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Response to joshcryer (Reply #29)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 11:33 AM

30. Wishing up scenarios is one thing. Real life is quite another.

The power laws of self-organizing systems say that's not the way the world works. Pareto observed that power flows to the powerful few, and the tail of the power law distribution stays long and flat. Realization, awareness, values and beliefs have nothing to do with that - it's a fundamental principle of self-organization.

The whole point of belief systems, from the sanctity of private property to the Protestant work ethic and up to organized religion itself, is that they explain and support the development of society-as-system along the self-organization principles described by Odum and others. They do not control it. We can no more alter those principles by changing our belies than we would be able to jump off a tall building and fly by changing our beliefs.

In the case of social organization and the distribution of power, all that awareness and realization can give us is a clearer understanding of what's going on. Like with gravity, there are some aspects of reality that belief cannot alter, no matter how much we wish it to be so.

In the words of the Serenity Prayer,

"Grant me the courage to change to change the things I can,
The serenity to accept the things I cannot change,'
And the wisdom to know the difference."

There is a lot of reality that doesn't respond or correspond to the last couple of hundred years of egoic humanist self-congratulation. The way societies and civilizations self-organize is a prime example.

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LineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineReply Wishing up scenarios is one thing. Real life is quite another.
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