Rol Fessenden wrote:
> As individuals we WANT stability, but I do not know that we a) NEED it, or
> b) would be healthy within it. Stability is stagnant, and much closer to
> death or strangulation than the actual world we live in. instability is
> anxiety-producing, but I am not at all convinced it is bad.
With all due respect, stability does not equal stagnation. A "stable"
system implies a healthy system, not an unhealthy one. A "stable water
system may be envisioned as one with fresh rain water falling on high
mountains as rainfall or snow, which descends to levels where people may
utilize it for their own purposes. A healthy ecosystem is not a stagnant
one, but IS a stable one, supporting many forms of live. It is not
necessarily a festering pool of dead fish or other organisms.
Another example of a stable system is the human body. With all its
frailties, a "stagnant" body would imply that it is either sick now or
will be soon. The atoms which make up the body are better off (and we are
too) if they are "stable", and not in an "unstable" condition. Perhaps
your choice of words might be amended a bit?
I agree as individuals we want stability, and for the most part we do see
it in our daily lives. When we DON'T see it is when we react to the stock
market crashing by jumping out a window, have a heart attack from stress,
begin a revolution whose PURPOSE is to achieve some balance and stability.
>From our (the US) perspective we can define many things in our own terms,
neglecting the rest of the world. In Africa, for instance, life doesn't
have all he amenities we might take for granted, but it has stability. But
that stability is not guaranteed. The Anasazi (ancient ones) in the
Southwest were "stable" for hundreds of years until a prolonged drought
forced them to leave their lands.
History is replete with examples of systems and civilizations which were
stable. Did they become stagnant because of the stability in the system?
I don't think so. Did they become stagnant due to other factors?
I would take issue with the idea that instabliity is
anxiety-producing...but not necessarily bad. To lose your balance
momentarily is not such a big thing, but if the wheels on your car have
lost the tie rods you are in real trouble. We are always looking for
CONTROL in our lives so that we can plan with some assurance, but we don't
always have it.
Fortunately people are quite flexible so we can adapt to unforseen
circumstances, under the notion that the ONLY constant IS change. As
Deming pointed out, a system NEEDS to be stable in order to see what the
aberrations are. At that point they might be able to be "corrected". But
it does not mean that the system is "close to death or strangulation".
Even in complexity and chaos theory...there is balance of a kind.
Regards, John Constantine Rainbird Management Consulting Santa Fe, NM http://www.trail.com/~rainbird
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