[FoRK] why Dilbert is doomed

Damien Morton dmorton at bitfurnace.com
Fri Nov 6 11:40:35 PST 2009

On Sat, Nov 7, 2009 at 4:51 AM, Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo
<ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca>wrote:

> --- On Fri, 11/6/09, Damien Morton <dmorton at bitfurnace.com> wrote:
> > Seems to be advocating careers in
> > telephone sanitisation and such; you know,
> > the non-tradeable stuff... the stuff no-one but Americans
> > can do... the stuff that doesn't need to be globally competitive... yeah
> > that's what you want the education system oriented to - a back scratching
> > nation, or rather a front-scratching nation for those face-to-face
> > situations. Lets put Michael Lind in charge; his vision is just so...
> > appealing and grand.
> >
> I'm not sure whether Lind is advocating or simply observing and projecting.
> In any case, it's clear you don't like what he says is happening. But are
> you suggesting that it's not happening?
>           ...ken...
Its a self-fulfilling prophecy. Its not just observation - he is actively
making recommendations to people as to what careers they should follow, and
he is actively suggesting that people focus on doing 'stuff' that requires
their physical and geographical presence as opposed to stuff that other
people will want regardless of their physical and geographical presence.

A couple of years ago I met with my old Comp Sci professor, who now headed
up the department. He was saying that enrolments were down 30-50% from their
peak, partly as a result of offshoring fears. Those fears where happily
stoked for years by various offshoring advocates, including the offshoring
companies themselves; well before they were anywhere near a reality, and
even today, they certainly exists in the compsci field, but there are limits
to the effectiveness of offshoring, and there are consequences to going down
that road such that offshoring will never dominate the field. That and the
phenomenon where the dudes in Bangalore want the same pay as the dude in
Menlo Park, and are working towards that.

However, nothing is going to accelerate offshoring or change its balance
faster than than the lack of a skilled workforce.

His prescription for lesser educated people is insane. His article is a
suicide note to a future idiocracy.

So, to answer your question - do I dispute that its happening? - no, of
course not. Do I think that advising people to be telephone sanitisers is
going to lead to a better economy or society? Absolutely not. Do I think
that telephone sanitisers will ever contribute to the 'economy' more than an
engineer, architect, doctor or whatever? Simply, no.

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