QUOTE: “Insanity,” Albert Einstein is reported to have said, is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." UNQUOTE
I really don't know to whom that opening remark is addressed.
It seems useful at any time, when using the word mad, to have a mirror handy and to ponder to what extent beginning thus inhibits sensible understanding of any situation. Consider in domestic relations the consequence of dismissing contrary perspective by saying: "He/She's just mad."
It seems valuable, when speaking of doing the same thing over and over again, to weigh up one's own actions and utterances accordingly.
Thank you for the wisdom. I hope it is widely distributed and considered.
Sadly, as you know, the 'Korean Question' has for decades been in the basket of second order world problems for most countries including the USA,and as such has been left stuck and left in the hands of operatives of conservative or often military mindframe. Sadly also, with this more recent wake-up phase, the advice to leaders comes from that same coterie of conservative policy managers. Korean policy remains a posture and too often a simplistic revulsion and unwillingness to see any reason in the north. 'Fault' in international relations, where a problem that should be solved is not being solved, should rest with those with more power. Sadly (again) there is an anxiety among the powerful, about declining power, in an era when demonstration of 'power' has more often demonstrated other things.
I do not know the current day-to-day balance of provocation on the peninsula, but from my experience in the past, American officials and media have far too often reported DPRK manoeuvring, as some provocation, without any reference to exercises on the US/ROK side to which the DPRK actions are often responses. We are currently seeing a dangerous escalation of silliness which has to be broken by sensible moderation.
Westerners are in general not good, in my experience, at negotiation with Koreans (northern or southern). They see only veneers of sameness or otherness. There is a huge task, a huge need, for greater understanding of Korea as distinct from China and Japan. Without which you remain toys of egos.
A significant element of the non-tradable in developed places (for this purpose, places - including some parts of rapidly developing countries - without extended family traditional support systems) is provision of community care for aged or disabled and housing and other services for disadvantaged. This becomes the major growth industry, major source of new employment in some areas of industrial decline and/or ageing population, but curiously statistical systems are resistant to inclusion of such industry in 'industry development' and the sector gets excluded from 'industry' discussion, leaving it fatally in the path of the hooting trains of politics and the supertankers of central bureaucracies.
Disintermediation is a factor impacting on community services as powerful bureaucracies firstly express preferences for minimising interaction with larger numbers of service provider organisation and secondly impose centralised call-centre culture on crisis as well as other services, to the obliteration of local skills and knowledge in many places. (parenthesical detail: consider the mental health crisis worker attending to the voice of the known local client on phone saying "I've got a knife" compared with the same worker making copious notes on a computer for a far away call centre worker to hear the same "I've got a knife" without knowing the modulations of that voice, the home circumstance of that voice, etc, while trying to read unfamiliar case notes.)
Centrist bureaucratic pressure is contrary to the wisdom of 'atomisation' of services. It ought to be self-evident that efficiencies will arise with increased skills in local workforces in the community sector and in local management (rather than wage suppression and centralised management), and in the incorporation of 'implicit knowledge' (understanding the local and the client) into the process.
I think Michael Spence's propositions are very relevant in this sector, would like to see more discussion from economists of the sector in such terms. How to do that without ideological and political bias is a big question. A first step is to see the sector as an industry and part of the economy of considerable importance to quality of life, especially in countries and circumstance of decline or absence of traditional social support systems.
Henry Miller has previously advocated return to DDT as a solution to the problem of malaria, seemingly without mention of the broader health issues with DDT in the environment http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/clusters/fallon/ddtfaq.htm Graham Brook's profile mentions his consulting business but does not indicate level of dependence on GM marketing companies' business.
These are two core problems with their arguments: blinkering out the broader and unattractive issues and closeness to commercial interests.
Nowhere in their discussion do they show any sensitivity to the issue of capture by corporations of farmers needing seed.
Nor is their any reflected awareness of the long term consequences for example, of adding Bt to the genes of maize plants: the genes of a bacterium that has been long used by organic farmers effectively against caterpillars — a continuing effectiveness because of sporadic use, certainly destined to failure now permanently in plants, leading to the rise of resistant targets http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_maize
We have heard this sort of simplistic scientific-economic fundamentalism in the past from the nuclear industry. I don't have a big problem with high tech engineering and great science, but I don't know of human organisations lasting the requisite time let alone requisite sustained quality of management and audit. Have no doubt that the actualities of GM seed use will not be at sustained highest/best and will shift liabilities to other generations. We heard, earlier in the history of 'hope for more food', the heroic achievements of the International Rice Research Institute in the 1960s: IRRI's miracle rice delivered high yields to farmers but delivered them also to greater indebtedness from high fertiliser costs and then, when the rains came, these short weak-stemmed big-headed rices were lost under flood as traditional crops had generally not been lost.
Was it Confucius or Commonsensis who said "Beware weak-stemmed big-headed broad argument on thin base - especially if part of sales pitch."
Indeed, fear of the frailty of the regime [Yuriko Koike] and consigned to the margins of international legitimacy [S Mahmud Ali]. Locked in the broom closet of Asia for so long. Where are the policies to reduce frailty, to draw back from the margins of legitimacy, to open the broom closet and achieve some normalisation?
The western perspective is poisoned by notions of and easy journalistic presentation of craziness in the DPRK, without thoughtful engagement with the extent to which the DPRK has been more threatened by nuclear weapons than any other non-nuclear country and has been confronted also by lots of breaches of the Armistice Agreement too. No, not angels, but not the only devils in the mix.
We don't get sane outcomes by closing in on proud and isolated people.
Nixon got to break through the US containment of China in 1971-2 as a conservative, ending decades of total US prohibition of dealings with China. Hopefully the new President Park in the ROK can make some parallel breakthrough with the DPRK.
I suspect that only Koreans will solve this; the rest of us are not as smart and we count for so much less. In 1975 I accompanied the then Australian foreign minister on an historic visit to both Pyongyang and Seoul. The heads of the Asia departments of the two foreign ministries, Mr O and Mr Ah, resembled each other in many ways. When the one in Seoul asked me what it was like in the north, I said: "we were received very warmly, they are Koreans." To which he replied: "But they are not human!" Hopefully such views are now gone between Koreans, but they are still evident in wider western perspectives.