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        ID-3-3          Magnetic monster.             January 8th,   1986



        Magnetic Monster.


        Computers have entered the money business and make it seem as 
        though money represents some pinnacle of technical achievement, 
        rather than the gothic contraption it actually is.


        We all tend to be dazzled by flashing lights, and the speed with 
        which the game is now played can suggest that everything is 
        working as well as it possibly could.


        It is a mistake to confuse speed with direction, however, and 
        indeed all that computers have so far contributed to the basic 
        economic process is speed; doing the same thing, and faster.


        It seems to have generally escaped notice that the game itself is 
        ineffective and to play it faster is merely to accelerate the 
        progress of the disease. 


        The centralization of economic processes leads to a progressively 
        unresponsive and irresponsible institutions.


        "We can't make a decision here, it all goes to head office."


        Head office makes decisions impersonally, strictly on the 
        numbers.


        Local issues become secondary to international balance sheets, 
        organized by managers dedicated to providing value for 
        shareholders who take no real part in decision making.


        It can make good commercial sense to destroy some resource, so 
        long as it doesn't appear on the books.


        Long term viability takes second place to the necessity for a 
        good bottom line in a book of numbers.


        Numbers decide for the consumer.
        Numbers decide for the businessman.
        Numbers decide for the politician.


        Who is in charge out there ?


        Nobody, and nothing, but the invisible hand of the numbers game.



        Landsman Community Services Ltd.              ID-3-3    Page    1

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