Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Aggregate Dystopia – Groupthink and Denial on a Grand Scale; Refusing To Acknowledge The Simple Act Of Aggregate Growth

   Commentary posted by Roger Erickson

Take another example, please!
Eurozone Dystopia – Groupthink and Denial on a Grand Scale

Once considered from another perspective, why should this surprise anyone? Is pan-cultural "dystopia" really so different from the painful, required responses required of other, observable growth spurts? Do the random DETAILS really matter that much? There are 1001 ways to reconfigure any nation, culture or economy. Yet it has to start with a consensus Desired Outcome, and the distributed will to achieve it, regardless of how.

Look at it this way. Just like human adolescents, any aggregate undergoing a rapid growth spurt HAS to get clumsier before it can re-establish how to rewire it's feedback & self-control instrumentation & management apparatus (e.g., "neuronal" systems), in order to regain and/or add aggregate agility for the new, enlarged size.

The red lines in the plot above are hypothetical, but believable, based on what we've already observed. Do institutional, national and cultural rates of change HAVE to peak, and decline? Is death and rebirth also the fastest way for nations and cultures to grow, just as for individual humans? Or can the pattern of cultural growth rate transition to a smoother, continuous progression?

Clearly, subtle extensions to Darwin's theory of evolution must be appreciated. Species and aggregate survival depends NOT just upon adaptive rate, but also upon the ability to sustain positive adaptive rates, and then also upon the ability to avoid intervening backward steps. It's the evolutionary rate, stupid! That rate is the running sum of all Output Gaps and Adaptive Gaps. Once opened, those gaps can never be regained. Allowing those gaps takes our destiny out of our own hands, and increasingly places it in the hope that competing aggregates may be even dumber and lazier than we are. Good luck with that hope.

For now, it's enough to stress that for a growing aggregate, e.g., a growing nation and/or human culture, it's the institutions which have to emerge, disappear or evolve in some new pattern, in order to fit changing scale. Even literature majors eventually catch on to this primordial reality.

"Everything [beneath the surface] needs to change, so everything can [appear to] stay the same."

Ya think? By one perspective, some quite obvious stages of adaptation are:

1) Recognize that self-awareness & self-control changes with size;
    (That's when honest feedback says things aren't working; "frictions" start to accrue,
     from skinned knees in adolescents, to depressions/recessions/class-wars in aggregates)

2) Prepare to change many things, as size changes (practice);
    (In physiological systems, various agents (molecular signals and/or hormones) have 
     evolved which help to actively grease the skids, so to speak, so that rates of 
     deconstruction & reconstruction in neural systems tracks the rate of growth in other 
     organ systems. This is true for everything from pupating insects to molting birds to
     growing human teenagers - and is still evolving in human super-aggregates, i.e., nation 
     states & human cultures)

3) Define success (what should the new-size aggregate be capable of accomplishing?) - and then don't settle for anything less.
    (Individual human "outcomes" and adaptive responses have slowly been defined, over 
     millenia of evolution. Human cultures are virtual machines, capable of rapid 
     adaptations ... when they select to adapt. If this perspective was instilled in our 
     education process, maybe our schools wouldn't be so obsolete.)

Why can't national populations re-define and "re-wire" their national institutions? And why won't they do so a helluva lot faster than in previous decades? Only for lack of intent, education, preparation and practice? What else do we have to do, that is all that more enticing or important? Watch videos? Overeat? Get drunk & pass out on the curb? Hoard nominal currency units?

All that is at stake is our cultural adaptive rate.

And all that's waiting is our endless list of expanding, aggregate options.

What are YOU waiting for?

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