Sunday, October 29, 2006

The empires of the future will be empires of the mind.

Sounds like some techno-geek talk from last week.

Not on your life. Winston Churchill said that in speech at Harvard University in 1943.

The article points out,
The war for talent is at its fiercest in high-tech industries... but a large and growing number of businesses outside the tech industry—from consulting to hedge funds—also run on brainpower... Companies do not even know how to define “talent,” let alone how to manage it.

It would be wonderful if talent were distributed equally across races, classes and genders. But what if a free market shows it not to be, raising all sorts of political problems? And what happens to talented Western workers when they have to compete with millions of clever Indians who are willing to do the job for a small fraction of the price?
That last point reminded me of a comment by Ken Robinson in our discussion about education last week.
Children starting in school this year will be retiring in 2065. Nobody has a clue what the world will look like in five years, and yet we’re meant to be educating for it. The unpredictability is extraordinary.

Our whole pubic education system was invented around the world to meet the needs of industrialism... I believe our only hope for the future is to adopt a new conception of human ecology one in which we start to reconstitute our conception of the richness of human capacity. Our education system has mined our minds in the way that we strip mine the earth for a particular commodity. And for the future it won’t serve us.

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