Haven't we learned yet? LO6161

Andrew Moreno (amoreno@broken.ranch.org)
Thu, 21 Mar 1996 20:11:01 -0800 (PST)

Replying to LO6150 --

On Thu, 21 Mar 1996 BIRRED@dnr.state.wi.us wrote:
> 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?

> 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.

I think it's important to distinguish between means and ends. Increased
well being and living standards for people worldwide is an end.
Industrialization or initiatives to foster double-loop learning is a means
to that end.

> Before we go trying
> to fix things for other people, let's first look at the impact of the
> fix.

Well, if they are capable of generating double-loop learning, they can
look at the impact of any means - fixes - themselves.

> 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.

I think this viewpoint is similar to those of Donella Meadows in "Limits
to Growth" and some of Jay Forrester's work - The Club of Rome.

I think that there are ways to circumvent "limits to growth" based on
increased capabilities through new technology.

Basically, a "limit to growth" or "system archetype" is also known as a
"double bind" [see Gregory Bateson's Double Bind Theory of

Andrew Moreno


Andrew Moreno <amoreno@broken.ranch.org>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>