Evolving from blandly inoffensive to utterly barbarous
posted by James Waterton at 10:51 pm
James - don't know if link is broke, or if people have to be registered to access the article. Pls provide clarification. Thx.
Weird! It was working when I posted... but I've reassigned the link so hopefully it'll work now.
Oh James, tck, tck. "Observations". No. Lots of words, but don't be a silly bunny by calling them "observations", which is what scientists carry out. Don't contribute to the economy? Yeah? If I offered to go halves with you in 0.00000000000000000000000000000000001% of their wealth, I don't think either of us would ever have to work again, and neither would our loved ones, our friends, our grand children, our great grandchildren, their children...and son on.He had a few good lines, which would stick in the claw of just about everyone in Australia if we wrote the same in relation to our indiginous population. That's what struck me: the truth of a couple of points, how they apply to our Aboriginal population, and how anyone saying a couple of these things would be stoned to death. He's on wafer thin ground for the rest of it though.
Caz:I see no reason why I shouldn't term Faust's insights as observations. Semantically, it's clearly correct. Show me where the dictionary states that observations are the exclusive preserve of scientists. Also, I didn't see the bit where he said that Arabs don't contribute to the economy. They clearly do. It's undeniable that they have bumbled into oil wealth by geographical accident. Thing is, what's going to happen when, in 3-5 decades, demand for oil falls through the floor? Arabia will turn into Africa, that's what. No - it will turn into Africa with less hope. At least the Africans have enormous and largely untouched reserves of all kinds of minerals. Also, consider 1998, when oil prices dropped to under $12/barrel. Saudi Arabia was a gnat's hair away from bankruptcy. The prosperous parts of the ME will only remain so whilst the oil flows.His major point was that they don't create anything. They just buy our technology and pay us to maintain it. When they can't afford to do that any more, what do you think's going to happen?I'm sorry, Caz, I can't see how you can say he's on wafer thin ground. It strikes me that you have skipped or misunderstood significant chunks of the article. Or are you trying to wind me up?
No - not trying to wind you up; just think his opinion is really over the top, and his thoughts obviously stem from a bias of some kind. They don't "make anything"? See, a comment like that needs to be substantiated, significantly so. Problem is, "we" don't make much of anything any more, and it's less & less every year. "We" in the west / developed countries are the "knowledge" kings - intangible, invisible and unmeasurable. Just to single out one tiny point. (He packs in an awful lot of outrageous statements in quite a little space!)Will try to find time to meander through it again some time.
When I said "they don't make anything", I wasn't referring to manufacturing in general. Because you're right, we don't do much of that these days thanks to the sophistication of our societies. Low grade manufacturing isn't synonymous with a developed economy - although the ME doesn't do much of that, anyway. When I say "they don't make anything", I mean they don't *create* anything, and I'm talking about the high-margin, high skill creation of new products and providing services. This is what the West and some Asian countries do. Consider the source of the majority of the world's technical innovations. From Asia and the West, right? How many patents are awarded in these countries?. How much from the ME? Practically none, I'll bet. The only thing the ME has to offer the rest of the world on a large scale is oil. That's what I mean when I say they don't make anything. They don't create. They don't innovate. They simply buy our technology to exploit the natural resource that they fortuitously found themselves standing over. It's made them rich, and there's nothing wrong with that - however, when demand dries up some time this century, the crudeness of their economies will bankrupt them. As the article said, their veneer of modernity is a millimetre thick.
They make damned fine rugs!!!
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