This is entirely curious; Freedom is a word that is bandied around a lot, especially in the Western world, and I used to think I understood what it meant; now i am not so certain that I can define it adequately.
Any person that lives with in a society has obligations to that society, by definition, or risk being ‘cast out’ (incarcerated). These are the “ties that bind us”.
We now have so many regulations, checks and controls, where can that word be used correctly in its full original sense?
A poor man is confined in the sense that his choices are limited, he has no resources of his own with which to create or space into which he can expand, unless he can ‘persuade’ someone that he has worth or value. A rich man is confined by his wealth, living behind gates, walls and barriers; what is more, feeling the increasing pressure not to trust, friends, institutions and sometimes even family. What is a panic room if it is not a cell? Or a gated property if not a prison?
It is a little known fact that the infamous tower of London where Mary Queen of Scots and Charles I was originally a castle equipped like a palace when they were imprisoned. It is only through the realisation that we have created too many barriers to entry and systems that have too many ‘checks’ and not enough ‘balances’ that economic growth can be possibility.
This possibility can only be made a reality if everybody digs deep, in effort, courage and trust. This applies to *you*, poor or wealthy, find your courage and your strength:
Look about you and “see” that we all need each other and that it is in your best interest to look after your neighbour, your friend, your employer/ee.
For if the worst comes to the worst; Whose loyalty can you actually count on?
Perhaps this is meant by “and the meek shall inherit the Earth”?
The more barriers you build the less free you are…
Was I only ten years ahead of the curve on this one? It must have been a bad day…
To me it seemed simple; you drew a big circle around the system, looked at what was going in, then examined what was supposed to be coming out. “The Big Picture”.
By doing this simple exercise I could surmise what ought to be in the circle and then compared this to what was actually in the circle. They almost never matched, as I had designed a system from scratch whereas the system that I was examining had evolved over time.
The problem with this evolution was that there were always unconnected systems, or two systems doing the same job and systems that used to fulfil a purpose but no one had thought to remove.
In the very worst cases a loop could be found, just like the one I have discovered in society today. In order to get the funds to set up a non profit organisation or company, most fund providers and investors require you to have a non profit organisation or company.
Volkswagon used to have a 1.9 diesel engine, wonderfully simple and easy to maintain. Client demand for power steering meant bolting on a pump, hydraulic clutch and brakes another, air conditioning yet another and when it came to put a turbo system to it, suddenly a whole redesign was going to be needed, because the engine was becoming less able to drive all these bolt ons and remain economical or cool at low revs.
The same thing occurs within bureaucracies and government designed system. The more laws and regulations that are generated, the harder the engine has to work in order to power the system overhead.
As these laws and regulations are created piecemeal, without considering the big picture, the tendency only to create more overhead and push the problem somewhere else rather than solving it.
When I first learned what function a politician or government representative performed, I assumed that it was to render their positions unnecessary. To create a just and equitable system that would require no further tinkering. The judiciary would be there to catch the occasional injustice or inequity that may occur within the system.
The major problem with this premise is that any politician within government needs to justify his or her own existence within the existing framework.
Mathematical logic shows that NP complete systems (where anything that it is possible to be computed, can be computed) with very few rules at all. Isaac Asimov showed us that only four laws would be needed for an effective social legal structure.
So why is it that we have so many laws and regulations when only a few are needed? These extraneous laws, this extra overhead is, quite literally, strangling society and the possibility for business growth.
I would say that now is the time that we need to have a serious look at our approach to regulation and our desire for control. For each control and every regulation are as a ratchet to a cog in clock, slowing it down until it can neither move backward or forwards.
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” – Albert Einstein
On 15th February 2012, Mervyn King, head of the Bank of England, made a lengthy speech giving economic projections about the economy of the United Kingdom. Undoubtedly, a great deal of work had gone into preparing and processing the data, the interpretation of which was: Modest growth might be expected and that the UK would not slip back in to recession, UNLESS the price of oil increased.
Four days later Iran announces that it will no longer sell oil to the UK or France, as a direct response to the pressure being applied to them about the nuclear energy generation. Their justification could easily be – “if we are not allowed nuclear power then we are going to need out oil for energy”. Consequently, oil, and the commodity market in general, has risen sharply, rendering all its forecasts meaningless in an instant.
The credit rating agencies use similar financial predictive mechanisms as a service to investors to show how likely it will be that a country will repay their debts. When a country’s rating is downgraded, the investors demand a higher interest rate because of the greater risk, which in turn makes it more difficult for that country to meet their obligations. This is a known issue called “pro-cyclic” and despite proposals to prevent it from happening, it is impossible to do so.
Physicists and philosophers have long understood the problem concerning interactions between the observer and the observed. From the Heisenberg uncertainty principle to the “if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” thought experiment, the issue remains the same.
The instant someone makes an observation about the future, the future changes.
There is something known as a self fulfilling prophecy, this happens when enough people believe in a prediction, they change their behaviour because of their belief. This change in behaviour then brings about the future that was predicted.
I am certain that this was what Mervyn King was hoping when he delivered his speech – if enough people believe that recovery is happening then they will start to reinvest in the economy, thus causing the recovery he wishes to see.
In the case of the credit agencies it is exactly the same, by predicting that a country or organisation will fail to repay their debts, they create a situation where this event is even more likely to occur than if they had made no prediction at all.
Despite all the mathematic modelling that has been done, there appears to be one very important thing being missed, especially when dealing with people:
“Future success can’t be judged on past performance”
or, as Albert Einstein put it:
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
Most people tend to learn from their mistakes, either that or they just want to prove you wrong. Either way, predicting the market or financial system is not a good idea, as it can be viewed as no more than a misguided attempt to influence or control those mechanisms.
The power of belief is not a thing to take lightly, and in this current economic and political climate people need to believe that the world of finance are starting to see a bigger picture than the narrow view of a bottom line.
Nature has already has (nearly) completely linked water network through the means of the water table. Why are we obsessed with laying pipes sideways underground to do something nature already does for us? Solar powered boreholes straight to the clean mineralised water below obviates all the infrastructure and water treatment processes !!
Will you have any?