Monday, 23 February 2009

Green Banks

We are back to a state of Zugzwang in the banking crisis.  Whether it is a bad bank, a good bank, a zombie bank, a split bank or a nationalized bank has become secondary.  

The word nationalization seems to be the problem this week.  From a metasemantic perspective, there are overarching determinants for the word "nationalization" that are in conflict with America's system of "free enterprise".  

A quick journey into a dark room....(a reduced sauce)...
If one were lost in the dark, and, had a perception of which way the exit was, how "real" that mental map is is not predicated by whether the door is actually found.  The "realness" cannot be determined but, the picture inside ones head used to navigate can still be valid.  If the exit is found, it could be "luck".  On the other hand, perhaps there is a correlation between one's internal map and the external world that is not only linked, but also correct.  If one exits correctly, is it because the internal representation is an accurate map of the the dark room, or, is it due to some kind of natural instinct such as "always walk to the right"?  Lastly, it may be a reference to a past experience: perhaps it is a memory of a room one knew well as a darkened space (such as one's bedroom).

The word "nationalize" may be looked at in relation to the dark room problem.  It is a word we picture and project meaning on.  It is a word without context standing in a dark room.  We may have a valid picture of what nationalization means.  Or we might not.  If we do have an idea of what it means, the correlation of our idea of nationalization to the reality of it might be a match.  This could be down to luck, it could be down to instinct, or, it could be something resting on prior knowledge.  On the other hand, perhaps our understanding or the concept does not match up to the reality.  That only leaves us stumbling around in the dark if we do not shift the inside of our head to correlate it with the room itself.

Nationalization does seem a word that is burdened with conflict.  The handling of the banking crisis is becoming a minefield of semantics - choosing the correct word seems to be harder than choosing the right actions.  The naming of actions must be accurate and understood from a wide range of understanding.  How does one go forward into such complexity with simplicity?

The eco-labeling movement has had much success with marketing a slew of items -- why not twist the concept into action?  Green has a nice ring to it and the cleaning up of toxic sludge has a nice eco foundation to place it upon.  The Green Bank sounds like a marvelous place to relax.

Of course, I am talking nonsense.  But sturdy names are needed for sturdy concepts.  And, with diminished faith in governments these days, the term nationalization lacks credibility irrespective of the effectiveness of the concept.

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