December 25, 2011

The Institution of Christmas… courtesy of Synthetic Institutionalism and Gaianomy

I read an article almost a month ago from a fellow blogger in which she was questioning the way our society treats this yearly event. Her main complain was focusing on the consumerist(ic) personality of Santa. We were too busy back then but today, I found at last the opportunity to do the analysis and I present, for the first time ever (thanks to synthetic institutionalism and a bit of complex maths),  a rough deconstruction of the institution of Christmas.

I have to admit I was surprised from several perspectives.

To start with, Christmas as an institution is indeed massive. Within it now, the substructures the constituting institutions are very few compared with other global institutions, (i.e. Economy).

From these Food and Children are going head to head with a mere 50.000 (out of 1.4 Bn) of mental associations, on all accessible written texts, separating the two. Consumerism and Presents (or the Santa spirit if you wish) is fighting in our minds for the next two positions with these four accounting to a staggering 51% of the overall number of associations!

We seem to give (still?) Hope enough with almost 9% of the overall and all the rest are trailing including the “poor” Love, which in theory is the essence of Christianity.

Just in case what is included in Other to the dismay of most faiths associated with Christmas, Judaism, Catholicism and  Christianity as well as the biggest surprise of all Drinking (the usual suspect nations are excluded).

I leave the rest of the interpretations over to you. As usually, all kind of comments welcomed.

Merry Christmas to all on behalf of the Gaianomy Think-tank

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December 24, 2011

Synthetic Institutionalism (in under 3 min) A guest blog from one of our Gaianomy members

When it comes to institutional analysis, there are three schools of thought, sociological institutionalism, rational-choice institutionalism, and historical institutionalism. (J. Mahoney and K.  Thelen 2010 & Hall and Taylor 1996), all of which “compete” in academic literature trying to explain institutional evolution and change.

I went through all of them over the last five years while developing my theory and to my amazement; they turn at the end all to be right to a large degree, despite the discourse.

The part that was missing, I believe, thus far was the use of the right type of maths (and not statistics).  The approach I used adds this component. However, this is only half of the story because, in order for all three to be simultaneously right, they should be interrelated pieces of a bigger puzzle (my theory). Consequently allowing myself a dose of arrogance, I will claim that I managed to unify the three theories into one. Provided I am not, just another mislead arrogant but the actual founder of this theory, (knowledge of all published papers globally is practically impossible) I would like to call it Synthetic.

Now to the point…institutions are social structures. By being a part of the overall social system, they obey its rules. That means that behaviourally wise, they can be analysed using the complex adaptive systems theories.  To my knowledge, this is the first attempt to follow this profound otherwise thought-path.

Practically all of them (the institutions) evolved in the beginning under the influence of primeval instincts. Over time, the most resilient of these institutions, evolved into “axiomatic” sub-structures or institutional components, while all other combinations dissolve.

The fashion according to which this happened can, simplistically, be presented as:

At the same time we know that social structures according to the complex systems theory ought to be synthesised by smaller components (hence the complex). In this case, the components are none else but the axiomatic sub-structures connected together in various ways and over several generations of evolutionary synthesis to, eventually, create the complex institutions we recognise today.

In addition we know as well that these components the sub-structures, genealogically speaking, are themselves institutions as they affect behaviour. The way they synthesise, across all their evolutionary stages, obeys the complex adaptive systems rules with the links between them being of variable strength.

Based on the two above principals we can easily conclude that: simpler institutions assemble into complex ones by linking between them in fractal ways and this is the founding principal behind synthetic institutionalism.

Interestingly, due their social origin, the links that hold the sub-structures together can be nothing else but institutionalised mental associations (Occam’s razor). It goes beyond saying that the stronger these associations are the more resilient the construct, which by the way offers an answer to the “structure and agency” perceived complex relation uncertainty of the current theories.

Change (evolution or devolution) of these structures (the centre point of the discourse so far),  occurs in three different ways: (a) by adding one more institution (sub-structure) in an already existing one (i.e. “googling” an addition to “research”) and which by the way explains emergence, (b) by changing the nature of one of the constituting sub-structures (i.e. post-digital “photography”) or (c) by eliminating one of sub-structures all together (i.e. hunter-gathering from “economy”). For this last one of course to happen, the link(s) holding it in place should be weak enough, at that moment in time.

So, there you have it. Instincts make institutions, which drive behaviours, which create more institutions, which synthesise by means on mental associations (of the actors) into new  more complex ones,  the constant (gradual or radical) change of which contributed in us all having an interesting life… and from now on, the mathematicians and institutional analysts happiness.

My Apologies to two of my favourite scholars, Colin Hay and Daniel Wincott that so passionately thus far argued the case against synthetic institutionalism.

Next time if your problem is Unemployment or Corruption or the Markets or even Economy and you want to change it forget the politicians and call one of us …. to be continued.

Sotiris Melioumis Organisational Analyst

December 11, 2011

Scarcity the driving force behind Politics and the birth of the Technocrat Politician (Credited to the thinker who asked us the question “do we really need the politician”)

Scarcity refers to the tension between our limited resources and our unlimited wants and needs. On an individual level, resources include time, money and skill, while on a country level, limited resources include natural resources, capital, labour force, technology and information.
Because all of our resources are limited in comparison to all of our wants and needs, individuals and nations have to make decisions regarding what goods and services they can pay for and which ones they must forgo.

Whatever, the form of governance societies tolerate, they in practice have “assigned” the decision making to groups that “persuade” them they know exactly what these much needed resources are and that they have the means of acquiring them on the nations’ behalf.

Economics (macroeconomics to be accurate), in turn, aims, in theory, to “study” why these groups make these decisions and how they could allocate resources more efficiently.

The ways these groups employ to persuade nations that they can utilise Economics to provide these resources and the art of justifying their failure to fulfil their promises (by blaming all but themselves) is what we call Politics.

Recently we witness a reluctant power transfer from politicians to technocrats, in two counties under “siege” from the Markets, Greece and Italy. The degree of power transition in both cases was different with Italy going all the way to assign technocrats in all key positions. In both cases, they called the whole structure “transitional government” and in both cases, it was the “influence” groups from abroad that imposed the change. Are there any conclusions we can draw? Is what we experience the end of the politician, as we knew them thus far?

If the experiment succeeds, would that mean that nations would start developing a new way of thinking?

If the actual need of the nations today is to manage their economy, why do they need the “middle man” and not combine the two forms into one.

However, before you start thinking yes this is rational, ask yourself, what actually are these “influence” groups that forced the change, are they not “The Markets”?

Moreover, we know from the above, that scarcity in a way drives “economic” growth. It is doing so by increasing the pressure on societies to come up with solutions, which can satisfy both their needs and wants. However, what exactly is the scarcity that drives this specific change the solution of which is the technocrat?

The profound answer is economic growth (or rather the lack of it and the consequent attempt of debt renewal), which though is a cyclical notion. Remember we started with the notion that it is scarcity that creates growth and consequently, if the growth was not materialised means that there was no scarcity in the first place.

Are we in a dead end?   The apparent puzzle is similar to what a two dimensional men has when find itself within four connected into a square lines on a piece of paper and he wants to escape.

Luckily, we do know that there are more then two dimensions so I wonder why do we insist to simulate the two dimensional men.

We know that the universal problem of all nations is debt. We know that what created the problem in the first place is the economic framework within which we operate. We tried to give solutions to perceived scarcities by means of it and we failed.

Let us do the right thing this time around. Let us go beyond the “two dimensional” economic framework, jump on the “third axis” into the socioeconomic one where scarcity can be analysed holistically, https://gaianomy.wordpress.com/2011/12/04/hierarchy-of-social-needs-by-gaianomy-at-last/  .

There the politician 2.0, https://gaianomy.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/the-politician-2-0-and-an-introduction-to-post-democracy/ takes a different form and so does the technocrat. In there, we can decide what mandate to give them and if we need them both?

However, do remember in the socioeconomic environment the definition of the technocrat goes far beyond the economist. The scarcity we are faced with is the lack of institutional entrepreneurism mainly (that is why the “system” is trying to produce them i.e. occupy movement) and there is where the emphasis should be given, in a more organised way though.

December 10, 2011

There is a citizen-friendly solution to the Global Fiscal Crisis (Part 4)

In the previous 3 parts we introduced you to the concept of Gaianomy and the first steps towards global institutional reformation.

Specifically in Part 1, https://gaianomy.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/there-is-a-citizen-friendly-solution-to-the-global-fiscal-crisis-part-1/  we introduced the Human Institutions and way they influence societal behaviour, the way they combine to create complex forms,  the mechanism through these forms shape our economic behaviour at a global and local scale and the ways that economic measures will always affect the social and vice-versa.

Based on the above we concluded that in order to address the current crisis one has to modify the human (informal) institutions that combined to create the so called “Global Economy” instead of relying to pure fiscal measures or wait for The Markets to bring the “Global Economy” to order.

In Part 2,  https://gaianomy.wordpress.com/2011/11/19/there-is-a-citizen-friendly-solution-to-the-global-fiscal-crisis-part-2/ we introduced the first four changes out of a total of eight we feel necessary in order to exit from the crisis. These were, rethinking Globalisation and its governance needs, introducing the need for one world currency, one new standard the H2E that should replace the fiat and the golden standard and finally the abandonment of all physical representation of currencies in favour of the electronic one. We listed as well a myriad of benefits deriving from this.

In Part 3,  https://gaianomy.wordpress.com/2011/11/26/there-is-a-citizen-friendly-solution-to-the-global-fiscal-crisis-part-3/ we introduced the next major step the re-evaluation of work based on macro-social and meta-social criteria or in simple terms the net value of work to the global society, as well as the net value of its environmental contribution.

Once more, the benefits described are far reaching but do not complete the Gaianomy vision.

To do so we need to follow the path to the end and it tales only three more steps that we will present in this and the final part.

Step 6

This will be the last major step, and maybe by having achieved the previous this will be considerably easier, however, one must prepare himself for some additional “hardship”.  Changing Profit one of the most ancient institutions, through the redefinition of our material value system, may well equal in number the obstacles of the previous step.

Just to clarify by material value system in this instance I mean the way that, for example, we calculate;  how much a company stock should be valued, how much is the net added value of an industry at the end of its production line, what is the net value of transporting  goods from place A to place B, what is the actual value of a specific service of a Bank or a Consulting Firm, what is the value a mill adds to the price of wheat by transforming it into flour etc.

We need to always be mindful of the fact that what ever is produced has an impact on the environment, the ecosystems, our genes, and the society overall. It is a cost we never calculated before, with some exceptions. Can we really afford to keep ignoring all these parameters? How does it makes sense to allow water demanding cultivations to sprang in areas where water is a scarce resource, and value the product the same as one produced where the environment is impacted minimally?

Profit as an institution is really prehistoric. From the moment our ancestors start to consider the effort needed vs. the reward, in choosing what food to gather/hunt and what not, the institutional segments to build Profit where in place. With the addition of Growth and Money, Profit took a life on its own and infiltrated all socioeconomic theories developed over the millennia, even communism where it was practiced by the state, to reach in its current “selfish” form.  It is exactly this selfishness that we need to alter in a way that profit, at last, takes under consideration the impact it has on the rest of us and the environment. Making profit from cutting down out fins from sharks currently is still acceptable by some societies, as is opium trade profits that sustains revolutionary movements. It is madness and it will have to stop.

So, how we approach the whole change?

First of all we need to redefine the cost of all products using the Human Effort Equivalent (H2E) principal introduced above. To do so we need to define the actual value of the raw materials and the value of the capital needed in addition to the human effort. (Changing the basic principals of our economic theories at this moment in time will pay no dividend and will not affect our decision making hence, I am using the same ones.).

Raw materials can be valued again as products, as do all other elements of any production process and consequently can be measured in H2E but in this case with an additional twist.

All non-renewable raw materials are finite (at least until we build replicators or we achieve space mining) and consequently scarce to a degree. In most cases we know for how long we can keep harvesting them based on the projected consumption trends. It is relatively easy consequently to agree how much we need to “invest” as society in research and development, in order to have an alternative or a replication mechanism ready when they are depleted.  By adding this “cost” in the equation we can calculate the actual value of this material.

On the same subject, I think that, this part of the material’s value should be excluded from local taxation and the accumulated revenue  be divided through a mechanism build within the processes of our global governance body, to research centres around the globe.

Eventually with all the end to end process of every product calculated based on the H2E and the capital already measured against the same standard all one needs adding is the impact to society which will always be both positive and negative to different degrees. To calculate that I am proposing that we use the same 10 elements list as above, and by accessing that as well we are done.

Services now as products are much simpler to calculate as we already have defined how much every work actually “costs” including its social impact. We know as well the material it needs   and we can add that to the total cost as well.  We know finally the energy consumption needed for this service to take shape, which itself as being a product in its own right is no difficult to account for and add its worth to the final total cost.

So we have all cost ingredients (capital, materials/products and services) and all one needs to do is add the applicable elements.

After that we will be ready to estimate profit and that will be a straightforward calculation to make, depending on the method we will decide to use.

This include several options, none of which need to be decided now. Examples can be:

  1. To regulate globally a min and a max profit climax depending on product desirability
  2. To connect the profit margin to the workers remuneration packages. You may recall that we calculated above with relative consistency the value of every work. I never suggested that this should be his payment, so adding to that the same margin the enterprise wants to make as a profit overall may sounds in a lot of people’s ears as fair. However, every application of this type is better to remain with the local governments as it affects taxation levels.
  3. To use a rigid min and max profit margin depending on any other parameters or a combination of them like country’s GDP vs. Global average, scarcity, poverty levels, level of unemployment etc.
  4. Or…we can devise as many as our imagination and our sense of social justice allows us.

Brace yourselves though for a confrontation with all the short sighted ones, those with vested interests in retaining the currents status quo or those that are generally afraid change.

You see, most nations in this post-industrial era with some notable exceptions, those mono-product based economies and China, followed economic services oriented paths. These were build on the belief that services offer better profit margins then industries, they offer more predicted taxation revenue, faster growth and practically no need for subsides. Even nations that could not afford to migrate away from their traditional products followed that path (i.e. Greece). Cheap labour utilisation and the numbers in which it was available fuelled the industrial migration.

Look however in today’s world, which are the strong economies under this capitalistic model, Brazil, Russia, India, Korea and Germany. What do they have in common? Their ratio between the industrial products vs. post industrial era ones is positive. Every nation that lost its balance and moved too soon into the post industrial era has suffered the consequences and currently carries disproportional depts. The notion that capitalism is all about fiat money capital, has proven disastrous and we know it now. (See the terms or banks recapitalisation the EU leaders propose, demanding an increase of the banks’ securities to 9%) But on the other hand high profit margins have been associated even now with growth and countries will find it difficult to move away from this institutionalised idea.

What I am suggesting above is a totally radical and it will force all policy makers and political theorists alike into bringing forward a white paper start again approach.

Ok enough said on the topic, so let us see the benefits of such an alteration.

Well as expected they will be almost unbelievable.

  • Drastic reduction in pollution levels will follow immediately as product prices will be connected to environmental impact. No need for any additional Kyoto like treaties will be needed
  • All non productive functions will gradually disappear boosting this way global growth
  • Unemployment gradually will hit its lowest ever level and with it the benefits cultured that fuelled anti-social behaviour in various countries will be altered for ever
  • Inflation will decline to its lowest level as new mechanism to control it will exist within the system
  • Financially driven migration will be reduced further
  • Human trafficking will become a thing of the past
  • The equal rights charter will be further  enforced
  • Poverty will start to decline rabidly as decision on capital investments will alter course
  • Remunerations at all levels will reflect social and environmental contribution and with it social anger will cease
  • Poaching will stop all together
  • Drug trafficking will reduce further as new legal absorption avenues will open and people will be given realistic alternatives to its cultivation
  • Fiat money will be reduced further as profits from its use will stagnate
  • Research and the open source movements will get all funds needed
  • Pensions crisis will become a thing of the past as amount of people at work will multiply
  • Several major reasons that fuel war will be eliminated and with it weapon fuelled research will be able to contribute to society more
  • Refugee camps will diminish
  • Stability will increase globally and with it capital flow and investments in currently deprived areas
  • Countries GDP will be further rationalised to indicate the nation’s global contribution not just its richness
  • Global institutions will move a step further empowered to make this planet a better place to live

….

Next week we will finish the journey we started five weeks ago and publish the final chapter (Part 5) of the theory.

Until then enjoy life and your weekend and please keep up sending us your comments and suggestions.

S

December 9, 2011

The Politician 2.0 and an introduction to post-Democracy

We established in the previous blog (https://gaianomy.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/do-we-really-need-the-politician/) that the politician as an institution needs to change and together with it, the institutions of the political party and public administration.

Where can we start the change?

Inevitably, we need to evaluate  the probable “futures” we can see, compare these with today’s reality and plan a phased transition from today to the future vision, with the minimum of “allergic” reactions, ideally. Equally important is to agree on the fact that no one solution can fit all, as different nations will start from different systems and institutional forms that support them currently so probably localisation of the principals will be needed.

So, “back to the future” and let us see how our vision of post-Democracy could be defined.

Based on current trends and having excluded several incompatible scenarios we can see it as:

  • A framework allowing  the country’s and the global interests to coexists at least as equal partners
  • An environment whereby political parties are groups of thinkers or citizens-members, an evolution of a think tank in combination with an evolved political party, that will never get into power
  • Whereby politics and public administration are two distinctly different things
  •  An environment where policy making is a process of careful impact analysis on the socioeconomic level within a globalised framework
  • A socioeconomic environment whereby election circles do not exist but instead
  • A process where legislation and policies are approved by the means of a fully electronic process driven by common grounds between the interested non political parties (instead of a majority) and based on impact analysis on both the environmental and social aspects
  • An environment where public administration is run in the background funded by a central independent body that is responsible for the country’s fiscal policies, the socioeconomic analysis needed for decision-making and the allocation of funds
  • A framework where the citizen rules
  • A framework where the economy and the social coexist as equal partners
  • An environment whereby public services/resources  are distributed equally to all
  • An environment that rewards the citizens according to their contribution to society
  • A framework within which taxation forms are related to social and environmental contributions
  • A system where the politician is used only as a representative of the state in global institutions, as foreign policy leaders, diplomats, ambassadors, institutional entrepreneur, and social lobbyists for new policies and maybe as political philosophers if they are up to it

So, how Democracy 1.1 can look like, what the first step can be to start the journey, from where we are, to where we would like to be?

We believe that societies are currently mature enough to:

  • Break the connection between a political party and the country’s  governance
  • Eliminate party vote in favour of the elected individual
  • Separate the politician from the party during elections and vote him on his political manifesto, personal integrity and capability with all of them graded in the vote. When elected they can group into political fractions if they wish
  • Reduce the amount of elected politicians
  • Progress with (or start if not in place yet) the separation between Politics and Public Administration by assigning Undersecretaries and restructure the Public Administration Structure according to real needs
  • Enhance the public consultation principal, by presenting the recommendations of all parties in it as the baseline, for all legislations
  • Give gradually-increased  gravity to public consultation into regulations affecting the majority of the citizens and national policies
  • Transfer to an independent body, away from political groups, the country’s fiscal policy, the socioeconomic analysis needed for decision-making and the allocation of public funds.
  • Reduce the central governance and move responsibility to the periphery
  • Plan for the transition away from Parliaments
  • Change taxation of individuals and enterprises to reflect social and environmental impact
  • Eliminate corruption and crime by introducing the electronic only currency (see relevant articles on the subject)

Then sit back and enjoy!

The Gaianomy think-tank

December 6, 2011

Do we really need the Politician?

A politician, political leader, or political figure (from Greek “polis“) is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision-making you will read in Wikipedia.

He is, according to online dictionaries, also:

  • An expert in politics or political  government
  • A person who is active in party politics
  • A person who holds a political  office
  • A person skilled in political  government or administration; a statesman or stateswoman.
  • As well as a seeker or holder of public office, who is more concerned about winning favour or retaining power than about maintaining principles and if I may add
  • A professional

As a “species”, they exist in all social environments and all type of government “models”. They exist in organisations, formal institutions, unions and other social forms.

They are a part of the reality we created for ourselves, the people we pay as societies to give us hope, to transform history into fiction, to deceive us in believing in the art of the impossible.

Almost certainly at the end of each “episode”,  we call election cycle, they will be those that will receive our anger and hatred, become our excuse, our little trick to evade personal responsibility the “actors” we can blame for all things wrong in the society.

Seeing it from this perspective, one may even sympathise with them and question why they do it.  Well, all research in the field suggest that they enter politics for a mixture of reasons but mainly ideological in combination with power seeking, family tradition, vanity, personal indulgence and of course money with the degree varying for each one of them.

It is a tough job we have to admit, a 24/7 one. Do you want to be doing it? I doubt it. Neither do I.

This however is only part of the story, because if you stop perceiving the Politician as person but as a notion, a societal necessity, then the Politician is transformed into a social behavioural pattern and as such an institution!

Mainstream Institutional analysis suggests that every institution (every behavioural pattern) evolved or emerged from something else and according to the Gaianomy Theory is an assembly of other more fundamental and inevitably more ancient institutions.

So what exactly gave “birth” to the Politician?

It is not so hard after all to imagine. If we start from the first tribe settlement in Africa, to a the villages in Mesopotamia, To Egypt, to the kingdoms of East and middle East,  to the city states in ancient Greece, to middle age states to today countries and unions we can draw a functional path that this institution had to follow. Add to that, elements from the newly developed Hierarchy of Societal Needs pyramid and …presto.

Leadership, kingship, the elders council…taxation, polis, state, economy, tradition, religion, army…law, legislation… aristocracy, public servant, public administration, democracy, representative, union leader…diplomacy… trade… to name the major ones all contributed.

Now, stop and contemplate. If I was giving you all of the above institutions and was asking you to synthesise them in all possible ways you may probably in between all others found one with the characteristics a Politician as well, the question is though would you keep it as a viable model?

Is this institution really, what we expect of the politician today? What is the ideal model you have in mind? Of course, different countries have different approaches and possibly different requirements but let us take the average democratic state.

What the people expect our politician to be doing?

  • Have a political philosophy
  • Be knowledgeable and educated
  • Know in depth public administration
  • Know how the real economy really works
  • Being able to legislate
  • Be moral enough to care and defend the interests of the citizens in his constituency
  • Be a good negotiator
  • Be a good diplomat
  • Understand the basics in economics and resource management

Probably you expect all of the above to a degree.

Does he necessary have to be?

  • A CEO
  • An Organisational Analyst
  • An expert in HRM
  • An expert in Resource Optimisation
  • An expert in Process Optimisation
  • An expert in Economic Design
  • An expert in Organisational Modelling
  • An expert in Public Health Management
  • A Strategy Consultant
  • A Management Senior Consultant
  • An expert in Risk Management
  • An expert in Constitutional Law
  • An expert in Globalisation
  • An expert in Commerce & Trade
  • An expert in Finance & Banking
  • An Investment Senior Consultant maybe
  • A Supply Chain Senior Consultant
  • An Institutional Analyst

I bet, that your answer will be no and you will be right.

However, this is exactly what a modern democracy operating under capitalism or capitalism bounded socioeconomic models, is demanding /expecting of them and we close our eyes in the obvious fact that they just cannot do it. They may hire consultants and analysts to advise them, but themselves very rarely understand even remotely the basics and based on their nature end up with the wrong decisions most of the times.

Look around, with all countries in debt, several countries and Unions desperately trying to save their economies from collapse, the global fiscal policies in total disarray, decisions that ought to take hours taking  months instead, unemployment in its highest in all Western economies…..

What we ask from our politicians, they cannot deliver. (Full stop)

Having someone to blame is always a good thing but, we are in a very gray area currently and we jeopardise the future of the next generation not to mention the planet. You cannot have an omelette without breaking eggs. Is it not time to see things for what they are and grow up?

If you see a country as a Business, the way The Markets do, I wonder, is there a place for the Politician, the Political Party, the Public Administration of the 20th century pre- Markets world or we need to alter these institution and with them the Democracy framework that supports them into something different, something more 21st century?

December 4, 2011

Hierarchy of Societal Needs (by Gaianomy…at last)

The Economy from a sociological perspective is an institution and as such, one is expecting to find within it the “footprints” of other institutions that societies perceived related and interconnected (like Labour, Capital, Product, Profit, Currency, The markets… all the usual “suspects “) to create what we today call Economy.

Gaianomy as a theory tries to analyse the impact changes in these constituting institutions will have on the Economy. Consequently, we tried, as it was natural to weight their possible impact.

The theory is still brand new meaning that there was no previous research on the subject to depend on and in search for a solution, we came up with the rational idea of evaluating them according to the degree of their social usefulness.  So, we “Googled”  “Hierarchy of societal needs” expecting to find something similar to Maslow’s pyramid of human needs to use and we found …nothing.  Plan B then we thought, scientific literature and guess what we found once more…nothing.  Obviously, we concluded, no researcher in the past needed one somehow. That was three months ago…

It took us a lot of painstaking analysis, a lot of “digging” and many debates but here we are and we submit the Hierarchy of Societal Needs pyramid (to honour Maslow) for your feedback and comments. We hope, when peer reviewed, that it can become a useful tool to social policy makers and researchers alike.

Enjoy

SM on behalf of the Gaianomy think-tank

December 3, 2011

Greeks may be able to save the world after all! (from the global fiscal crisis that is…)

I came across, twice this past week, two texts separated by almost 15 centuries that described the same phenomenon, the importance of what is not there (cannot be seen). The Tao Te Ching text and Terrence Deacon’s “The importance of what’s missing” in last week’s New Scientist p.34

I was amazed by the coincidence and the degree of intro-relatedness of both texts with a third , quantum theory whereby particles have unknown states until we try to measure them and the whole mystic is lost together with our opportunity to have more than one!

The fact is that the “unknown” in all three occasions works perfectly until we interfere and try to understand it. This I see as a dilemma we have to overcome especially during periods whereby our limited knowledge has “persuaded” us that we are heading for disaster. Yet again even if it is arrogance that lead us to intervene I personally find reassuring that the whole system is self-regulating and none of u,s being a part of it, cannot alter it to a degree beyond recovery, or can we?

Any way, staying idle and just observe the system, is not me. So I start thinking…

If it is a single person that is causing all the Global Financial Crisis I would love to meet him to understand why and what is coming next. I am certain he will not be doing it for profit, too low a motive  in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. If one reaches a point where he can direct 7Bn souls to agree upon a direction, I want him as our leader. That said he may oppose the whole  “finding him” idea altogether as according to quantum theory knowing him will deprive him of his abilities.

If the existence of this person is only a wishful thinking and we follow the conspiracy theorists’ way of reasoning of being a team, a group of “sinister” thinkers behind the GFC, once more I would love to understand why and the “maths” behind it. In this case I may be persuaded to believe that motivations may be interpreted through Maslow’s pyramid, with Power being the most probable cause. Yet again we face a dilemma, how do we know a. that what they are doing is not simultaneously an effort to resolve a bigger problem which we do not understand (do not forget that they belong to the same system as us so they want to retain it) and b. that they have not anticipated that we will react and a have a plan already in place to prevent our reaction?

If though none of the above is true and no man or group(s) have created this Global Fiscal Crisis for any reason it is just an “unfortunate” reaction caused by the institution of Economy in its path to transition in another stage, what is not known becomes one with the system, the “the observer” that “helps” self-regulation to exist. In this case our ignorance driven arrogance can find “rational” arguments for intervention.

Any way, staying idle and just observe the system, is not me. So I start thinking…

Greece was once  the force pushing the boundaries of understanding beyond the known. Maybe, just maybe, they can do it again. You see in this instance the fact that they are poor is irrelevant all they need is once more to think what is missing, all things outside “the box”. Mental power and intelligence  apparently they have in abundance, especially when it comes to economics…

Just think of how many for how long have managed to deceive the system! 

Applied gaianomy Part “unknown”.

November 28, 2011

I want the 13.5% of my life back! (which the shadow economy of Europe is stealing from me)

 

Based on the IMF data the shadow economy in European Union accounts for anything between 11.9 and 15.1% of its GDP or $14.53T*13.5%=$1.96 T per year!

There is more to that though because it also means that:

  • 13.5% of us plus all those that they are aware of the fact currently tolerate (read agree with) this practice which impacts on our behaviour and inevitably on all our social institutions
  • We as individuals pay at least 13.5% taxation then we should or
  • we work 13.5% more then we should or
  • we take 13.5% less pensions than we should
  • or receive 13.5% less medical care or
  • Taking 13.5% less holidays
  • Have 3% less growth (.135*.22=3%)  in our economies then we should
  • We have to work for more then 23 years in order to repay our countries’ debts
  • ….
  • Or a combination of the above and the most important
  • We are prevented from using a fiscal tool that can stop the European Fiscal Crisis in its track now!

Complaining though without any proposition is of limited value so here it comes:

Introduce the electronic only euro now…

Before you start judging the propositions, for its merit, do consider that it comes with additional benefits like:

  • Elimination of the drug trade (within five years provided we will control gold sales)
  • Elimination of illegal immigration and human trafficking
  • Reduction of street crime by 60%
  • Reduction of burglaries by 90% over 6 years (provided we control illegal goods export)
  • Increase in non European tourist spending by 12% (the amount people spend in addition when plastic cards are involved)
  • A whole new industrial sector that will be created in Europe and a boost in productivity
  • An additional positive argument in favour off the European Fiscal integration
  • Reduction on the environmental impact that illegal trades support
  • Add your own…

Now judge…

SM One of the Gaianomy think-tank founders

November 27, 2011

Total collapse of the Global Economy by 2019, can it be true?

 

I was looking at global data for one of my projects and I checked how much is the Global Gross Domestic Product, or how much all humans produce in a year and it is approximately $63 T.

On the other hand the Global Government-only debt stands currently at $40.5 T http://www.economist.com/content/global_debt_clock.

By the way, the global household debt exceeds these numbers.  According to a study sponsored by Credit Suisse, global wealth amounts to $ 195 T,  https://www.credit-suisse.com/news/en/media_release.jsp?ns=41610 ,on the other hand global house hold debt amounts to 67.5% of the Global GDP of $63T or $42.5 T, https://www.allianz.com/static-resources/_assets/homepage/en/gwr2011/v_1315816862000/globalwealthreport2011en.pdf.

If we accept, that the average interest rate for Governments Bonds is 3% ,using the US as the average due to the nature of the USD a global currency  or $1.2 T http://observationsandnotes.blogspot.com/2010/11/100-years-of-bond-interest-rate-history.html , then the global growth, in order to eventually repay this debt, should be at least >3%…..Well guess what, IT IS NOT.

To be accurate it stands at 0.8% and its trend shows no signs of recovery!  If that is not devastating enough global inflation runs currently at 4.7%  http://www.gecodia.com/World-Inflation-up-again-in-May-2011_a1926.html

That means that instead of reducing the global debt, we increase it by [(3-0.8)+4.7% =6.9%]  per year. With this rate it will take anything between 12 to 15 years for all values reach zero (0) and anything between 6 and 9 years under the current economic model to reach a point of no return and a total crush.  

One might say that if you see the system overall then there is a surplus of (195-42.5-40.5=112 T) so somehow all these years of work of the humanity as a whole did not come up to nothing and of course you would be wrong. Just contemplate the fact that 93 to 97% of all money are fiat reduces this value to less then 10T in real values. How much can they last? I am afraid unless proven otherwise the 6 to 9 years is all we have.

So what do we do? The answer is simple correct the systemic deficiencies and start now!

We have one solution on the table Gaianomy more will be a welcome sign but please let us act.

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