Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2012, San Jose, CA, USA, 56th Annual Proceedings of ISSS

Font Size:  Small  Medium  Large


Jon Li


Building an economy based on Family Sustainability through Community Information: Most of the global economy is hidden, and in a lot of trouble. This is a mechanism to turn the global economy inside out, so that most of it is transparent, and manageable. This is a model for a computer grid of a person's local economy.  It should be user friendly and provide linkage of the information structure between an individual and the larger economy: decentralization in a global context.

This is about re-conceptualizing our information world - so that the social systems work.  About turning the economic information system inside out, so that instead of it being difficult for everyone, make it so intuitively useful that it is commonly practical and easy to obtain whatever information you need.  Anatomically, a fig fruit is surrounded by its skin, all covered; if you invert it, and expose the fruit with the skin at the bottom, it is a strawberry.  This idea is to invert the global economic information system so that it is easy to use.  For everybody.  Turn the global economic information system from a mystery that you spend your life losing out to (the "fig" that you cannot see into) into a transparent information structure that is designed for the user (the "strawberry" that you can see all the good parts whenever you need them).

The main purpose of this model is for the INDIVIDUAL to be able to have a standard grid for her to put all of the important information in her life in an organized way.  It needs to be supportive of different scales of data, for unique people, to help her organize her way out of her problems and challenges, social, organizational, and economic - both as a consumer and as a producer.

Most current policy emphasizes nation, then state, maybe region.  This model shifts the focus to the village and the community, so that neighborhoods and families get their needs met.   The idea is that the model should be useful to individuals and families, and all business people as well as municipal bureaucrats and citizens investigating the government.

The Power of Eudemony: Eudemony is an idea that Aristotle talked about.  It means something like well-being.  At its most human root, it is about a sense of self, in balance with the social and all around, in tune with the Universe.  Pretty tough nut to crack, and the reason why most people need to seek religion or some other strategy to cope with the slings and arrows of the human condition.

The power equation in eudemony is to balance the material, the technical, the physical, with the social, the nutritional, the cognitive, the spiritual and the natural environment.  That equation is different for each person.  Money emerged as the medium of exchange to balance all those values, but it was always seen as a way to have power over other people, or compared to other people.

In Stafford Beer's introduction of eudemony in Platform for Change, he says "Money is terribly important, both to those paying and to those paid.  But money is nonetheless an epiphenomenon of a system which actually runs on eudemony.  It is for this reason that I have come to see money as a constraint on the behavior of eudemonic systems, rather than to see eudemony as a by-product of monetary systems."

The new metric must be dynamic, and include money and technology in it, but it also must factor in how damaging a bias towards money and technology has been in the 20th century in terms of social, natural and cognitive costs for the 99%. It should be useful for families and communities to be self-sufficient.

Notes on Education and Working Together as Art; The Power of Eudemony;  Evolving Contemporary Thought; American Social Evolution; Ernest Callenbach's last public words; The Visible Hand: From Struggling Survival to Viable Sustainability; Do your own Viable System Model analysis; Housing Laws of Supply and Demand; References

Full Text: PDF