The Persistence of the Cuckoo Clock

It was with a note of concern that I noticed the posting about a new service from LinkedIn, their Open Candidates tool which allows one to discretely put their resume in front of recruiters without having to make a public statement about looking for a new position. While at first, I thought it was a brilliant idea, having been in that situation in the not too distant past, looking for a job but doing very much on the down low. Then I thought a bit more about the new service and what it really meant. Growing up I lived in a world where my parents and the adults I know got a job and you stayed there till they got the gold watch when they retired. Just typing those words make me feel old and I realize that even that statement is probably outside of the frame of reference for many readers. The new constant seems to be inconsistency. Where we used to have a job for life we now seem to have a job as a brief perch between transition to the next job. Perhaps transition has become the new constant in the internet age. Perhaps everything is moving so fast we can hope only to understand the blur as the present rushes by, racing to be that past that we can only hope to comprehend.
While it could be tempting to leave things there on a note of gloom and despair that seems to be in vogue these days, it is also helpful to look at the last time we had a disruptive innovation, at that time with the advent of print which ushered in the Renaissance and the Reformation. Heraclitus knew best, our universe is always in flux as much as we wish to cling to the one unmovable spot, the center of a wheel (which is also moving). Perhaps Harry Lime was right and wishing for a constant unchanging world would leave us only the cuckoo clock.





Harry Lime’s (Orson Welles) speech from Sir Carol Reeds film, “The Third Man” spoken on a Ferris wheel in the heart of Vienna to his friend Holly Martin.

“Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly.”



For another Friend of Harry Lime, with many thanks and fond memories.


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