June 8th, 2014
in Op Ed
by Roger Erickson
Mitchell's context-specific points echo my own systemic conclusion.
Historically, any improvements in productivity only freed distributed populations to explore even more distributed innovations.
(No one person domesticated crops, circumnavigated the globe, created nuclear power or sent people to the moon. Persistent teamwork did. And that return-on-coordination always completely swamps all other returns. There's no competition.)
Traditionally, we accepted all productivity improvements and just immediately set our sights higher - or at least that's what we used to do. Now our biggest failure seems to be a failure to set worthy challenges for ourselves. Face it. We're bored, and resorting to hoarding existing assets instead of going after bigger and insanely greater assets.
In social species, more distributed innovations just allow us to immediately set bigger/better/leaner aggregate goals & achievements. Why aren't we doing that?
As aggregate production steadily rises, it's amazing that we're again seeing the rise of unprecedented personal hoarding.
Ye Olde Analogy is generals hoarding all the advanced weapons from the distributed soldiers, and still thinking that they are securely protected by a functioning army. History has always shown that to be a losing strategy, and one long past pointless.
A social species either distributes all available tools, teachings & responsibilities ASAP ... or it wastes it's greatest leverage, unused.