Feedback

 

Listening to and reading the news here in the US, I am struck by the lack of a healthy feedback system – in the world in general, and in the US in particular.

Any system need a healthy feedback system to reorganize as situations change.

Today, we operate with economical and political systems which evolved centuries ago. They matched the situation then well, and may have been just what was needed at the time, but the situation today is quite different.

Then, the population was smaller, the technology less evolved, and they operated from a mechanistic and fragmented worldview. Today, we have a high population and highly evolved technology, and our current (emerging) worldview is one of interconnections, dynamic systems and holarchies.

What is medicine in one situation is poison in another. Our current economic and political systems were medicine back when, and are now looking more and more as poison.

Our current situation requires social systems which come from a thorough systems understanding, taking into account the Earth as a seamless whole consisting of social and ecological subsystems.

And to make this change, we need accurate and healthy feedback loops. We need… (a) Accurate information gathered about what is really happening, socially and ecologically, on all scales. (b) Accurate and reliable information channels. (c) Processes of decision making which facilitate co-intelligence. (d) Implementation of these decisions.

In the US, and to a lesser degree the rest of the world, there are serious flaws at several points in this feedback loop. And the flaws may be mainly due to corporate influence of media and politicians. Corporate media focuses on irrelevant, short term and/or sensational topics, ignoring or downplaying the far more serious and long-term issues. And politicians are dependent on (often the same) corporations to be elected and reelected. At the same time, there is a serious problem with the polarized and polarizing two-party system (in a multi-party parliamentary system, cooperation is required, but far less so in a two-party system).

After writing this, I received an email on the same topic. These are quotes from a speach Al Gore gave recently:

The subjugation of news by entertainment seriously harms our democracy: it leads to dysfunctional journalism that fails to inform the people. […]

I came here today because I believe that American democracy is in grave danger. It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse . I know that I am not the only one who feels that something has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America’s fabled “marketplace of ideas” now functions. [source]

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