Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Global Epicenter of the Automotive Industry

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm sealed the deal to allow Toyota Motors to build a new research and development facility in York, Michigan (about 15 minutes south of Ann Arbor), saying it would "further cement Michigan as the global epicenter of the automobile industry" (stories here here here and here). Interesting choice of words.

Fido the Yak recalls Ann Arbor as a lovely place, rife with bright ideas, nostalgic buildings, affordable apples, pulp incunabula and espresso. It would be a shame to see a natural disaster befall such a place, but one shouldn't paper over economic realities with fond sentiments. If there is a subduction zone where General Motors and Ford Motors are being buried under Toyota, Honda et al, --and plate tectonics offers as good an explanation for the woes of the American automakers as any that's been offered by company executives and industry experts--then Michigan probably is at the epicenter, cement or no.

Fido the Yak owns no shares of the companies mentioned here. He keeps an eye on auto and truck manufactures, but has yet to be convinced that over the long haul the industry will outperform bison, horses, camels, llamas, alpacas and the like.

Everybody loves alpacas, to take one example. They get good mileage from a bale of hay, rollovers tend not to be fatal, and for most pastures earthquake resistant design is not an issue. Acceleration isn't stunning--and like llamas they love to pronk at high speeds, yeehaw!1--but their wool makes for lovely sweaters and scarves, so that will appeal to some alternative demographics. So herding alpacas could be very lucrative and fun, or not. Fido the Yak recommends that you do your own due diligence.


1For an elaboration upon the essential meaning of pronking see Taking the Mandala Literally - The 'Couette System' in Chaos Science, the Mandala, and the Enneagram, by John Fudjack (1999): "It is probably safe to say that if there is an advantage to the loss of symmetry that results from the presence of the 6-pointed figure in the Enneagram, we will find it in the psychological PROCESSES of individuals - the equivalent in the mental life of individuals to locomotion in the physical sphere. As we've shown in our series on mandalas, an analysis of this 6-sided figure, the central tool associated with the 'Enneagram of Process' teachings, leads one to the concept of a NON-LINEAR sequencing order (ie, a circle) which encourages feedback and feedforward moves (leaps forward in the sequence, and leaps back). It does this in a way that is responsive (at point 6) to forces that break into the system from the outside (at point 3), or from higher 'levels' of the system, and produce something 'new' OUTSIDE of the system, at that higher level (at point 6). The Enneagram is thus, in its function, not unlike that other mandala that we've studied in our series, the Shri Yantra. The loss of symmetry deliberately designed into that figure, the reader may recall, results in the creation of OPPORTUNITY, an opportunity for the birth of something new - something that is indeed 'superfluous' from the point of view of the prevailing paradigm, which is thereby 'transcended'.

In this way the mandala in general, and the Enneagram in particular, reveals a basic truth about psychological process. At its most fundamental level, psychological process in the human being is a function of mental shifts that mirror the phases in a war between incommensurable rival paradigms as they are simultaneously held in mind by the individual.

To put it more simply - psychological 'process' emerges from how we deal with reconciling the incommensurable orders of existence that we cannot avoid as beings with a consciousness that is liminocentrically structured and ESSENTIALLY paradoxical. The bifurcation of consciousness that results from the paradoxical nature of its structure is the happy 'fault', the grand asymmetry in its design, which permits the entire world to come into existence for us. This is the asymmetry that is reflected in the design of the Shri Yantra. And the ramifications of this asymmetry with respect to psychological process is the aspect that the Enneagram, in particular, seeks to follow up."

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posted by Fido the Yak at 10:13 AM.


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