[Marxism] Yves Smith's comment

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 15 14:29:43 MDT 2015


These are all very real potential problems.
With the accent on potential.
Some will require temporary workarounds - which is what governments of all
kinds due during "natural" disasters, wars, sanctions, etc. (Perhaps the
biggest/quickest changeover ever - the US conversion of auto et al. to
ship/tank/etc. building - happened with no assistance from computers.
Some will require reorganizing production and distribution to lessen the
amount of changeover needed.
Some will require negotiations with foreign businesses to cut exporters
slack (which brings us back to the monopoly of foreign trade I mentioned
yesterday). And eventually finding trading partners who don't want to
exploit you (how dependent, by the way, is ALBA on computers? I suspect not
much).
I'll mention again the story told in Eden Medina's book about how the most
primitive computers - and even pen and paper - were used to coordinate
production and distribution during a boss lock-out in Chile.
Don't get me wrong, as I've shown in my articles on computers and
socialism, the more we can use computers efficiently, the better.
But "efficiently" means finding social changes to decrease the amount of
computing required.

On Wed, Jul 15, 2015 at 4:08 PM, Louis Proyect via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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> Yves Smith
> July 15, 2015 at 6:02 am
>
> 1. It took ten years of planning and three years of execution for the euro
> launch to go smoothly.
>
> 2. Badly planned and executed IT projects cannot be fixed. They generally
> have to be terminated. The failure rate of large IT projects is over 50%.
>
> 3. The performance standards for payments systems are extremely high. This
> is mission critical levels of accuracy and uptime. If you get it wrong, you
> are out of business very quickly. And from a national perspective, payments
> systems that are not up to scratch are not permitted to connect to the
> international “grid”. The Vatican is a noteworthy example.
>
> 4. As we have explained at considerable length in earlier posts, getting
> the drachma working from an IT standpoint does not just involve Greece
> doing its part, which is considerable, but lots of other independent
> parties doing their part, such as participants in the fragmented
> credit/debit card business.
>
> 5. Tell me how Greece survives if it has to carry on as it does now, with
> effectively no payments system. Importers can’t pay for imports unless they
> truck cash to the border, dump it into foreign banks, and then wire it to
> importers, or alternatively, bring it to the premises of their foreign
> suppliers (and some literally are doing that now). And what happens when
> they run out of cash on hand, as in euros? Plus even if Greece gets drachma
> into circulation, which is a twelve to eighteen month project (it’s not
> just the printing, the physical distribution, as in getting it into ATMs,
> is a huge task, and you also have to have the coding done to support that),
> foreign suppliers will want euros, so you’ll also have foreign exchange
> risk. Greece is not self sufficient in food and supplies will start getting
> tight as of the end of July.
>
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