 6) Evaluate alternatives; 7) Select the preferred alternative; 8) Implement the preferred alternative. That is from a textbook co-written by an old dear-old friend of mine from my youth, Dr. L. Ted Moore, one of the very first students (early 1960s) of Quantitative Physics at Rice University and the University of Houston, which evolved into the physics of the entity or organization or even society, which evolved into...well, here's Dr. Moore on the subject: "The decision making procedures advocated in this text require that there be a quantitative model which can provide information which bears upon the decisions to be made. The model should be built by a quantitative analyst, or modeler, in close cooperation with the appropriate managerial decision makers. To be of any practical value, the model must include the realities of the decision making environment and the constraints imposed upon decision makers by this environment" [Moore and Byrd, Decision Models for Management, McGraw-Hill, 1982, p. 10].

All of this led to what was first called "reengineering." It was ushered in with the Information Age and the age of computers and assimilations and modeling--modeling on computers being big fun for these analytical types, which, dear friends, if you want to know the truth are simply minions of Sociology and the empirical way of decision making, meaning a Sociologist doesn't make a decision without first going over every inch of the problem, analyzing present tenses, the historical past and then guesstimating at the future (that's a word I first heard in my Statistics 101 class) (projecting), hypothesizing the various courses it could take or should take using decision-making techniques. My old pal, Dr. Moore, had good intentions (he was also very well read in Freud) when he became enwrapped in Quantitative Management--he turned his expertise in this field into a very profitable business. Corporations paid big bucks for QM analysts like Dr. Moore to do a model of their whole set up, from the creative ends of the business all the way out to the loading dock where the product is loaded onto the trucks or planes or whatever to get the product out into the marketplace with the least possible friction, the most productive way, the cost-effective way of producing and then the fair pricing of the product and an objectively obtained profit as the end result. Between coming up with brand ideas and raking in the profits is a very complicated path involving perhaps thousands of humans and thousands of machines and thousands of decision makers and thousands of directions to go. Out of reengineering (also called "restructuring") came MERGERS!

The 1980s and 1990s brought new waves of friendly mergers and "hostile" takeovers in some industries, as corporations tried to position themselves to meet changing economic conditions. Mergers were prevalent, for example, in the oil, retail, and railroad industries, all of which were undergoing substantial change. Many airlines sought to combine after deregulation unleashed competition beginning in 1978. Deregulation and technological change helped spur a series of mergers in the telecommunications industry as well. Several companies that provide local telephone service sought to merge after the government moved to require more competition in their markets; on the East Coast, Bell Atlantic absorbed Nynex. SBC Communications joined its Southwestern Bell subsidiary with Pacific Telesis in the West and with Southern New England Group Telecommunications, and then sought to add Ameritech in the Midwest. Meanwhile, long-distance firms MCI Communications and WorldCom merged, while AT&T

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Under the heading "Ethical Behavior," Dr. Moore and Dr. Byrd wrote the following in 1982: "The social attitudes of the 60s and 70s often cast the large organization in the role of the villain of society. Corporations were accused of lacking social responsibility. The view of managers as being only concerned with profits became commonplace. However, the attitudes of managers were and are often determined by ethical considerations.

"Maximum profits is not the sole operating goal of management, and ethical behavior is considered to be important in decision making. Peter Drucker (1973) explains the mistrust by the public as a result of the business executives for not doing their job in explaining economic realities.

"Models may also be influenced by the rhetoric of profit so that modeled objectives stress monetary considerations to the exclusion of social responsibilities. For example, a pollution control model may seek the method for exactly meeting pollution control standards, but its major objective is to hold down control costs. So strong is the economic orientation of modelers and managersa that such models rarely pursue the best way to minimize pollution" [Byrd & Moore, Decision Models for Management, McGraw-Hill, 1982].

May I add here: I lost my old friend, Dr. L. Ted Moore, in January of 2002. Dr. Moore had been suffering from brain cancer after a life of struggling against physical impairments--like a spinal infection that left him semi-paralyzed and crippled (he dragged his left foot) from his 20s until he died; then in his 50s he began suffering from degenerative arthritis.

Ted loved pro-football and one Sunday in January 2002 he called his family into his hospital room where he was on a life-support system and they watched an afternoon of pro football games together. After the games were over and the final scores posted, Ted, in his usual determined manner, pulled the plug on his life-support system himself and went on into that big Physics Department in some long-lost sky. Ted Moore was without a doubt the most brilliant human being I've ever met--and trust me, I've met some brilliant people in my life--including celebrities known for their intelligence (like Marshall McLuhan); yet none of them ever impressed me like Ted Moore did.

Ted once told me that Quantitative Management models were based on ethical principles and that the designers of the field had no idea their corporate models would end up being used to merge and use mergering as a way to outplace staffs, to merge and fire thousands of people, to reengineer corporations to be more profiteering than socially responsible. He call corporate heads "leeches," self-centered, and thinking only of their own careers and nest eggs. Another thing Professor Moore told me before he died, was how disappointed he was with his teaching career--he was in the Industrial Engineering Department at West Virginia University. He considered his teaching a failure. He said most of his students were so dumb they were unable to grasp even the simplest of Quantitative Management theories--and he gave as an elementary example of their dumbness by saying one day he gave a pop test to his graduate students. He told his class that they could take this test with impunity in terms of scores. One of his students raised his hand and asked, "Doctor Moore, so what's the impunity going to be if we fail this test?"

Dr. L. Ted Moore (1939-2002)

for The Daily Growler

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