January 15th, 2011


Communities Magazine: Elders

I don't have anything in this issue of Communities, but I thought you might enjoy it anyhow. 


Our latest Communities issue on Elders is proving to be one of our most popular issues. If you haven't seen it yet, get a copy by subscribing now or ordering a sample copy.

We've posted some new articles from our Elders issue on our website and we hope you enjoy them. We encourage you to share these articles with friends and family and spread the concept of community far and wide. Or better yet order them a copy today.
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Post-Tea-Party Nation

I really like the way that "Post-Tea-Party Nation" looks at America's political and economic structure, what's wrong with it, and how it might be improved.  Two points that particularly stand out for me are:

1) Dismantling the buffers in a system leads to wilder swings.  This is rarely a good thing. 

When I look at economics, it makes me think of chemistry and biology and ecology.  Those are, shall we say, rather harder sciences than economics.  But a sine wave is a sine wave is a sine wave.  It goes up and then it goes down.  It will never stop doing that unless the entire system is destroyed.  Most systems perform best near the middle range, so having buffers -- materials or forces that nudge high values lower and low values higher -- is necessary for sustainability.  Anything that damages the buffers is likely to do more harm than good, whatever else it may be doing. 

If you're only looking at politics or economics, it's easy to get fooled by idealogical claims.  If your experience is wider, you start to notice that "all of these things look kinda the same."  Now backcheck that by looking at history.  There's the pattern.  The details  may vary but the process  remains consistent.

2) Everybody has blind spots, but not everybody's blind spots are in the same place.  This is why diversity is essential to good decision-making.  Different perspectives may be annoying to mesh together, but without them, you are always vulnerable to being blindsided by things outside your personal view.  The more people pick at each other, the harder it gets to share information, and the more one-dimensional, ineffective solutions get applied.  This does nobody any good.  Do your best to gather input from a wide range of sources, and encourage others to do likewise.