The Enterprise is Finished

The Industrial Revolution was the huge event of the 19th, and 20th Centuries. This was also called Capitalism, and was responsible for the creation of many Companies (or Organizations) – both big and small.

I will lump all of them under the umbrella term – the Enterprise.

Which always meant people in a hierarchical organization, working together to make money. Even the schools, which were for education, also had their administrators, who dished out the money – and ruled the roost.

To put this another way – this was a vast social machine, with people functioning as its parts.

This was nothing new – organizations like this built the pyramids. But Industrialization introduced new machines, energy machines that ran on fossil fuels – and made power (and powerful organizations) possible on a much larger scale.

And also a new idea – absolute social power, based on Manufacturing. This brings us up to the middle of the 20th Century.

Then something else came along, that changed everything – the Computer. At first, this made no difference – it was quickly adopted by Business. The Computer was the servant of Business – and made it Global Business.

It could do this, because of its Software – that was smart, and able to do many human tasks – and do them cheaper.

The Enterprise had been made of people – but now it could be made of computers.

Computers will now be in control.

Why Should I Help a Bad Situation?

This is a question I have been asking myself for a long time – probably even before I was born. It was clear to me, as a fetus, that my mother did not like me – two fetuses before me had been smart, and bailed out. Much to the shock of my mother who wanted babies very badly.

Perhaps my mother assured me she would be a good mother – a promise she promptly violated. Or maybe I decided I would put up with a bad situation, and do the best I could – under the circumstances.

In any case, I was born – into what would be known as a dysfunctional family. A bland description that covered up the horrors of the situation. And from then on, a situation that everyone (or almost everyone) refused to acknowledge – a huge problem that no one could see, and didn’t want to see.

This family situation was enlarged into the work situation – that was also bad for people – but this was considered normal – and this thoroughly bad behavior was allowed to continue, and even encouraged – in what became known as The Office.

To summarize – people lost control of their world – and gave control to other forces they were only dimly aware of – but were certain they were there. They were there, all right – and promptly took control.

This takeover was no doubt part of our religious heritage. People wanted to be part of something bigger – and now they were! They did not stop to analyze, what this new arrangement was. As with all religious establishments – this questioning was not permitted.

I am fortunate to live in a situation – where I can question this situation – in this blog. And I have plenty of company – perhaps ten percent of the population. But the remaining ninety percent have political control – which they are exercising vigorously.

And using it to wreck their world.

The Rise of the Organization

Back in the 19th Century, or perhaps even earlier, we should have been planning our future. There was plenty of political turmoil over the nations, and the empires, that were forming – but the net result was WWI, the Depression, and WWII. We had failed, and failed miserably.

There was some planning for a new world, with the United Nations, and the World Bank. And there were no more World wars – just small ones, such as the Korean War, and then the Vietnam War.

But something much bigger was going on – the rise of The Organization. That no one took much notice of. But everyone knew was big, and getting even bigger.

Instead of thinking about this, and its implications – we just let it take over. Because, we thought – it would make us more powerful! 

Which it did – The Organization became more powerful – but people became less powerful. A very serious development – but one people took no notice of – and continue to take no notice of.

Society became obsessed with this new kind of power – and obsessed with protecting it from its detractors – who noticed what was going on. These people had to be destroyed!

This is what was happening in The Office – where everyone was working. It was making The Organization more powerful – and its detractors less powerful – and hopefully, eliminated altogether.

This new economy was successful, from the end of WWII to the Seventies – when it failed. Its focus was too narrow – and it could not understand the world, as a whole.

This failure was very complex, and depended on many factors. For me, it ended my career as an Electronic Engineer. I was an expert on the Vacuum Tube – and this was replaced by the Transistor – and even more importantly, the Computer.

That no one understood, at the time – but knew it was big –  and getting bigger.

This was the Economy I was involved in, in the Eighties and the Nineties – an Industrial Economy, that was fading – and Computer Economy, that was growing. A very painful time, that I managed to survive, by getting out of it – and moving to Costa Rica.

The conflicts here were noticed – by the more sensitive souls, who were afraid of saying anything. I have a cousin, who got out of the Office by becoming a surveyor. And other relatives who developed their own strategies for coping with this – not realizing this was what they were doing.

I can say this now, wearing my pyjamas, sitting in front of my laptop, with a fast Internet connection. I can say what I please in this blog – knowing I will not be shot down – and also knowing it will make little difference.

Audible Only Works for Amazon

They will never admit this – but they lie!

My precious Sansa Clip Zips are now useless – they will not play Audible books at all. I might as well through them in the trash.

By contrast, I can play them on my Amazon Fire tablet very well – in fact, I am pleased by how well I can play them, and navigate between the chapters of any book. Playing them there is easier than on my Clip Zip!

Audible is part of Amazon – and it has moved to protect its interests – by making sure no one else gets to use its property (Audible, that is).

It has also make Audible Manager obsolete – a defective product,  I will not miss at all!

The Coming of the Organization Man

This guy, and more recently, gal – has been with us for a long time. Most notably, in the Catholic Church, that replaced the Roman Empire. The big event here, was the Reformation – that replaced one church, with many churches.

In the middle of the 20th Century, this combination of many churches – was replaced by many companies – united in a common market. Where they bought and sold to each other in amazing quantities.

Each company produced its own specialty – and this produced a desperate struggle among companies to find their market niche. Usually by finding a new technology, and developing it.

I always refer to my hometown of Ft. Madison, Iowa – when thinking of this. It was the home of the Sheaffer Pen Company. Built by one man, but run by a hierarchy of bosses.

This power structure was something new in America – but it quickly caught on – and seemed perfectly natural to the people in it. Free Enterprise became their new religion – and they were hostile (very hostile) to anything else. This was the True Faith, and they defended it against all others. Including those who did not fit into this way of life.

All this happened with few noticing it. Indeed, the vast majority were adamantly opposed to thinking about it. Their new religion was so ridiculous, anyone could see through it. And this made them defend it even more strongly.

They became obsessed with Progress – that made them richer all the time. Richer, but not Better – a crucial point they carefully overlooked.

Much later, in the Nineties, in Silicon Valley – I saw this insanity raised to its highest pitch. Companies sprang up from nowhere – each staffed with instant officials who knew little – but were eager to get rich fast.

Instant Riches! Was what everyone wanted.

When that failed, as it was bound to – they were completely baffled, and didn’t know what to do.

So they elected Trump.

Startup Heaven

And Startup Hell. We have both of them at the same time.

It all depends on how smart the startup people are. I worked for a few of them back in the Nineties, in Silicon Valley – and I have to say, they were not too smart.

They were coming from an Industrial world, and moving into the Computer world – having little idea of where they were going. How could they? No one had been there before.

They were firm in one belief, however – a startup was the way to make fast money. And they went from one of them to another – without getting anywhere. Silicon Valley was littered with the corpses of dead startups – but one was asking why? Because the answer was simple – they didn’t know what they were doing.

They were all waving their magic wands, and telling the world how great they were. But no one was looking behind the curtain, to see what was really going on. How could they? What was really going on, was something nobody knew.

But with the coming of the Cloud, this situation is beginning to clarify itself. I subscribe to O’Reilly’s Safari service – and am reading a new book there – The Enterprise Cloud.

Businesses (or Enterprises) can now purchase the Information Services they need from the Cloud. This is a big deal, believe me!

They can now describe what they are doing. What pieces they are going to use, and where they are getting them from.