28 July 2007

the benefit gained from decpit and deception

There is a major driver in the business world toward deceit and a major requirement for honesty and transparency. What we have here is a fundamental conflict that is part of the powerhouse that drives forward the economy and society.

Rambling commentary:
If one is in a car crash, and you know you made a mistake, you are told to lie about your liability. Or at the very least deny by omission. This is to limit the damages you may have to pay. It is also dishonest. The tax department would be very unhappy if you did this to limit your tax liability. So would the police. But it is ok to do it to non-government groups. Maximize your gain. Limit you losses. This is how the business world works. Hidden knowledge is beneficial to the profit statement. Yet this sometimes goes very wrong. For instance when the tobacco industry hid their knowldege of the health effects of tobacco, this can have deadly effects. It is in the benefit of too many people to change the rules. So they deflect the criticism to some bunch of people who are not powerful enough to fight back. For example, I saw a major catholic priest here in Sydney the other day quoted on the front page of a paper to say that we should ignore the problem of bad priests (his problem) and concentrate on another. When in reality we should concentrate on both. It is up to the society to determine what is bad and take appropriate action. But powerful vested interests direct the changes to ares where they are not involved. Another example: the recent slavery issue in China. This is what happens when an authority supresses questioning and say shit like you cannot question what we say and do because you will be considered to be disloyal and persecuted. You need to question and look. Ask the question why. I think the Germans understand only too well the need to question. So there is a force for disclosure, and there is a force saying, do what you are told and maintain deception. Complete disclosure does not work. Complete deception does not work. The trick is to know when which is appropriate and why.
More to come on this topic. It is very simple, yet has very complex results.

14 July 2007

A cunning plan

Today, going through my mail there is a letter from Telstra Corporation offering me a dividend reinvestment scheme. These were all the rage a decade ago. Something must have changes because most have been abandoned. However, going against the trend Telstra is offering the scheme. Why? To get rid of all those (17%) future fund shares by stealth. It is quite a clever scheme. Of course if they did not have all these surplus shares, they would not be implementing this scheme. I will not partake as I am rejigging my finances as I buy a new place to live.
"just a minute" by jæms [?]
just a minute

09 July 2007

pol pot syndrome

Well, this is not really about Pol Pot. But a documentary on his regime caused me to have this though. So I will call it Pol Pot Syndrome.

I have been interested by the whole topic of purges and to what purpose they server. Obviously there is an overtly political one, to remove your competitors. But watching the Pol Pot story I was seeing what was presented by the media as a man who was systematically removing his supporters. So here is a simple hypothesis:

1) You have a world view of how people (or economies) should behave.
2) You implement the theories.
3) The results you expected do not occur.
4) You blame and punish those executing the plan as it could not possibly be the plan that is wrong or those who are the victims for being unworthy or not normal.
5) You repeat steps 2 to 4 over and over.

Obviously this is an extreme case, but one would hope that even the most stubborn people see the way out in the end.