Saturday, May 07, 2005

Sin in the morning.

On Thursday afternoon someone stole all the candy from my office stash; described by my officemate as "hell-bent on revenge," yesterday I dressed as a drama queen (no, really) to justify my strong negative reaction. Now that I have located the culprit, I have begun strategizing my next move...

At least now I can say that I've worn a tiara to work.

This was a long week, made even longer by the fact that I couldn't leave as early yesterday as I'd planned because Sushmita and I had some wine at the Friday unwinder and I had to wait a couple of hours before driving home. Not even that much wine, either; I'm out of practice. With Jake and Kara in town this weekend, I was thinking that I ought to rectify that this evening.

Some interesting comments on about the so-called intelligent design curriculum hearings in Kansas that have been boycotted by linguists (the Chomsky post is a joke, people -- I had some people at work ask me about this). I find it difficult to believe that we're still fighting this particular battle in the U.S. in 2005. But not only are we fighting it, in a lot of places we're losing. What kind of argument can you make to convince someone whose beliefs are beyond argument, who views argument as the problem rather than the goal? Marshalling evidence, however compelling, doesn't work.

Last night we saw The Smartest Guys in the Room, the new documentary about the Enron debacle. There was nothing really new in the movie, but it put lots of pieces together coherently in a way that, if you weren't already mad as hell about California, will make you so. Some of the recorded conversations between traders were meant to be particularly alarming, but I came away with a clearer understanding of how those individual traders might have ended up the way they did. How many Wharton kids have I known who would have done the same thing, whose analyst or trading jobs right out of college were characterized by high-adrenaline octane-fueled frenzy? The money they make isn't tangible; it's an ever-changing string of numbers assigned to one bucket or another where the game is to fill your bucket faster than the other guy. I can see how the game could be high-energy and compelling and how it might be very difficult to connect the abstraction of the numbers with the reality of forest fires and people not having any way of supporting themselves in their retirement. And that's a huge problem that I have the sense that business ethics classes don't begin to touch.


This is pretty good: sin, sedition, ungodliness, and dangerous fashion choices all in one post.


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