Let’s create a living open source project—where collective intelligence informs near and intermediate term mitigation, one that helps us as a culture navigate the narrow path between fantasy and doom. When we see gasoline this summer under $1 per gallon let’s not waste that moment in a Caligula-like orgy of consuming like we used to, but rather, reflect, imagine, and resolve to make America good again.
Systems Thinking for a Turbulent World is a timely book offered by an experienced elder so that we may collectively learn to make the best out of the turbulent times ahead.
This document offers a systems approach derived from my own work and experiences to articulate a way of approaching these crises through the lens of ‘collective intelligence’.
As we attempt to understand newer and more numerous options (e.g., electric cars, renewables, information) regarding energy system evolution, it is paramount to have internally consistent macro-scale models that take a systems approach that tracks flows and interdependencies among debt, employment, profits, wages, and biophysical quantities (e.g., natural resources and population).
I recall a Buddhist parable involving a stick that appears from a distance to be a snake, causing fear to rise in the perceiver. As the perception shifts upon closer examination, the fear subsides and the relieved hiker continues down the path. Understanding and awareness have a lot to do with how we feel and how we act. As hosts to the dominant cultural mindset (our collective understanding of who we are in the universe), our minds play a critical part in both perpetuating our dominant way of life and also in shifting away from it.
There is now overwhelming evidence that humanity is living beyond its means, consuming and polluting in ways that are exhausting and degrading the natural world and impacting on the lives of the most vulnerable.