About The End of the Dollar

A well-known scientist once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy.

At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise” The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “What is the tortoise standing on?” “You’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “But it’s turtles all the way down!”

The Financial System of the World is a special version of “Turtles all the way down“. At this moment one of the pillars of the US Financial System (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) is falling and many people hope it will be supported by a financial pillar, the US Government. The two pillars have financed 5.2 trillion dollars of mortgages (5.200.000.000.000).

Since 1970, the US Federal Government has run deficits for all but four years (1998-2001) adding to a total debt of 9.5 trillion of dollars (9.500.000.000.000). If you include entitlements such as Social Securityand Medicare the debt is $53 trillion—or $175,000 for every American—andrising.

A huge part of the debt is held by two pillars, the central banks of Japan and China. The Central Banks of China and Japan are slowly moving out of the Dollar. This pillar is falling also.

The Citizens of the US are the only turtles that are left. The US Government could raise taxes, reduce its spending or raise the interest rate. In all the cases the US Economy would fall into a recession. They are unable to do this. The US voters will never elect an American President who is raising taxes or will move its country into a recession. They will always vote for the Big Spender.

Below the last pillar is Emptyness, the Abyss, The Underworld, Hell. The Universe is floating in Nothingness. The Universe is floating because it is moving. Movement is the essence of the Universe.

The problem of Turtles all the Way Down (Infinite Regress) can be solved in a Circular, Rotating, Cyclic model. In a Circular model there is No cause and there is no End. Every point is a Beginning and an End. Every Cause comes back on Itself. In the End the US has to solve its own problems and the only way to solve its problems is to accept a Recession.

The US Financial System has generated a debt for more than 30 years. They were supported by other countries to expand their economy. These countries needed the US as a buyer of their products. They also needed the US to copy their Technology and their Science.

At this moment the Economic Activity in the World is moving to the East. The countries that supported the US the most, Japan and China, are now creating their own Cycle and their own market. This cycle is completed by the addition of India and Russia. In due time they don’t need the US Market, the US Technology and US Science anymore. The US has given them all the opportunities by Outsourcing many of their activities.

Japan and China are becoming friends again and they have their finger on the trigger of the financial gun. When they move into another currency or create their own currency the US financial system dies immedeatly. They don’t need a war to win the war.

About The Consumer Cycle

When I was young my parents were unable to buy a television. To watch television we visited a friend of my father who had to work day and night to pay for this feature. At home we played games, listened to the radio and read books.

My parents always went to the same small shops around the corner. The owners knew my parents very well.

My parents had to pay attention to their financial budget all the time. To buy a television or another expensive product they had to save money for many years. When something broke down it was always repaired. People reused almost everything.

My parents did not have any idea about the outside world. The world ended at the border of my hometown (Leiden, The Netherlands). One week in a year we went to visit the brothers and the sister of my father in Gelderland about 60 kilometers away from Leiden. We went there by train. His brothers were farmers. They never went on a holiday. They had no idea how the countries outside the Netherlands looked like.

The consumer in the fifties (I was born in 1951) were what I call Balanced Consumers. The majority of the consumers had to reflect and to save money before they could buy a product. Products were constructed to stay alive for a long time. The counterpart of the balanced consumer was the isolated craftsman or the isolated local businessman. Most of the shops and the companies were one (wo)man shows. They were owned and operated by a family. The children were more or less forced to help their parents.

Suddenly the first supermarket appeared. It was created by a local entrepreneur. Soon he repeated the concept in many other towns. The supermarket was the next step in a scaling process that went up and up. The producers had to move the same way. Slowly they destroyed the “one man shows” in every area of society.

My uncles had to stop their “one wo(man)” farms because the local market stopped to function. The only way to survive was to get a contract from a meat-producer. In a short time the producer almost owned their farms and kept lowering the prices he wanted to pay. At the end my uncles had to stop farming.

The big supermarkets started to buy their products on a very large scale. In the first step they bought their products on a local level but soon they started to globalize. This stimulated international transport (boat and airplane).

What happened to the customer?

The customer changed from a human being into a concept. The marketing departments of the big companies designed classifications and the consumer was put into a classification. Companies started to specialize to produce for a special target group.

They also started to advertise. Customers started to standardize themselves. The artificial group constructed by the marketeers became a real-life group. The customers started to behave the way the marketeers predicted.

To keep the production-systems running the next innovation in marketing had to be constructed. The impulses of the customer were highly stimulated. The impulses are highly volatile. They react on trends and hypes. The needs of the customer started to fluctuate on a large scale. In the end the market became almost unpredictable. The only way to react was to scale up again, lower the costs of manual production, to automate and to standardize.

The impulsive customer is just one type of customer. They are the target of the producers. The impulsive customer is mostly young.

The creative, conservative, social and conscious customer are forgotten. They are mostly older. The social customers are group-oriented, cooperative and empathic. The creative customers are intelligent. They know how to buy almost everything for free. The conservative customers want to stay in the past. They don’t like impulse-marketing. The conscious customers know that the producers are wasting nature. The complement of the impulsive customer is a forgotten majority.

The producers try to create a very intelligent production/marketing-machine to sell old fashioned, creative, cheap, trendy, social, green products. This is almost impossible. The one-to-one shops, the craftsman and the old fashioned farmer are coming back. People stop to watch television and start to read a book or play a game. Radio is on its return. The economy is moving down. Inflation is speading up. People have to look at their budget again. The amount of customers that are buying second hand articles is increasing. The Balanced Customer is on its return.

We have moved full cycle.

About Learning Styles or Why Inventors are Always Bothering an Organization

At ABN AMRO I was responsible for one of the biggest training projects ever started. The complete IT-Staff and their customers had to be trained in “the ABN AMRO-way-of-working” after the merger took place.
 
We were able to use the most advanced people and tools to accomplish this aim. It made it possible to meet “the best minds on earth” and to learn about their vision and experience. Later we used this knowledge in every part of the bank.

One of the major targets we wanted to accomplish was to minimize training. People with IT-Skills are very expensive and every day they spend at a training costs a lot of money.

Minimizing training was translated into “Training on the Job”.

To minimize training we started to investigate where and why people were trained and we found many “hidden costs”.

People (mis-)used other people to learn. One of them was an Expert and the others phoned or mailed the expert to ask questions. The expert loved to do this but by “helping others” he (or she) was unable to their “real job”.

We gave them “time to help” but we started to investigate why (and how) one person became an expert and why the others did not spend much time to “learn the trade themselves”.

Experts are people who Explore everything in their own way. They have an internal priority to find out for themselves “how-it-works”. Experts are Explorers.

The others needed to be programmed (or a better term Instructed) and the best way to do this was (of course) Programmed Instruction. The funny thing is that “programmed instruction” can be programmed in a program.

When you create software you are able to create a kind of “meta-layer” that helps (it is called Help) the user. Creating a user-friendly help-system is very difficult to do. You have to balance between compact (Do This) and Extended Information (Why?).

When you develop a software-system the best way to do is to design the “help-software” first and the “real software” later.

Another category of “users” are the Inventors. They are sending a new Idea or Enhancement every day. Inventors are a burden to the organization because they are “way ahead” of the others and the “others” are a majority.

Most of the Inventors are “technology-watchers” and want “new gadgets” build into the System. With Inventors you have to apply the 80/20-rule. Skip 20% of their specification and the essence appears.

If you read this blog I have showed something called “Learning Styles”. Some people have to be Programmed to learn others Invent or Explore.

Learning Styles are created by combining the “Internal Organs” of the Human Being.

These organs are the Imagination, the Emotions, the Sensory-Motor System and the Cognition (“Thinking”). The fifth organ, Consciousness, monitors the balance between the other organs. It acts as the Observer.

When you combine the Four Organs you are able to create six (or twelve) combinations. When you want to put your Ideas in Practice you are an Inventor and when you want Apply the Rules you want to be Programmed.

The six combinations can be combined in a pattern (a triangle, a square) and if you arrange the people with different learning styles in the right pattern they can Help the others to learn.
 
If you arrange this pattern in the “wrong way” your Organ-ization will stagnate and Innovation will stop.
 
Perhaps the best way is to “let it go the way is goes” (the flow) but this is something Managers, People who want to Instruct, don’t like at all.