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Re: <nettime> Katrina: The Spectre of a Soviet-Style Crisis in the U.S.
miranda on Fri, 16 Sep 2005 14:00:15 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Katrina: The Spectre of a Soviet-Style Crisis in the U.S.

the article is schizophrenic and i would argue largely orthogonal to reality at

"The simple deterioration in the technical capacities of a no-longer-productive
American economy created the threat of a Nature that would do no more than take
back its [natural] rights."

what does this quote mean?  our technical capacity is not at fault at all. the
engineers at the ACE knew how to beef up the levies, FEMA and the DHS have the
skills required to meet these challenges.  We have a current failure in public
management.  And it was management that won WWII.  the professional bureaucrats
have failed.  leadership has failed.  we can trace and track this, which is a
worthy and necessary project, but faulting our technical capacity is simply not
paying attention.

What's more i dont think, my own personal feelings on the issue, that we want or
need to be the most productive in terms of physical good creation, which is what i
take his no longer productive line to mean.  Wal-mart is the largest company in
the world and what it produces is logistical knowledge, management, coordination,
not goods.  Wal-mart is a knowledge-worker creating distilling distributing
information about itself its suppliers etc.  Services and knowledge, this is where
we are going and frankly where i want to be as a worker and as a country.

No one that i have read has pointed to a lack of technical expertise with regards
to katrina.  it doesnt factor in.  coordination, management, oversight,
leadership, etc.  this was the failure.  Would we have been better off had there
been television factories in this country? or maybe it is our lack of textile
manufacturing?  we didnt lack stuff, we lacked coordinating the stuff.  supply
chains were fucked up.  on and on. several ppl have pointed out that doezens of
high ranking bureaucrats have left their posts under this administration.  those
ppl possessed institutional knowledge that has been lost. that's one thing.

His stuff on energy is all over the map as well.  We have stragic oil reserves
which are different from refineries and our refineries are not at capacity.  we
dont build new ones b/c ppl dont like breathing the air they produce.  we still do
some wildcatting and offshore oil rigs continue to sprout, but Big Oil has changed
in the last decades.  They dont take on the risks of wildcatting like they used
to.  Now small companies take on those risks and when they are succesful the big
companies buy those reserves.

and no i am not at all positive about the reaction to katrina.  i just don't agree
with any part of this writer's analysis. 


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