Monday, November 30, 2015

Carly Fiorina's Ridiculous Rhetoric

Believe it or not, I really am not going to go into whether Fiorina wants to dig deeper into defending the CMP videos in the aftermath of the Colorado Springs shooting--it's really her characterization of President Obama as "delusional" over connecting climate change with terror that I find astonishingly short-sighted and wanted to address.

Actually, to be honest, she didn't just characterize President Obama as delusional. She mentioned Obama, Hillary Clinton, and "anybody else" who wanted to make the assertion. Apparently, she isn't very familiar with the entire brace of people who have made that very assertion. This opinion is backed up by the Pentagon, the Navy, by other world powers. Quite reasonable people have set forth the chronology whereby drought in Syria lead to the economic and population stressors that led to the Syrian Civil War. Military experts and scientists alike understand that climate change benefits terror groups, while also understanding that these groups have very specific reasons for wanting nothing to be achieved by climate confabs like COP21.

Who, exactly, is delusional, when we have this many people capable of putting the dots in order, while poor Carly is still figuring out which crayon to use?

The problem isn't entirely that Fiorina is an utter neophyte to world affairs having little background in politics, nor that her tech experience didn't actually rely on scientific know-how. I think the real reason is that she isn't really a "big picture" person. She manages details, but sucks at taking in sweeping trends. Take this interesting view of her weaknesses.

For the many who are unfamiliar with her record, it is not a strong one. The primary mark on her CV is negative, having run Hewlett-Packard into the ground as CEO. “Call her the anti-Steve Jobs,” wrote Infoworld, who put her on a list of tech’s all-time top 25 fiascoes. During her tenure, the company’s stock lost nearly 50% of its value, thousands of employees lost their jobs to layoffs, and Ms. Fiorina was forced to resign (read: “fired”) by HP’s board. In USA Today, CBS Moneywatch, and Portfolio.com, she was ranked among the “worst CEOs in America.” On the day her departure was announced, HP’s stock went up—and she received a $21 million severance package.
 

The "anti-Steve Jobs" slight is especially telling. Jobs had a reasonably good eye for what customers would want. He had vision--a big picture. He succeeded in selling people--lots of them--stuff that was useful and catchy and became indispensable. He understood the broad spectrum of how people used tech.  This was her job-the thing she made money at, and she wasn't good at it. Why does anyone think she knows what she's talking about now? She doesn't understand the broad spectrum of how science relates to social change. How dim can one be? Because to be honest--that's astonishingly dim.
 

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