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Scritto da nel Economia e Mercati, Numero 69 - 1 Maggio 2010 | 0 commenti

Taming the Untameable

barbarian, n.

1. etymologically, A foreigner, one whose language and customs differ from the speaker's.

2. Hist. a. One not a Greek. b. One living outside the pale of the Roman empire and its civilization, applied especially to the northern nations that overthrew them. c. One outside the pale of Christian civilization. d. With the Italians of the Renascence: One of a nation outside of Italy.

(Oxford Dictionary, 2010)

A kind of preamble:

Being a barbarian in both etymological and historical1 sense, I feel humble and sensible to make my case not as the above but as a general phenomenon. Being an Engineer who is not an Engineer (any more!), a Manager who is not a Manager (any more!), and the recent attempt is to become an Economist – I must say, I'm not even close to being an Economist in any proximal space, at least at the time of this writing, also gives me extra credits for my title! The article, which I am trying to narrate here, is not an engineering or managerial or economic one- it is a blend of all. “Innovations” is the topic I have chosen for this article.

The Story begins…

Scene 1: [The stage set in a city atmosphere]

O nce upon a time, not very long ago, there was a child – not a civilized one; as one is only civilized, or tamed, as he grows and evolves, whose world is as mysterious as everything around him. The colours, shapes, and the environment as a whole catalysed his curiosity to explore and understand the unexplainable because no one gave a satisfying answer to his. It is not that the unexplainable is really unseeable or unnoticeable – it was in fact everywhere; everybody knows about it, talks about it, and more interestingly comments about it with or without even having a slightest knowledge of its limitations or implications. This boy went on trying to see the structure of the phenomena and thought he could explain it by technical tools, as equations, or machines, or even properties. Interestingly, the journey of his did give him tools to do and work on many things but didn't come even close in answering THE question of his. There he was on a bench, around him the people (the players) passing by on their own journeys, he faced out and looked within to ask, “what should I do?” And he walks away…

Scene 2: [The stage is set in a posh village]

T he wondering boy enters the rather unusual village with high expectations and extrapolations, and meets a well-dressed man with a pipe on his hand. “How do you do! Lad!!” said the civilized man. The language and the perfection of that man's gesture, with his dressing, just, filled the boy's mouth with emptiness. After swallowing the nothingness, he said, “I'm fine, and how do you do sir?” The gentleman, who was a sensible one, realized that this lad is new to the customs and culture, offered him a shelter and made his duty to teach and tame this boy. The act of this being was very much influential on the boy's perception of people and soon he adapted to the new environment and began to learn to see the picture of “unexplainable” in a different way with the new precepts and knowledge. Once he had gained the new perspective and knowledge, he bet farewell and left the place for a better one…

Scene 3: [The stage is set in a very beautiful valley in Alps]

T he path of his lead to a wide range of places from crowded cities to almost inhabitable deserts, but he walked in search of something he never experienced. Had he thought in even wildest dreams that he would like and enjoy to admire and get astonished by this beautiful Alpine valley, which he entered? Indeed he did – it was a long walk though. He stopped to take some rest and, serendipitously, he found few more wanderers taking such rest under the same tree. Pointing towards a path, he asked, one of the old man there, “Do you know where this path leads?” The old man with a witty laugh answered, “Wherever you expect to go!” The boy was puzzled; what does that mean? Wherever I expect to go?!? He thought not to ask the old man anything more and spontaneously looked to another boy, who seem to be younger than him, and asked “Do you know where this path goes?” The boy more puzzled by the question answered, “Its not the path I walked, but I can tell you the direction and details of the path I walked.” Having heard those words, he realized that his rest is rest enough for him to continue his journey and he walked…

Scene 4: [The scene takes place in a bar called “Just” with less crowd, the atmosphere is calm and cosy]

O ne person asked another “Did you read all the above parts (scenes)?” and the other answered, “Yes, I did…[in a muffling voice] but what is the point?” The person looked at the other and said, “There is no such!” [As soon as the person2 says that he looks at the audience and continues…]

The analogy used here is that of an Innovator, as a human, who can be quite aptly categorized as a “barbarian.” What is uncivilized becomes civilized and what is tamed becomes history and the taming continues. This very phenomenon is the base for (any or at least most of) the social, economic and political problems – just like the innovators and their innovations. What is illustrated in the above fiction is exactly that! Barbarians are tamed and once he is tamed he tames others. But the story just doesn't end there – the taming by itself tames oneself

Acknowledgement: My sincere and ever grateful thanks to Professoressa Ivana Catturani, Department of YES, University of Strembo, for the initiating, inspiring and, more importantly, inducing me to scribble this piece. Therefore any remaining infelicities in the article has to be solely taken as hers.

1 That is, a. I'm a not Greek. b. I'm not a part of Roman Empire, c. not a Christian. d. (and) from a nation outside Italy- i.e., India.

2 The fictional person can be fictionalized as the author who is standing in front of the readers of this article. As acknowledged, the author takes no responsibility for any misconceptions and misinterpretations, therefore please contact Prof. Ivana for further clarifications. (e-mail:

Attention: The characters in the story are all fictional and, if, by any chance it resembles anyone it is entirely accidental.

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