Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Current Modern Value Singularity

Much of the thinking that I am doing these days has to do with the assignment and expression of value in modern society.   Many a variety of conflict or debate come from some mismatch of value of 'something'.  The current oilsands debate is an example close to home.  The groups that wish to see energy development done differently or not at all, and the energy industry that wishes to meet the energy demands of the globe and their shareholders.  The world needs energy and they're going to deliver it.  Is the value of the energy greater than the value of the environmental and social resources that can be impaired by the process? What is life like without the energy?  There is much to choose from in terms of values available.  Modern society has the benefit of many diverse and far reaching values, certainly many more choices in values than centuries ago, before the industrial revolution.

Value to me is something we assign because it serves some purpose to us.  Food.  Energy.  Wealth.  Entertainment.  Productivity.  Relationship.  And within the context of our financial system, money has value.  The value of money has risen to the top of the heap in many contexts.  To the extent that it obfuscates many and in some cases most other values in my view.  The tweet above is a clear statement of the value of money - within the context of the tweet.

In order for us to assign a value to something, it has to have done something for us in the past.  It has to have supported some value we hold important enough to act.  Do.  Succeed.  Repeat.  With the assignment of money at the top of the decision making tree, there can be considerable 'lost' value where lessor consideration is given to seemingly less important values.  Many of life's systems function as wide and intricate feedback loops.  This one seems like it could become somewhat self fulfilling.  The only important thing in our world is money.

Monotypic systems are not as productive and diverse systems.  An absolute focus on money as the most important human value is narrowing our path towards a monotypic system structure - even if it is mostly in thought and mind - and actually, particularly IF it is in thought and mind.  Our lives are a reflection of what we think.  I believe there is value in retaining the diverse values that life offers, many supported by the value of money, but not centrically focused on any single attribute.

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