[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[xmca] Just the Change Lab? For Helena et al

Hi All- I am addressing this note to Helena but I assume that many are
interested in the issues
they raise and so much is going on, its a wonder anyone can keep track!
This will be a long note. I am inserting
some song lyrics into the message for reasons that will become clear if you
are interested in reading. If not,
delete any ole time.

Helena. You write:

My problem with his creative approach to research is that he acts as if the
whole world has moved on to whatever he's studying next. He talks about "the
historical development of work," "work..transformed from mass production and
mass customization to co-configuration of customer-intelligent products and
services with long life cycles", "post-bureaucratic work", 'work as "a
living, growing networkŠnever finished," etc etc. This may be true of "work"
as it occurs in the Change Laboratory,

Two or three comments here (the third including the first poem/song by Bob

First, you might consider the differing national/cultural contexts that you
and Yrjo inhabit.
What is fantasy for your lived reality may be reality for his lived
fantasy. He is a Finn, working
in Finland. The land of Nokia, of Linux and perhaps the world's most
successful public school system.
It is a country that does not make its way, economically, in the world, by
the overwhelming power of
its military, its control over foreign governments through
technologically-backed coercion, and its ability
to manipulate foreign markets. It makes its way by innovation, by being
precisely where Yrjo's imaginary
is located.

When Yrjo wrote *Learning by Expanding *the Soviet Union existed and
Finland was a welfare state. Today
there is no USSR, there is Putinism/state capitalism, and the rest of the
world has taken Capitalism to
extremes that were hard to imagine in 1986. And Finland is no longer the
welfare state it was. But it is
a country committed to living by their wits, creativity, and imagination.
Of "living on the cutting edge" which
leads to blood of a kind different than that of American (and not only
American) capitalism. And different from
rampant forms of fundamentalism. I am neither trying to valorize it or
criticize, just characterize it as I understand it.
Understood from this viewpoint, Yrjo's characterization of THE LEADING EDGE
CLEARLY IN FINLAND, seems less quixotic. Right or wrong.

After reading all of the messages after work today, I got myself caught
listening to public radio and then to a
record. First the radio story, then the record, by way of further

On the radio program they were talking about the way that many professions
are bifurcating around ability to
exploit modern technologies so that, for example, CPA's are dividing into
two classes: Those who are caught doing
scut work, and those who have mastery of technologies that allow them to
work and make bundles more money
at lower costs. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer ---- in more
differentiated fashion. You are absolutely correct in pointing out does not
connect directly to issues of already-and-continuing forms of work and
issues of scraping together a living John Dos Pasos and John Steinbeck
style (witness the current state of Detroit). But it DOES exist in many of
the emerging modes of survival in an ever more unequal world.

By whim, I had to run some errands after ruminating over all this, and I
picked a Bob Dylan record off my shelf
to listen to as I drove. Here is the first song I heard. Despite is
antiquity, it had a kind  of resonance in the context
of the current discussion. At least something to contemplate and maybe
argue about. I SO appreciate your writing as you did. Remember, Yrjo is an
early and continuing member of this list, so no need to refer to him in the
third person.

Here is the Dylan song lyrics. I found myself amazed that they did not feel
50 years old, interpreted in a new context.

The times they are a changing

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.
xmca mailing list