“Fixes” that look great and fail better.

A friend in an environmental discussion group proposed his favorite list of hopeful, but quite unproven technology solutions for the energy crisis, making the usual false assumption that the problem is a lack of energy resources. That causes the further error of not considering what consequences the solution would have… if it worked.

There’s a rather interesting “Catch 22” in trusting hopeful but unproven technological fixes. They raise a promise you can’t check out the consequences of. The usual hidden consequence is the problem. Even if they work wonderfully to solve the problem they are targeted to solve, then they expand the economy and multiply all our other problems… Continue reading “Fixes” that look great and fail better.

Ecosystem decline and economic risk…

The question was asked by Sue Charman on the UK Finance Lab, How do we start predicting ecosystem decline, and if business is capable of changing?


One way is to begin to use more scientific measures of the net effect of things. There are some rather major problems with “sustainability arithmetic”, you might call it.

People tend to mix statements of social values and the numbers they use in a way that is very forgiving for whatever purpose intended. I don’t exaggerate. For one familiar example, people count their own personal waste items as their environmental impacts, such as the number of plastic bags they use.  They might count their efficiency in limiting cooking and cleaning, or running the AC, etc.

The real scale of their environmental impact, adding to economic risks, is hardly related to their personal waste at all, though. Continue reading Ecosystem decline and economic risk…

Group learning – marking evolutionary time

I was pointed to Michael Herman’s Open Space World, and his introduction to his Open Space group learning methods. We exchanged a couple emails and it occurred to me there’s a simple way to combine his and my learning process models, his using the four organizational dimensions of purposes, actions, stories & structures and mine as the dimension of natural progress in time. Continue reading Group learning – marking evolutionary time

Immersing ourselves in nature’s intelligence?

Geo Mobus’ post on his blog “Question Everything”, on “Where is the Economy Going” left little to question but that the choices for the physical economic system we’ve called home for a couple centuries is either down or faster down.

It does seem true enough, comparing the beliefs that led us to our present global impasse, and deep denial of how different the present physical world really is from those beliefs. But there are also other questions. This is a response to the ideas of “GaryA” and “Florifulgurator” yesterday, about other things to do than cling to our dead end. Continue reading Immersing ourselves in nature’s intelligence?

Seed events, the dyad powering butterfly effects

I had pointed my friend Steve Kurtz to my physics theorem, the Law of Continuity, showing why the conservation of energy implies physical systems need a “little push” from other events on a smaller scales of organization to begin or end. His good question gave me an opportunity to explain that, and a bit more of what the theorem is really about. He replied “Excellent explanation. Thanks”

His first comment was:

“I’m not up on the math. But a seed contains stored, embodied solar sourced energy. So I don’t see any mystery there. The mystery (to me) is the life propulsion…the apparent will to live and expand niches, and replicate.  Continue reading Seed events, the dyad powering butterfly effects