Who do you think invented Microsoft’s “Kinect,” which is in the Guinness Book of Records as the “Fastest-Selling Consumer Electronics Device” ever? Microsoft would like to claim the credit, but it belongs to an Israeli outfit called PrimeSense.
It’s my guess—and CNN’s Zombie Zakaria might wish to investigate this—that, overall, those who invent these silly contraptions are not necessarily the same sort of people who use them obsessively. (I recently watched a boy bob up-and-down and sideways like an automaton for over an hour in front of the Kinect. Back in the day, my own, now-grown girl would have been building Lego, painting, reading, or “inventing” creative games in the yard.)
Yes, the fogies of “60 Minutes” are obsessed with kids; errant American adults cater to, and worship, but never guide, their kids. The outcome of deification without direction is that the current crop of fattened little Buddhas is not that great.
Truth be told, the hybrid, hi-tech workforce—comprised as it is of local and outsourced talent—is manned, generally, by terribly smart, much older people with advanced engineering degrees. (That’s too much like hard work which is hardly “fun.”) The truth is that the people designing gadgets for America’s (face it, dumb) kids are older and highly educated. Some are Americans; others are Asians (South more than East, but both) and Israelis. The hi-tech endeavor is thus all about the older generation—veteran techies—uniting to supply their young, twittering twits with the playthings that keep their brainwaves from flatlining.
Back to the point: Some of my readers refer to Israel’s economy as a socialistic one, a fact that could reflect a general media bias (against Israel, not socialism). Although Israel’s economy is by no means unfettered, it is not much different from Western Europe’s Third-Way, mixed economies, with a respectable per capita GDP. Warren Buffett has invested billions in Israel’s private sector, with good returns. The country’s high-tech industry has certainly been on the cutting edge for sometime.
Significant is the trend. And it is unmistakable: “Emerging markets,” as Israel is, are becoming freer, whereas America is becoming less free. The devil is in this detail.
I am affiliated with the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies. Those who’re interested in tracking the effort to liberalize Israel’s economy will get a good idea by following JIMS’ remarkable work out of Jerusalem.
For a third day in a row, my book, Into The Cannibal’s Pot, is Amazon’s #1 in the category on Social Policy. The Publisher (link here) is not charging for shipping. This is valuable for our South African readers. Kindle will be up by, I am told by the best man possible, early this week, probably tomorrow.