Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fight it or Embrace it?

Interesting article in the NYT about riptides. An oceanography professor in Monterey has made a few surprising discoveries:

If you are stuck in a riptide, and getting sucked out to sea, you should not swim parallel to the shore, as we have been taught our whole lives by parents, lifeguards, etc. On the contrary, you should just tread water.

If you try to swim parallel to shore, there is a 50% chance that you will just end up swimming into another current. If you relax and just tread water, there is a 90% chance that you will be returned to shore in about 3 minutes.


Assuming that mother nature doesn't lie, this poses some interesting questions. Think of the current economy, or any business climate for that matter, as a swirling, unpredictable collection of waves, wind and currents. We are all floating in it together. No one wants to drown. We just want to be safe and comfortable in the water, and have the ability to get back to the beach when we want.

Right now, our economic environment is unusually turbulent and unpredictable. Lots of us are being swept out and around by currents that we can't control.

So, do you fight the current with everything you have?

Or do you conserve energy, tread water, and have faith that cyclical forces will return you to the beach?

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