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The political divide and long term thinking - Phil's Rambling Rants — LiveJournal
August 31st, 2006
10:02 pm


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The political divide and long term thinking

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Date:September 1st, 2006 05:21 pm (UTC)

My point (or at least my current observation) is that this behavior/attitude is spilling over into more than politics. It used to be (in my experience) that educational institutions at least had more of a grasp of the long view. In the last decade, I've personally seen a big change in that arena as well. In my opinion, "high-stakes" (or Exit) testing is one indicator of this.

It isn't just our corporate and political culture that is severely short-sighted, it is (or is becoming) our entire culture on a personal and public basis. Look at the lack of foresight many individuals have regarding their own physical and financial health. Heck - even the entertainment industry has moved in this direction (it used to take at the very least an entire season before a television show was canceled, now it can be canceled after only a couple of episodes don't make the ratings target).

In my opinion (as a generality) our society consistently chooses to ignore long-term consequences in favor of short-term gratification. We often seem to choose short-term limited solutions for our problems and assume that the long-term situation will just "take care of itself."

I agree that the current state of politics is related to current state of business, but I think it runs deeper than that.
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Date:September 2nd, 2006 02:15 am (UTC)
It's always hard to divine where the root cause of something is; everything is interrelated. There certainly is a general lack of sensible attention to the future in our culture, and I hadn't considered that before. But just off the top of my head, I think the business culture is pushing the general culture at least as much as the general culture is pulling business.

I hope that's the case, anyway. I can understand what's wrong with business. There are concrete, logical reasons why it works the way it does, and that means it's at least theoretically possible to address those reasons and improve the situation. Correcting the fact that people in general are stupid is hard to imagine solving even in an "if they made me king" thought experiment.
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