Interdependence:: Seth on civilization

I am a long time admirer of Seth Godin and, yet again, he doesn’t disappoint…

We don’t need more stuff. We need more civilization. More respect and more dignity. We give up a little and get a lot.

The people who create innovations, jobs, culture and art of all forms have a choice about where and how they do these things. And over and over, they choose to do it in a society that’s civilized, surrounded by people who provide them both safety and encouragement. I’m having trouble thinking of a nation (or even a city) that failed because it invested too much in taking care of its people and in creating a educated, civil society.

via Seth’s Blog: Civilization.

But, as I am sure you will have realised – if you think at all about these things and how we might begin to resolve some of the issues that blight modern society – this is hardly original thought.

Similar messages can be traced back through literature for two thousand years and, more frequently these days, are being validated by scientific analysis of the behaviour of complex systems: the most successful and resilient systems are highly INTERDEPENDENT.

More recent references can be found in, the late, Steven Covey’s famous book, “7 Habits…” but this is what Ghandi had to say on the subject…so you know he wasn’t just another person queuing up to take a pot-shot at the 99%!:

“Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being. Without interrelation with society he cannot realize his oneness with the universe or suppress his egotism. His social interdependence enables him to test his faith and to prove himself on the touchstone of reality. If man were so placed or could so place himself as to be absolutely above all dependence on his fellow beings he would become so proud and arrogant as to be a veritable burden and nuisance to the world…”

The role of government in a crowdsourcing world:: World Economic Forum

This isn’t about the future this is about NOW! How are you contributing and how prepared are you to deal with the next phase of the “great unwinding”?

Not sure? Ontonix can tell you, drop me an email or follow the link.

Indeed, as access to information increases and the cost of collaboration decreases, so too does our dependency on governments to manage complexity. As a result, a newly empowered civil society is reclaiming its rightful place between governments and free markets as a viable alternative that is capable of solving big problems.

Krawcheck on banking complexity:: The Complexity of the Simplicity Solution

After so long it is encouraging to know that complexity in banking is, at least, getting a more frequent airing by others! But, unlike the headline in the recent FT article, we (at Ontonix) don’t believe that “fighting complexity is futile“…far from it! Einstein knew of the rewards available to those who “reached” the simplicity beyond complexity. The scale of the problems created by the excesses of our financial system should tell us that the quest is only futile if banks DON’T adopt a culture and the tools that facilitate “transformation”.

Joining the dots between the ongoing banking crisis and the enlightened output from, such as, Andy Haldane resolves nothing until we act upon what we have learnt! We can’t afford to overlook the obvious shortcomings in Risk Management, Regulatory failures and abandonment of Corporate Governance.

But SURELY, as the author has identified some of the current problems, it can only be a matter of time before sufficient number of enlightened, influential, individuals reach their “flipping points“, act to influence and educate the crowd  – at Ontonix we are doing our utmost to aid this process [refer following video] – so we reach a “tipping point” and effect a, long overdue, paradigm shift.

Krawcheck offers some basic ideas for “paring back the complexity risk” in banking. She argues for looking at the bank’s overall risk profile; for compensating bank executives based on the bank’s risk profile (in terms of debt and equity); paying out dividends as a percentage of earnings; reforming the credit agencies (sigh); and urging boards to worry about booming, not struggling, businesses. (The last advice makes sense, but if we need to remind boards of that, we’re really screwed.) All this is very nice, but very broad — and given, yes, the complexity of banking, it’s a little hard to see the kind of effect it would have.

In fact, except for her first notion, I’m not sure it would do much to either rein in complexity or too-big-to-fail. The devil here is in the details. How would you calculate the “overall risk profile”? Is this a mark-to-market process, in which daily, weekly or monthly numbers are generated, like the much abused and suspect value-at-risk? How, given the enormous complexity, would these metrics be generated — and by whom?

If JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s big ugly trade managed to escape the bank’s internal risk management operation — not to say regulators — how would that have found its reflection in the bank’s overall risk number? It’s a rule: It’s the stuff we don’t know, or don’t want to know, that tends to kill us. And just remember: We’ve had a devil of a time just trying to provide guidelines on bank capital. What makes anyone think calculating an overall risk profile would be easier?

Huffington Post 

Hopefully the following video will go some way to answering critical questions and paving the way to a, less volatile, sustainable future…

Do you work in a “Corporate Death camp”?:: Prof Roger Steare on “Moral DNA”

One thing I have come to really appreciate about the “Corporate Philosopher’s” approach is his pursuit of the root cause of so many of the [Corporate] World’s ills. We can only really get reliable answers by establishing causality. That, albeit from a very different angle of attack, is what I attempt to do in business and what the technology developed by Dr Jacek Marczyk (Founder & CTO – “genius” according to this article) at Ontonix has facilitated with their model-free technology…but there is still a long way to go with spreading such understanding and insight!

But, if we are dealing with sources of systemic risk, that threaten the sustainability and resilience of ALL that we have come to rely upon, then this is a critical mission.

In the “risk society” we tend to get side-tracked, even bogged down, by the sheer volume of information that assaults our senses on a daily basis. Excessive complexity and the promotion of “flawed” correlations are allies of the leading exponents of the sick, prevailing, culture that the Prof. is intent upon “outing”. That is why TRANSPARENCY is such a threat to institutions or organisations that have cultivated and exploited an institutional mentality!!! Read more of this post

What is Debt? – An Interview with Economic Anthropologist David Graeber « naked capitalism

You may be interested in “eavesdropping” on a very interesting and informative conversation that, beautifully, illustrates how effective we are at ignoring history!

If you are really “hard core” you may want to check out “Mesopotamian complexity” in more detail here.

PP: Which do you see as playing a more important role in human history: money or debt?

DG: Well, it depends on your definitions. If you define money in the broadest sense, as any unit of account whereby you can say 10 of these are worth 7 of those, then you can’t have debt without money. Debt is just a promise that can be quantified by means of money (and therefore, becomes impersonal, and therefore, transferable.) But if you are asking which has been the more important form of money, credit or coin, then probably I would have to say credit.

PP: Let’s move on to some of the real world problems facing the world today. We know that in many Western countries over the past few years households have been running up enormous debts, from credit card debts to mortgages (the latter of which were one of the root causes of the recent financial crisis). Some economists are saying that economic growth since the Clinton era was essentially run on an unsustainable inflating of household debt. From an historical perspective what do you make of this phenomenon? Read more of this post