A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Thursday, June 12, 2003 :::
Where Bad Software Goes to Die...Rootless Americans...Work: Too Much of a Good Thing...

Give 'Em The Axe. The financial papers are abuzz with the bold move by Oracle to buy principle rival PeopleSoft with a hostile bid. Both companies manufacture administrative software "crafted" for all manner of businesses and institutions. Oracle's brash founder, chap name of Ellison, has been making headlines headlines by constantly repeating the theme that Silicon Valley is dead. By that he means that the tech industry has matured such that it is no different than any other industry. A Mind That Suits has always been somewhat mystified that it was ever considered different. The laws of economics are just that: laws. And the slowly deflating real estate bubble affecting the American economy shows that even the very oldest businesses can be distorted like the newest ones. The tech industry remains new because there is no end in sight to the development of new products, although most people seem unintereted in more powerful PCs. But it is still a business.

The only thing interesting about the takeover, as far as A Mind That Suits is concerned, is that the target is PeopleSoft. Having been a victim of its software for several years, his only reaction to the news was, "What could Oracle possibly do with PeopleSoft--close it down?" And indeed, the Wall Street Journal had speculation on that in a recent article. There are some doubts about the takeover, in any case, as it is quite expensive, but phasing out PeopleSoft's software seemed risky to one, because people might not want to part with a favorite product. One has to wonder who those would be. A Mind That Suits has first hand testimony of PeopleSoft implementation at three universities, two of them among the very best in the world, and has never heard a good word about it. This could be because all three universities are doing something they shouldn't with the software, but A Mind That Suits has his doubts on that score. If anyone out there has had a positive experience with PeopleSoft's university administration software, A Mind That Suits will be happy to print it. (See e-mail address at right.) The only stipulation is that they cannot be from the offices in universities that buy the software, and they certainly can't be from PeopleSoft. (Or Oracle for that matter--no piling on, guys.) They must be administrators or instructors not involved in any way in the decision to use or not use a particular administrative software.

But You Have A Culture. Yesterday's Journal had a long article on how parents who adopt Chinese orphans are also adopting Chinese culture. The movement for this apparently grew out of the experience of Korean orphans raised here, who found that they in fact were not comfortable in completely white settings, or in completely Korean ones. That much makes sense, in that people do treat others differently depending on their race. However, the sad note is that many of these parents are adopting Chinese culture because they feel rootless themselves. For this, blame must be distributed equally to the left and right. The left has always favored the view that Europe, and the United States in particular, has no culture. Thus, in whole swaths of the United States, students issue forth from high school with absolutely no understanding of their own country. But capitalism is also to blame: the mall culture, which deliberately caters to the most idiosyncratic tastes, has eaten away at any form of shared, common experience. The worst example of that is surely the drive-in church, but think of the modern suburban Tract Mansion: everyone is in their own rooms, with headsets on, listening only to what they like. No wonder people feel rootless.

This is a great pity. A Mind That Suits is quite comfortable reading Latin and three of its modern descendants, and speaks one modern Latinate language quite well, even if he does say so himself. But he feels most at home in this wonderful country, and thinks it sad that people cannot see what a great culture we have.

Whooosh! This is rough. A Mind That Suits has, essentially, two 3/4 time jobs, whose annual schedules are nicely complementary, allowing him considerable freedom. However, throug a fluke, those two partial jobs are acting like full time jobs. Yesterday, A Mind That Suits spent over 12 hours just going through the motions. It is not fun, and it explains why he has been absent from this most illustrious of blogs. Only four more weeks of this, and A Mind That Suits cannot wait.

Have a good one.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 10:06 AM



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What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

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