Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-09-01 - 9:11 a.m.

The office was very hot and sticky. Nonetheless I managed to knock out a piece for Vic on the globalisation of RnD and its implications fort the West Midlands. I drew on a book I bought in Detroit a few years back and an article I got from a Silicon Valley news group which I belong to. My other source was a book on product platform strategy. The emphasis in my piece is on the conceptual structure required to connect new technology to successful new products.

The place to start is the product and its relation to the market. Technology only really surfaces in respect of a family of products - but the key point is that in thinking about technology in that way you have to consider the globalisation of RnD. This whole perspective links through to the work I am doing on purchasing with Mike.

Obviously purchasing is a globalised phenomenon - companies source across the globe mainly driven by cost factors. At the same time they follow medium term value growth strategies based on innovation and technology and rapid new product development. The bit that is missing is the sourcing strategy. If the medium term vision is high valued added growth driven by technology and innovation then the sourcing strategy for any specific product shouldn’t be taken on short term cost grounds - it should be part of the platform strategy. The Japanese have been thinking in these terms for years - and through the alliances with French companies they have picked up some of the ideas.

I also read a good long review of Hughes’ late book on Shakespeare by a French writer - trying to follow through the ‘torn cat shamanis’. Hughes apparently thought that Hitler was a first rate shaman - a reasonable construction. But the odd thing is that in this late work on WS he sees the evolution of Christianity into scientific materialism via Protestantism as being the problem. On the other positive side is the Virgin Mary and the older connection to the goddess. Again this cluster of thinking is familiar enough from Graves and others.

I think what really disappoints me about this perspective is the way it neglects Kant. Kant tried a unification job against this easy dualism and its really the best of its kind available - it has entred our culture and we quietly accept a lot of the premises. Kant may not be right - although as if I have come to realise increasingly we need to be aware of how deeply that view - as liberation - is embedded in most black american art.

In the Sublime of the Small I want to see what might come beyond that. Hegel obviously comes after that. The elements that I home in on are the Unhappy Conciousness and the emergence of conscience as a supervening factor in respect of Kantian universalized duty.

(As I write listen to a Doors interview in 1969 about the link between poetry , shamanism and religion in rock performance. The interviewer asks Jim - what is he role of a rock shaman in a time of social turmoil?)

The UC driven by artistic conscience leads through to dusturbatory performance - putting the whole self into the work in a high risk fashion.

There is another good article I have located which maps some of the artistic intentions with respect to the self in disturbatory art - for example one aim can be that by fragmenting the self the hope is to break on through to a new wholeness; another aim can be to purge trauma; another can be to re-establish community etc. Obviously these aims can be mixed in any specific instance.

Jim has some amazingly vivid future anticipations - the way that electronics will connect with blues and country.

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