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Off topic: Positive aspects of global crisis
Thread poster: xxxEric Hahn
xxxEric Hahn  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:26
French to German
+ ...
Feb 28, 2009

From the creators of the term "global sytemic crisis":

"Back in February 2006, LEAP/E2020 estimated that the global systemic crisis would unfold in 4 main structural phases: trigger, acceleration, impact and decanting phases. This process enabled us to properly anticipate events until now. However our team has now come to the conclusion that, due to the global leaders’ incapacity to fully realise the scope of the ongoing crisis (made obvious by their determination to cure the consequences rather than the causes of this crisis), the global systemic crisis will enter a fifth phase in the fourth quarter of 2009, a phase of global geopolitical dislocation..."

http://www.leap2020.eu/English_r25.html

Assuming that they are right, this means the end of "capitalism" in its prevailing ultra-liberal form. And with certainty the end of the economical US leadership.
But one should also look on the good sides : There is no more money left for warfare in Iraq for example ...

Do you see positive aspects for the translation industry, too ?



[Edited at 2009-02-28 16:44 GMT]


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Taylor Kirk  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:26
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Health care reform, hopefully! Feb 28, 2009

For those of us working as freelancers in the US, we have to deal with the most difficult aspects of the backwards US health care system. We have to purchase our own health insurance if we can even get it (depending on pre-existing conditions) and it is ridiculously expensive. Since so many people are out of work and for the first time experiencing what it is like to purchase individual insurance, more people are backing serious reform.

Hopefully, with the new "regime", we will finally catch up with the rest of the developed world in terms of health care!

*fingers crossed*


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 20:26
English to Portuguese
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I am an anti-extremist Feb 28, 2009

Quoting from my own book (it's the only one published), page 184:
Fanatics are those who believe they hold not only the truth, but the only truth.

Long ago communists said that communism was the answer. The Soviet Union was shattered into pieces, which have been finding different answers ever since. This led some to conclude that capitalism was the answer. The recent crisis in the USA points otherwise.

I was discussing the US real estate/credit/banking crisis with an American friend who is (or was?) a real estate agent in California. We were talking about the $ 700 billion from being moved from the government to the banks in exchange for so many mortgages. After that, the US government would rightfully "own" all these properties. To me, that seemed some kind of communism, in the very homeland of capitalism!

For eight years (two terms) Brazil was led by F. H. Cardoso, one of the most highly educated men in the world. Did the overall situation improve? Not much, if any. His successor, Lula, now in his seventh year (also reelected) has as little formal education as one can get and still have a profession (lathe operator). Did the situation change in any aspect? Not at all!

Though the sample here is small, it should be safe to conclude that extremes are not good. There should be an ideal point between them for anything, anywhere.

The human species is born with the intent of discovering its limits. In early childhood we play pranks to find out how much our parents can take. Later we try to break records in sports or any other activities to discover how far we can go. Every activity has its measurement for success... or lack of it.

Once the limits are found, people know that the ideal point is not beyond that. So the next search is for the ideal point.

I had a friend in my teen years whose elder sister was an "unbeatable" champion swimmer. I met her some 30 years later, and we talked about it. Among other things, she confessed to me that she never swam at her full speed in a competition, for fear of not making it to the end. She had a normal competition speed she would use always. Whenever there was a *** (forgot the name she told me) competing against her, she would swim just a bit faster and win. She had found the ideal speed.

For one individual, to adjust their standard in whatever activity is pretty easy. However when it's a whole population, a whole country, the process is long, the reaction may take decades or even centuries.

So the process is what mathematicians call an iteration. A series of forward-reverse shifts that occur every time the commander says Oops! Too much! or Oops! Too little!

The forward movement after an Oops! Too little! is nice, everything becomes easy. The reverse trend after an Oops! Too much! is called a recession, or a crisis.

There are long intervals during which change in either direction has its speed tapering to a halt. The subsequent reversion also takes a long time to overcome the inertia.

The brighter side of it is that every time there is such change, we are supposedly getting closer to the ideal situation. That's what iteration is all about. Furthermore, in view of the overall evolution of mankind, which is both the cause and the effect of iteration making us get closer to this ideal point, the overall situation from a centennial point of view is always improving.

So the positive aspect of the crisis is that when it's over we'll be closer to that ideal point than we were after all previous crises. The only pending issue is how long this crisis will last.


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xxxEric Hahn  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:26
French to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Lula Feb 28, 2009

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Quoting from my own book (it's the only one published), page 184:
Fanatics are those who believe they hold not only the truth, but the only truth.


What is the title of your book ?

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
For eight years (two terms) Brazil was led by F. H. Cardoso, one of the most highly educated men in the world. Did the overall situation improve? Not much, if any. His successor, Lula, now in his seventh year (also reelected) has as little formal education as one can get and still have a profession (lathe operator). Did the situation change in any aspect? Not at all!


As far as I know, Lula has been re-elected because of his social policy:
He promised to combat hunger, to augment the minimum wage and to grant scholarships (bolsa familia), and he kept his promises.
These are small steps, but in the good direction ...

A crisis is rather like a revolution, in big steps, but without exactly knowing the direction.



[Edited at 2009-02-28 17:16 GMT]


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
ditto with Taylor! Feb 28, 2009

taylorreigne wrote:

For those of us working as freelancers in the US, we have to deal with the most difficult aspects of the backwards US health care system. We have to purchase our own health insurance if we can even get it (depending on pre-existing conditions) and it is ridiculously expensive. Since so many people are out of work and for the first time experiencing what it is like to purchase individual insurance, more people are backing serious reform.

Hopefully, with the new "regime", we will finally catch up with the rest of the developed world in terms of health care!

*fingers crossed*


*fingers and toes crossed here*!!!

And yes, a few fewer wars would be lovely!

And we might save a forest or two as people settle for more modest housing!

I'm starting to love the recession...


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xxxEric Hahn  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:26
French to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Modest housings Feb 28, 2009

Patricia Rosas wrote:
And we might save a forest or two as people settle for more modest housing!


You mean modest housings like these in Paris ?

http://dominiquehasselmann.blog.lemonde.fr/files/2007/12/sdf1181206_dh.1197195349.jpg

French banks prefered to invest in subprimes. Maybe now, they will start to invest at home ...


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xxxLatin_Hellas
United States
Local time: 00:26
Italian to English
+ ...
Ultra-liberal capitalism? Feb 28, 2009



[quote/]
Assuming that they are right, this means the end of "capitalism" in its prevailing ultra-liberal form. And with certainty the end of the economic US leadership.



[Edited at 2009-02-28 16:44 GMT]


Actually one of the underlying causes of the current economic crisis is gross and inept interference by the US government in the banking and housing industries, in a very surrepititious and corrupt way, mis-allocating the resources of the entire country, and many other countries with it (the costs of the Iraq war, for as horrible as it is, are a fraction of the mess caused by government interference in the banking and housing industries) and then very artfully blamed on the "free market". The next phase is that now the surreptitiousness will become more open, though the corruption will remain.

But regardless of how one interprets the path, the conclusion remains the same: the end of US economic leadership, at least as the world understood it in the 1950s-1990s period.

The outlook for the translation industry, in my view, depends more on whether globalization deepens, on the one hand, or whether the result of the crisis is a return to 1930s-style protectionism, on the other.

I'd be willing to bet on the former and those who maintain their skills and stamina, and with a little luck too, will continue to earn a decent living in the field, maybe even prosper to the extent possible.

I am not so sure that more modest housing would save more trees, perhaps the opposite, but I agree with the sentiment.

European-style health care is certainly better than the ridiculous and shameful hodgepodge in the US, but I wouldn't hold my breathe for four years in anticipation of a significant improvement.

All the best!

[Edited at 2009-02-28 18:37 GMT]


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RNAtranslator  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
Good for translation industry IMHO Feb 28, 2009

Eric Hahn wrote:

Assuming that they are right, this means the end of "capitalism" in its prevailing ultra-liberal form.


That would be great, but it is too good to be true.

Eric Hahn wrote:
And with certainty the end of the economical US leadership.


The result would be the China leadership, and their rulers don't even know the meaning of things like liberty and civil rights. That frightens me.

About translation industry, there will be a dramatic "economic Darwinism" and the bad translation agencies, the ones which provide poor quality an pay low fees will disappear: great, great, GREAT!

¡Salud!

Ignacio Vicario Esteban


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 20:26
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Book & Lula Feb 28, 2009

Eric Hahn wrote:
José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
Quoting from my own book (it's the only one published), page 184:
Fanatics are those who believe they hold not only the truth, but the only truth.

What is the title of your book ?


Engineers of Fate - its official site is http://www.lamensdorf.com.br/eof

Eric Hahn wrote:
As far as I know, Lula has been re-elected because of his social policy:
He promised to combat hunger, to augment the minimum wage and to grant scholarships (bolsa familia), and he kept his promises.
These are small steps, but in the good direction ...


In Brazil every citizen qualified to vote, must vote. So when Lula regularly gives fixed-amount alms to people in need - and to some who don't need as well - he is in fact buying votes. IMHO that's the bolsa-família.

I don't want to delve into all the Brazilian political history of the last 15 years here (not anywhere else - it's disgusting!). My point is that we've never had two presidents - FHC and Lula - so different from each other in all possibly relevant aspects, and yet their successive governments seamlessy blend into one period. Maybe the next one, being somewhere in the middle, not such extreme, will change something for the better.

In my analogy (previous post), maybe this whole period was a reversion cycle. Brazil went forward under Collor, who opened our gates do international trade, so our industry had to become world class quickly, or die. Then, in spite of currency becoming stable, we s[ent all this time almost idling. Now it's time to go forward again.

I'm not advocating for any of these politicians, just pointing out that each country is like a pendulum seeking its resting center. Some pendulums are larger than others, some are hung by longer strings, but all are tied to the big world pendulum, that swings on its own, too.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:26
Flemish to English
+ ...
Big Corporation man : Greed is good Feb 28, 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rD99Ev7JdAw

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:26
English to French
+ ...
Very uncertain Feb 28, 2009

I know someone who used to say that war is a good thing, because it fosters renewal, and the immediate effects are always good - I believe this person was right. The same way, I think a lot of good will come out of this crisis. The immediate effects seem more negative, especially in some countries, and when all this is over, some countries may be in a rather miserable shape. But the good thing about this crisis is that a lot of people, governments, companies and pretty much everybody in between, are forced to rethink what they have been doing. A lot of the questionable practices mentioned in this thread simply cannot continue to exist, not because it is wrong and risky, but because there is simply no means left for them. More than ever, those who have something to invest will do their best to invest wisely. Likewise, a lot of people, governments and companies will think twice before throwing money out the window. Governments will be taking natural resources more seriously.

This whole crisis is an exciting learning experience. There is so much uncertainty and fear that people are forced to stop and think instead of just acting.

The immediate effect of this on the translation industry seems to be good overall, although there may be sizeable discrepancies between different markets and segments. As I said recently in another thread, I believe that the overall demand for our services is up at the moment. There is no way of predicting if that will become a medium or long term tendency - some governments have only announced measures this week only, and there is more to come in the near future. However, I do believe that translation buyers are learning right now to buy translation services more efficiently, and that may have a long term effect. I can only hope it will be a beneficial one for the translation industry. I am confident - for the moment.

[Edited at 2009-02-28 19:16 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:26
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
YOUR ultra-liberalism is so dangerous!! Feb 28, 2009

Eric Hahn wrote:
Assuming that they are right, this means the end of "capitalism" in its prevailing ultra-liberal form. And with certainty the end of the economical US leadership.
But one should also look on the good sides : There is no more money left for warfare in Iraq for example ...


Good. Indeed this ultra-liberal form of capitalism is tremendously damaging for you Eric:
1. You can charge whatever you find adequate, of course taking your customer's limits and the market situation into account. That ultra-liberalist freedom of deciding your rates is so dangerous!!

2. You can offer your services to any company in the world. That ultra-liberalism is so terrible!

3. You can run your business any way you like, working the hours you decide, making your own marketing and administrative choices, establishing your business wherever you like and setting it up as you please. Such an awful ultra-liberalist way of working!

4. You get bank transfers from any part of the world in a couple of days, and even have the chance to be paid immediately on a credit card or an electronic account. Such an irresponsible ultra-liberalist capitalism!!

Honest, people. This whole expression of "ultra-liberalist capitalism" stinks, and it was made for the purpose of discrediting the freedom of enterprise we all enjoy as freelance translators. This whole business of discrediting free enterprise is old and worn out and it serves no purpose in the 21st century.

Let's not contribute to destroying our way of living as freelance professionals just because a bunch of bankers have a large boat and we don't!!


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xxxEric Hahn  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:26
French to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My ultra-liberalism ? Feb 28, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
You can offer your services to any company in the world. That ultra-liberalism is so terrible!


Did you never see indecent job postings ?

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
Let's not contribute to destroying our way of living as freelance professionals just because a bunch of bankers have a large boat and we don't!!


What has translation to do with ultra-liberalism ?

The point is that we are all sitting in the same boat and that this boat is sinking ...


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xxxEric Hahn  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:26
French to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Small is beautiful Feb 28, 2009





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Luis Arri Cibils  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:26
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
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Counting blessings Feb 28, 2009

Yes, let’s count our blessings.

We do get private health insurance in the US, in my case at a premium of only 500,000 3-cent translated words with a deductible of only another 130,000 3-cent words, all tax deductible, of course, as those words are counted as income. Of course, my wife and I are post-war models, WWII of course, yet with no preexisting mediacal conditions. So we should keep counting our blessings, as in just four years, Medicare will take care of us, if it exists by then.

And yes, of course, in this crisis, only a few bankers use black hats. We cannot blame a system where those bankers ask for government help and they get it at a tune of 350,000,000,000 dollars (Am I counting all the zeroes?). Of course, those same bankers are entitled to their year-end bonuses, at a tune of 20,000,000,000 (are all the zeroes in?) for all the benefits they generated for their shareholder6s. I am sure the shareholders can’t complain seeing how much the values of their shares has increased on the market.

And they are only bankers, of course. This is just a Wall Street thang, isn’t it? The guys from Detroit are sure busy people. They need to go to Washington in private jets when they need to pass the hat in front of the Congress.

And of course, free capitalism makes sense. Let’s limit our requests for government help when we are going broke. Let’s not regulate the market as that is an interference with our freedom. The best balance can be reached when we can privatize earnings and socialize losses.

And wars do offer a new beginning opportunity. We all know that we live in an overcrowded planet. A few less tens of millions of inhabitants will help, as we have shown after WWII. And less not forget the icing on the cake, the great firework shows we can get, as we did in Iraq. And we dont even have to be careful that the spent rockets may come down upon our roof. These shows are only done only in deserted places, or faraway places populated for children of a lesser god, such as Iraqies.

And less help to get up-to-date to those guys and gals who have been working for too long for a world-polluting industry such as the automotive. They can always get at their 40s and 50s new jobs in other new industries.

Yes, let’s count our blessings. We, translators, may see our workload reduced, and some may see it increased (I am in that group so far, and only so far). After all, in th worst case scebario, our income is not reduced to zero, as those poor guys and gals from Detroit.

Let’s count our blessings!


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