Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Subtle Change from Principles to Rules (Part II) “Meadow Improvement”:

10/12/2010 Portland, Oregon -  Pop in your mints...

Can you believe they are not going to give a cost of living increase to Social Security dear reader?  From the looks of it, Bernard Sanders certainly can't.  Either that or he is watching as an approaching mob comes to show him that Social Security recipients are a much larger constituency than the bankers.  But enough of current events...

The Subtle Change from Principles to Rules (Part II) “Meadow Improvement”:

In a metaphor which has reached into the field of philosophy and attempts to use it to explain what I observed at the “GAAP Update”, we will return to our once vibrant meadow and attempt to gain an understanding of difference between principles and rules and what it means for us as persons living in this subtle but important cultural change.

We pick up our meadow in the aftermath of Woodstock.  It has become obvious to everyone in the meadow that the meadow has not continued to become the utopia that they had entered, and they become desperate to understand what went wrong, and how to keep it from going wrong again in the future.  How do they go about this?  First, they cordon off a bounding area, so that bounding may continue in a limited fashion.  Other areas are cordoned off and efforts are made to revive the grass in these areas.  It is prohibited to enter into these areas until it has been deemed “suitable for bounding.”  Second, they decide to construct a canal system in part of the meadow and allow the stream to “revive” itself within its newfound confinements, and water is rationed, which in turn limits bounding, which seems to rejuvenate the meadow for a time.

BUT THEN WHAT HAPPENS?  The people in the meadow begin to see that, although bounding now has become a limited activity and their other projects have worked, they dedicate themselves more and more to “meadow improvement” and less to bounding.  There is not time nor space for bounding, anyhow, and “meadow improvement” is a much more worthy cause.  Why just look!  We have grass growing where no one can bound and our canal system now provides more rations of more water for more people who are not bounding.  What could be better?  Why, bounding, of course, bounding without rations and cordoned off areas.  But nobody dares to say it, because “meadow improvement” has become so “vital.”

Of course the original, “genesis” deer and their principles, are all long gone, searching for another meadow to freely bound in.  Some who remain in the meadow are still searching for these principles and long for the days when they will bound freely again.  However, since most of those who remain were either unaware of or in some stage of disagreement with the original principles, the “why” of the boundless joy that they once beheld, “meadow improvement” continues and the deer and their principles are idolized, but rarely sought.  Why?  That would lead to too much bounding, of course.  And, of course, too much bounding leads to ruined meadows.  And, of course, too much bounding leads to ruined meadows.

So what is the point of this tale, dear reader?  What can you and I learn from a humble accounting lecture, bounding deer, and “meadow improvement” projects?  What does it all mean?????

Stay tuned,

David Mint

Click here if you missed part I