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The system is going in a direction that should make everyone feel like passengers on the Titanic.  So we are gearing up for another election.  How do these two facts relate?  I guess some folks believe that if the right people win in this coming election things will get better.  A number of questions are raised by that belief.  First and foremost is "How will they get better?"  Second one has to ask how such a blind belief  could survive the actual result of the last election (2008)?  I do not have to spell this out.  Either you are in so deep a state of denial that you can actually not be seeing what I mean or you will try to wish your way out of facing the fact that I simply am observing what is there for all of us to see.  Insert here the usual list of what this administration has accomplished to rebut my statements.  They fail to rebut them.  Why can I say that with such assurance?  Well, if I must I will go over this again. read on below and we will look at what makes this whole inane discussion both possible and even relevant.

There are all sorts of systems ideas floating around here.  One of the strongest is the fact that no matter what the two parties do their very existence and apparent struggles with each other have one overriding effect:  They stabilize the system!  They keep people from knowing that there is no real democracy here.  They hide the plutocracy behind the curtain like in that great movie about Oz.  Let's just ask:  Let's pretend the democrats sweep the November elections.  What will that mean with respect to the real needs out there?  What will it do to solve the Climate problem, and the resource problem, and the poisoning of the soil and water and the rest of the environment problem?  Oh and the fact that the economic system is now global,  it is not sustainable, and it no longer benefits from having a middle class to stabilize it.  Sort of like the end of slavery in a way.  

I'd sure like to know what the pundits who are soliciting time and money to support the good guys and women in the coming election have to say to make these questions irrelevant.  I hope I am wrong.  I have hoped that so many times before.  Sometimes I am and that makes me happy!

Those of you who have been following this series have to know what I have up my sleve.  I am especially cocky today because Jim Coffman has been working his butt of on our book and it should be out within the year.  I just read over his latest revision of chapter 5: Metabolism and Repair in the Global Economy.  In this chapter we use the modeling relation to examine the  relationship between the entailment structure of the Global Economy (In context as part of a larger and highly interconnected system) and what we know from systems theory.  The result is as one might expect.  The system has matured to a point where its flexibility and options to deal with threats to its survival have become frighteningly sparse.  Jim has done a lot with others to develop a concept of "systems senesence". The idea is not that difficult.  it comes in great part from evolutionary theory and, in particular,  that part of evolutionary theory that looks at extinction.  Oh that word.  In our book we focus on that notion for though the threat we make as a species  appears to be a threat for the planet, realistically it is really directed at our species.

If the planet, as we believe it is, has metabolism and repair capacitiy, then it will deal with disease and heal once it has.  That disease, to say it all too crudely, is us!  So I return to the theme of this diary:  What will the outcome of the November election do to deal with these matters?  I anxiously await your responses.

Originally posted to Readers and Book Lovers on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 09:01 PM PDT.

Also republished by Systems Thinking, Anti-Capitalist Chat, and Postcapitalism.

Poll

If the democrats sweep the November elections

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23%5 votes
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| 21 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 09:01:04 PM PDT

  •  don - you have a type on your title (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    palantir, linkage, don mikulecky

    "it" should be "its".

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 10:00:58 PM PDT

  •  don - when we will focus on climate change? (4+ / 0-)

    I read a comment on that question that answered it in the most direct and honest way I have ever read.

    We will deal with climate change when it is more profitable to do something about it than to do nothing.

    That's the answer, it's unfortunate but it's accurate.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 10:05:35 PM PDT

    •  too late.....................n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      basquebob

      An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

      by don mikulecky on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 08:04:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree, but that's reality (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        don mikulecky

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 10:04:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Given that reality how will you modify your (0+ / 0-)

          behavior?

          An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

          by don mikulecky on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 11:41:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have been focused on technologies that could (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            don mikulecky

            make a difference. I am currently involved with a group of scientists and engineers who may have a true utility scale power storage technology. If we had that then solar and wind could be 24/7/365 sources of power. Currently all utility scale solar and wind projects have a backup natural gas generation  facility to fill in when the sun isn't shining or the wind isn't blowing. If I can help make this project a reality it will have a much greater impact than if I changed my personal carbon footprint.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:08:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  you are deluding youself... technology is the (0+ / 0-)

              problem not a solution....you are avoiding the issue...WE HAVE TOO CONSUME FAR FAR LESS

              An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

              by don mikulecky on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 09:02:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  don - that won't be me and it won't matter (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                don mikulecky

                You are going to have to convince the growing middle class in China, India, and Brazil that they really don't want personal autos, washers, dryers, and air conditioning. I have met them and they really want those power hungry, modern conveniences. So I thought if we had a way to make solar and wind 24/7/365 sources of power I could do my part to save the planet. I compost and grow my own veggies but I live in a big house and drive a comfortable car and use natural gas heat to keep my house comfortable. I don't need air conditioning so that's good.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 10:30:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Climate is a perfect example of a chaotic, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      non-linear, complex dissipative system that will likely embarrass the modeling community.  Take a look at the paleo-climate during the tenure of homo sapiens on this planet.  Think you can come up with a way to force such a system into a stable equilibrium?

      Where are we, now that we need us most?

      by Frank Knarf on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 07:30:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You're making a big assumption. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    don mikulecky
    Let's pretend the democrats sweep the November elections.  What will that mean with respect to the real needs out there?  What will it do to solve the Climate problem, and the resource problem, and the poisoning of the soil and water and the rest of the environment problem?
    What makes you think the American people want to solve those problems?

    For most if not all of the problems you listed, the current generations of Americans—and particularly the Baby Boom and Silent generations—benefit from the suffering of people in the rest of the world, and from that of future generations.

    Do you really think that the American people, if faced with the very real lifestyle changes most of us would have to make to solve those problems, would, when it came right down to things, vote en masse to see those problems solved?

    Because I have very little faith that they would.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 11:01:13 PM PDT

    •  never said they did................so then they (0+ / 0-)

      are part of the  problem and and still the political system has no way if leading them away from the cliff.

      An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

      by don mikulecky on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 08:07:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Seems to me there are worthy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    don mikulecky

    short  term goals.  Such as keeping people from starving in the streets until we discover whether or not humankind has sufficient capacity to change to avoid being eradicated as a disease state.  Maybe we are an evolutionary dead end.

    How do you create a paradigm shift?  Isn't that what you are positing, new way to see the world and our place in it, reshaping our perceptions, desiring our thought patterns?

    •  we write and teach and we hope...n/t (0+ / 0-)

      An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

      by don mikulecky on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 08:08:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that doesn't sound like a plan (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        don mikulecky

        do we have any control of the circumstances which allow such shifts or are we down to chaos not systems?

        I guess I am lost because I don't understand the theory of systems enough to anticipate or discuss the nuts and bolts of application.   I need to read.

        •  let me review what I have been saying (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jfromga

          about complex adaptive systems:

          They can not be made like machines are

          Even if we understand them pretty well that does not allow us to reverse engineer them...the reductionist method destroys their essence

          the system we are part of is no longer under our control...it controls us

          if we want to build a new system we have to try do do it by creation of new ways of living that make sense.  We also have to be ready for the collapse of the existing system

          the new paradigm is not a tool kit.  It is a better way of understanding what the real world is like

          An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

          by don mikulecky on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 09:19:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  let me approach it from (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            don mikulecky

            the point of view of the old horsemen, rule number one, you can never make a horse do anything.   So I accept I cannot make the system or make the system change.  I accept the systems are complex, subject to all sorts of inputs I cannot quantify adequately or predict the outcome from adequately.  And yet there is an organization to the system, and therefore some degree of pattern and regularity to what I do know of the system.  So there is a benefit to understanding what I can of the component parts and how they function.   To what little I have been able to add to my knowledge,  Rosen used (M,R) set,metabolic and repair, for biologic systems.  Have we identified the set, categorized it for our very complex social system that we will call capitalism for lack of a better word?

            Because there are ways to change the system, but to go back to the old horseman, it is never about some big change, but changing some little thing that makes a big difference.   That is how we identify what we want to write about, preach,or act on, whatever.

            •  In our new book we extend the (M,R) (0+ / 0-)

              modeling technique to apply to the earth as a system and to key subsystems such as the global economy.  This last, in particular,  is where we see the growth process leading to over development and lack of adaptable options.

              The attributes of that subsystem are well documented.  The fact that, as a system, it has little hope of ever coming under human control is less so, but there are many who do understand.

              Part of what is most discouraging is that the human behavioral component has been made a mythology and has little to do with what we are so rapidly learning about how the human mind works.  The self referential mythological loops re-enforce the myths.  We learn to manipulate machines.  We do not learn how to adapt our behavior to the circumstances.

              An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

              by don mikulecky on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 11:39:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  another old horsemen quote (0+ / 0-)

                It's easy to change the horse, it is hard to change the human.   And yet, imperfectly still, they have greatly changed horsemanship in the last thirty years or so.And the horse is still a horse.  People can change.  Even the machines train us, how much has human behavior changed to take advantage of machines. The machines don't change, they just are,   we just want what they have badly enough to change for them.

                I will read more so I am better prepared for the next diary.

  •  This diary made a bit more sense to me than (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Portlaw

    prior ones.  I can grasp:

    concept of "systems senesence". The idea is not that difficult.  it comes in great part from evolutionary theory and, in particular,  that part of evolutionary theory that looks at extinction.  Oh that word.  In our book we focus on that notion for though the threat we make as a species  appears to be a threat for the planet, realistically it is really directed at our species.
    If the planet does have resources to heal itself, I'm hopeful we humans also still have such resources in the near term.

    The 'entailment' concept seems to resonate a bit with Alfred North Whitehead's 'process philosophy'.  But I'm sure you'll say more about this.  His philosophy could give you two a 'metaphysics' that requires no appeal to the supernatural.

    When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

    by antirove on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 12:42:39 AM PDT

    •  um what have you missed? (0+ / 0-)

      we have

      a 'metaphysics' that requires no appeal to the supernatural.
      That's what i have written a score or more of diaries about.

      An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

      by don mikulecky on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 08:11:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's a pity those scores of diaries couldn't have (0+ / 0-)

        been written in a more accessible prose, suitable for reading by non-graduate students.  That in turn might help save you from some irritation and annoyance when general DailyKos diary readers don't quite seem to get your point.  But maybe I got more than you think.

        As you so well know, the left-leaning consensus of the 60's & early 70's was crushed a couple of decades ago. Our cultural capacity to digest, comprehend and correspond in sentences with more than 8 to 10 words is pretty much gone.  So now, in general, it is soundbites that rule, and are catapulted, blasted repetitiously and relentlously into our minds. And you like long turns of phrase, and discoursive narrative.  Our world has been carefully conditioned to expect and digest the 60 second Superbowl ad.

        Our current society seems to have little remaining connection or shared 'metaphysic' with that era when we were so close to calling for a more sociolistic and ecological ideal. Yet you still write in that language of the learned leftist with the nearly forgotten ideals.  (I've not seen 'metaphysic' utilized in any descriptive prose in your diaries to date, but that may be my own sleepy inattentiveness.)

        Notice you have gotten the most responses in your diaries here when you asked for help? You made this more open and interactive at such points!  Do so again and again! And we need to make this spread. We need to break down your stuff into more digestible elements, suitable for large scale participation, perhaps holding contests to reword what you've written to make it interesting and more instantly comprehensible to even our general audience of readers here, let alone the rest of Americxa. We so need to compare it critically with the competing framings of reality.  Yet I do realize you are pressed for time, both in finishing books and in the urgency for action which this era demands of us.  It's hard to compress your stuff into daily postcards, into skits or scenes, the sort that might exhibit wit, satire, charm and inspire engagement, and be illustrated with great graphics, but hey, I'm a dreamer...and that's where I'm trying to drag you along, kicking, or not.

        In spite of the strong urge you may feel to get your work into the most serious format and channels possible, consider going truly alternative.  I feel we must get the insights from your material translated into terms something like The Comedy Channel can use.  Your best weapon for popularizing your material could be in having it used to inform engaging and devastating satire. If you were able to make use of some sort of a clever 'Mark Twain', Michael Moore or Stephen Colbert sort of popularizer, someone that can turn your carefully made insights into entertaining and dramatic theater, your ideas could reach far more people and help attain the critical mass necessary to actually change society.  

        Or considering writing books (authoring media) aimed at today's teenagers...afterall, so many of us were teens in the 60's and 70's when we seemed  much closer to 'overthrowing' the establishment, at least in terms of cultural understandings. I suppose you still remember those awesome rapid fire psychodelic slideshows set to rock music which all seemed to sum up vital meanings and insights for us, and made those moments so cosmically vital?  And those of us brought up on Monty Python have a deep appreciation for this sort of overwhelming media blast where irony, wit, contrast and human foibles can be made acid clear.  We can do even better now, with today's media technologies, and far better than books or diaries.

        Our generation had the early benefits of Rock Music bands who were pushing and pulling with us against the rushing current off established society, but by the early 1980's they became more devoted to their art than their meaning and gave up being a shared participant/actor in that revolution, and we discoed and line-danced away from meaningful and participatory democratic change.  The projected images and light shows shifted to focusing on creating feelings, moods, dancing to sell music, rather than being music that portrayed individual and socially changing deep insights into sociopolitical realm and human possibility. The 'Blue Man Group' was able to show us how 'formulaic' the 'rock experience' had become.

        We have to find ways to reclaim arts, music, theater and comedy, to put concepts into 'living language' that has the action of change embedded (entailed) with in it, or I fear we won't reach 'the people' in time with any mass communicatons media, or even with the more narrow casting of internet social media.  So instead of books and even diaries, I feel we need urgently something more 'instantly' communicative, along the lines of Monty Python, to enable rapid 'take down' of the toxic and fatal presumptions undergirding our 'society' and to clear the way for mutually nuturing and sane human society, one commited to all our success and to sustaining our planet in ecologically collaborative way.  We will need this generation's versions of Court Jesters, Fools, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and traveling troups if we hope to get inside the conceptual castle walls of oppressive controlling elites, and implode them.  

        To use your own 'entailment' concept, such Revolution will only succeed from the inside out, but we have get these seeds planted into everyone's inside thoughts, and for that we will need  some sort of heavily audio-visual rapid-fire mass communication modalities. Turn your stuff into pictures, music, actions that dance, and attract groups, and inspire change, or ask for help from those of us who may be willing to try with you.  Remember we became a 'movement' when we realized we were a movement, outside in the moment, surrounded by the music and people moved like we were.  We can help create that realization again for this generation, and the next.

        When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

        by antirove on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 03:38:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  All I can say is f**k you!...n/t (0+ / 0-)

          An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

          by don mikulecky on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 04:24:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, more graphic language...see, you can do it! (0+ / 0-)

            When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

            by antirove on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 05:39:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  oh man you have no idea what I can do (0+ / 0-)

              if you abuse me I will be happy to let you know how I feel about it.  you s--t on my efforts without an attempt to understand.  It is creeps like you who destroy dialog on this site.  Your sh-ty dump cost you seconds.  I have spent days and days trying to help us.  think before you deficate in public!

              An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

              by don mikulecky on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 06:27:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  How romantic! n/t (0+ / 0-)

          Where are we, now that we need us most?

          by Frank Knarf on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 07:32:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This will be an interesting note to make in my (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            don mikulecky

            personal diary...don't often get this "How romantic!" comment...even if the possibility exists of it not being totally sincere.

            When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

            by antirove on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 09:56:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It was sincere in the sense of philosophical (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              antirove

              romanticism vs rationalism, not in the other sense.

              Where are we, now that we need us most?

              by Frank Knarf on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 07:49:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh! Thanks! So it's possible I do resemble the (0+ / 0-)

                remark much more than I thought!  I do have some quibbles with some of the German philosophers.  Kant is so careful and just yet truly annoyingly picky and may be a leading cause of depression amongst college sophomores who thought they knew it all until readinghim. Hegel, you just can't go back to the start with him -- so how is it that that this thesis/antithesis/sythesis schtick could prove his own postulate? It can't so his postulate just 'is', probably he'd want it treated as solid a truth as any Platonic Form.  Goethe -- words fail me, yet I'm somehow inspired...to read other stuff.

                So, I'm trying for either logical romantic or romantic logician, with an 'information-based' metaphysics of apprehension (Whitehead/Spinoza sort of thing) which is, at some level shared by all that is 'reality', but I'm just not sure which part of all that should be the antecedent, predicate, or apriori axiom...I derive myself nuts thinking about this for too long.  

                And I've learned to be very cautious about philiosophies claiming to link in 'quantum physics'--our understandings of fundamental physics seems to change faster than we can come up with new philosophies.  To be, or not to be, it's a statistical probability for quantum particles to potentially be either, until there's an observation causing it to be 'realized' one way or another...which takes us back to wondering if there is a Prime Observer experiencing this all with us...or maybe not, unless we can observe that sort of charmed quirky quarkiness.  It gets sort of close to "I observe therefore It Is something to me." Just don't all of us blink at the same time.

                When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

                by antirove on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 03:18:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  There are interpretive frameworks for QM that (0+ / 0-)

                  do not depend on an observation collapsing the wave function.  If you want the next physics Nobel, come up with some method of experimentally distinguishing one of them from the others.

                  Where are we, now that we need us most?

                  by Frank Knarf on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 04:22:37 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Personally.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Portlaw, don mikulecky

    ....I predict homo sapiens will become extinct within 500 years at the max -- and probably much sooner.

    I vote Democrat because I think we have a very slightly better chance at survival than under the zombie apocalypse of resumed Republican misrule. But, given the center-right gestalt of today's Democratic party, I'm not very optimistic.

    Overall, I'm glad I'm 57 years old and have no children.  But I can't help but hope that our species somehow manages to beat the massive odds against it.

    See the children of the earth who wake to find the table bare, See the gentry in the country riding out to take the air. ~~Gordon Lightfoot, "Don Quixote"

    by Panama Pete on Wed Mar 28, 2012 at 03:18:54 AM PDT

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