Extreme Learning

By Sylvia L. Mayuga
Mixed Media - Philippine Daily Inquirer

If the world were a classroom, the present series of interrelated global crises would be final exams...

In America at the opposite end of the industrial revolution, the struggle of millions to keep from losing homes bought on credit also redounds to survival.

“An accident waiting to happen” is how the former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan has described the so-called U.S. subprime mortgage crisis that brought this crisis about. Because it’s happening in the world’s largest economy, the size and speed of its impact has seen giants of global investment banking teetering, one already fallen, like a line of dominoes. This has in turn led to the present global credit crisis felt in ways large and small most everywhere on the planet.

This is how Paul Volcker, who preceded Alan Greenspan as chairman of the US Federal Reserve, describes a radically shifting a global landscape: “Any return to heavily regulated, bank-dominated, nationally insulated markets is pure nostalgia, not possible in the world of sophisticated financial techniques made possible by the wonders of electronic technology.”

Many are still analyzing how the bubble of this subprime mortgage crisis burst. Reduced to its essence, however, it goes home to an economic system built on credit, personal and institutional, ranging the gamut from individuals and households to global investment banks with formerly unassailable, now besmirched reputations.

The extreme learning this spectacle offers the planetary classroom is simple, however. It revolves around the faith of ordinary citizens in a financial system running on instant gratification on one hand and world-class greed running rampant in the absence of regulation on the other. Again, judge for yourself. Here’s the definition of subprime lending that the George W. Bush regime encouraged against all common sense, in much the same way it took America charging into Iraq five years ago...

No, it doesn’t seem as though anyone, large or small, is exempt from planetary final exams, where answers to life-and-death questions will determine the chances for survival and quality of life of those who survive its extreme learning.

Oh, and one more thing. The spiraling costs of food, fuel and most everything else are driving millions to the poor house now, but it’s global warming that will be ringing the bell to signal the end of exams, ready or not. Time to match extreme learning with extreme faith and ingenuity as though our lives depended on it. They do...

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Read also my ff. previous postings:

1. Messages & Notes - January 06, 2008 (note the photo's message)
2. Messages & Notes - March 25, 2008