"Scientia is knowledge. And it is only in the popular mind that it is equal to facts. This is, of course, flattering, since facts are incontrovertible. But it is also demeaning, since facts are meaningless. They contain no narrative. Science, in contrast, is story-telling. That is evident in the way we use our scientific instrument, the eye. The eye searches for shapes. It searches for a beginning, a middle, and an end." John Polanyi
"The value of information does not survive the moment when it was new. It lives only at that moment; it has to surrender to it completely and explain itself to it without losing any time. A story is different. It does not expend itself. It preserves and concentrates its strength and is capable of releasing it even after a long time." Walter Benjamin
"Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows that it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or a gazelle, when the sun comes up, you'd better be running." Richard Hodgetts.
"Principle: Competition drives excellence and innovation."
"In the 21st century, cooperation and competition reinforce each other."
Then in a recent op-ed article in the New York Times, you can see an illustration of the above principle in real life:
Last September ... the C.E.O. of Chrysler ... was explaining why the auto industry, at that time, needed $25 billion in loan guarantees. It wasn’t a bailout, he said. It was a way to enable the car companies to retool for innovation. I could not help but shout back ...: “We have to subsidize Detroit so that it will innovate? What business were you people in other than innovation?” If we give you another $25 billion, will you also do accounting?
... Not every automaker is at death’s door. Look at this article that ran two weeks ago on autochannel.com: “ALLISTON, Ontario, Canada — Honda of Canada Mfg. officially opened its newest investment in Canada — a state-of-the art $154 million engine plant. The new facility will produce 200,000 fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines annually for Civic production in response to growing North American demand for vehicles that provide excellent fuel economy.”
Thomas Friedman, How to fix a flat, NYTimes, 11 Nov 2008
There's a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying in to Washington, D.C., and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hands, saying that they're going to be trimming down and streamlining their businesses. It's almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high hat and tuxedo. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D), New York, 19 Nov 2008.
"It’s all about accountability and viability. Until we can see a plan where the auto industry is held accountable and a plan for viability on how they go into the future - until we see the plan, until they show us the plan, we cannot show them the money." Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, 20 Nov 2008.
Check out the stock price of General Motors vs. Toyota in comparison with the Dow Jones Industrial Average; click at "Max" at the bottom of the chart to see the change since 1962. Note the effect of the recessions in the early '80s, the early '90s, and the current recession. Note also the gas-guzzler age of the '90s.
Then watch the Frontline program Heat to have a better understanding of what the automotive industry and the oil industry have been doing...