Every time I read some dimwit, orthodox macro-economics discourse, I still end up wondering what it is, exactly, that we're running out of.
And there's an old Irish tribal proverb that also fits. "It is in the shelter of each other that the people live." Well Duh! That's what social species do, and in fact, all members of all ecologies."I been around the world once or twice before,
So suddenly, once there are too many of us for our own wits to handle, we're no longer shelter to each other? Something doesn't add up here.
It must be our wits and behaviors, not our physical capabilities, or possessions that are degrading our median quality of life.
"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will [appear to] change." Max Planck(?)It's the scale, dummy? The more people we have, the bigger the tent we can hold up? Yet cultural tent design at one size does NOT scale, unchanged to provide cultural tent design at a different cultural scale.
"Much of the difficulty in reconciling scale-related axioms arises from CONFUSING MICRO-SCALE AND MACRO-SCALE INTER-RELATIONSHIPS." Max Planck
We're so close!
How? Because almost everyone I meet already values their learned knowledge of how SOME relatively complex process works, and hence they don't sweat the ingredients. Ever seen a homemaker hoarding flour, or yeast, or salt, or ovens ... to ensure forever their capability to make bread? They know that that don't make no sense. Or mechanics trying to corner the market on nuts and bolts, for their retirement? No. They all grasp process scale, at least to some degree.
And yet we're still so far!
How? Because, to a person, those same people:
they just don't see our nation and electorate as just another process!They just haven't gotten used to seeing the bigger scale. It only takes practice, but they aren't getting enough of that practice yet.
Hence, they get sidetracked and completely swallowed up in hoarding, to gross excess, various ingredients that go into making "us" - a dynamic human culture that is much more than the sum of it's parts. For example, they all foolishly agree to hoard each other's transaction denomination units, for retirement - like athletes trying to hoard the "scorekeeping points" which their leagues create at will.
Weepin' Jesus! Can't see dessert for all the Ding Dongs? Join the throng failing to recognize itself in the mirror.
It's not the parts, dummy, it's the whole! Perhaps another addition to the books for dummies series might help.
Wholes, for Dummies! :)Perhaps, but only if it was embedded in every year of our K-12 curriculum.
The backlog of stuff we already know about current human-culture recipes is so astoundingly large that it's either ignored or it actually gets in the way as institutional momentum or bureaucracy, as does our stockpile of ingredients.
Offer people a little bit of corn or butter, and they'll buy it all up. Give them unimaginable corn surpluses, or Butter Mountains, and they'll pay to have it hauled away for compost ..... and never examine the change in logic that accompanied the change in scale.
Every nomad understood this implicitly, 100,000 years ago. Say there are are 4 food sources, which appear at 4 times of the year, in 4 different places. First, ACTIVE nomads quickly find them all, and optimally use those resources. Is there enough for all, and excess? Always, but it required some travel.
You can picture that eventually, some lazy idiots started building fences around every new, transient resource discovered, in attempts to corner that market. Most would sit on it all year, trying not to starve between times it would blossom. Economic civil warfare began, along with leverage and enslavement. Local outcomes sometimes looked good to the dimwits withholding from the aggregate, rather than helping to keep the aggregate eye on aggregate options. Soon the net Output Gap was recognized, and it began to steadily grow.
The ongoing outcome? New layers of nomads eventually realize that their food source has become the people sitting behind the fences. Hence, the proverbial barbarian waiting at every misguided gate. Aggregate civil war escalated into unending civil war. Amazingly, aggregates grew despite themselves, but always slower than they could have. Sometimes MUCH slower, even briefly reversing the course of cultural evolution. Nevertheless, even our own genius idiots can't keep our resilient Middle Class down forever, no matter how hard they try.
This pattern continued until we witnessed the inevitable next link in that chain of idiocy.
Neo-Liberals attempting to build fences around distributed, public fiat, so they can sit on it.BMHOTK! That's the final stage of "perfecting" the theory of idiocy, before it's tossed in the garbage bin, for good.
All our resources - including our denomination units - are all meaningless, without ability to see our emerging context.
"Those cultures are richest who can best explore emerging options soonest, with the least of their old baggage." That's my take.Yes, countless superficial thinkers keep insisting on simple changes to our imagined cultural recipe - even though it's obvious that there cannot possibly be any isolated, simplistic solutions.
Yet there is nevertheless always something simple that's missing. It's just too subtle for most people, but ONLY because we don't teach the obvious. In fact, we train people out of seeing the obvious!
To make things easier on ourselves, we just have to re-orient our orientation coordinates to see our own evolving culture in a simpler light. No context seems simple until a context-specific coordinate system is adopted.
To re-orient whole cultures faster means a higher Cultural Adaptive Rate - despite our numeric growth. We have to face the fact that we're not doing the simple things that will cause a phase-change in the structure and process of existing human culture.
What does it take to transition a cultural engine from low potential to achieving more of it's potential? Tuning? Based on feedback from expanding system instrumentation? Requiring expanding investment in ourselves? That means realizing that the return-on-coordination is the only revenue that can cover our expanding cost of coordination. The only other option is slow suicide.
What part of tuning is it that's missing the most? Mostly the action, more than the analysis?
Both experimentation and imagination are necessary, but not sufficient. We need both. So far, we're constraining ourselves with austerity habits and hoarding stuff that in reality is only useless baggage, and that is keeping us from exploring options that are even more exciting.
To keep adapting and surviving, a culture needs to keep the entire electorate's eye on the NEXT prize. The idiocy of trying to sequester and bury Public Initiative (fiat) in the ground and hoard it is just another form of suicide. To leverage the distributed fiat we have, we first have to keep enough of it distributed. Then we need ever newer methods for driving better/faster/wider appreciation of context, throughout our electorate, no matter how fast it grows.
Aggregate Methods drive Aggregate Results.
Aggregate Results are measured against Aggregate Desired Outcomes.
Aggregate Desired Outcomes drive Aggregate Methods.
That's why I prefer Marriner Eccles' actual operations over all subsequently published theories. We can always learn more from experiment than theory alone.
Eccles & FDR practiced exploring options. Then, too many bookworms spent subsequent decades theorizing about what Marriner & Franklin once did, instead of just helping us stay on our Economy Bike, exploring newly emerging options - by rushing to see the aggregate outcome of DOING things!
What other field rides a bike once, then retreats to book-reading instead of aggregate group bike riding? My head is spinning, just thinking about the ironic lunacy of it all.
Can we just close down every economics department in the country, talk less, and get back to MORE action and less theorizing, while utilizing inter-connected OBT&E?
That is, get students - & the whole Middle Class - back on the damn aggregate bike, and just let 'em PRACTICE riding it? ASAP?
So what view of context is it, exactly, that we aren't enunciating clearly enough to ourselves and teaching to our children .. that would allow us to do far more for ourselves, and make life more fulfilling for more of us?
The only conclusion I come to is that we always need even more thorough distribution of all human feedback, derived from maintaining fully distributed, full human activity.
Everyone has a responsibility to broadcast key info to key receivers.None of us can be as smart, or active, as all of us. It's not even close.
We all have a responsibility to also adequately sample the entire spectrum of human feedback.
Simultaneously, to do either, we also have a responsibility to ensure that diverse feedback is allowed to be both broadcast and reviewed, by all.
"Organization" means getting key info to key people in key positions in key institutions, within critical time windows. All that, or nothing.
A healthy brain is one that's been nurtured adequately, developed through practice, and trained to rapidly analyze all emerging data.
Similarly, a healthy Group Brain - a human culture - is one that's been nurtured adequately, developed through practice at group discourse, and gets adequate practice at rapidly analyzing the changing spectrums of internal/external data. Leveraging that full spectrum of data/actions is what defines our emerging cultural response options. That's how we'll survive the unpredictably changing contexts we must face.
We can look either direction up and down that axis: as component "neurons" looking at their shared Group Brain ... or as the Group Brain looking at how it trains its component neurons (our individual brains).
Then, of course, we need national practice at generating alternative aggregate responses, and comparing them to our Aggregate Desired Outcome.
Did I mention that we need formal processes for continually re-estimating Aggregate Desired Outcomes, honestly? Instead of trying to rely upon the disproven process of Central Planning by too few Neo-Liberal, capitalist "elites" instead of communists? Big Difference, right?
A group has a Group Brain only if all parts talk to one another. What good is a Democracy if we don't USE it? System intelligence is actually held in an aggregate's Body of Discourse, and expressed in aggregate actions. The more aggregate agility, the better, and aggregate agility is defined as the outcome of aggregate practice - aka, the Quality (including tempo) of Distributed Decision Making.
Where to start? You want specifics? Just generate more activity, everywhere you look, at every scale, among all citizens. And then get 'em all practicing coordinating across existing and emerging scale. If we don't, what's left of our grandchildren will, if THEY'RE left.