February 27, 2003
"Unemployment", as in the checks you receive when you're out of work, is actually unemployment insurance, right? You get premiums deducted out of your paycheck, and all that? I wonder if anyone's every thought about trying to privatize that, if it could ever possibly work. I suppose some people would have to pay higher rates based on their layoff history, or the economy in general. It seems like that might suck. I guess "unemployment" is like the main bit of the social safety net I depend on.
Mo mentioned her company is planning on doing some of that outsourcing to India for an upcoming feature system on the site, looking to her to plan out the thing in excruciating detail. Man, are code monkeys that expensive? All the difficult work is that detailed planning...in fact, you should try not to overplan so you can apply a more interative approach. Anyway, this passage has been on my mind lately:
When I was a teenager, there were some explicit directions on life-saving for swimmers. The first rule was surprising to us young idealists: *never* swim out to save a person your own size or larger without a life-preserver, because a large percentage of panicked, drowning people will use the rescuer as a flotation device, and they will hold the rescuer's whole body under water to raise themselves. It stops working after the rescuer drowns, of course.That was from this Usenet post. The metaphor is striking, though it kind of breaks down if you try to think about the mapping two much.
So we have U.S/Canada business managers sending away the jobs that would keep their neighbors employed and their own nation solvent - because after all, there's a profit to be made, briefly, until the whole economy begins to drown, and these oh-so-clever guys try to use each other as economic flotation devices.
The truly rich, of course, are already using the whole mass of us as a flotation device.
I guess that's not the kind of work I really want be doing anyway, that big system, well specified stuff, that I'd like to gear myself more at the "boutiquey" kind of thing, but its a disturbing trend. The danger is if we farm out too much to the third world, wages for both will slowly trend towards the mean, and we'll end up looking a lot more third world ourselves. (Yeesh, I never would have thought I was gonna be espousing such a "So Buy American" viewpoint.)
Image of the Moment
|The past's vision of the Executive of the future...this is a piece by
Boris Artzybasheff, more cool stuff by him at that link.
Farewell of the Moment
"I think everybody longs to be loved and longs to know that he or she is lovable. And, consequently, the greatest thing that we can do is to help somebody know that they are loved and capable of loving."
--Mr. Rogers, who just passed away. My respect for this guy has only grown over the past few years, as I've heard him speak about the philosophy behind his style and his life in general. Voice of America offers a nice profile. Also, check out the small song of his I quote on this old journal page, about the fourth from the bottom, which he thought summarized some of the most important stuff to express to children.
Tufts News of the Moment
The Elder Bush spoke at my alma mater Tufts yesterday. There were some protests, which I think is only appropriate. I'm not sure if it's because he's a decade older or because he didn't have his old cosmetic staff, but he looked old in the television footage. Also, he kind of looks like Will Rogers.