The MBA Menace….

Yuko Shimizu on Harvey Mintzburg’s new book: Managers not MBA’s

Congratulations! You have a sparkling new degree, highly prized in this world. You have learned a great many things about business. You have invested two years of your life, not to mention lost wages and a small fortune in tuition, in this impressive undertaking. As a result, you are fully qualified to go out and become a menace to society.
Granted, this isn’t fully the fault of your school. Nothing personal, but full-time MBA programs by their nature attract many of the wrong people–too impatient and analytical, with little experience in management itself. These may be fine traits for students, but they can be tragically ill-suited for managers.
Conventional MBA programs then compound the error by giving the wrong impression of management: that managers are important people disconnected from the daily work of making products and producing services; that managing is largely about decision making through analysis; that managers pronounce deliberate strategies for everyone else to implement; and worst of all, that by sitting still in a classroom for a couple of years, you are now ready to manage anything.

Tax Legislation for the Trash Heap

Steven Pearlstein updates us on the 930 pages in the recently passed Senate tax bill and the 398-page draft released last week by the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Bill Thomas (R-Calif.).

With a few exceptions, both bills are grab bags of special-interest provisions designed to reward the well-connected at everyone else’s expense. They reward companies that have played cynical tax games and open up new vistas for the tax shelter industry. And while claiming that the purpose of the exercise was to create jobs in the United States, they will only enhance existing incentives for U.S. companies to earn their profits overseas.
Worse still, they are almost certain to add billions each year to a federal deficit that is already too high.

An inquiry into living…

Jeffrey Sawyer writes [pdf] in S U N Magazine:

Starvation isn’t much of a concern in the West, but beneath the surface, at a very base level, is the fear that one will go hungry. We’re also afraid of losing our homes, our reputations, our loved ones. Ultimately, we fear death. These fears have us act in ways that, over time, burden us to the point where we live either a grave or a superficial life.

from Doc Searls

Big Telco Stifling True Broadband

Dan Gillmor writes about Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg remarks on broadband consolidation at the current D conference.

But he reverted to form, pretty much insisting that Verizon would reserve the right to discriminate on what gets delivered, and at what speed, on the lines and networks it controls.

Residential internet users should, like those in Japan and Korea have much faster broadband connections at attractive prices. Current US dsl and cable options are quite slow compared to what’s readily available in other countries (speeds to 20mbps and beyond vs dsl at 768kbps).
Here’s an economic development issue, if there ever was one. I mentioned this issue to then candidate Jim Doyle some time ago……

The Free & The Unfree

Wired on intellectual property holders and IP outlaws:

On the one side are the intellectual property holders, predominantly citizens of Western nations. They’re squaring off against IP outlaws, who tend to live in developing countries. The propertied class loudly asserts its ownership and control. The insurgents cry for openness and exploit technological loopholes with abandon.

PDF Atlas of the free and unfree.

More Patriot Act Abuses

Eric Grimm writes:

It seems odd to me that the defenders of the PATRIOT act urge us to look at the details of the Act and stop viewing it as Federal law enforcement’s ticket to do essentially whatever law enforcement wants, without procedural safeguards.
When you get into the trenches and watch how they are actually using PATRIOT, however, it becomes pretty clear that law enfocement has interpreted it as their ticket to do whatever they want.


Bio 2004

Bio 2004 is underway in San Francisco. Wisconsin, like many other states/government bodies, has a pavilion.
The exhibitor list is here. This list, with numerous government bodies illustrates the great temptation that states provide narrowly focused tax incentives, as discussed here recently.
In the end, these conferences can suffer from “increasing returns“, because the Kansas Biosciences Association, among many others are exhibiting (in the Kansas Pavilion), so too must the Illinois Farm Bureau, and many, many others.