How Can We Manifest God-like Technologies within 600-year Old Institutions, Making Primitive Daily Choices?

While Homo lumens is constituted to manifest potential, most live within value-creating institutions, unconsciously accepting scarcity-based agreements (2014 Ecosynomics).  Why?  Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson suggests, “We have created a Star Wars civilization, with Stone Age emotions, medieval institutions, and god-like technology” (2012 The Social Conquest of Earth, 7).

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What do you think?


What the Inventors of Our Leading Indicators Actually Meant — Recommended Reading

Karabell, ZacharyThe Leading Indicators: A Short History of the Numbers That Rule Our World. 2007, New York: Simon & Schuster.  

[You can read an excerpt from the book here.]

One of the fundamental agreements most of us have unconsciously accepted has a major impact on the decisions we make everyday, from the very mundane to the global: the way we measure success as a nation and as a global community.  Historian Zachary Karabell retraces some of the leading indicators we use today, most of which we tend to assume are universal in their applicability.

“Fast-forward to the present and this way of viewing economic policy, government, and the state through the lens of economic indicators is so embedded in the way we live and how governments govern that it’s nearly impossible to imagine a world without them. The leading indicators are fused to policy and to the way that we collectively discuss ‘how we’re doing.'” (page 92 of book)

Karabell sets the historical context for the individuals who developed the indicators of GDP, unemployment, and inflation to address very specific issues of their time, showing how the inventors were very clear that the indicators needed to be further developed and were only applicable in very narrow domains.  Karabell then shows how we have completely forgotten these warnings of limited applicability, from those who invented them, and now use these indicators as if they represent “the truth.”

“How individuals experience ‘the economy’ is distinct from how statisticians measure the economy.” (page 135 of book)

Karabell then shows how the data for these indicators is gathered, how that gathering has changed radically over the years, and how sketchy and problematic the indicators still are.  What comes out loud and clear from this historic perspective is that these brilliantly designed indicators of national health highlight very specific aspects of “the economy” to highly trained specialists, and that they should not be used as general indicators by the untrained populace.

To be clear in the assumptions that guide your everyday agreements, such as macro indicators of national health, I highly recommend Karabell’s historical walk through the creation and misuse of leading indicators.  We might all benefit from a historical understanding of how key indicators we use were initially developed, the contextual and procedural limitations their inventors put on them, and how their measurement has changed over time.  We might then look at those indicators with much greater clarity about what they actually tell us about current reality.

How “Compliance Practitioners” Choose Your Agreements For You — Recommended Reading

Cialdini, Robert B., Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. 2007, New York: Collins Business.  

[You can see a 12-minute animated story of the principle ideas.]

A core intention of our work in Ecosynomics and harmonic vibrancy is to consciously choose the agreements that most influence our daily experiences and outcomes.  In his classic text InfluenceRobert Cialdini, a professor emeritus of psychology, shows how professional “compliance practitioners” use your intuitive processes of perception to make you unconsciously accept the agreements that most benefit them, not you.

First published 30 years ago, this permanent fixture on the bestseller’s list remains relevant today.  Professor Cialdini walks you through six healthy human processes that professionals misuse to influence you: reciprocation; commitment and consistency; social proof; liking; authority; and scarcity.  Full of examples and references to rigorous research, Influence also provides research-based antidotes to the tricks the professionals use on you.  To learn about what the professionals actually teach their own, Cialdini went undercover, infiltrating their organizations as a newbie influencer to learn how they train people to be “compliance practitioners.”

While sobering to realize how easy it is to unconsciously accept agreements imposed on you by skillful practitioners, it is also empowering to see how to avoid these traps, enabling you to consciously choose the agreements that best serve you.  While Ecosynomics suggests that many of the fundamental agreements you tend to unconsciously accept are buried deep within the design of today’s economic, political, cultural, and social systemsInfluence shows you how to be aware of agreements thrust on you by others on a daily basis.