Sunday, August 29, 2004

Corporation as a Psychopath

This quote from the last post: "But the corporate world's dirty little secret may well be that psychopaths thrive because companies actively seek them out..."

It reminded me of Joel Bakan's book, The Corporation: The Pathalogical Pursuit of Profit and Power, now also a movie

If corporation are analysed on the symptoms of DSM-IV, they would have the personality of a psychopath:

If you don't agree with this diagnosis, then Watch and Listen to This

Friday, August 27, 2004

Corporate Executive as a Psychopath

STOCKHOLM - Is your boss a charming, well-educated and polished leader intent on climbing the career ladder? If so, he could be a psychopath, psychologists gathered in Stockholm said.

Recent research has shown that not all psychopaths are violent killers - many of them hold normal jobs, with some rising to the highest levels of executive management.

But their charisma and ambition are often mistaken for leadership traits rather than psychopathic ones, industrial-organisation psychologist Paul Babiak of the United States told the EuroScience Open Forum in Stockholm.

"Psychopaths tend to be charming, have a grandiose sense of self, and they like money, power and sex. They have strong verbal skills and can manipulate by telling a good story. Because they can talk big, you think they have vision and can lead an organisation, but a psychopath will mislead," Babiak said.

He warned that the number of psychopaths in corporations will probably increase in coming years, as they thrive in the dynamic and rapidly-changing organisations of today's business market where they can advance quickly.

"Psychopaths don't like to work in bureaucratic organisations," he said, noting that they are "thrill-seekers who like to play the game".

Babiak said a psychopath typically shows no signs of remorse, or feels other emotions the way mentally stable people do.

"So while a psychopath would have no qualms about closing down a plant, a true leader would feel bad about putting all those people out of work," he said.

But the corporate world's dirty little secret may well be that psychopaths thrive because companies actively seek them out: The focus on short-term results in today's "quarterly capitalism" requires ruthless leaders not afraid to take hard quick decisions without looking back.

Babiak conceded that a psychopath may indeed be good for a company in the short-term, but will invariably become a problem later.

"Psychopaths can spin a good tale, but they can't do the day-to-day work. They leech off other workers," he said.

Professor Erich Bartel of the Frankfurt Business School of Finance and Management agreed.

"In the short-term the company will maximize its profit but in the long-term it will be unable to because it will lose out on human capital," he said.

Babiak said psychopaths were found in all professions.

In his work as a consultant for US companies, Babiak said he had come across eight psychopaths among some 100 employees, and all but one have moved up in their organisations.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Bush-Bashing in Election Times

These are more sophisticated digs than the ones which happen in India, and some are quite funny:

See more on this site...

Inciting War as an Electoral Strategy

It seems we are going to have another war - this time between US and North Korea - and scheduled at the critical time just before the US presidential elections.

There is a small paragraph in this news item in International Herald Tribune:

"North Korean nervousness is expected to rise in late October, when warships from the United States, Japan and other allied nations are to conduct joint exercises in the Sea of Japan.

The maneuvers will be held under the banner of the Proliferation Security Initiative, a program designed to block illicit cargoes from an unnamed country.

Previous training has taken place in locations distant from North Korea, like the Coral Sea off the coast of Australia."

Now that the setting is set, all that would be needed is a Gulf of Tonkin kind of hoax - which led to the Vietnam War - to justify a war on North Korea...

...and one does not change the president, when the country is fighting a war, would you?...

Monday, August 23, 2004

Media - TV & internet - and the Molding of Our Beliefs

This is from a recent interview with John Parry Barlow, the Founder of Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the author of the classic article "A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace"

(we)..."now have two distinct ways of gathering information beyond what you yourself can experience. One of them is less a medium than an environment -- the Internet -- with a huge multiplicity of points of view, lots of different ways to find out what’s going on in the world. Lots of people are tuned to that, and a million points of view have bloomed. It creates a cacophony of viewpoints that doesn’t have any political coherence at all, a beautiful melee, but it doesn’t have the capacity to create large blocs of belief.

The other medium, TV, has a much smaller share of viewers than at any time in the past, but those viewers get all their information there. They get turned into a very uniform belief block. TV in America created the most coherent reality distortion field that I’ve ever seen. Therein is the problem: People who vote watch TV, and they are hallucinating like a sonofabitch. Basically, what we have in this country is government by hallucinating mob.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

The Future of Oil

You can read the story by clicking on the title above, or just let these Pictures say their own stories:

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Politics, US Elections and Olympics

PATRAS, Greece -- Iraqi midfielder Salih Sadir scored a goal here on Wednesday night, setting off a rousing celebration among the 1,500 Iraqi soccer supporters at Pampeloponnisiako Stadium....

Afterward, Sadir had a message for U.S. president George W. Bush, who is using the Iraqi Olympic team in his latest re-election campaign advertisements.

In those spots, the flags of Iraq and Afghanistan appear as a narrator says, "At this Olympics there will be two more free nations -- and two fewer terrorist regimes."

"Iraq as a team does not want Mr. Bush to use us for the presidential campaign," Sadir told through a translator, speaking calmly and directly. "He can find another way to advertise himself."

Ahmed Manajid, who played as a midfielder on Wednesday, had an even stronger response when asked about Bush's TV advertisement. "How will he meet his god having slaughtered so many men and women?" Manajid told me. "He has committed so many crimes."

...But they also find it offensive that Bush is using Iraq for his own gain when they do not support his administration's actions. "My problems are not with the American people," says Iraqi soccer coach Adnan Hamad. "They are with what America has done in Iraq: destroy everything. The American army has killed so many people in Iraq. What is freedom when I go to the [national] stadium and there are shootings on the road?"

At a speech in Beaverton, Ore., last Friday, Bush attached himself to the Iraqi soccer team after its opening-game upset of Portugal. "The image of the Iraqi soccer team playing in this Olympics, it's fantastic, isn't it?" Bush said. "It wouldn't have been free if the United States had not acted."

Sadir, Wednesday's goal-scorer, used to be the star player for the professional soccer team in Najaf. In the city in which 20,000 fans used to fill the stadium and chant Sadir's name, U.S. and Iraqi forces have battled loyalists to rebel cleric Moktada al-Sadr for the past two weeks. Najaf lies in ruins.

"I want the violence and the war to go away from the city," says Sadir, 21. "We don't wish for the presence of Americans in our country. We want them to go away."

Manajid, 22, who nearly scored his own goal with a driven header on Wednesday, hails from the city of Fallujah. He says coalition forces killed Manajid's cousin, Omar Jabbar al-Aziz, who was fighting as an insurgent, and several of his friends. In fact, Manajid says, if he were not playing soccer he would "for sure" be fighting as part of the resistance.

"I want to defend my home. If a stranger invades America and the people resist, does that mean they are terrorists?" Manajid says. "Everyone [in Fallujah] has been labeled a terrorist. These are all lies. Fallujah people are some of the best people in Iraq."...

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Athens Olympics: Business Takes Over!!!

This perhaps would set a new trend of sponsors controlling the lives of people...

Since Coca-Cola and McDonald happen to be the sponsors of Olymics, under the Clean Venue Policythe spectators cannot carry Pepsi or other competing products in the Olympics!!!

The news item reads:

"Strict regulations published by Athens 2004 last week dictate that spectators may be refused admission to events if they are carrying food or drinks made by companies that did not see fit to sponsor the games.

...sports fans... with a soft drink other than one made by Coca-Cola will be told to leave the banned refreshment at the gates or be shut out.

Staff will also be on the lookout for T-shirts, hats and bags displaying the unwelcome logos of non-sponsors. Stewards have been trained to detect people who may be wearing merchandise from the sponsors' rivals in the hope of catching the eyes of TV audiences."

Monday, August 09, 2004

Why Sudan? - the coincidence

I had written about this sudden interest about Sudan a few days back.

and then I came across this article by Karen Kwiatkowski at - which says something similar:

By this time, we have all learned a lot about the current Bush administration, its predecessors and sadly, its successors. Let’s review.

  • Oil is important to Washington.
  • Leverage of oil production and policies is important to Houston and New York, and Washington.
  • Illusions of national financial security must be maintained, at all cost.
    Holy worship of the Federal Reserve and cultish market obsession with the mental and physical health of Alan Greenspan is "a good thing."
  • Propaganda works even better in the information age than before it. Before TV and Internet, people tended to believe their own eyes and trust their own experience. Today, we consume without assessment massive amounts of "government" and other misinformation.
  • Americans like to be good guys, doing "good things."

    ... do read this article....

  • Sunday, August 08, 2004

    New Bushism

    George W Bush is known for his "Bushisms", but this one will perhaps go down in history as a prophetic quote:

    "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful,
    and so are we.
    They never stop thinking about new ways
    to harm our country and our people,
    and neither do we."

    President Bush, at a signing ceremony Aug. 5, 2004 for a $417 billion defense bill

    Friday, August 06, 2004

    The 1st WMD: 59 Years back...

    "The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, in so far as possible, the killing of civilians."
    - President Truman, August 6th, 1945

    Tuesday, August 03, 2004

    Sudan: From Oil to Turm-Oil

    Suddenly, the Civilised World has become aware - and gung-ho - about the "Genocide", "Ethnic Cleansing" and "Humanitarian Crisis" in Sudan. The UN resolution (by US, UK, EU, etc.) warns the Sudanese Govt to resolve a crisis, simmering since 1956, in 30 day!!!... Otherwise, it will have to face... er, well,... it will be invaded/ liberated/ intervened...

    This sudden humanitarian interest in Sudan, specially after the Sudanese government reached some kind of peace with the rebels only in April this year, is understandable. One only has to read the Sudan Country Analysis Brief of the Energy Information Administration to comprehend the benevolent motives:

    "With the completion of a major oil export pipeline in July 1999, Sudanese crude oil production and exports have risen rapidly over the past few years. Sudan's estimated oil reserves have doubled since 2001, with crude production reaching an estimated 345,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) in June 2004. Energy Minister Awad al-Jaz said in May 2004 that he expected crude production to reach 500,000 bbl/d in 2005."

    Given that:

    • Iraq oil policy turned out to be disaster
    • Russian Yuko is closing down (which accounted for 2% of world's refined oil capacity)
    • Oil prices have gone beyond $44/barrel
    • China continues to consume more and more oil is natural that the locust must find a new field...

    Sunday, August 01, 2004

    The "Other" Indians Hostages in Iraq

    Over 5000 Indians in US troops' custody in Iraq

    Saturday, 31 July , 2004 "Sify" -- Jalandhar: Even as the fate of three Indians abducted in Iraq hang on balance, two truck drivers who were detained and later freed by militants in the war-ravaged country in May, on Friday said that over 5000 Indians were in 'the custody of the US troops' in the gulf country and some of them were killed in attacks on the western forces.

    "Over 5000 Indian truck drivers and labourers are still in the custody of the American army and some of them have been killed in attacks by Iraqi people on the vehicles carrying US Army's personnel and war equipment," Lakhwinder Singh and Harnke Singh of Bhangala village told reporters in Jalandhar.

    Families of the Indians killed in Iraq were not even informed about the death of their kins, they alleged... "Since the American Army has taken vehicles of Kuwaiti transporters on lease, they forcibly take drivers to Iraq and if anybody shows restrain, they beat him up mercilessly," they alleged. "Even the American army has kept Indian labourers hostages in their camps and do not allow them to leave the premises."