Chart of the day: Why GM and SAIC naturally decided to pair up

Pretty obvious, actually.

Far short of merger, but the same logic holds:  you are weak where I am strong and vice versa.  Why not ally and crush all opposition on global basis.

This would-be globally integrated enterprise as a preview of globalization’s coming attractions.

From an Economist story on Chinese carmakers.

via Thomas P.M. Barnett’s Globlogization – Blog – Chart of the day: Why GM and SAIC naturally decided to pair up.

What Tom is describing is called a  “Cheap Trick” (Tempo, Venkatesh Rao).

Cheap Trick: In the Double Freytag model, the moment when a key insight turns around the trajectory of increasing entropy in a deep story. A cheap trick follows the exploration phase. The notion of cheap trick is essentially identical to Clausewitz’ notion of coup d’oeil (strike of the eye). Cheap tricks provide elegant, organizing insights that allow a decision-maker to make temporary and local sense of a high-entropy mental model. Cheap tricks also provide a window of opportunity for high-leverage decision-making.

The cheap trick in the deep story between GM and the Chinese corporation is defined in these words: “…you are weak where I am strong and vice versa.” In the exploration of the automobile market in both economies (east and west) have become so complex and the increase in what is not known is so great that the relationships in the narrative within the market has begun to spike into a Cheap Trick, to release both complexity and that what is not known.

A Cheap Trick is strategy, and in Tom’s example, the way (logic, of  the strategy) is defined in the words, “Why not ally and crush all opposition on a global basis.”

A cheap trick is strategy, but not the final strategy, so what is known about this Cheap Trick is that it is flawed. As Venkatesh says on page 77 in his book Tempo, “Every such insight is flawed, since it is based on excluding some part of reality as noise.”

What GM is excluding from some part of reality as noise is the fact that China is monopolizing the market around a benevolent leadership that is centralized. The reality is that the east (China) moves to a different tempo than the west (USA).

While the cheap trick and the logic behind it might be the same, GM and China (if one can distingush one as western and the other eastern anymore) have completely different Liminal Passages.

With different liminal passages, but with a need to achieve the same tempo (if harmony is desired between the east and west) the liminal passages have to merge. To merge the liminal passages, the separation event need to need to happen at a time that gives retrospection a chance to reach the same level in the deep story.

Once the same level has been reached in the deep story, the relationship between the east and west can grow deep together, if not close. Otherwise the east and west need to orient themselves within the same OODA loop, which is not easy if the relationship is not close in mind nor deep in heart.

The centralization of an authoritarian benevolent leadership that is represented in the phrase: “Why not ally and crush all opposition on a global basis” seems to be what is dividing most of the customers in the American market, and what both sides divided seem to not want.

The Tea Party (TP) and Occupy Wall Street (OWS) both seem to agree we need less centralization and neither are acting in a benevolent manner. While most Americans are not either TP nor OWS, the logic that binds these two is distintive American, i.e. they want freedom to act and freedom to decide.

It may prove hard to sell cars in such a divided market that is together on this one issue, the decentralization of the market into one deep passage that benefits only themselves.

It could be that the Cheap Trick that GM and China are using isn’t flawed in its logic, it is flawed in the end that both GM and China are equally moving towards, as they combine the means (resources) to that end.

As we are living within the “valley” of that Cheap Trick (we are obviously past the “sense making” of that trick) it may be that GM’s decision to centralize into one monopoly to rule the market together with a  benevolent China, will give the US customers cars that we need (cars that will not destroy the economies of the world) instead of what we want (cars that give us freedom).

However, giving us choices only of what we need has never worked out that well in America. It is going to be hard for GM and China to build cars China needs and the US wants, when considering the resources (means) used.

I Tied My Shoes Today

The title of this post should say that I tied my shoes correctly today. Shoes that are tied correctly not only look good, but resist failure. Failure,in this context, means the the shoe no longer fits snug on the foot and the laces can become tripping hazards if they become untied (the knot fails).

Shoes that are tied correctly look good, because the bow, created by the knot, stays in-line with the shoe openings from both sides of the shoe laces. Shoes that are not tied correctly look less apealing, because the bow turns perpendicular to the shoe laces.

Yesterday, I watched a TED video in which a very smart guy explained that perpendicular forces do knot (sorry about the pun) remain as “tight” when they are aligned perpendicular to each other, as they would, if all the forces in the system were aligned in the same direction, attractive and repulsive.

After watching the video, I had to wonder if any testing has been done that tells us if a shoe that “looks good” has a knot which is more resilient than a shoe whose looks are less than to be desired. Resilience in this context means the knot can “fail”, but the knot that is most resilient resists breakage of the laces when tied.

As societies are created with perpendicular forces to their culture, because of the tempo they function at, perhaps a society that is structured to look like the less desirable knot has an advantage of greater resilience.

Let’s say we are looking at a bow-tie, with the Do’ers in the center and the rich and poor class fanning-out in both directions, along the liminal narrative of the decision making of the society.

It would appear that you would want this society aligned as the knot that looks good, i.e. aligned with “time” (“time” being the shoe laces) goes. But forces aligned that “looks good” might not always be the most resilient. It could be that the “slippage” you are experiencing with shoe laces that are aligned perpendicular with the knot is the resilience of the society.

If the “slippage” is the resilience, (and maybe it’s not), I don’t care if the knot slips or not, I always double-knot my shoelaces, to keep them tight, unless the dog has chewed the laces into halves (and perhaps halves knots).

4GW

John Robb was talking the other day, and Zenpundit  later expanded, about how to enter into another’s OODA loop. I suggested one way of positioning inside another’s loop, but I have thought of another. You can enter into another’s OODA loop through flux. Flux is when your position is within another’s, in such a way that the image of Ying/Yang is displayed. It can be said that you are in the position of Ying/Yang with another. This is an insurgency (incumbent/insurgency) position called Fourth Generational Warfare (4GW).

Call it what you want, Fourth Generational Warfare or a Fourth Generational World, this is a civil war, as we become connected, because of Globalization in Communication, like never before.

Well, maybe not unlike before. There could have been 3 more or less other cycles, so this could be the twelfth or thirteen, but who knows? In fact, this 4GW stuff is probably what happens when the world historically becomes connect on a globe scale. Maybe in a Rome-Countrymen-lend-me-your-ear type connection.

The problem is that there is no 5GW to go forward towards a future worth living. Of course there actually is 5GW, but it is without ethics, and it is ethics that a movement like Ying/Yang is structurally built out of. Therefore, a 5GW world is a world without structure and without structure a thing doesn’t exist.

What’s so terrifying about 4GW is that neither the incumbent nor the insurgency has an advantage over the other; they simply move one country, or another, this way or that. They are perpendicular forces (Ying over yang is the exponent that defines the structure of the insurgency) that just steer the movement one way or the other. Think General Sherman here, as he marched across the South in a most un-American maneuver. At least un-American for, at the time,  an American North and South.

But I would say we have choices:

  • We could continue to build a middle class, so the 1% incumbent force doesn’t over-power the 99%.
  • We could go back to 1GW, which is happening on our southern border.
  • We could go back to 2GW, which is happening on our northern border.
  • We could continually engage in 3GW, as the US has been in Iraq and Afghanistan, to mention just a few.
  • Or we could just continue to be terrified, as a war without ethics approaches.

It should be noted that the problem isn’t that the ethics of the American middle class has changed, as Paul Krugman’s graph shows us it hasn’t. If the ethic of the 99% had been the one changing so much, then there would have been big spikes in the addition/  subtraction of resources. The problem is that the ethics of the 1% is in constant change, as they “get religion” through the regulation of the market place, or lose their faith in the square.