My thing vs group things

Posted on November 7, 2010

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Penny: ” Ok, everyone needs a strong thing – like a strong self-image, sort of an ‘I’m all right jack’ thingy, but the future is uncertain so confident Jack is going to screw up a lot of the times. How’s that work?’

Professor Wiggly: ” The American Dream says that anyone can make it if they REALLY try. So what we have are millions of people in the game with different beliefs – biases, hopes, hunches, bets – of how the future will unfold. All you need is a few of them getting it right – the leaders of  general electric, Apple, Google,  Microsoft, the mayor of New York, the coach of the SF Giants, etc. – and a lot of the rest of us can ride along on their coat tails. Also we pay taxes to support safety nets – fire departments, police, hospitals, armed forces, social security – to cover our butts when things go wrong. That’s the main idea behind Democracies and free enterprise. It’s not perfect but among the imperfect trial and error systems of managing life that have evolved its done relatively well. It’s a system that provides a fair amount of freedom for individual differences in self-image and bets on the future, while investing in maj0r supporting cultural infrastructure to add stability.”

Penny: “And it looks like a new system, China’s emerging combination of communistic free-enterprise, is starting to challenge ours. China is permitting increased freedom for individual self-images and bets on the future concerning business behavior, but maintaining pretty tight infrastructure controls on political and cultural beliefs, hopes, bets, etc.”

Peter: ” Do you think China will win, will overtake us?”

Professor Wiggly: ” I assume that the future is too complex for anyone to answer that question with certainty. But my belief or bias – my self-image and political bets are based on the notion that China’s system is still too rigid to successfully ride uncertain futures. Our’s may be too unstable – time will tell.”

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Posted in: Sciencing, Yer Thing