A reply to Bill Dixon on Global Foresight regarding Soddy and the need for changing assumptions in economics.
I do agree with you generally, but it seems that the specific forms that things take come from how they individually develop *within* the possibilities allowed by “the laws of nature” as limits on their individuality.
Economies and ecologies are obvious examples of things that develop individualistically
So, though I don’t expect the system of the universe to alter it’s more general laws any time soon, :-) like maybe… upset the conservation laws for example. I see those “fixed laws” as sound explanatory principles, that still offer very diverse possibilities for individual developments within them.
Economies and ecologies are obvious examples of things that develop individualistically. They develop their own consistent “local laws of nature”, or as others call them “emergent properties”, serving as laws of the system developing them.
Our economy recently also changed its natural laws profoundly when switching from generally producing multiplying returns to diminishing returns, though. Now increasing investment has a law like tendency to make things more scarce, complicated and expensive instead of more plentiful, easy and cheap, for example. You could say the earth shows signs of running out of room for our old concept of investment.
Anyway, that’s my systems view, that the “laws of nature” are local to the system they arise from, and lots of systems are prone to significant change within our planning horizons. Learning how to watch for those kinds of natural change, and how it alters the laws of nature one can trust, then lets you be “the on the block” to notice. That’s a good part of what my work is about. fyi