Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
Photo: ExYU expedition at the C2 Conference in Montréal (Canada)
This year was my first visit to the famous C2 event that was recently held in Montreal, Canada. My decision to go there was mostly influenced by my friend Branimir Brkljač, who has been a regular attendant at the event for years, and who will write a more serious and detailed review of what was happening and what we learned there. And there was – to be honest – so many interesting and good things there that even the six thousand participants, the crowd, the requirement to register for events in advance, the lectures, the workshops, the masterclasses that lasted from 8am to 8pm, and the constantly varying weather… non of that could quench our enthusiasm and hunger to absorb new things.
I will write about one, rather sad, but certainly the most striking impression that left our little exYu delegation quite depressed.
One of the main topics that C2 dealt with was artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and all the phenomena related to this phenomenon that is set to change the world, but is still not present enough in our region. I won’t talk about all the positive and terrifying aspects that AI will bring into our daily lives, about the fact that children today are being educated for jobs that won’t exist in the future, the perils for our industry, and similar more or less known things.
I will write about a Minister.
I will write about Mr. Navendeep Sing Bains, head of the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development of Canada. This ministry, among other things, is in charge of helping new things, such as AI, to be accepted, developed and implemented in the daily life of Canada, aware of the importance of it for the future of the country. He talked about the role of the Government in creating a favorable economic environment for all those who are dealing with this field, he talked about the decision to shorten the immigration procedure for professionals in this field to just 15 days, he talked about special tax incentives for all those investing in AI. The Canadian government is developing special programs for people who will be left out of work because they will be replaced by machines, they have a strategy and a vision of how rural areas are involved in these processes, and much, much more that, ultimately, falls under the tasks of a government: To do everything in its power, within the country’s general development strategy, in order to implement that strategy as good as possible, taking into account all the segments of society.
Someone would say: so what, that is the task of every government. To take care of things like that.
Yes, perhaps it is, but for those who grew up in some other, more normal parts of the world, in comparison to our hilly Balkans.
While they talk about AI, here we talk about old greetings, about whether the vaccination of children is good or not, whether abortion should be allowed, whether it is better to say ‘Serbian / Croatian citizenship’ or ‘citizenship of the Republic of Serbia / Croatia’. We talk about how two litters of sea water to the left or to the right in the bay of Piran is crucially important, and similar topics that will fundamentally determine our future and take us to a certain history.
When a society has no knowledge or competence to talk about the current moment and the real topics on which our future and the future of our children depends, then this story is replaced by empty and false promises of things that are “just waiting for us” and are “all but here already”, while the pressing topics are pulled out from the near or distant future, in order to disillusion people. In such a society, then we also have the ministers that we do.
Their minister showed three traits that totally shocked us: competence on the topic being discussed, absolute awareness of what his duty as a minister is (to take care of the welfare of society) and the readiness and strength to adapt his activity to the demands and needs of all participants in the procedure. Without a single word of political bullshit, empty phrases, indecision and ignorance of the topic. Without a single notion of swearing allegiance to his party, his leader.
Why was this devastating for us?
We could only imagine our ministers (regardless whether they are from Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina…) and what their performance would be like. We imagined their characters, things that characterize them, and the like.
The sad fact is that, with very few honorable exceptions, most of our officials, no matter where they come from, are totally incompetent to do the job they are doing. Negative selection has done its job, and each of our country has its own prime specimens that are actually competing in categories of (non)competence, moral (non)purity, (lack of)inclination to corruption and rectal alpinism towards the boss that installed them, and is the only thing they fear.
These are people who have the jobs they have because of loyalty, not ability. People for whom cleptocracy is more important than democracy, whose loyalty to the Party and the supreme leader is more important than loyalty to their own people, who were chosen to plunder and steal. And who, above all, are incompetent for the jobs they are supposed to do.
But that’s not the worst. I mean, if they don’t mettle into their job of course.
It becomes really bad if they start believing in what their business cards say, and then start their activities. And then we get the most dangerous monsters of all – A Fool With an Initiative. A person who not only has no clue what their job is, but do it with such zeal, enthusiasm and energy, that they inflict irreparable damage. It’s a person who has no idea that they are making mistakes whose repercussions will be felt by generations to come. It’s a person who remains in their post, or even get promoted, as long as it suits the ruling party. It doesn’t matter if it’s bad for the society, it’s good for them.
And that realization was devastating for us.
The realization that Canadians have a minister who is competent, modest and aware of his duties.
While we are punished with Fools with Initiative, or, in the best case, with just incompetent people.
Although, there’s a saying that everyone has the politicians they deserve.
Well, fuck it, life (country) is a mother to some, and a stepmother to others.
The bereft children of the Balkans.