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Hippo crass C++

Aravis has put up a short list of the best books she's read in 2005. I've immediately put them on my wish list for me to buy later in the year. I've a thing for good books, and more of a thing for expanding my horizons. I don't believe I'm a rounded person, and so I am constantly trying to explore new arenas to understand - maybe its called - the human condition that afflicts us all.

My current reading has really started to rattle the quintessential core of who I am. Strong statement no? But whilst watching The Corporation, the mention of the book IBM and the Holocaust piqued my interest. It arrived last weekend, and I have begun reading it on my commute to work - with other suited folks who ride the greenbelt train with me to/from london. A couple of odd looks (am I the nazi perchance?) due to the cover and a single (so far) look of knowledgeable admiration has largely passed me by, as I am enraptured by what I am reading.


What on earth is thousands of years of evolution of mind and thought for, if it comes down to who is making the most money out of death? Appaling.

Anyway, the book has started to sow the seeds of doubt in my mind already. Would the company I work for, continue on a client contract, even if that contract would eventually lead to such death and destruction of innocent lives? Would you believe that's what the book says IBM did? Can you believe it? Why do it? Not because they were forced to, nope. Because they wanted the profit from it.

It reminds me of one of the best films I saw last year - Lord of War. Its basically about gunrunning. There's not much we can do in life about people who want to exploit situations for personal financial gain. Infact, don't we actuall applaud that behaviour? I believe we do, and I believe we all aspire to that wealth in some way.

Well I've been reading that book and feeling very ill. I'm pretty stern in life, but I have a real soft spot for certain things. And I just don't like the idea of a person who is heralded as a great businessman, who built an empire, actually being aware of what that empire contributed to. I no longer feel an affinity to great business leaders anymore. There was something in Time magazine recently about rich people trying to use their money for philanthropy - not because its what they really wanted the money for, but because they have everything else they wanted and need to try to show a good face. Now isn't that rich?

So am I a hippo, for working in a corporate arena, where there is a sense of inevitability that one day, much like Einstein and Oppennheimer, I will be sat there and too will have to quote from esoteric ancient texts, whilst the world marvels at our creation and we suddenly realise just what it is we have done? A system that would have saved a company millions of pounds a month, is easily repurposed to destroy lives. And why did it come about? Because a group of middle aged men and women, saw that the exercise would bring in a profit margin of 60% and that in turn would fuel a better lifestyle for themselves and their families.

Gosh, thats a bit dark isn't it?

So on a lighter note (flippety flip) - whats he gonna use his money for?



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