1. Karl Richard

    I really like the idea of “shifting from company push to client pull”… A world where companies/corporations are almost in stasis until a real-world demand for what they produce arises, where they suddenly start up and whir into life, fulfilling orders as and when they appear… After which the company closes up and hibernates (just like an animal during winter might, where resources are scarce): no on going running costs, no pushing products out there that people don’t really need (thus, they give up their profitable goals, ouch)…

    However, sometimes it is important for those hibernating animals (such as bears, for instance) to have a thick layer of fat on them to preserve their energy requirements during the long and cold winters. And for this, they need to scavenge and gorge themselves on as much as they possibly can before they nod off into a deep, preserving slumber. The gorging, for me, seems to hark of profit in a way.

    Perhaps then it is not the habit of gorging that is a problem… But rather the machinery that generates this habit is the problem.

    I know of some species of caterpillar/butterflies that are born and then take several years to eat their way into their butterfly state i.e. they hatch, eat and eat for a few months, then freeze for over six months, thaw, eat and eat for a few months more, then freeze again for over six months, thaw once again, etc… until they become a pupa awaiting metamorphosis. During these freezing moments of their life cycle, their bodies biochemistry becomes completely in active… Which, to me, seems rather more efficient than these bear creatures who continually have to maintain a core body temperature.

    Perhaps, we should look towards nature for models to embrace “shifting from company push to client pull” style of business operation. ?

    Then… When you write “Usually such people can not bring themselves to look at small scale investments and projects, because they are essentially employed to make decisions about the whole organisation, which involves millions of pounds. The scalability of traditional business is built into the hierarchical structure which is static (at least people hold positions for years, and roles often last for decades), which means that sensitivity to present conditions, receptivity and responsivity is sluggish.“, I wonder whether there is a model in nature that one could take inspiration from? Or are all hierarchical structures prone to being sluggish and unresponsive?

    I’m personally not sure that hierarchy is the problem here though. I think it’s more to do with people looking around to see what everyone else is doing near them and then mimicking it to find a type of normalized functionality to blend in socially with the attitudes and perceptions of others… Our attitude to how we are all exposed and conditioned by our surrounding memetic environment still amazes me to this very day… Most of us are so unaware of how strong a role it plays in our daily lives (one only has to look at the Millgram and Stanford Prison Experiments to see how susceptible people are to it, regardless of their own self guiding morals). Thus, my guess would be that, much like a biological organism, once a company/corporation comes into being, it doesn’t have to change that much if it is functioning properly. Sure… Everything evolves slowly (and somewhat unpredictably) but it wouldn’t suddenly just change (unless it became cancerous perhaps?) or there was a damn good reason to change…

    Just like with your most recent entry “the math of world peace” (which I very much enjoyed), I would have to suggest that once a certain percentage of the world understood that sustainability is important for all our survival, and a sort of critical mass was achieved (whether this was 50% of the worlds developed country’s who controlled the bulk of the media OR if it was 75% of the whole world population, it doesn’t really matter), then people couldn’t help but be exposed to this general consensus and naturally it would turn into a run-away effect as people follow suite with everyone else over the “well-known fact” that ‘sustainability is possible’, and ‘one can live without generating nearly any monetary profit’ and so the need for profit shouldn’t matter as much as it might seem it should.

    Certainly, neuro-plasticity has been clearly demonstrated in some Buddhist masters of late (which is a type of shape changing of sorts – the thoughts and mindful practices of these masters notably changes the shape of the brain) i.e. their own awareness and diligent practice to understand the ultimate nature of reality without any delusion whatsoever, is very much what readjusts the shape their brains to align with what reality actually is.

    I have to say, quite a few Buddhist masters I’ve heard giving lectures of late have spoke of something that very much resembles ecological economics. So, perhaps Buddhist masters should become strongly involved in training all those in company/corporate styles of life, so that everyone develops an awareness of ecological economics and working towards a sustainable future (sorry if that seems like I’m forcing a religious option onto your frame work here)???

    Either way… I’m definitely well over 50% certain that it makes more sense to be sustainable rather than not… So I’m well on the way to kindling as much believing as I possibly can this 2012. Here’s to 2027 (or earlier). And here’s to wishing for a year long holiday in the Maldives (though I’ve heard it can get quite dull after a week or two).

    • happyseaurchin

      Interesting points. The notion of hibernation, or biological stasis. I agree with the problem not being hierarchy, per se, but the persistent form of it because of memesis. I like the angle by which you approach buddhism, and I’ve heard of buddhist economics but haven’t come across anything concrete enough. I don’t mind the association. In fact, in terms of the history of the ideas of ecological economics, it is born from an exploration between math and buddhism, something I have called XQ elsewhere; that is, the buddhist methodology applied to math, and subsequently to economics, which is a kind of math experiment.

      I do not know how serious you are about the math of peace, I get the impression it is an entertaining read but nothing that strikes strongly or specifically. As I said in the article, I am not quite sure what to do with it since I gave up thoughts about peace in 2010. How serious should I get with this? Depends on how serious another person sees the reasoning, logic, validity of the maths experiment we are setting up. So, I probably have to wait until someone takes it seriously.

      Thanks for reading, and giving some thoughts and feedforward. I hope when I am in sufficient moneyflow I will be able to direct it your way. If I did, what kind of projects would you fund? Say, in a season, or even as short as a week? Or even a few days?