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Page history last edited by Michael J 12 years, 10 months ago

A High Level Schematic Model of Communication Ecology


Input---->Transformation---->Output---->Stress Reduction----->Wealth


Stress on living systems often occur when outcomes of high scale systems create new externalities for systems at lower levels.


As the cost of information gets cheaper and more accessible, the number and diversity of inputs increase dramatically.

An unintended consquence of the growth of this accessible information infrastructure, is the lessening of the power of formal agencies of transformation. This is putting stress on any organization that grew in an environment of expensive information. Included in this category are large formal business organizations, universities and formal education organizational institutions. Perhaps the stress on public organizations - specifically government - has been most far reaching.


As happens when information infrastructures undergo radical change, it unleashes a period of creative destruction and a period of disruption of legacy power centers. The cost of global collaboration among symbolic analysts - Robert Reich's term for workers that manipulate symbols - is quickly becoming negligible. While the organizational challenges remain, it seems that it is merely a matter of time for those forms to catch up with the new possibilities.


Once the cost of moving physical output decreases rapidly, the number of potential sites of output creation increases dramatically.

While much focus is on the ability for symbolic objects to move around the globe almost instaneously, as important is the lower cost of moving physical objects.

The invention of containerization that emerged in the mid 80's has now led to an infrastructure in which the costs of transoceanic transportation is competitive with in country local distribution.


As the cost of energy is increasing, a different series of stresses are now in place.

Starting with the establishment of OPEC, the power centers controlling energy have undergone radical changes in the last ten years. The legacy seven sister oil conglomerates have no been supplemented by national oil companies. As global trade has increased, the power of those who control resources - both energy or otherwise has increased. This puts the legacy power centers into a system of new externalities.


With increased inputs and easier distribution of outputs, the number of centers of transformation greatly increases

Innovations have always been the result of intentional activity by small groups or individuals. The history of invention and scientific breakthroughs should confirm this assessment. The lower cost of inputs and outputs, have given this activity a new capability to grow into scalable solutions.


The essential enabler of innovation has always been the passionate individual or small group that is not trapped by legacy perspectives, have access to various perspectives and inputs, and are driven to resolve stress in their local system.


Recommendations for Policy Makers

Implement local infrastructure and incentives that leverage these ongoing developments. The particular decisions depend on an empirical investigation of specific space/times, energy and intentions of specific communities.

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