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So What’s Pattern Language? Mining design patterns from nature.

This is a good introductory description, excerpted from an email, w/ a little edit.  The abstract and link are for a paper on “Guiding Patterns of Natural Design:Mining Living Quality” for an upcoming Pattern Language of Programming conference.  

Alexander’s 15 Principle Elements of Wholeness – adaptation by TKWA archt.

Oh, it’s sort of magic..

the hope of course:

is that this emergence of a sound new way to communicate “wholeness in design”
leads to the world ‘transformation to living design’ everyone is so eagerly awaiting…

Pattern language is a new way of communicating design concepts, created by Christopher Alexander, an architect whose ideas came out of the same 60’s/70’s architecture community as mine did, only starting a decade earlier, and he became a wonderful architectural design teacher.    Anyway, his idea for how to ‘encode’ principles of ‘wholeness’ for architectural design elements was fairly successful, resulting in a series of books beginning with “A Pattern Language” in 1977, and experiments in urban design as recorded in “A New Theory of Urban Design” 1987, and in attracting a significant following.Then his methodology for defining ‘design patterns‘ did the magical thing… of being picked up and translated for use in other fields, a real technology transfer, actually representing the encoding of a set of rather ancient and wonderful architectural design principles, for other uses, i.e. “real magic“!  Where it had an amazing impact was on computer programming, becoming the basis of “object oriented design“, as a way of letting programmers communicate and understand their own design objectives, for both the wholes and parts of their programs.   Till the late 80’s when this new approach to defining design purposes took hold, programmers really had no good way to define the ‘parts‘ of computer programs, or how they needed to work together to make a ‘whole‘.

So having a way to define “working units of design” seems to me at least to be a big part of why modern programming became so successful, like maybe the other real secret behind the communication power of the internet other than micro-chips.  Pattern language lets programmers break computer programs into intelligible workable parts, representing real whole purposes and intentions.   It was Alexander’s loving way of describing the pieces of designs that did that, understanding and portraying design as a search for “living quality“.   And it caught on.  It provides a model for describing

  1. versatile solutions for common problems
  2. as a balance of the forces they resolve

Of course, one of the “forces” is whether we are creating a “living world” or an “inhuman world“, and whether the designs we make can become at home in our environment, to bring us and the earth living quality, or not.  That was the issue he was obsessed with from the start.  So, like I said, a sign of magic.

What’s more of course, is that his method of defining “design patterns” and my pattern science for understanding “natural systems” are awfully close cousins.  You might say they’re much the same thing in several ways, except his focus was on the patterns of wholeness for purposeful design and my focus was on patterns of wholeness in naturally occurring designs.  His “search model” for design patterns was “living quality” and mine was for “what makes life lively”, asked as a physicist who happened to have an education in design too.    So when I was introduced to his work as it had later matured (I really wasn’t “in the loop” or didn’t “get it” before) and I saw how it was being used by non-architects, I finally recognized the connection and now have lots to do!   It’s such a pleasure.

The work is to begin translating between the pattern language I developed for myself for naturally occurring designs, and the one that is becoming the common approach of many professions and communities based on Alexander’s approach, and do what I can to contribute to adding to the versatility of that common approach. Continue reading So What’s Pattern Language? Mining design patterns from nature.

The Image of the Commons… as Fulfillment

Creating a Commons takes thought leadership,
and
Thought Leadership takes midcourse corrections

One thing “thought leaders” need to be aware of is that “leading” always requires mid-course corrections.    Any start-up organization that sticks with growth as its plan and doesn’t switch to a goal for fulfillment has a default plan for destabilizing excesses in what it does, just for not having a goal that is attainable.    The two strategies are both essential but involve different leadership, for a shift from building internal to external relationships!

The natural strategy for building organizations starts with establishing self-identity and expansion by using its resources for capturing more resources.  That serves to grow its internal organization.  If successful it needs to be followed by a change to defining its independence and fulfilling roles in the new environment it finds itself in.  Having defined itself first, is then turns to setting out its own niche within and in harmony with communities of others, having made its identity first to then make its home.

Today the need is for leadership in a world that as a whole acts as if fully committed to destabilizing excess, clearly lacking even the language to talk about anything else.  Changing that seems like the first step then, toward our eventually being able to conceive of and bring about our own fulfillment.

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The Initial Image of the Commons

A vital hive of activity, a self-sufficient family or network structure, in which every part connects directly with every other, an internal world of complementary roles for an economy of cooperation,
a thriving whole and sum greater than the parts.

The image of the Commons – art by Jack Deocyzk

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The More General Pattern of the Commons

Each silo of culture is the home for

a different way of living,
a hive of commune-ication 
a self-identit
pulsing with life,

none of which are nearly as alone in the universe and their internal images of completeness make it seem.

The pattern of the commons

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jlh

Natural Pattern Languages

key organizational elements for the working relationships of complex systems
ideas of complex relationships that fit the reality

We care because of the new bridge it creates between human ideas and the working organization of complex working systems we make, use and need to respond to of all kinds, an emerging broad advance in understanding complex system organization design.  The idea of pattern language, invented by Christopher Alexander for architectural design in the 70’s, actually started blossoming some time ago, it a most surprising place, in the creation of complex design concepts for computer programming known as “object oriented design”.

As it continues to expand and mature it is becoming a wonderfully versatile method for sharing and recording expert understandings of “how relationships work”, with application to almost any fields.   It became the basis of modern computer programming, as “object oriented design“, with each object fulfilling a “pattern of relationships” that connects with others.   For me… its a language I can begin to use to translate my research on natural system designs into, into “JPL” (aka Jessie’s Pattern Language), for subjects such as how natural systems transition from “type-r” to “type-K” behaviors (a subject underlying much of the discussion on RNS of complex system successions,life stages and cycles,”dual paradigm views”, “organizational stage models”, as observable patterns of organized change in relationships).

The reason it works for “object oriented” programming and “natural systems science” and in other areas too, appear to be the same.   Pattern languages let people use their considerable natural understanding of complex relationships, like “home” “friends” “communication” “trust” “patience” etc. to open our eyes to similarly complex working relationships and meanings of complex systems elsewhere too, as “designs”.  The standard “design pattern” of pattern languages connects human relationship concepts to working organizational relationships of behavioral systems  of ANY kind.  That seems to be why the design model that Alexander invented turns out to be so adaptable to our needs in our now overwhelmingly complex new world…!   ;-)   I can see it readily becoming applied to breaking down the silos of separation between knowledge disciplines, too, the so called “blind men and the elephant problem”, something just completely unimaginable in reality today.

Pattern Languages are for

1. identifying key organizational elements in systems of complex relationships, found in nature or in design practice,

2. communicating design elements for complexly organized systems or illuminating them in existing natural or manmade ones.

3. using the design pattern to refer back to the original natural forms and contexts from which it originated or is used to represent.

Two natural system design patterns, (for example):

Moving with the Flow

Sometimes you watch the people, sometimes their flows.   The flows are roles in larger scale systems of group motion, forming as people avoid interference, but can confine them till they find an opening too.   Markets flows form paths and break from them as new paths are found, often flocking in chase of a wave of anticipation, or uncertainty moving leaderless floods.   Those are puzzling, since there may be no news the contagious change in direction, but systemic change generally usually has a real cause.    Flocks of birds appear to do it just for fun though.

 

 

Alternating roles that Fit

Both natural and human designed complex  organizations have independent parts that create emergent properties by fitting multiple roles.  Day and night, male and female, work and relaxation, pencil and paper, cup and liquid, all the amazing polarities that produce reliable results because of how they fit their multiple roles, quite unlike any set of fixed rules could ever do.  The trick is only physical parts and their relationships can do that, and a pattern language those relationships provide a way to develop concepts for understanding the working parts.

 

 

There are many types of Natural Pattern Languages, generally depending on the organizational medium (material and environment)

  • Social organization pattern languages
  • Natural system pattern languages
  • Architectural and Urban design pattern languages
  • Cultural pattern languages
  • Abstract Scientific pattern languages
  • Educational pattern languages
  • Computer knowledge design pattern languages
  • Commons & community design pattern languages
  • Economic pattern languages
  • Movie making pattern languages
  • Organizing pattern languages
  • … etc.

 

There are three uses of the term “pattern language”,

1. As the collection of design elements and patterns used to design or describe working complex systems

2. As an the organizational language of an individual design project describing its working relationships as a whole

3. As a property of an individual complex system, consisting of the working relationships between its parts and its environment, that might be view from various perspectives to recognize different elements.

 So they’re simple conceptual models designed as versatile tools for engaging our minds with the actual working organization and relationships of natural and designed complexly organized parts of our world. So they come in those two basic forms, as Design Patterns one uses to guide the implementation of some plan or as Natural Patterns used to help people understand how designs can fit in with natural organizations.

 

Pattern Language sites

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jlh

Are we protecting our symbols? or protecting the earth?

Warm greetings, real math.

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We publicize the “special places” that are threatened, and people respond, yes.   But we have to face that after 100 years of doing that, the environmental movement that our conservation groups and actions have been at the center of, has protected lots and lots of **special places** but is still not protecting the **ordinary places**.

Protecting thousands of special places, the ordinary places left unprotected

The effect of our organizing has been as if we didn’t know the ordinary places were just as threatened as the special ones, by the same visible and ever expanding encroachment from our economy.  Don’t we need to get that straight?   Don’t we need to be much more direct in saying that the threats to the special places (that get everyone’s attention) also symbolize the threat to the earth as a whole?

Places like Tucson we haven’t protected

If we do that it could materially change the common goal, recognition that really save the earth we need to **remove the threat**, not just **protect the things that symbolize the threat**.   Isn’t that a change in view we need to bring about?

Continue reading Are we protecting our symbols? or protecting the earth?

“Dual paradigm view” Can ecosystems be stable?

Reposting a November 25, 2014 at 4:46 pm comment to Quanta on the Tracy-Widom New Universal Law article

This is a simple way to demonstrate the “dual paradigm view” as a bridge between the abstract complex systems theory and direct study of individual complex systems, to advance our understanding to of the mysterious phenomenon of “emergence”.  The article suggested that as statistical systems ecologies generally could never be structurally stable, but did not compare that to systems that rely of “accumulative organizational design” particularly those with “learning parts” as ecosystems systems so often to have rather than “correlated random variables”.   The moderator clearly liked this better than my first response not published.  

The “dual paradigm view” addresses the dilemma of complexity science that computer models are fine for theory, but don’t really let you study nature.  That’s what a way to connect mathematical systems theory with individual systems study addresses.   Much of my work of the past 35 years has been on that subject, now recently raised by David Pines’ in a founder’s article for SFRI Emergence: A unifying theme for 21st century science, saying that physics and complex systems science now need a way to study the physical phenomenon of emergence and actual complex systems to progress.   My reply to his article  Can Physics Study Behavior not Theory, was first posted on Medium.

It’s interesting that with such a number of cross connecting areas of physics being discussed, the ultimate finding technically didn’t answer the initial question posed. That was Robert May’s “question about whether a complex ecosystem can ever be stable, or whether interactions between species inevitably lead some to wipe out others”.

The mathematical analysis of that question and others was limited to “kinds of random growth” and “systems of correlated random variables”. There are also lots of non-randomly behaving systems too is worth considering, and may have been overlooked in answering the basic question. The variety of organizational growth systems that are familiar everywhere in nature display many kinds of growth curves and outcomes, often having an overall appearance of being 1) quite lopsided, 2) quite symmetric, or 3) reaching extended stable states.

note: How the meaning of probability distribution curve shapes (as discussed in the article) differs from the meaning of these individual development curve shapes was skipped in this short comment on the article.  Please do bring it up of course if needed.   The question posed was about the development of individual ecosystems, and their potential structural stability.

 Generic common curve shapes
for the development of organizational systems.

We probably know of lots familiar examples of these from personal experience, where the systems involved are going through progressive organizational change during their periods of acceleration or deceleration. Reversals in curvature don’t always reflect systemic changes in direction for organizational development, but often do though (shown as gaps in the diagram for raising those questions).

The one looking like a TW distribution curve is familiar to all economics and other matters, as a “meteoric rise” followed by “immediate decline”, like many a seemingly fine business plans might experience. The quite unusual thing is this same shape turns up in Gamma Ray burst records too (see image of BATSE 551 #1 below). It raises the question of whether that system (presumably of radiation from black hole collapse) reflects the organizational stages of a system that experiences a “blows out” (like some of our best business plans do) or that of a statistical distribution for correlated variables, or something else?

In any case, just asking that raises the possibility of a bridge between TW correlations and the fates of natural system organization designs, and perhaps a need to consider whether the other kinds of system are available to change the outcome for May’s ecosystems, depending on their design.

Gamma Ray Burst “BATSE 551 #1”  – Raw data dynamically smoothed.

( reposted from the Pattern Language Debategraph

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jlh

But how can physics study behaviors, not the theory?

On @SFIScience David Pines, Co-Founder of the Santa Fe Research Institute wrote Emergence: A unifying theme for 21st century science, describing a critical need for physics to develop a way to study “emergence” directly, as a natural phenomenon, not just a theoretical models.  This article reposts my reply to him on Medium: But how can physics study behaviors, not the theory?

For understanding the emergence of new forms of organization in nature, the study of theoretical models seems not to be yielding the kind of useful understanding we so critically need now.   What I introduce is a”dual paradigm view”, to address the dilemma, a better technique for learning from nature directly.  Computer models are fine for testing theory, but need to be used differently to help us follow the continuities of nature.   There is a very big conceptual hurdle, getting mathematicians to study the patterns of nature directly…   The physics based method I developed, using models of probability to help locate individual developmental continuities offers a direct way to address the problem Pines raises.  It could genuinely offer complexity science a better way to study their actual subject, and couple their theories to actively occurring emergent processes and events. Among other discussions of it on RNS Journal:

a”Dual paradigm view” Can ecosystems be stable?,
 Finding Organization in Natural Systems – “Quick Start”
– 
Can science learn to read “pattern language”…?
 In two words… what defines “science”?

– ‘Big Data’ and the right to human understanding.
– What is a “rights agenda”, with ever increasing inequity?
 Sustainability = growing profit then steady profit

Emergence is what we see from cosmic events to the flocking of birds…

 

David Pines makes a very intelligent assessment, saying in part “The central task of theoretical physics in our time is no longer to write down the ultimate equations, but rather to catalogue and understand emergent behavior in its many guises, including potentially life itself.”

I was one of those who figured out why that would become necessary back in the 1970’s. The behavior of complex systems of equations that permit true emergence will not be knowable from the equations. It’s not just their complexity, but that their emergent properties are emergent and dependent of histories of development rather than being formulaic.

I have also been writing papers and corresponding on the problem very widely since then, and really wondering why I was so unable to get systems thinkers, from any established research community to join me, in studying the commonalities of individual emergent systems. I started with air currents, that generally develop quite complex organization quickly with no apparent organizational input, behave very surprisingly, and seem individually unique.

I actually developed a fairly efficient scheme for studying any kind or scale of emergent system, using the simple device of starting with the question: “How did it begin”. What starting with that question does is immediately shift the focus of interest to considering systems as “energy events”, that you consider as a whole in looking for how they developed. That approach also directs you to look for the event’s naturally defined spatial and duration boundaries, which are highly useful too.

In addition to being fairly productive as research approach, it also made it easy to skirt lots of spurious questions, like “how to define the system”. With that approach your task is finding how the subject defines itself, still looking for a pattern language of structural and design elements to work with, within and around the system, confirming what you think you find.

What I finally arrived at in the 90’s was that the equations of energy conservation implied a series of special requirements as natural bounds for any emerging use of energy. I was thinking that the issue was how nature uses discontinuous parts to design continuous uses of energy, and in working with the equations noticed that the notation for the conservation laws were either integrals or derivatives of each other.

Then one afternoon I just extrapolated an infinite series of conservation laws to define a general law of continuity, and integrated it to find the polynomial expansion describing the boundary conditions for any energy use to begin. It was a regular non-convergent expression, a surprising confirmation of Robert Rosen’s interest in non-converging expressions for describing life, and became very useful as what to look for in locating emergent processes to understand how they worked. I circulated the proof for discussion many times, submitted it for publication a few times and wrote numerous introductions, the following the most recent:

Continue reading But how can physics study behaviors, not the theory?

Can science learn to read “pattern language”…?

This post is a section of my report titled “Approaching 30 days from the 40th Anniversary” on attending the quite exciting 2012 40th Anniversary meeting on the Meadows and Randers authored Club of Rome “Limits to Growth” study.   The excerpt is on the deep reasons why the science, as solid as it still seems to be, isn’t widely accepted.    Science is still struggling to find a comfortable way to discuss natural systems whose innovative systems are housed internally, and so largely hidden from view.

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I think the real reason the public as well as most of the scientific community is largely ignoring the rather well established hard limits to growth, is that it presents the scientific community a new problem it hasn’t yet learn how to deal with.   It has yet to find a good way to make sense of self-designing and self-managing systems, like weather systems, cultures and economies, that have working designs that are  hidden internally, displaying organization much too complex and localized to be determined by external forces.

Science is built around identifying how one thing controls another,
not how to study the  patterns of uncontrolled systems and how they became designed to work by themselves.

So science is naturally somewhat lost in discussing how they work, having no model for what are better described as “opportunistic” than “deterministic” systems.   Though both climate and economies display highly inventive systems, they do still necessarily operate within what traditional science can define as their natural bounds.     Climate is still fundamentally a complex pressure-temperature behavior, of unchanging deterministic processes following fixed laws of science.

Economies though, are able to be far more creative, and move the boundaries of what is possible by innovative design, much further than the push and pull forces of the weather can.   It has given traditional science very little to anchor reliable theory on, except as in the Limits to Growth study, fixing boundary conditions and experimenting with multiple options.  Still, because economies do display deeply creative behavior, constantly inventing new ways to use energy as a normal rule, that natural science still lacks a widely accepted way to study them as natural systems, adds uncertainty for others to what anyone might say about them.

Constantly inventing new organization is just what natural systems ‘do’.   It lets economies as well as ecologies create new kinds of organization and uses for their energy resources, making formerly useless things highly profitable often enough.   Using the profits as returns on energy investment to grow by building more innovations.   It’s complicated by not being a ‘numeric’ process, though we can see it through our measures.   It’s an “organizational process”, of fitting complementary parts together, more amenable to study as a “pattern language” of “design elements” than equations.

The rigid limits of any mode of productivity still do exist, of course, but as limits of the organizational processes science has yet to find a way to study.   Those limits are still determined by the earth and the organization of the internal and external systems that any innovation depends on, but with each new innovation there are new unknown limits.  It leaves a stubborn problem for traditional scientific prediction.   What seems to work better is a language of observing such systems to see when their own organization is being stretched.

Natural systems generally link individual units of organization in an open rather than deterministic environment, each with its own internal organization that emerged during its own development, creating a serious mis-match between the natural design and the information an observer could collect, and with the kinds of behaviors that can be emulated by equations.

That big problem for science also makes a big and very fascinating subject of study, that science has quite generally not realized is there, having avoided the study of self-designing and managing systems in general.    Self-designing ans managing systems not only seem to develop by themselves, but to have their “works” hidden internally within the boundaries of their design, as an individual system maintaining internal organization for responding to external systems, like we see in living systems as a special case in point.   Continue reading Can science learn to read “pattern language”…?

Simple realty – Income Inequality is caused by environmental drag..

This is as simple a story of this amazing change in our economy.  What happened is that the economy ran into increasing resistance from the environment.   The inequity came from how that slowed down wage growth more than the investment income growth.    Below are two simple ways to understand the natural cause of the problem, that were posted to the discussion on NPR.org today.

A challenge to the new congress: Fix Stagnant Wages

Without a major rethinking of our growth strategy it really can’t be fixed, not by this congress or any other, as it’s “natural”.   The problem is our growth strategy is running into ever increasing natural “drag” and “resistance”, that affects labor more than investment earnings.    

 

See also my recent articles:
Kepler”     –  a great story of student discovering how to understand the big picture
a Whole Systems view – Piketty’s “r > g” – Relating it to Thomas Piketty’s book on global inequity


  •  Comment 1

You never seem to be allowed to talk with the people who know why wages began stagnating in about 1970. There are very specific natural reasons.

Keynes predicted it. I’ve detailed it to the Nth degree. It’s a perfectly common problem in many ways. The simple word to call it is just “drag”. The economy is meeting ‘drag’.

You experience drag as a kind of resistance to what you were doing before. There are millions of kinds. The evidence of very numerous kinds of resistance increasing at accelerating rates more or less all together at once, for the whole system… goes back about a century.

You should talk to people who know.
https://synapse9.com/signals/20…


  • Comment 2

None of you seem to understand that economies are designed to run themselves. Nobody mentions that in the media either, or even the smart pundits. I guess it’s because the people you hear talking about it are really just competing for attention or promoting their ‘angle’ or don’t know any better.

The real situation is that economic growth is stimulated by the money earned by investors being added to the pool of money for creating more businesses. So with growing investment you get a growing economy,… and it’s markets expand, using more and more of every resource they can find on earth…, till something goes wrong.

When things are going right, like in growth periods up to 1970, the incomes of the rich grow faster than anyone else’s, *but* there’s enough left over to “trickle down”, so the incomes of everyone else keep growing too, just a little slower than for the rich.   After ~1970 the relative rates started spreading apart further and further, till most people don’t even increase their incomes as fast as inflation…

One of the things going wrong is the economy is running into natural resistance, from its growth having changed the world, to make it less bountiful.   The economy is slowed down by needing to use more costly resources, from increasing complications of regulation, increasingly complex designs and teamworks needed to get anything done, increasing costs of global competition and conflicts between industries demanding growing shares of diminishing resources.

What’s most obvious if you look at the data is that after 1970 growth continued for the richest and not for the rest of the wage scales. I think there were all the above problems creating drag for the whole system, effecting the productive economy and lower incomes the most, and the people at the top the least.  People of course saw that was where to make the money, and those that could went in to investing to use money to may money that grows without actual work.   Investing is a kind of ‘work’ where the more money you have the more you earn, without any actual “labor”.  So, that kind of earning really took over.

There’s lots more interesting to say, looking at the economy as I do as self-guided system driven by people’s choices and the capacities of the earth the find to use and use up that way.   The bottom line, though, is that there’s too much unproductive investment.

The one and only way to reverse that (other than “resetting” the game with gigantic financial collapses) is for the wealthy to *spend* their earnings rather than *accumulate* more unproductive investments. JM Keynes actually proposed that would be necessary, as the solution for this very problem, that he saw as likely to come up in what he saw as the relatively near future, from the 1930’s.

I’ve written lots on it myself, but it’s “unpopular” because you need to look at the financial implications of our having been running into increasingly resistance to growth as approaching limits, for 50+ years….   That subject was made socially “taboo” in discussion groups not unlike this one all over the world in the 70’s, in case you don’t know about that.   And the whole world went to sleep in total denial of there being limits to growth or anything eles, population too.

https://synapse9.com/signals/

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jlh

Kepler

and the laws that move you from maximizing power to maximizing resilience.

Like many young college women Kepler awoke that morning with other things on her mind than the project she had planned for the day.  She had been dreaming about how she loved her drawers of personal things, in colorful piles, neatly rolled, in little bags and folded, each in its own style and fit together.  Maybe she would become a “collector”, she thought, they gave her such a thrill.   How nature was “quite a collector” too fascinated her too, creating all the natural world’s very special arrangements, with everything having it’s own individual home, utterly improbable in such number and variety, and so highly organized and grouped with fitting parts everywhere.

She’d also been told that lots of scientists thought nature’s patterns came from a natural law of energy, that everything sought to maximize its power, which honestly, just made her wrinkle her forehead…   She did not know, of course, but thought there was something hidden in the magic of how things in nature so often yielded to each other, an obvious secret to how things come to fit so closely.   So she quietly thought perhaps that seemed at least or was perhaps even more important.

What she had planned to do that day was use her old graphic calculator from high school, to do an experiment in rewriting the history of the economy, laughing as she said it that way.   Could you show an economy as being responsive, seeking to get along, rather than just getting more and more aggressive in looking for, in the end, how to get in ever bigger trouble?    What would it be like, she wondered, if people could be responsive as a rule.  The idea had come up in reading that the climate change scientists, the IPCC, had said we needed to reduce world CO2 production to half what it was in 2010.   It was only recently in fact that the world economy had been below that, and now everyone was saying we had to go back but probably couldn’t.    She felt she had all the facts, though.

So she had the idea to just…

– totally redraw the history of ever growing CO2
– to show mankind as being responsive to the approach of climate change

She didn’t get it to work till quite late that night, but it worked!    What she had of course been thinking about, and felt that anyone who mattered constantly worried about behind every other subject, was the strange continual way the human society was so energetically trying to destroy its own future.   The evidence could not be more clear, with the ever faster consumption of everything useful on earth, that an economy maximizing its growth unavoidably does.  Anyone can plainly see that happening, as climate change keeps accelerating faster than expected. Everyone hears about the ever increasing loss of natural species from disrupting ever more natural habitats too, and the impossible debts nations have accumulated making their decision making impossible, and so many other disturbing things.

It wasn’t a “debate” to her.   It also wasn’t her “cause” either.   She also did not really see it as her job to change other people’s minds.    It was just something she personally needed to know, about her own life, and whether it could be meaningful. Continue reading Kepler

How can prosperity be based on “Putting money in to take more out”?

The trick is that there are two ways to do that. 1) you can add the money you earn from investing money, to increase what you then reinvest, so it multiplies what you take out (to put back in to take out more), or 2) you can use the money you earn from investing to take care of the things your investments built, or anything else.

Some links to other discussions of it are below, and a request for your comments.

Here’s an excerpt from a Facebook exchange. It goes another step in explaining why this particular difference, using profits from investments to build more and more to profit from, or to care for things, causes major confusion in our modern world.  We want both, definitely want both!   But they’re mutually exclusive and there’s a kind of “deadline” for making a choice that most people, for some reason, would quite prefer to ignore, as if there was no choice to be made

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  • Jessie Phyllis Rose Henshaw Speaking of money… Doesn’t “inequity” come from the wealthy PUTTING MONEY IN TO TAKE MORE OUT (and so to then put even more in to take even more out)? It *seems* fair… WHEN IT STIMULATES FASTER GROWTH, but that isn’t determined by people, but nature is it?
  •  Helene Finidori That’s a great statement Jessie. Could we say faster extraction? Also well I guess many want to put some input into something to get a little out (think of mom and pop savings for retirement). The question is to what limit… Could you plug this somewhere on the pattern language site? Because this is typically the ‘more of the same’ that any new solution would like to avoid…
  • Jessie Phyllis Rose Henshaw Yes, I’ll put it there. If I’ve finally said it so people would ask questions, like you just did, then I’ll need help expanding on it so I don’t lose people with the details. The issue is *the balance* between the strains on nature and people and the increasing scale of the whole system.If it were a policy decision, it would be to “stop counting on an ever bigger windfall from the future”. The default way to do that would be to ask everyone to plan for a future of “pay as you go” and people with large investments to use their profits, primarily, to heal the strains on the commons instead of continuing to invest their profits in expanding our burdens on it. Mom & Pop’s savers tend to do that anyway, so no policy required!
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Please add comments on what puzzles you about it, your creative questions or observations. What should we do with our money.   The earth commons we are part of has the profits from a hundred trillion dollars to think about how best to invest, and all the people who expect it to just keep multiplying forever to buy in on the plan too!
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Challenging Puzzles and Propositions

“Pattern Languages” give meanings to patterns in nature, theories, relationships or experience, but we often don’t know quite how. Like, we all tend to consider our own conscious view of things to be the world we and everyone else all live in… even though everyone is making up their own view of that. That kind of real world doesn’t fit into any simple explanation, of a world in which everyone is seeing a world that is in large part a reflection of themselves.  It creates a lot to untangle.

Continue reading How can prosperity be based on “Putting money in to take more out”?