24 February, 2011

Systemic Lacunae

I am bucking my own trend, because I want to post a link that has nothing to do with what I want to say in the post.

I am posting that link -- a speech by Munger, a investment partner of Buffett's -- that offers a lot of good investing/life wisdom, stuff that I've learned too but that can't really be taught. But he's made a pretty good stab at it and it definitely deserves to be preserved. I've saved his speech in a Word doc called "Very good business advice.doc" that I'm going to try to remember to read and APPLY while I'm at business school.

But what I want to talk about is systemic lacunae, and relate it to the issues we face. Because a lot of people talk about all the problems in the world, and how to fix them, but it's difficult to fix a problem when you're not exactly sure what it is.

Today we live in system sets, within institutions, which are themselves systems. We are all systemised, institutionalised, we can't help it -- nor should we, necessarily. A lot of benefits have been brought to people because of instutions. I used to be vehemently anti-instutionalist. Now, I'm not. I'm much more objective these days.

But when people develop much faster than their systems and institutions... what then? Big gaps open up in the systems, and no longer meet the needs of the people -- they can fall through the metaphorical cracks.

Right now, there seems to be a lot of talk about how to fill these gaps, because a lot of our institutions are so big that it would required a very, very large amount of effort to change them, and their change would risk hurting the people that it should be helping.

So a lot of energy goes into filling these gaps. Rightly so. But people just keep on changing more, while their systems basically stay the same. So these lacunae get bigger and wider, and more issues and problems arise because of them. And so they require more energy to fill. And so on.

So, I'm thinking, if filling the gaps doesn't work, and changing the system doesn't work, what then? What are our other options?

I don't have any answers, but I believe we should start examining and thinking about what our options are.

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