Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The answer is blowing in the wind

I said on Friday, "I think 2008 will be seen in retrospect as the year that the global balance of power underwent a sudden tectonic shift, from West to East." I forgot to add, "...and from North to South, too"; but Michael Panzner is not alone in seeing America's exclusion from the Brazilian summit as a straw in the wind.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm. One can be patronised by America or simply sell stuff to the amoral Chinese. To the neutral observer I am afraid it is an easy choice.

We in the Anglosphere have a real problem. We have debased our culture, destroyed our education systems and given away most of our manufacturing base. All we are left with is our military might. But unfortunately, as I think the Duke of Marlborough said, you need 3 things to make war successfully: money, money & money. Tough times lie ahead. Just like the British Empire in 1945, the era of US dominance is about to expire; as a pessimist I am starting to learn Chinese.

Paddington said...

From the inside of the US education system, I can say that the Asian systems are still not producing the graduate-level students in quality or quantity. There is still some hope in technical fields and research, provided that the idiots in charge of policies and money can be made to understand.

Sackerson said...

Thanks for calling by, SW. Like Padders, I'm not entirely pessimistic: the assumption of American superioriy to which he has previously referred, will stimulate a response to wake-up calls like this one.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

Pleasure, Sackers. I always enjoy your Blog.

Padders - I have to say, judging by the calibre of the graduate scientists/engineers I have to interview for vacancies from time to time, our education system is no longer producing decent graduate level people in either quality or quantity. They don't seem to have graduated so much as escaped. In particular mathematical & written English abilities are not what they were. They're full of self-esteem though, Gawd bless 'em.

Paddington said...

I will admit that the better students have been coddled and not trained well. This occurs mostly in middle and high school, but the effects last well through graduate school. However, reviewing the papers that I do, most of the good work in my field is still being done in the US.

As times get tougher, the better and more capable will work harder, as they have always done.

The people that I know fall into two groups - those underemployed, and quite like soon to be unemployed, and those who have too much work. Largely, it's a division between the incompetent and the competent.