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The Dow Chemical Company Message Board

  • stardatebr549 stardatebr549 Sep 18, 2004 12:28 PM Flag

    The Big Picture...

    Some time ago, there was a post that i think had the title "Can't we all just get along?" It is in that vein that i write this.

    To a degree, we are all right within our own context. We all have life experiences, and they are all valid. Rhaw is right, furry is right, even Kook is right within his own context.

    Remember the Venn diagrams? Those are those overlapping circles. Each of us is a circle in a large Venn diagram. When the regions overlap, we agree. When regions don't overlap, we disagree. But we are still right in our own contexts and our own life experiences. Add to this the different perspectives such as long-term/short-term and it really gets complicated. Many times, i will witness an argument where one person has a short-term perspective and the other has a long-term perspective. It's funny to see that they are arguing for the same thing!

    Add to this the different perspectives on life. There is G_d's world, i'll call this the natural world (most people call it super-natural), and there is the Earthly world. I'll call this the Sub-Natural world (most call it Natural). Someone could be totally right from the perspective of the Sub-Natural world but could be lacking from the larger perspective of the Natural world.

    The money people look at the world through money glasses. In the multi-variable equation of life, they only see one variable, money. They think that this is the measuring stick for everything.

    In the end, the money is not important.
    "See Babylon the great, how she is fallen. The world's businessmen weep and mourn over her, because no one is buying their merchandise any more." Rev 18:9-13

    A part of maturity is being aware of other cultures and other realities and being accepting of them as being perfectly valid in their own right.


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    • Stardatebr549 and red_neck_yankee have presented two equally compelling arguments. One believes money is not important while the other claims money is everything. Confusing? Not really when you begin to look at their contentions in a different light.

      Money is a necessary exchange in any system that strives for organization, comfort and improvement (both social and scientific/technical). To this end, money is not the "root of all evil" but rather the "root of all prosperity".

      In the absence of money as an exchange, we would all be relegated to a more or less tribal or nomadic existence where availability of basics like food & water, shelter and medical treatment are by no means guaranteed. Barring some limited bartering, every person or family would have to fend for themselves. That means everyone would have to be a hunter, carpenter, cook, homebuilder, doctor, teacher, policeman, firefighter, etc. Certainly not impossible, but definitely not comfortable or desirable.

      So why is it, we may ask, that money doesn�t always lead to prosperity but to despair? The answer is twofold and really very basic. First, the foundation for the exchange must be fair and maintained in a fair manner. Second, egocentric, manipulative, devious, unethical and lazy people use money to cause harm. Even when there is no intent, people with the above general characteristics will always do damage wherever they go.

      The first issue, that of a fair exchange, is multi-faceted. Though many aspects of our system are fair, there are some areas that require a reassessment. These are what I would term the 'predatory practices'. Aside from these issues, the major problem we have is in maintenance of a fair system. There is something wrong when the people with the most money the least increasingly leech off those who with the least, or when CEO�s now make over 600 times the average wage of the employees or when people earning minimum wage can no longer afford reasonable housing or medical care. Rampant corruption and greed have eaten away at the integrity of the monetary system and are the reasons we haven�t been able to maintain an equitable exchange...which leads directly to the second part of our question.

      People who are ruled by greed believe money can buy them anything. They�re wrong. They can afford a safer car, but can�t buy their safety; they can afford better health insurance, but can�t buy better health; they can afford a nice retirement but can�t buy good times with family and friends; they can afford more justice, but they live as pariahs (e.g. OJ, the Ramsey�s, etc.); they can buy their women but not a woman�s love; they can afford a nicer part of town to live in but can�t buy a nice home life; they can be a nice benefactor but they can�t fool their beneficiaries or buy their respect.

      People who are hard-working, ethical, caring and considerate will probably do no harm with their money, and more likely, might do some good. They may donate to medical research, libraries, shelters, and other worthy causes that have made many lives better. On the personal front, these people may have luxuries, but are not showy or overly extravagant. People who realize money is only a media of exchange and nothing more will never fall into the trap of believing that money is everything. They know, for example, that money can�t buy back the 157,000 U.S. lives lost in fatal accidents and violent acts each year (CDC 2001 Report). They know they cannot buy eternal life. They know money can�t salvage their soul. And they know money can�t buy back lost time.

      In conclusion, both Stardatebr549 and red_neck_yankee are correct in their observations. However, they misplace the emphasis on money when the real problem is not money but misuse of money. The extent of inequity and failure to maintain a fair system as well as the degree of greed and corruption that permeate an exchange will dictate whether the exchange bri

      • 6 Replies to lady_chemist
      • A great dilemma present is the separation of objective and subjective reductions of how we see the world, and in this case, the workplace.

        The pure objectivist has an deterministic view of the world, with everything a point on a plane, with forces at play, and all results predetermined by boundary conditions and a free-body force diagram. You know what I mean, a black-n-white take. In short-term, near-sighted finance, it is "the bottom line" syndrome at play. This view holds a banner aloft with THE TRUTH written.

        The subjective view, with their banner having THE GOOD written, tell us that all is not determinable in the here-and-now in pure black-and-white. All of our observations are viewed through an uncertain ether, written with a human and imperfect hand, and interpretted with a dislocated perspective - the flaws of objectivism. So, we must look deeper for THE GOOD in what we see and do. The GOOD is what counts, not our interpretation of the TRUTH.

        And so, there is the merger of these, or least the attempt by Robert Persig in his book, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance." The union of the objective and subjective in our daily lives, or better, the emergence of the TRUTH and the GOOD together is what he called quality, the beauty of which is undeniable to any observer. It's just there.

        So, in our discussions of great technology achievements at Dow or anywhere, and in the eventual maturity of these endeavors, we should be alittle more open. There are extreme TRUTH versions on one side (cursing shathouse at unfortunately delapidated operations) and GOOD versions on another ( overly reverent praise of storied chemists and engineers and the good that Dow and Carbide did in their communities). Where is the convergence? Where is the version of Persig's quality? It's in great operations that keep on producing product and supporting the people who keep the product coming, all the people. And, I think all those who see that in place, know it when they see it.


        Ohhh... I should not have had that half bottle of red, and played those great tunes (Stardust, Lili Marlene, La Vie en Rose, You Don't Know Me, ...) that get me so effusive after a hot shower. Best thing is that I'm not re-reading this.

        Anyway, if you get a chance, check out the motorcycle riding book. Very good stuff. The routes are true. Excellent head stuff. And, if you think about all the great things you did at work, you'll recognize the quality.


      • Lady,
        A most excellent post.

      • A very, very good post!!

      • Here is an excellent example of why people shouldn't try being things they aren't.
        I'm sure lady_chemist is a wonderful chemist, but she need to leave the sociology and cultural studies stuff to the sociologists. . . geez, and I'll bet she's not used to being wrong.

      • So all that talk about having my health was just bull shit?

      • The last sentence from my post was chopped off. It should read as follows:

        The extent of inequity and failure to maintain a fair system as well as the degree of greed and corruption that permeate an exchange will dictate whether the exchange brings prosperity or despair.


    • screw them

    • I'm not going to be too crappy with you due to the fact that i tend to agree with most of "vein of thought", however, money, i'm sorry to say is just about everything.

      Those that say it isn't, are probably too poor or too rich, my experience.

      Why do i think money is everything, well money can:
      1) get you a safer car
      2) afford you nice vacations
      3) afford better health insurance
      4) afford a nice retirement
      5) afford a better pussy
      6) afford more justice (ask O.J. about this)
      7) afford nicer part of town to live in
      8) allows you to be a nice benefactor when it's your time to go. It's your last chance to show people that you love, that you weren't that much of an asshole after all.

      Those are some of my points, my favorite is the love of a good affectionate woman, which i have, and if i go first, she's very well taken care of, because of: "A-LOT-OF-MONEY".

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