My current Society Design game/model: Route Around BigWorld
see Scale Vs Consolidation, Small Is Beautiful, The Craft, Slow World
challenge: War On The Net
Big institutions carry inherent risks - specifically that individual humans (customers, employees, shareholders, citizens, etc.) get treated as mass commodities. This seems to occur regardless of the official mission of the organization.
- there have certainly been Old Economy/20C benefits to bigness - cheap goods, successful Big Projects.
- things seem out of balance - does everything require a Big solution?
- bigness should be less necessary/optimal in a New Economy/21C
It seems unlikely to be possible to keep a Big organization human over time. So a change-them strategy (from within or without) seems unrealistic.
And maybe we don't want to change them. When elephants dance, mice watch out.
So what "we" "really" "want" is the space to stay human in our (Telic) relationships.
This seems to involve finding ecological niches and ways to keep them human. TAZ, Making A Living, etc.
some other models/filters/glosses: Organic/Mechanistic, Yin-Yang, Network/Hierarchal, Complex/Linear, Certain/Uncertain...
hmm, this maybe isn't an end unto itself, but a means to an end - Diversity, Freedom, Open Society...
to clarify a bit, the goal isn't to go "back to small", but "through big to small"
it's pro Design Science, RaisedExpectations, Economics Of Abundance, etc. - assuming that's workable.
Yah, I'm aware this is well-trodden territory. I may fail in resolving the paradox, or may end up sounding like Bucky Fuller (or Aleister Crowley).
a thought re implementation approach - change the system
identify a Big X (not specific institution so much as structure)
come up with alternative scenario
define "requirements" or BootStrapping steps to achieve it
publicize need for those steps to happen
make one of them happen...
learning from FourGW?
another approach - Route Around the system with a focus on increasing Resilience
Is this Network Society?
Also a book SmallWorlds: The Dynamics of Network-s between Order and Randomness by Duncan Watts ISBN:0691005419
Also the more-official name of Stanley Milgram's Six Degrees Of Separation study.
A group at Columbia is now (2002) trying to replicate the study.
The Malcolm Gladwell bit about Kevin Bacon: 2002-03-13-c
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