Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Saturday, March 13, 2004day link 

 Israeli doctor in the West Bank
picture A nice little snapshot slideshow at BBC News about Zvi Bentwich, a well-known and respected Israeli immunologist who now spends his weekends in the West Bank and Gaza doing humanitarian medical work.
"Among Palestinians I have worked with or treated, I have never experienced any kind of hostility – not in a look or a word. I am appreciated by them in the same way that I am appreciated by my Israeli patients. This is the reward of this work."
I'm glad there are always good people doing good things, despite any odds against them.
[ | 2004-03-13 05:07 | 15 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 The Indian computing revolution
picture Wired has a good article about people working in computer companies in India, who do a lot of business that is out-sourced from the U.S. It can well freak out a lot of high-tech employees in the U.S. that what is a $70,000 a year job in their area is more like a $7,000 a year job in India. And it is today both technically and organizationally very possible for a large company to oursource big chunks of their work to a place like India. And what might freak out the guy in the U.S. even more is to realize that his counterparts in India are well-ecucated, professional, well-organized, and probably willing to work harder to get the job done.

I can certainly have the same fears. My expectation of how I will be paid is along the lines of the U.S. scale. But I also notice increasingly how there are programmers on the net from Russia or Asia who apparently can do large jobs for what I would consider impossibly small amounts of money. And they seem skilled and professional. I obviously can't compete on price with somebody who'll do for $200 what I'd need $5000 for.

But that Wired article makes it seem natural and positive. Which I'm sure it is. In a global free market, those who're best suited to do a job, and who can do it the best, for the lowest costs - of course it makes sense if they do it. It would be silly to try to use laws and protectionism to force people to needlessly pay 10 times as much for the same work. Efficient telecommunication tools allow high-tech industries and booming economies to grow and flourish in places where they otherwise couldn't. That's a good thing. That a lot of the business comes from other places than where the workers are does in no way have to be any problem.

So, the answer is of course to be flexible, and to do the things that ARE needed in one's local area, and which one can make a valuable contribution towards. So, maybe one might put the business together, or structure it, or sell it, or consult about it, rather than necessarily doing all the work locally. There are always things to do. Like, how Aparna Jairam, the project manager on the picture, quotes from the Bhagavad Gita:
"Do what you're supposed to do. And don't worry about the fruits. They'll come on their own."

[ | 2004-03-13 05:35 | 15 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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