We have created a fantasy world, running out of inspirational character. We must breathe new life in the brave world we envision. So the world we want to escape to is the world we live in.
We share an authentic desire for entertainment, imagination, and discovery, and take our children to Disney World to experience them. We visit theme parks and zoos to learn about nature we depend on for survival and are afforded the luxury to admire, in close-up, flora and fauna housed there. We build some fantastic fantasy worlds that take us on a journey away from the day-to-day world we live in.
Then, we come back home.
And return to our jobs in a world order we have created for ourselves and ordains our behavior as human beings. A rule we promote as religion, and seldom dare challenge. Despite such order allowing the destruction of the things we all, in our brief moments of escapism, genuinely care so much about.
We have created a fantasy world, a world of make-believe, running out of Mickey Mouse characters to believe in. Walt Disney knew better.
This stark contradiction is supposed to rattle your brain. Not just for the fun of rattling it, but to shake loose the conventions of our past we submit to and frankly make no sense.
The “why” question is the most critical weapon in the arsenal of any entrepreneurial thinker to stir the pot of mediocrity. A weapon, if applied correctly, that helps win the war against stagnation and decline. And a rhetorical question begging for a new normalization of the future.
So, why do we build a world that destroys so many things we love, connect with and depend on for survival? The answer is remarkably simple: we allow it.
We allow it because we assume our freedom is absolute. We believe we can do whatever we want, and forget about and kick the can of long-term consequences further down the road. Pretending we can comfortably ignore the paradoxical nature of freedom. Freedom curtailed by the undeniable rules of nature we pay insufficient attention to.
In fact, we bite nature’s hand that feeds us, with the arrogance we can somehow and someday control and overpower it. A deadly mistake, considering nature is considerably older (by 4.6 billion years) and wiser than we are, and destined to outlive us.
To optimize the quality and longevity of the human race, we must change our attitude from insensitive exploitation to a deep understanding of nature. For as our understanding of nature improves, so do our chances of survival.
Our ignorance of nature’s paradoxical ruling of freedom starts early. It is exemplified by how many children today are allowed to rule the parental household they joined after birth. Described politely as “lively” in some circles, many of these wild animals have been given the freedom to do whatever they want, eat whatever they feel like, pop medicine at the onset of fever, and boss their parents around with remarkable audacity, foul language to boot.
The modernity of such upbringing in unbridled freedom, most likely the antithesis of their parents’ own, ignores the less forgiving rules of nature. And school teachers, as the last and sometimes only straw to set unruly children straight, with the best intentions try to compensate for before nature applies its inevitable sickle.
Our ignorance of nature forgets how the scrubbing of veins caused by the foods children want to eat rather than should, causes devastating illnesses to surface later on in life. Ignorance ignores that a fever is a natural response by the human body to rid itself of unwanted bacteria, and dependence on self-medication causes inherent weakness, and applied over many generations causes attrition to the health of our species. Ignorance also forgets that success in life is mainly based on a capacity for empathy, rather than obnoxious defiance of a socially unacceptable stance.
So, while unbridled freedom applied to children sounds good, the ignorance of freedom’s paradox builds significant resistance to the ruling of nature. An opposition that gives these budding humans a considerable disadvantage later in life.
Pay attention, and you will notice how less “advanced” cultures generally raise their children with more respect for nature, as their quality of life is more directly dependent on their compliance with nature. An observation giving the adjective “advanced” whole new meaning.
In the words of famous Mexican dog-trainer Cesar Milan “the behavior of the dog is the responsibility of its owner,” so is the behavior of a child the responsibility of its parents. Freedom is imperative, yet it only builds lasting universal value once its paradox is achieved, not when the pursuit of ignorant and selfish short-term freedom prevails.
How we raise our children influences the systems they build to better their future. We are accountable not just for the evolution of our future, but also for our compliance with the systems of our past. Few of us dare to question the past and willfully submit to the other guiding principles as a “fait accompli”.
We shall not automatically submit to the rulings of our past. As generations before us may have devised normalizations that are wrong, are un-calibrated to our deepening discovery of the rule of nature, or have lost their redeeming value in the evolution of time.
Across a broad spectrum, here are some examples of our foundational constructs we unjustifiably allow to flourish:
Classical economics, from which a plethora of better-named versions is derived, is the improper measurement of the performance of our collective human household. Merely because the formulas that describe our performance in monetary terms are as irrelevant as the score in sports is a reliable indication of the quality of the game. Besides, we can prove its pivotal theorem of supply and demand is in blatant violation with principles that promote free-market mechanisms. And thus the dependence on classical economics is the improper proxy to model or project the performance of the real world.
Sustainability is a misnomer of immense popularity and broad adoption. For nature predicates nothing but itself is sustainable, and certain evolutions are at best renewable. No resource will exist forever, and therefore must be displaced by others. Meaning, death is natural, should not be avoided, and is a necessary revolution of evolution. Quite the opposite of the suggested longevity of sustainability.
The U.S. financial system is a hydrocephalus eleven times the size of production and in blatant violation of fundamental principles that perpetuate free-market mechanisms. As a result “investors” get away with cunning greater-fool economics, in which each investor amplifies the investment of their predecessors until the last in a chain of believers (destined to be the public as the most clueless investor) is confronted with valuations not living up to intrinsic values.
Financial asset management, the construct by which much of the monetary reserves of the public are re-invested, deploys a musical chair game of pancake economics. A rotating investment scheme reshuffling sizable financial assets based on the avoidance of risk, rather than a deliberate deployment of risk that yields socioeconomic value the public cares about. Impactful investment decisions with grandiose lack of imagination arise out of this dance, and we better hold our breath when the music stops.
Creating more millionaires may make for a better-looking graveyard, but when those riches are derived from greater-fool economics, will yield an unmerited redistribution of wealth, away from those who can and will create socioeconomic value to propel evolution. A structure that misappropriates its value has eroded the trust in money. Hence, wealth in-and-of-itself is a highly inaccurate economic prognosticator.
The care for our health starts with a healthy lifestyle, fueled by regular exercise and healthy foods. The ballooning cost of health care can never be curtailed by our multi-generational ignorance, which subsequently requires chronic intervention by doctors to correct. As my doctor friends freely admit: “a strong argument can be made our work is regressive to the evolution of mankind.” For our evolution is to become renewable with the most potent gene pool possible, and I am sorry to break it to you: not for each of us to live as long as possible.
The internet is a fantastic distribution mechanism for the world’s knowledge. We have since deployed wildly popular applications on top, perpetuating economic fallacies with dire long-term consequences. To name a few: Facebook now hosts the largest population (over 1.5 billion users) of oligarchical controlled socialism. Apple iTunes has gotten away with the most blatant of economic violations: price-fixing that commoditized the value of creative arts (I predicted a long time ago this model would not last). Twitter promotes a barking dog syndrome in which not outliers destined to reinvent the future find a voice, but me-too rationale prevails. We cannot and shall not entrust the development of the world to the economic ignorance of greedy investors and seedy entrepreneurs.
Stop the madness
The effectiveness of our society and the longevity of the human race is determined by how well we adhere to the undeniable rule of nature. A world dictated by economics, the rules of our collective household, the exploration of our unique capacities, and our equilibrium with nature.
If we want to see real economic recovery, we must reevaluate the world we created for ourselves. Not with new and endless sub-optimizations of a broken past, but a renewed application of economics that like our evolution, instills and reinvigorates a human behavior in compliance with the rule of nature.
Walt Disney realized early a fantasy world with one character could not survive. A reason why he called his world Disney World. Not Mickey Mouse World or Donald Duck World.
A family of curious outliers shapes the overall character of Disney World, a life-size mouse (Mickey) with large stomped feet, a duck (Donald) with a squeaky voice wearing a funny hat, a sloppy dog (Pluto) of unknown breed with a long thin tail, a flying baby elephant (Dumbo), among many others.
With the humanization of animals as the inescapable respect for nature, Walt impressed upon us a serious message: that a vibrant world consists of the appreciation of meaningful differences.
The economic fallacies in the world we created yield quite the opposite. We have created a fantasy world of growing mediocrity, fueled by the growing compliance with our stifling commonalities.
To reverse our declining fate, we must breathe new life in the character of the world we envision, using modern economics to free the merit of our differences. So someday soon, the world we want to escape to is the world in which we already live.