11 July, 2006

New Design School for Britain?

Posted by alex in Britain, economy at 3:28 am | Permanent Link

Good article, touching on some of the things I mention in WC post. A British inventor describes British attitudes today: We like fast bucks,” he says. “Our culture admires flashes of brilliance. We don’t admire dogged development. Our culture goes against the steady pace and hard work of industry. As I said, the average Briton uses “brilliant” every third word or so, and that is a strong clue to attitude.

It’s all about faces, facades, shifty eyes, knowing which sunglasses to wear – seeming, rather than being. Hence the huge interest in media. British students want to be in media men the way Americans want to be lawyers.  In 2005, the UK produced 77,000 media and social studies graduates. “I read one survey that said 55% of graduates want to go into the media. Personally, I find this very worrying.”

The British all want to be Tina Brown, whatever that is beyond nimble social climber. The real British comparative advantage lies in convincing outsiders that there’s more to British than there seems to be. There isn’t, as British expatriates know, but most Americans are too dumb to figure it out, and America’s the country that matters.

Dyson points out that Britain produces 25,000 engineers a year, whereas Indian and China produce ten or fifteen times that. Of course, the quality of those engineers also matters, as the shotploppers at Doogasat can tell you.

This is worth thinking about.  “People talk about new technology replacing old technology. That’s codswallop. Old technology – for instance a company like Toyota – is growing at a far faster rate than new technology. It’s many times the size of Microsoft or Oracle or Apple.

“Manufacturing is increasing at a faster rate, but it’s not being carried out here. “The point is that if we don’t control it here, we will be much poorer in wealth, culturally and in terms of our power.”

Britian is on the road to becoming a boutique, serving  a high-end clientele with actors and escorts who can perform the accent – and little else. Money dominates the British mind, this comes through in the press. Columnists resent Swede Goran Ericksson for “trousering,” as they love to say, millions of pounds for managing the British team to quarter finals. They never end with how low paid they are by comparison.

This school sounds like a step. It recalls Britain to the portion of her history that is genuinely admirable: keen-witted individuals laboring away in their various barns and producing useful devices.


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  7. 5 Responses to “New Design School for Britain?”

    1. h Says:

      They really DO say brilliant ever other word?

      I thought those Guiness commercials were annoying as all hell and unfunny.

      Shit, now they’re scary.

    2. Mark Says:

      That’s a good point. Even tho they may “graduate” more engineers, doctors, whatever, I’d bet they suffer from a much higher incompetency rate. This is true too for some Jews. I think the culture and parents of those from the Mideast and other Asians is very focused on success so they push their children to take up these high profile careers.

      My uncle was treated by this Jewish guy who constantly was reading from a medical book as if he couldn’t remember anything. I’ve never seen a doctor do this. While he was friendly, he just didn’t seem very competent. A nurse later told our family that this Jewish doctor was killing my uncle and he needed to stop seeing him. So he did switch and got better help. I heard later that this Jewish doctor had closed his office. Indeed, people should take care and choose their doctors wisely.

    3. Des Gedow Says:

      How true..
      As to the last paragraph on admirable keen-witted individuals laboring away in their various barns and producing useful devices….that mantle has passed to Australia and New Zealand along with the disenchanted Englishmen who emmigrated there.

    4. Celtic Warrior Says:

      Britain has been walking down the kike path to oblivion since the early 1960’s, of course the insidious process started after WW11 but that’s another story.

      External appearances in many British cities seem to display a new level of confidence and new-found prosperity. However , I suspect this is a con trick. Will WE be ready when the ‘brown-and-sticky’ hits the fan?

    5. John K Says:

      “Disdain for manufacturing goes back to the Victorian era, he believes, when there was a preference for exploiting the empire rather than building up our industries. “We had thriving car and shipbuilding industries until the 1960s, but deep down in our psyche we are a nation of traders.”

      Napoleon said contemptuously the English were a bunch of shop keepers. Finally, a true Brit not only agrees, but does something to try to change that. Decidedly unEnglish, wot? Shouldn’t he be hanging on in quiet desperation instead?