Monday, January 23, 2012

If I Were a Young Man

Marathon, Florida
24 42.40 081 N 05.68 W

My head swam with the sound of Zero Mostel singing "If I Were a Rich Man"  except that I sang young instead of rich.  I was reading a story in the New York Times, called "How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work"   It reminded me of another article I read in Atlantic Monthly a few years back.  

Both articles dealt with Asia, especially China, and how the dynamics of their industrial/commercial/engineering culture is booming.  It reminded me so much of the euphoria I remember of the 50's 60's and 70's in America.  I was a part of it back then, as a young hotshot engineer on the top of his game and partaking in the building of an exciting new upbeat future for the world.   I was an engineer by training, but computers and software were my thing.  It was the ground floor of the information age and I was so thrilled to be a part of it.

The analogous ground floor for the 21st century is happening right now in Asia.  It is so exciting to read about it.  I can't help wishing that I was a young hotshot engineer once again but this time living and working in China rather than here.  

Last summer I repeated that wish out loud to a friend who is still active as an engineering consultant who has known me since the start of my career.  He was recently returned from business trips to India and China. His reply really rocked me on my heels.  He said, "You better be damned good or you won't get a job there."  The implication is that these Asian engineers are so sharp and so dedicated that America's best trained engineers have trouble competing.  Wow; what a shock.

Think also on the global scale.  Those people building a new economy in Asia are not going to slow down a bit to respect the environment or to conserve scarce planetary resources.  They are going to grow unchecked for a long time before they begin to slow down.

I really recommend the article. Get a glimpse of the future.  Read it here.

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