Forum Replies Created
Instead of breathing on spheres, I'd like to suggest a different way of gauging the fragility of the ecosystem:
If I remember rightly, the global ecosystem goes back somewhat more than 4 billion years. In that time, there have been many mass extinction events, including six "major" events (including the latest one, that we're credited with being the cause of). In every case, this "fragile, diaphanous membrane" rebounded vigorously. From my perspective, Gaia's a tough old lady, and there's many a dance in the old gal yet. Of course, it's still a matter for conjecture whether Homo so-called-Sapiens will be part of the dance for much longer.
I'm not sure, but it's possible Bucky Fuller will provide you with a solution to your dilemma. Check out one of his many fascinating ideas: the Dymaxion Map of the Earth (he uses a triangular tesselation).
Markreis, I doubt that you'd have much sympathy for Fuller's work projection. I'm curious though: you're no doubt aware of the many satellites that, umm, err, circumnavigate the Earth; what do you make of them and the data, visual and otherwise, that they send down to the surface on a regular basis?
Nicole Foss ("Stoneleigh" of the Automatic Earth) has a long article on the "solution space" for adapting to the emerging descent. The last part of it is largely devoted to creating and maintaining sustainable, resilient communities. She covers a lot of ground, with many good ideas. At the foundation is the concept of a community as a network of trust:
However, community initiatives will have far greater impact than individual actions. The most effective paths will be those we choose to walk with others, as even in times when effective organizational scale is falling, it does not fall far enough to make acting individually the most adaptive strategy. Even in contractionary times, cooperation is not only possible, but vital. In the absence of lost institutional trust, it must occur within networks of genuine interpersonal trust, and these are of necessity small. Building such networks in advance of crisis is exceptionally important, as they are very much more difficult to construct after the fact, when we will be facing an unforgiving social atmosphere.
I hereby cast a strong vote for a podcast with her, on this subject. Anyone want to add their vote?
Check out this article about David Holmgren's family homestead (and some good comments as well).
This is a bit off-topic, but does anyone have any insights as to whether and when the price bottom will hit, and turn into a rise? If I remember rightly, in 2009, the rise from the bottom back to ~$100/bbl was fairly quick. Of course, given the complex of factors involved this time, it might look
So, if the price stays low for another month, say, then rebounds, what will that do to/for the frackers? Especially if it looks like it might be a "dead cat bounce"?
It's good to see this topic emerge. Yes, uncompensated complexity can be the death of systems; I've seen it many times in software systems.
A useful tool for analyzing systems is the Systems Dynamics modeling language (which was used in the Limits to Growth project). I've found a nice interactive tutorial at http://beyondconnectingthedots.com/. (Gene Bellinger, one of the authors, is dedicated to spreading knowledge about this.
On local currencies:
Local currencies, of a sort, are already being used widely, in the form of various sorts of "loyalty rewards". For example, you can get a discount coupon for a local restaurant. If a friend of yours wants to eat there, you can exchange the coupon for something else you'd rather have at the moment.
The main impetus for local currencies has always been problems with the national currency. For example, when Argentina was dumped into "austerity" in the early 2000s, several local currencies sprang up, because of the deflation of the national currency. One decent survey is Peter North's book "Local Money", which discusses the pros and cons of various forms of local exchange mechanisms. Thomas Greco presents a larger picture, including mutual credit systems like the Swiss WIR system. See https://realcurrencies.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/the-swiss-wir-or-how-to-defeat-the-money-power/ for an advocacy piece, with some references to demurrage currencies inspired by Silvio Gesell. Also, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacqui-dunne/rethinking-money_b_2268797.html gives a good discussion of the WiR, with wider implications. (Her book with Bernard Lietaer, linked to at the bottom of the article, is also worth a read, if you're interested in the topic.)
On Ripple (which pretty clearly is not a local currency):
From a quick visit to "Getting Started with Ripple" in https://ripple.com/guide/, it looks like a currency is only one part of the system (see the description of "Ripple’s three primary parts"), and it looks like it might be intended to serve as a sort of reserve currency to support exchange among national currencies.
The core of it is presented in https://ripple.com/wiki/Introduction. How it works as a payment system is described in https://ripple.com/wiki/Ripple_for_Users (note there's no mention of XRP). The role of XRP shows up in https://ripple.com/wiki/Reserves, A discussion of the similarities, differences, and possible interactions between Ripple and Bitcoin is in https://ripple.com/wiki/Introduction_to_Ripple_for_Bitcoiners
Since "Ripple Labs created 100 billion XRP within the Ripple network, and that amount will never increase.", it wouldn't be suitable as a fiat currency, and it seems that it also prevents the expansion of the system beyond a certain point.
Ripple should probably be discussed in the main section, rather than here on the Community Building group.
Thanks for the Spiral Dynamics "short course". It's new to me, but it looks somewhat similar to other concepts I've seen. I'd be interested in your take on the following:
- Anacyclosis: a cyclical theory of political evolution. One obvious difference: anacyclosis doesn't allow for a "second tier". Still, its steps might usefully be compared to the memes.
- Oswald Spengler's civilization model: a monumental exploration of themes across history.
- Jean Gebser's structures of human consciousness. "Gebser's major thesis was that human consciousness is in transition, and that these transitions are "mutations" and not continuous."
I should admit that I'm only beginning to get into his work
(One phrase of his I've found interesting is "deficient manifestation", when a structure begins to decay and become self-destructive. This is pretty clearly true of the current stage of the mental-rational structure.)
- William Irwin Thompson's works (this is as good a starting point as any). He gives a kind of tour guide of his work (and of the history of humanity) in "Transforming History".
As you might guess, I'm in a long learning process, looking for good ways to understand our current situation, and to provide guidelines for the coming descent.
Interesting coincidence of the title of this discussion, and an article by Mary Parker Follett in 1919. Follett was a polymath, with a considerable insight into psychology (then a relatively new discipline), as well as the workings of society and politics, and a community activist with practical experience to ground her ideas. More of her writing is available at the referenced site. On a quick reading of Harriman's Preface, it looks like this essay, as well as her book "The New State" might be of value to his project. I'll read further and stay tuned.
Thanks to the moderator for introducing this topic.
Your "funny thought" is correct. This has been commented on by various authors writing about money systems and their impacts on society, including David Korten, Peter North ("Money and Liberation") and Charles Eisenstein ("Sacred Economics").
The short form of the argument is that money tends to reduce interactions among people to monetary transactions, thereby lessening the need for the effort of creating and maintaining trust, caring, sharing, etc. on an ongoing basis (that is, the interactions that create and sustain community).