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Monday, September 22, 2008

Nothing Real Behind The Scenes

I was over at Pandagon.net reading about the upcoming Values Voters Summit. A Christfest!

I worked for a financial services marketing company run by fundamentalist krishtians and one of their pals wrote a book and a piece of software for "Values Investing." Of course, none of my freakin' values were included, but I did get to have my say about the software since I was integrating it into my product offering. I asked them, innocently, my halo pulsating rhythmically above my head, "So, where is the climate change value....and the socialized medicine value....and the social welfare value?" Hmm? They looked at me as if I were a bit dense. "You know," I said, "I make it a part of my job as a product manager to well, you know, understand who my market is. And, well, you may not know this, even though you've been doing this job for 50 years, but not all of the independent financial services reps that will be using this product are, well, christian. And their clients are necessarily christian either. There are some, horrors, Jews in the crowd! And, equally horrible, Democrats! So, we may want to rethink this little values questionnaire and balance it out a little, dontcha think?"

This is why I never made it in corporate America.

The first "value" on their list was "Abortion." Nice.

Anyway, the software programmers are usually the lucky guys in the corporate mix, because they can escape much of the political fol-de-rol. They just sit in their cubies and program away, with Star Trek music in their headphones. But the guy in charge of this particular product integration was from India. He was a Brahman, so he wasn't just ANY Indian, dontcha know. And he overheard me talking about the creepy fundies who I had to work with on the project and he shook his head and said, in his cultured Indiaglish, "It's crap. The software is crap, anyway." huh? "All the algorithms that predict which stocks you should invest in based on your values - all of them are crap. There isn't anything real behind the scenes here."

Sounds familiar. Just like the fundamentalist hootenanny Republican National Convention this month. And the Voters Values Summit. It's all crap. There isn't anything real behind the scenes here.

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