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by Glenn Franxman, Django Developer / Stunt Programmer.

Am I just protectionist?

posted: 2003-12-19 10:38:59 perma-link, RSS comments feed

from slahdot post:
Yes, a lot of new knowledge has been provided by the West in the last 500 years. If you discount Russia (East) and Japan (East), who have come up with their fair share, then the west has been the main innovator. Actually, most of this has been from Europe (with America really appearing in the sights within the last hundred years or so).
However, paying for the training of offshore people to do the low grade work that has been previously done onshore is a tad dangerous.
All the 'high level' people that understand what the game's about have come up through the ranks of those junior positions to slowly acheive where they are.
The premise of offshoring seems to be "Well, we'll set up the whole of our operations abroad, where it's cheap, and automagically, when we need them, experienced people will join the organisation as we need them.". Except, due to most work at the lower levels being done offshore, thus most training being done there, the experience for the higher level jobs will be required to be performed offshore.
The setup then becomes one of having a shell company in the west, populated by a few suits with little technical knowledge, asking for a product from the real company investment (in workers and experience) in, say, India.

Now, with having few people trained (nobody can get a job in the west, so why study?), and no experience being gained (no job), then the raw ability to innovate in that area vanishes.
Lo and behold, the country that HAS the skills forms their own industries, and makes new products derived from their EXPERIENCE in the old (western initiated) ones.

With sufficient saturation of skill base, and lack of draconian legal restriction, new innovation is pretty much guaranteed. That's how the US managed to kick start it's high tech lead (the "Brain Drain" is still well remembered).

To put this in perspective, the Eastern Countries led development in technology for several thousand years. Only in about the last 500 has it lagged behind (except for Japan which is still at the forefront).
Now, after a period of 'sleeping', the East is beginning to fire up it's technology engine, and get in the 'Innovation' mode.
Definately not good for Western companies longterm, who are taking the short term view of a quick buck now.
And that buck, ten years down the line will most likely vanish into an eastern company who does exactly the same thing for a quarter the price or less.

Your reference to steam engines misses much of the point. Nobody here is crying out about losing jobs on a defunct system.
The point is, that if, once the planes and cars developed WERE actually all made in the 'third world', and all it's engineers and manufacturing were based there when the industry was in it's infancy, then the west would not be where it is now.
India would have the great roads, and the most advanced cars around would be of Indian manufacture. The west would now be playing catchup to the more established Indian markets.

The sad truth is that, these days, companies are run by accountants and lawyers. These are exactly the people who look at what the money does, and NOT at what happens to the world around.
Nobody seems to care about 10, or 20 years down the road. As long as the cash is on the table NOW, and LOTS of it, all is good.

Your premises seem to assume that the world is generally static, and moving one part of an ecosystem and transplanting it to another area en masse will make no difference to either one.
Read up on a good many disasters that have occurred that way.
Computing (and society) mirror nature very closely. The big industries are playing a very dangerous game.



Roshni commented, on September 21, 2012 at 7:04 a.m.:

This is how winter looks from sallitete? Ugly. It looks more like Blitzkrieged (could we use that as a verb?) Europe circa WWII.Winter is more beautiful and colourful at street level in Montreal, until the holiday lights come down and the city tries to save a few pennies by sending out cleaning crews only during regular working hours, no overtime. By the way have you seen the state of some sidewalks and we are only, what, two weeks into the weather? We'll shrug it off, call ourselves "tough" Montrealers, grin and bear it as part of living in this city, while the politicians get limoed around town to celebrate the season with champagne and slap each other on the backs. Lower middle class is a bitch.


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