Friday, November 15, 2013

Change rates

Everything changes, but not everything changes at the same rate. The natural world changes slowly. Culture changes quicker than the natural world. Infrastructure changes quicker than culture. Governance changes quicker than infrastructure. Business changes quicker than governance. Fashion changes quicker than business. It's good to see the macro-structures of systems; it shows us that we don't have to change everything all at once. The most significant and longest-lasting change on a level is when change is coming from one level down. For instance, if there's a change in governmental policy, new business opportunities open up almost immediately. If there's a change in business, changes in fashion will come from that. If the infrastructure changes, governments can become unstable (e.g. Arab Spring). Looking at the macro-structures of systems, both individual systems and collective systems, allows us to perceive patterns and flows of energies, and allows us to make smart determinations about what’s likely to have a large impact on the world. For example, Miley Cyrus doing something outrageous is not likely going to change things for more than a few weeks. Building the Panama Canal, however, does have an enormous impact on things. If we're interested in changing something, the best way to do that is to change things at the level under the one you want to change. If you want to change fashion, work on changing businesses; if you want to change businesses, work on changing governance; if you want to change governance, work on changing infrastructure, etc.

Here’s a cartoon.


Dave Roel.
If our goals are too low, we get bored. But if they are too high, we get frustrated.
- Richard Layard

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