Risk of a further physical system collapse

Conceptually it would be nice to have ever multiplying money, but the physical systems of the economy are not cooperating.

Hybrid models of how money systems are linked to the physical world, show why money is putting dangerously increasing performance demands on the underperforming physical assets. Those demands need to be understood and relieved, by some means other than a further substantial loss of the fabric of our society.

If you only want to think about it your own way, and not study my insights, that’s fine. Please speak with others you think need to understand the subject, though. I think we all feel the next wave of irreversible loss brewing. What also seems at risk is further loss of our physical ability to recover.

People have a bad habit of mistaking their mental models for the physical world we live in. Consciousness itself is a bit of a “charlatan” in that way. It results in people thinking they agree on things that physically conflict. Sometimes that’s plans that imply using the same future budget surplus for numerous different things at once, for example. Sometimes it’s agreeing to keep increasing outputs when it would lead directly to degrading the product.

The underlying problem is that most everyone would prefer that physical systems operated by our conceptual models. They don’t. Living in fantasy is safe enough, though, so long as someone is noticing our real conflicts with nature and is able to steer our cultural thinking out of the way.

Presently we’re not steering our cultural thinking about money out of the way of the natural conflicts between our financial models and the physical environment and systems they employ. We’re continuing to increase financial demands on faltering physical systems.

It’s not the conceptual models that fail, exactly, since conceptual models are just information and can be stretched as far as you like. It’s the physical systems having breakable parts, that will change their behavior unexpectedly when they fail. That’s what turns the information we were accustomed to into falsehoods.

Nature also displays a wide variety of examples of responsive growth systems, that pause without stress or strain when their environments become less responsive. If we find ourselves pressing our friends too hard, or running out of money when shopping, we back off and look for better things to do. How nature’s systems and economies can be responsive to their circumstances is often just that simple.

If you look at the diagnostic indicators, our world environment started becoming less responsive to our growing investment as we began to find ever smaller new resource discoveries and other warning signs of it, in the 1950’s. That’s when we should have begun to grow more cautiously.

In that sense we’ve wasted some time, resources and learning opportunities, in continuing to push the earth and each other to produce ever multiplying products, instead of switching to perfecting our products. Our increasing effort to grow has been pushing up against ever increasing natural resistance, not down a path of ever easier expansion as before the 1950’s. We’ve been depleting our resources and running into growing social, environmental and practical conflicts while increasing social overhead costs and financial commitments.

To give ourselves a break, rather than break ourselves, is the choice we need to make. To see how, you’d start by looking at the way our financial system is designed to continually multiplying our obligations, as long as the economies remain solvent. That conflicting promise guarantees no one ever gets a break, even when up against insurmountable difficulties. You could see it as a debt crisis, with the whole economy owing itself much more money than it makes, and having to stop work as a consequence.

It’s that closed loop that needs to balance mathematically, and exposes what has to change to do it. The real key to understanding it is to see the contradiction exposed as an inadvertent natural feature of everyone’s belief in ever multiplying money.

I’ve written about it in lots of ways. My systems science uses hybrid models showing theoretical systems connecting with complex natural systems, as in Linking Economics & Natural System Physics. Partly due to the reticence of economists and other systems scientists to consider hybrid models most of my research and writing is not in the journals.

It’s in my research notes on diverse subjects all around the issue. I think I have a very useful scientific method and show how our highest cultural values can expand to understand it intuitively in short pieces on my blog. You might also start withan overview of my whole research approach and exploring my site.

Nature really does solve much the same growth crisis we now face time and again, for all kinds of things. Natural growth systems commonly respond to the first hint of resistance by backing off their automatic growth mechanisms. It’s our own cultural rules for how nature should work, from times past, that keep us from doing likewise. We should find how to be responsive, for ourselves and our children, even if for a few moments it makes us feel naked.



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