Physics, Communities and The Tao of Democracy

After reading redbeetle's blog about  What the Bleep Do We Know?, I think I've found another movie I need to go and see (I already added the director's cut of Donnie Darko on my list when it came out a couple of weeks ago; I've been curious since I managed to catch 80% of it on the tail end of a plane trip when it first came out ;). However, the combination of physics and spirituality is not that unusual; Fritjof Capra's Tao of Physics covers similar territory.

Over the years, I find the optimistic belief in Capra's books that people are constrained to work in ways similar to natural ecosystems to be increasingly strained; national economies built on stock markets and dominated by both the results of elections and the effectiveness of propoganda will inevitably sacrifice long- over short-term considerations (and the needs of the many in favour of the privileged few), especially when a short term of 4 years is sufficient to enable a small upper-tier ecosystem of folks to win significant personal advantage at the expense of significant (and sometimes irreparable) long-term harm to all (no, I'm not opposed to capitalism; damned if I know what can really work, but I suspect that automating and enabling high levels of verifiable transparency into the inputs and actions of government and the justice system by a country's citizens might help to counter the fact that money can buy a better class of election or legal campaign with a near-direct influence on the outcome; that level of automation would constitute real "e-government", but who in government would ever fund let alone adopt such a thing... ;).

However I believe that regardless of our actions and choices, Capra's notion of sustainability (especially described in his Ecology and Community article) is applicable; also, it is certainly useful to people working at the finer granularity of companies and workgroups - I see evidence of some of his ideas in the success of open-source communities and the notion of business co-opetition which is gaining acceptance.

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