The article reprinted below caught my attention, as it seemed to connect with
two of my own mental quagmires, in turn inspired by those of others.
1) One of you referred a while ago to most of us being "mere pawns in a
chess game played by global corporate sharks." I found this metaphor's image
somewhat difficult to visualize, and at the same time unfair, both to chess
players and to sharks. So I have been searching for a more sustainable
2) Today, our local paper printed an article headlined "Business: Broaden
your world." The outgoing chairman of a regional Chamber of Commerce was
quoted regarding lessons he had learned in office in the last year. "Lesson
One: Businesspeople talk to themselves. Let me point out that this is like
preaching to the choir. No converts here, just reinforcement of each other's
point of view . . . " Well, this reflected my one concern about SAN and
our ilk: How do we get others to listen to us and, God help us, do we then
have to listen to them?
Anyway, this article seemed to bring the two questions together. It comes
from the EIPE Journal, October, 1997.
CURE POSSIBLE FOR BBT DISEASE
The disastrous effects of BBT exposure are now well recognized, but efforts
to ban this potent carcinogen are not likely to bear fruit for several
decades. In the meantime, memetic engineering (ME) may offer hope for an
When first introduced, BBT (Bigger=Better Theory) was generally considered
harmless, even though man-made rather than "Natural." As is the case all
too often, it was many years - many decades, in fact - before any deleterious
effects were recognized. The problem was (and is) that whereas the effects
of BBT exposure in biological organisms are counteracted by genetic
limitations, this is not the case with economic organisms.
In a typical case, the course of the disease runs as follows: After BBT
exposure, some cells within an affected organ (such as agriculture or
banking) begin to grow and may, in the course of a few years, grow out of
control. The growth may even appear to accelerate, as it crowds out
smaller, healthy cells in the organ and diverts the circulation of vital
nutrients to its own use. In later stages, it may surround other cells
altogether, appearing to ingest them. In extreme cases, the growth actually
invades and incorporates cells of other organs unrelated to its origin. This
last stage, of course, is known as metastasis.
Fortunately, the majority of cells within any given organ of an economy are
not affected by BBT. (Researchers have isolated a number of factors
contributing to this resistance, including satisfaction, bad luck, and just
plain laziness.) We emphasize "fortunately" because there is no sure cure
for BBT-induced disease, which could in theory continue its relentless spread
throughout the lifetime of the organism, a lifetime that has no natural
It is worth noting that even in the most advanced stages the organism as a
whole may appear to be in vigorous health. Experts may thus disagree as to
whether the growth is malignant or benign. (Dr. Alan Greenspan, for example,
holds with the latter view.) A most important exchange of views, going on
right now, debates whether the effects of the disease have already impacted
brain cells (located in DC) and affected vital decisions.
With no cure in sight for diseased cells, hope for the total organism rests
for now on strengthening healthy cells and improving the blood circulation
(blood and money being interchangeable) that is so vitally essential for all
cells. At the same time, a new technology is beginning to show promising
Through an innovative implant known as Internet, individual normal healthy
cells within an organ are now able to share and exchange "memes." (1)
Memes, the mental equivalent of genes, are bits of thought and ideas and
vituperative that, for reasons not yet known, appear to improve the
functioning, as well as the disease resistance, of all connected cells.
Unlike genes, which require whole generations to bring about noticeable
change, memes can lead to substantial change within years or even months.
On the horizon? Memetic Engineering (ME) predicts that the next step will
make possible meme sharing and exchange between cells of altogether different
organs (3). When still healthy cells in separate and diverse organs are able
to share and exchange the factors contributing to their health, and so
further the development of new, universally beneficial memes, the devastation
wrought by BBT should be brought under control, and eventually ended
(1) The word "meme" was coined by biologist Richard Dawkins, author of The
(2) As in the fall of the Berlin Wall, for example.
(3) The large number of economic organs include agriculture, banking, child
care, education, energy, forestry, hostelry, housing, insurance, medicine,
philanthropy, transportation . . . and "business."
There you have it, straight from the EIPE (Experts in Practically
Everything). I'm sure you all will join me in poking holes in this article.
I mean, isn't BBT a meme itself? And Internet? Can we assume that memes,
like genes, can be either "good" or "bad?" If so, can we assume that "good"
memes contribute to "fitness" and will therefore enjoy the widest spread and
the longest lives? In which case, how do we define "fitness?" Is it
perhaps related to "Sustainable?"
Have a great Thanksgiving, folks!
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