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Economic & Ecological Conflicts

Economic and Environmental policy is being formed around ideas that have evidently been proven wrong

  • Economists say - push the limits
    • Prediction & control mean economic chaos
    • Obey the market and grow unrestrained
  • Ecologists say - pull the command strings
    • It is this growth that will result in environmental chaos
    • Salvation lies in prediction & control
Both views are in conflict on the command and conquer front. And also neither have an answer on how to approach the economic well being dilemma. One thing is clear, the economy and the environment are chaotic systems. Almost impossible to predict, almost certain to go through boom and bust cycles. Just how big and how soon remains to be seen each time. Should we take a hands off approach and run them to their limits. Or are there negative feed-backs we can apply that we can use to control either system ?

Can history help us

Tradition says we can control them, as indeed do our ingrained religous beliefs. But the maths and history say quite clearly that we cannot. Its a piece of cake to predict the market when things are growing smoothly. But no one ever placed a successful bet on when it will bust.

We are now beginning to understand that this is not such an apocalyptic situation. Its just nature in action. So sould we accept it and ride around it, or what ?

More Reading

  • BBC4 showed a film recently called High Anxieties: The Mathematics of Chaos by David Malone. It gives an historic analysis of this discussion in greater detail
  • Further discussion can be found here, A Proposal for Economic Reform, a slide presentation on the effects of a long broken economy and how continuing with it business as usual will do little to resolve the dilema discussed here. And of course a proposal for reform using negative economic feedbacks