Monday, December 5, 2011

Is the World Round or Flat?

I have been reading a lot of articles over the weekend and the inference I can draw is quite puzzling.With modern technology and analytics.....where everything from the number of times we drink water to the choices that an unborn child will make can be predicted!

But truly,the World has become a more difficult place to predict.As the subprime crisis underlined,this Sovereign issue in Europe has highlighted.So Black Swans exist in the middle of so much data flow and number crunching?how could assets become toxic so quickly?systems that have so many checks and balances develop sudden stoppages?

In hindsight,it becomes easier to guess where things started to go wrong.Yet its still not clear what exactly went wrong in the first place.The same has happened this time around.

Its so much easier to pontificate on what is wrong with systems,politics,economy etc yet there are few efforts i see happening that try and read the sitaution and find a workable solution.In One week i have seen or read seven different 'experts" predict a recession and and some that said we are still some steps away from one and few who said that we are in the middle of one!

For me,the rise in inflation and high food prices on the ground,the general insecurity about jobs,the creation of few new jobs,the persistence of "shadow"employment(especially in Agriculture) means that Indians are having a hard time.

The Chinese wanted to curtail inflation,bring down the money growth in the economy and even they dont know if they will have a 'hard' or 'soft' landing!The Russians depend on their mineral exports and China on consuming those to produce growth through manufacturing.Is that an example of a Flat World.

The World has become a harder place to predict.Even with AI and all the numbers getting spewed out and talk of BRICS and emerging powers,come june the farmer in a typical Indian village waits for the Monsoon rains and the crops depend on that.The price on the wholesale market depends on the supply.The level of water in the rivers depends on the ice melt up in the Himalayan Glaciers.

How has technology impacted Change?


  1. Very philosophical Vishal. I guess no matter how you slice the dices destiny is destiny. Improvements in rationality & science, are just adding extra layers of thought processes to the picture, sometimes clarifying sometimes complexifying our understanding of the world. Any solutions, well its a tradeoff, reduce your scope of analysis ( less variables ) you loose precision, increase it you loose the ability to avoid catastrophies by missing the forest for the trees. Is it therefore better to be approximately right or precisely wrong (-,

  2. Yes i suppose its a bit of science and some art,overload on either side and one is in danger of missing the wood from the trees as you said.