Saturday, November 24, 2012

"It's The Culture Stupid"

In 1992 Bill Clinton beat George Bush to the presidency with the slogan , "It's the economy, stupid". Twenty years later, this phrase looks even more of a simplification then when it first surfaced. The current financial crisis has shown us the economy is part of  something much wider: it's the culture stupid!

Readers of Michael Lewis's new book "Boomerang" have been taken on a hair -raising tour of Germany, Greece, Iceland and America during the financial crisis. "Boomerang" shows how the economies are very different because the countries themselves - and their attitudes toward finance - are very different.

But this is a crisis for financial experts too. Gillian Tett, US managing editor for the Financial Times, told the BBC  for the last 20 or 30 years, people had been trained to think that if they had a computer spresdsheet and lots of numbers and equations they could not only predict the future but also control the economic environment.

The great wake up call of the last year is that it's actually about the social and political fabric and the question of what's going to happen next to the Eurozone or the UK or the US really depends on politics and culture and the way societies behave, and people just aren't trained to understand that or analyze it.

Tett, tipped as a future editor of the FT, may have a head start; she has a PhD in social antropology.

Hat Tip ~ Robert Butler
More Intelligent Life ,
December 30th 2011

Monday, November 19, 2012

STEM Education