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Friday, 14 March 2008

It’s a mad world we live in, my masters

Here are three things that struck me when looking at the news tonight.

1. Why do the wrong people end up running things?

Or to put it another way, why does shit rise to the top? This occurred to me when reading the latest news about the interminable, dreary race to choose the next US president.

The chief requirement has nothing to do with statesmanship. It's just to raise enough money and come up with enough facile drivel to win the right to compete in the eventual vote.

It’s a sort of glorified beauty contest. In much the same way the people who end up running large firms are often just those who are good at politics.

2. Unfair! How come the richest man in the world is also such a superb writer?

The exceptions to my first thesis are the true entrepreneurs, which I guess applies to Warren Buffett.

Years ago David Ogilvy told me how beautifully written and funny Buffett’s annual reports are. In his latest he quotes the old country and western song, “I never went to bed with an ugly woman, but I sure woke up with a few” as an analogy to making a bad investment.

How can someone be so good at making money and such a good writer?

3. What would happen if we started killing Muslim clerics?

I see an Iraqi archbishop has been abducted and killed by some Muslim loonies. What would they say if we started doing the same to their clerics? It seems we’re expected to bend over backwards for them, but not vice-versa.

Mind you, I guess it’s wiser than bending over forwards ...

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