A Commentary about Big Business

    The Gates Mandala was inspired by the buyout business trends of the '80's that still impress the '90's economy.

    Influenced by Tibetan thangkas and focusing on Bill Gates as example, this mandala expresses my concern for the concentration of wealth and power with a few individuals while the vast majority feels impotent and impoverished.

    I strongly believe in the constitutional principles of checks and balances. To Mr. Gates 'vision' of the '70's, "a PC on every desk and in every home", I offer my artistic vision as check.

    My impression of computer technology is that computer programs indeed reflect the personality of the programmer. Mr. Gates appears to be a compulsive, manipulative, arrogant individual who rises to the challenge of meeting deadlines by driving his employees to create software after marketing vapor ware. Though an excellent business ploy, I am convinced that there are many more elegantly designed OS's and software programs that are unable to reach the marketplace because of Microsoft's domination.

    In an analogous situation in my region, a profitable manufacturing company following the Total Quality Management style and housing an innovative education program based on the same principles, was sold to a high bidder. Out of nine offers, the winner was the only one not interested in keeping the factory operating in this community or maintaining the synergistic relationship with the school. None of the other eight contenders could match the extra nine million dollars this company offered. Was this buyout in the best interest of free enterprise and the economy with its devastating impact on a small town, loss of choice for the business clients, and abolition of a forward-thinking education program?

    Great book publishing houses have lost their visionary publishers to buyouts with the 'bottom dollar' now the main literary criteria and the 'product' taking precedence over the manuscript. And B. Altman's no longer exists on the corner of 34th and 5th in NYC.

    Some say I am naive, but I think social consciousness should be a valid business consideration along with wealth and power. Technology and big business are not in and of themselves evil, but become so without responsible behavior. I hope my 'vision' has a small effect on big business managers as their practices certainly impact in many ways on my life!

Sharon Siegel



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