Thursday 13 February 2014

Laying Eggs For The Future

If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck then you have a theoretical basis for assuming that it may be a duck, unless, of course, it is politically inconvenient to be linked to ducks or the things they do.  Then the trick is to have a line to the effect that it is something else and hope to have the media onside.

Most, if not almost all, the crises, major debates and issues of the present conform to this basic proposition.  Nothing is as it seems, there is always something else.  We wander lonely as a cloud and those are not daffodils, they are an exotic species that just look like them.  But it is more like a fog and we are hurrying along a mountain path in a thick one.

So when situations move towards the phase of becoming chaotic and difficult choices have to be made, the chances of choosing the least worst option diminish.  Possibly the risks of taking entirely the wrong course increase rapidly.  Once you take the wrong turn at a critical juncture then all the ensuing turns will be wrong.

It goes against the human psyche to admit mistakes, for the most part, so even when things are evidently wrong, we crash on regardless and persuade others to follow.  On our mountain path in the fog sooner or later there is a risk of walking off the cliff. 

In the last decade or two there have been many examples of leaders going over the edge, crying for the led to follow them.  Unluckily there are now many of the led ignoring them and just wandering about regardless in the hope of finding a right way of one kind or another.  When many of them bump into each other they resolve the differences either by fighting or some form of mutually destructive behaviour.

The answer that many give to the question what is to be done is to stand still or go back to an earlier situation, although that situation is no better, we just think we know more about it. 

When economists and their ilk talk about "equilibrium" this is a notion that there is a natural balance.  When political philosophers or cultural theorists talk about society, it is one that did not really exist, just one that historically they think did when it never did in reality.

When environmentalists talk they have the idea that there was once some sort of past balance of nature that can be reclaimed and enforced despite the slight technical problems, one of which is the doubling of world population every fifty years.

Those who claim to be futurists and predict how things will be can use only dodgy data of the present or their imaginations.  One lesson from the past is that developments and event occurred that nobody might have imagined what could follow.

As for the economics, it is my thesis now that there is no such thing as an equilibrium, there never has been and there never will be.  Add to that all our theories of society cannot work in the world that is to come.  As for the environment we have no control whatsoever about the future.

It will all just happen.


  1. Too many people think they can see into the future. I foresee that most will turn out to be wrong.

  2. "There is such a thing as destiny --- but continue with your own plans and if they are in accordance with destiny, you will reap a rich reward." [quoted in a book by Idries Shah]