Why Network Thinking Matters

Network thinking:

Rep. David Obey (D-WI) included the pandemic preparation funding in the [stimulus] package because he believed “that a pandemic hitting in the midst of an economic downturn could turn a recession into something far worse.”

vs. Non-network thinking:

SENATOR COLLINS (on why she stripped pandemic flu funding from the stimulus bill): There’s funding to help improve our preparedness for a pandemic flu. There is funding to help improve cyber security. What does that have to do with an economic stimulus package? [CNN, 1/31/09]

In a networked world:

LONDON – Airlines and travel companies led world stock markets lower Monday as investors worried that a deadly outbreak of swine flu in Mexico could go global and derail any global economic recovery, though pharmaceutical companies rallied on expectations that demand for anti-viral drugs may surge to deal with any pandemic.

Investors are fretting that a flu outbreak could set back already-enfeebled global trade and travel, just at a time when policy-makers around the world have begun sounding more optimistic about the global economy’s prospects.


Blogger Ethics Comedy From Mark Penn

Mark Penn writing on bloggers in the WSJ today:

Are there any limits to the opinions they churn out, or any standards to rein them in? Is there someone to complain to about false blogs or hidden conflicts? At the recent Consumer Electronics Show, Panasonic outfitted bloggers with free Panasonic equipment; did that affect their opinions about the companies they wrote about? There are more questions than answers about America’s Newest Profession.

From the Wikipedia entry on Mark Penn:

In mid-2007, the dual role of Mark Penn as the CEO of Burson-Marsteller and chief strategist for Hillary Clinton irked some labor leaders. Labor leaders wrote to Clinton expressing their concern about Burson-Marsteller’s anti-labor work.[21] Other firms besides Microsoft which have used the services of Penn’s firm include private security company Blackwater and troubled mortgage lender Countrywide. Clinton has strongly criticized Blackwater, although Penn has said that the Blackwater contract has since been finished.[22]

On April 4, 2008, Penn apologized for working for officials of President Álvaro Uribe (Colombia) for the purposes of lobbying for a free trade agreement that Clinton opposed.[24] Penn admitted to “an error in his judgment” after being criticized for meeting with Colombia’s ambassador to the United States on the subject of advancing a potential bilateral trade agreement between the two countries. Penn suggested that he had conducted the meeting as part of his role as CEO of Burson-Marsteller. However, the ambassador was unclear in what capacity Penn was conducting the meeting and Penn’s advocacy for the trade agreement seemed to undercut his client Hillary Clinton’s “well known” opposition to the deal.[25]

No word on whether Penn got some free mp3 players in addition to the millions of dollars from Columbia he received. But if there was free Panasonic or Sony equipment involved, I would definitely check that out.

Short process note: I’ve been away from blogging for a while because of some medical stuff, and the amount of work associated with OCWC Global (which is happening as we speak). Hopefully I will be resuming a more frequent schedule soon.


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