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What do the BP oil gusher, bad cyber security and bad customer service have in common? May 27, 2010

Posted by Jim Satterfield in bad news, Business & Society, Environment, The Internet, Uncategorized.
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A certain mindset in most of American business, that’s what. Basically what it comes down to is a categorization of people, departments and activities as either contributing directly to the bottom line or not directly contributing. And if you don’t contribute directly then you are second class in the company at best. This leads to a strong drive to cut costs when it comes to second class activities and people. Computer security falls into this class of lesser being, unlike production programmers or the people who keep the network running. People in charge of trying to meet safety regulations are also lesser beings in the socio-economic hierarchy of businesses. Customer service is definitely viewed purely as a cost center that’s pretty worthless when it comes to actually generating income.

Then comes the breach of computer security. Then an oil well or drilling rig blows out, killing people and causing an environmental disaster. Then a well known blogger or someone else in the public eye starts griping about how bad your customer service has become and how angry it makes him. Then his readers chime in and link after link is made to his rant, making it a wide spread PR nightmare that even makes it into the mainstream media.

Let the finger pointing begin and all too rarely does anyone recognize that the core problem is a lack of understanding on the part of many executives that their business, like everything else in our complex world, has an infrastructure that it depends upon and that it isn’t just the stuff on the surface that is meaningful.


E-Mail vs. the evil MSM October 28, 2007

Posted by Jim Satterfield in Media, Politics, The Internet.
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Via Making Light comes this interesting article from The Nation about the below the radar smear machine of the right. I’ve seen a couple of these e-mails sent to myself and other people. One question that occurs to me is to wonder what kind of person would really want something as important as the Presidency of the United States to be decided by this kind of trash. And of course there is the question of why so many people are willing to believe anything they get in their in box. I think it’s basically the fruit of the years long smearing of mainstream news by the American right wing. They know they are correct on every issue and there cannot be any compromise with any other viewpoint. Since they cannot be wrong and the mainstream news doesn’t report things that agree with them it has to be liberal bias. It obviously can’t be that they are wrong about anything. So repeat the mantra over and over again that the MSM is liberal and it lies about everything. Never let up. Lie over and over again. Then it will be believed by enough people so that when something is claimed that is blatantly false so the MSM doesn’t report on it you have a base of people who will believe your version because they know that the MSM will never report the truth.

Thus is born the credibility of dishonest e-mail chain smears. It’s very sad that so many Americans are willing to buy into this and never think to actually research the claim. Everyone should know about web sites like Snopes and how to dig through search results and dismiss blatantly biased sites. But then, of course, they’ve been conditioned to believe in the veracity of the more biased sites, haven’t they?