Sunday, September 28, 2014

How To Do More Than Just Carp Uselessly From The Sidelines?

Complaints are, after all, an admission of weakness, and an appeal to the admitted victor.

Yes, these types of policy statements are a significant problem, since they attempt to reverse the meaning of insult and reason.

"It's an insult to human reason and to the legitimacy of this institution to suggest that anyone other than the [Assad] regime carried out this [Sarin gas] attack [in Syria]."
Obama address to UN General Assembly, Sept 24, 2013
And it gets worse, now that Obama is roped into talking about the Ukraine.

Time to reassess context? Let's back up to find a point of consensus. We're each bystanders lost somewhere in a rapidly growing culture, wondering how to catalyze Cultural Growth vs terminal mistakes. If answers were easy to find, we wouldn't need to think so hard.

How would YOU best catalyze coordinated growth in a LARGE set of interdependent automata?
So what do we actually DO about this disorganized context we're in, stuck with increasingly inept bureaucracies?

First off, what's the key friction?

My first guess is that there are now too many layers of credibility and missing communication between political offices and the various subsegments or subclasses of an electorate now exceeding 320 million current/emerging voters.

Call it a problem in marketing or propaganda or lack of honesty ... the fact is that it's not currently possible for any politician to convince a majority of the electorate to swallow any one, simplistic story. Using present methods alone, that defines organizational breakdown, and growing incoherence. There a better way, and we have to select it.

Honesty obviously seems like the safest course, but apparently those currently at the top haven't been trained or selected well enough to sense that. Hence we're 
squandering the very strength of a democracy - the ability of the whole to use, better/faster/sooner, a BIGGER PROPORTION of what its distributed components collectively know!
Seriously. What's the wisest way to start or select a reform movement able to chart a survival course that veers away from our current warning signs?

We have some past examples, but they're just that, examples from a different context.

Well before the start of the American Revolution, distributed efforts called "Committees of Correspondence" spontaneously formed, in anticipation of replacing the bureaucracy of Royal dictatorship. That was followed, later on, by the centralized "Federalist Papers," to articulate one focused version of an idea that had already grown to near consensus. Formal political parties didn't even appear until after the Declaration, Revolution, Constitution, and George Washington's first 2 terms in office!

One modest goal at this time? Anticipate 
replacing our current political parties with a more open process that acknowledges, generates, samples and leverages far more distributed feedback ... faster.
Many of my economist friends harp on the vague concept of capitalism being dead. My best interpretation of what they're trying to say is that a strategy of over-reliance on accumulating Static Capital is no longer agile enough, and that steps to even further embrace Dynamic Capital (coordination skills) are long overdue. 
Hoard coordination skills, not static capital?

Yet promoting even such a simple concept doesn't look likely, using ONLY our present institutions. My gut feeling is that, as always, we need a few NEW institutions to rapidly promote growth of methods allowing a bigger Policy Space and more Policy Agility.

When we're continuously tuning complex systems, there's an inevitable string of milestone goals -
finding the next subtle, buried tuning step that unleashes the most additional system agility.
It's all about the indirect subtlety.

Any serious suggestions about the LEAST number of subtle, new institutions to launch? I know that's a lot to ponder, but please comment or write, AFTER sleeping on it awhile.