Great talk, so nicely authoritative on both the counter-culture view and the environmental facts. Still, as I'm apt, I found it very disappointing that how to change the nature of the world system as a whole, which from its birth has been driven by a growth maximizing design around which world society was and still is organized. From my view systems are systems because they hold together and can't be changed except by evolution of the whole. So, fiddling with the parts and symptoms won't have much effect, but perpetuate the endless race to disaster that model naturally becomes. Every system starts with growth, power multiplying power, just to get going in the first place. Then in nature, growth systems change strategy from a maximizing power principle (MPP) to a maximizing resilience principle (MRP) by changing what kinds of development their resources are used for. All the evidence shows that that transition can and most often does occur quite smoothly, at the mid-point of the growth S curve. So, we really need to have discussion of what is getting in our way, keeping the people managing world investment from investing in resilience rather than multiplying power?

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What an excellent comment.

Which has left me wondering many things.

Is resilience another way of expressing equilibrium?

Does a system transition from MPP to MRP when it's needs are met?

What happens when a system has no defined boundary / goal?

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Great questions too! I see resilience as combining the ability to recover from shocks and respond to change. So, it’s an ability to sustain a lively equilibrium. Then you still need continual innovation to keep it lively, creative, and responsive to the health of the rest of the world.

The transition from MPP to MRP varies quite a bit. It's possible to transition too early or too late, i.e. to be too risk averse or risk blind. It is often at a point of having the essential needs met, what I call a system "fully formed but undeveloped." An example is like a newborn beginning its struggle very immature, needing to first adjust to its new place and start feeding its apatite for learning. A similar "graduation" occurs at the final stage of our formal education when we leave the "womb" of the family, and some say, are then finally "ready to learn about life" as we set off on our own. So MPP is a temporary kind and MRP a sustained kind of learning about the world, each likely to go through varied stages.

Every successful growth system has natural internal goals, like just perfecting its design as fulfilling an original purpose is one. However, it may also discover other goals as it explores the new world its growth takes it to. So I think that the point when it turns away from its pursuit of limitless growth to using its powers to make a good life is when it chooses its first goals and purposes. It may have a basket of purposes and goals to choose from and bring some along to build on later. So, for example, I started closely studying some of these threads before I had any purpose for them, and then when on my own, I saw that they'd later have some value in our changing world. So I kept working on them on the side throughout a normal career and retired early to make them my main purpose again.

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