Monday, 22 December 2008

Robert Paterson's Boyd 2008 Summary - Hope!

From Robert Paterson's blog on Boyd 2008:

* The goal for us all to work to is clear - that we have to build back into the system Resiliency. This means that each region has to work to become largely energy, food and financially self sustaining and that each region needs to network into the others. In effect we shift from an efficient machine to a resilient network

* That the leadership model is no longer the dominant hero but the ego-less servant

* That we cannot wait to be saved. We have to all do our part to make our place "Home"

Many are desperate that somehow President Obama save us and importantly turn the clock back. Take us back to consumer heaven of 2006. Even if he could, would this be the right thing to do? To take us back to a world that is a fantasy?

What got us to this place?

The Dark Side of a Mindset. The Machine/Institutional/Newtonian/Engineering Mindset that created most of the wealth of the 19th and 20th century tipped over into the dark side. Where not only did we give up all our power to institutions but gave the few that ran them the license to use these institutions for their own benefit.

So we spend nearly a trillion on defense but not on what the troops really need. We spend billions of health and America is on a par with Cuba. We spend billions on education and more than 50% of Americans are functionally illiterate. We spend billions on food and we eat crap. We see that the leadership of these institutions live in a bubble. The gap between the rich and poor has never been greater. The middle class is being squeezed. We don't make anything anymore. We make no progress toward energy independence.


OuterBeltway said...


Thanks for finding this gem. These are the kind of people I'm looking for - the "what's next" thinkers.

I was just up in PEI this summer - too bad I didn't know of Mr. Paterson at the time, I would have loved to meet with him.

Anonymous said...

You should look at Blessed Economist.

London Banker said...

@ OuterBeltway
I thought of you immediately as I read this. They are adopting the dispersed, collaborative, flexible, emergent approach you have long encouraged.

Anonymous said...

I will never understand how a shopping mall is more valuable - and hence more important - than good farmland and clean water.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like living locally.
End of so-called globalization?

Anonymous said...

There are NO solutions until people accept responsibility for their governance. They can't outsource it to the elites and expect their interests and their sovereignty will be considered.

Wall Street will always do what it does. It will try and grab as much as it can with no other consideration. Political elites will always do what they do. They will sell you shiny objects like all good snake oil salesmen and then feather their own nests. Corporate titans will always do what they do. Privatize profits and socialize losses.

No institutions or regulations can prevent determined subversion by the elites who control most of the wealth and power.

The ONLY solution is a resolute population that is vigilent and determined to maintain their sovereignty and liberty.

We are where we are because of ONE reason - our citizenry is too apathetic to exert their sovereignty. Until that changes don't expect ANY changes!

Tony said...

LB –

Thanks for all of your thoughtful contributions.

In my view, one of the most interesting thinkers along the lines of the topic of your above post is John Robb.

Here's a recent example:

and here is his blog:


Tony C.

Glenn Condell said...

I agree with Tony C.

John Robb's Resilient Community archive at Global Guerillas is well worth a look. His outlook is grim, but not without hope.

In this he's a bit like James Howard Kunstler's Clusterfuck Nation, which has been (with input from his reading of Prof Roubini, Nassim Taleb and Doug Noland) predicting this crisis, and more importantly it's peak oil denouement, for several years. He's a doomsayer but he wrote a book, World Made By Hand, which has a distinct whiff of personal optimism about the renewal great upheaval can make possible.

If you prefer your pessimism undiluted, try Cormac McCarthy's The Road. It's almost unbearable.

Also want to echo Tony's best wishes to you LB, one of the great net finds of '08 for me.

Anonymous said...

This "analysis" is banal.

The blame doesn't belong with any "Machine Institutional Newtonian Engineering Mindset". It belongs where it was practiced, with each and every individual who decided that their own greedy consumption was more important than anything else, and certainly more important than community.

As long as folks blame others for their self-inflicted wounds, there will always be the likelihood of another bubble and another crash. Stability will only result when people ask what economies are for (hint: they aren't to prop up unsustainable models of self-government), and act accordingly.

And if you have a problem with an "institutional machine engineering" mindset, then what the heck are you doing reading this while sitting in front of a computer? Isn't the Internet the epitome of exactly that mindset?

Anonymous said...

Thanks LB for the link, if you aren't/can't post this works for me. Thanks posters for the links, shop local is the theme?
The race to the bottom continues

Anonymous said...

Too late, the 'institution' is a living breathing self sustainable system with 'methods' to continue its sustenance. In Australia we are taxed for rainwater if we try to disconnect from the water distribution network.

You can run but you cant hide.

Anonymous said...

LB...always enjoy your thinking. I found this article to describe a compelling model for self sufficient sustainability, think you will too. Thanks for all your good work.

artichoke said...

Sort of agree with Anonymous @19:36, and very sadly so. But Australia is worse than the USA, apparently they are going to censor the internet too. There may be more hope, sooner, for the USA.

It's a very good article and reflects what people are yearning for. I realized that immediately when reading it, but did not realize it before. It's the right goal.

Let's hope that we can slough off enough debt to be able to move into that sort of life. The debt will keep us chained to the machine or at least that is the machine's intent.

Perhaps we need to disintermediate the machine. Alternative and local currencies. I think we can do it if we can disconnect from the monster long enough.