It is quite posible that the younger generation are aware that they will have to put into place any remnants of wisdom that might enable them to sustain! In all of this, we in Metaphorum are presumambly aiming to create values and systems for a brighter time. The young are pretty media savvy - they can smell a crunch is coming but only have decision making facilities within their circle. The crazy nation states systems are beyond them and most of us..
And perhasp in this sense we should be focussed. Most of our sustainable and survivor systems are about protecting the unsustainable and cannot gurantee the safety of the many. Most of my work is about the militarisation of sustaining the unviable  and the horror show that accompanies it. History tells us that when habitats diminish most cultures do not die peacefully, they raid!
Kids today might inhabit a variant of Brave New World but the movies warn them 1984 is a reality for the majority and it may just be around the corner for them. What Metaphorum has done for me is advise me just how complicated big systems are - and how some of the solutions might not be so obvious. For example on ecological viability, perhaps my "deepest green" friend said recently: "Give me an SUV driving vegetarian anyday over a meat eacting cyclist since the SUV vegetarian generates less greehosue gases!" I think if we surveyed the next generation we would find they are expecting to die violently in some future war and there is some hostility to previous generations that they used everything up...But they are very aware of the screwed up nature of policy making and politics so why get involved in trying to change "big systems"? And yet count how many are now involved in charity or is small scale and "real". The struggle to avert global catastrophe isnt over and yet it seems too big...One challenge of the next generation of "systems designers" is scaling things down so that more become involved.
Climate change is of course already wreaking collossal damage and we're getting news of its day to day devastating human impact only slowly. But if we get to consume it via a series of sudden tipping points then it will be young people who have to endure the winnowing process of crude Dawinian logic which ensues. What should we be saying to that generation in ways which are clear enough and inspirational enough to persaude them to know how to build viable systems as if people mattered? i think most of all we need success stories - a sort of solutions based therapy..but if all of us fail then the kids will be the consumers of that failure or the target of the feral forces that gobble up and recycle failure.

-----Original Message-----
From: Forum dedicated to the work of Stafford Beer [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of R Clemens
Sent: 11 February 2008 12:04
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: System failure

Yes, if my precocious comments can perhaps be tolerated once more: you (collectively) ARE them.  But I fear that today's younger generation of potential 'followers' see nothing and hear nothing -- not because they are blind or deaf -- rather perhaps so little is detectable by them, through the noise, that the current batch of potential "characters & beacons" are (for them) the 'silent generation'. Communications is essential but it is not about modems and telecommunications, it is about marketing in the market place.  It's about dialogue on 'wicked problems' -- but that is another infiltration of sustainability into the wrong "Subject:" area.  From what I can see, today's heroes are not in economics or engineering -- rather they are seen in those areas focused on ecological viability.



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