SmallWorld

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

basic idea

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.

  • but

    • 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.

misc notes

some other models/filters/glosses: Organic/Mechanist Ic, 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


=== Other usages... ===

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.


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