Phi Beta Iota: Government is broken. Ron Paul has that exactly right. It is broken for two reasons: first because over time those spending the money have grown distant from those providing the money, the individual taxpayers, AND from reality. The second reason it is broken is because knowledge itself has become fragmented, and “systems thinking” has fallen by the wayside.
Below are three quotes from a tremendous reference of lasting value to every citizen and policymaker.
ONE: Reformations and transformations are not the same thing. Reformations are concerned with changing the means systems employ to pursue their objectives. Transformations involve changes in the objectives they pursue.
TWO: The righter we do the wrong thing, the wronger we become. When we make a mistake doing the wrong thing and correct it, we become wronger. When we make a mistake doing the right thing and correct it, we become righter. Therefore, it is better to do the right thing wrong than the wrong thing right. This is very significant because almost every problem confronting our society is a result of the fact that our public policy makers are doing the wrong things and are trying to do them righter.
Francis Heylighen is a research professor at the Free University of Brussels (VUB), where he directs the Evolution, Complexity and Cognition group. His research is focused on the self-organization and evolution of complex, intelligent systems consisting of many interacting agents. He is editor of the Principia Cybernetica Project for the development of an evolutionary-systemic philosophy, and chair of the Global Brain group. He has published over a hundred scientific papers on these and related topics. Home page: http://pcp.vub.ac.be/HEYL.html
Kevin Kelly has been a participant of, and reporter on, the information technology revolution for the past 20 years. Based in his studio in Pacifica, California, he immerses himself in the long-term trends of technology, tools, new media, and cultural behavior. He writes about the ripple effects and social consequences surrounding the culture of technology. Kevin Kelly is currently Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He helped launch Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor until January 1999. During Kelly’s tenure as editor at Wired, the magazine won two National Magazine Awards (the industry’s equivalent of two Oscars). He is also currently editor and publisher of the Cool Tools website, which gets 1 million visitors per month. From 1984-1990, Kevin was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review, a journal of unorthodox technical news. He co-founded the ongoing Hackers’ Conference, and was involved with the launch of the WELL, a pioneering online service started in 1985. He authored the best-selling NewRules for the New Economy, and the classic book on decentralized emergent systems, Out of Control (called “required reading for all executives” by Fortune). In addition, he writes for prominent publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Time, Harpers, Science, GQ, and Esquire. Earlier in life, Kevin was a photographer in remote parts of Asia (instead of going to college), publishing his photographs in national magazines and recently in the photo art book Asia Grace.