Haven't we learned yet? LO6150

Dave Birren, MB-5, 608-267-2442 (BIRRED@dnr.state.wi.us)
Thu, 21 Mar 1996 09:12 CST

Replying to Andrew Moreno in What are organizations for? LO6142:

Andrew commented on the following statement:

"Now where's the limit to growth? There must be one lurking out there and more
to the point how to we break out of the pattern?"

>I've been waiting for someone to say this because I've been wondering
>about this myself.
>Breaking out of the pattern assumes that the pattern will be there. I
>think we should focus on what we want.
> ____
>One goal is to increase living standards and well being for people

He went on to talk about double-loop learning, and I have no comment on
that. But I have a grave concern about the ideal that we should try to
raise living standards for other people around the world. Have we learned
nothing from industrialization? I urge anyone - everyone - to read
_Ishmael_ by Daniel Quinn.

The first thing to know about learning is that we start from a base of
ignorance. And we are incredibly, insistently, deliberately ignorant
about the effects of "progress" on natural systems. Before we go trying
to fix things for other people, let's first look at the impact of the fix.
We might see that what we call human poverty and misery might be (1)
better than destruction of the entire ecosphere and (2) our own fault.



David E. Birren Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources birred@dnr.state.wi.us Phone 608-267-2442 Fax 608-267-3579

* ** *** There is no excuse for being uncivilized. ( D.H.Birren) *** ** *

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