Syndesics

Take a look around you. The routine of your life has probably coalesced into an arrangement of things – a computer or phone, a mug of tea, a table, a home. These are the things which make up your life. What defines any of them is not only what they are, but what they are made of. They are, themselves, a series of connections between created objects and molecules that make up your world.

What connects them all together in this moment is you.

While humans tend to see the world as a collection of things, what makes those things what they are, and indeed makes them at all, is how they are connected. What makes you is how you are connected as well – to these things, to other people, and to ideas which inform how you perceived them.

All anything is in this world, from the corporeal to the conceptual, is a series of connections.

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Answers or Questions?

It’s been a tough week.  We survived -22F temperatures in Minnesota, but still have to go about making a living.  I’m beat.  So please enjoy this repeat from 2010 that I think it still relevant.  Thanks!

A complex world where we have just about any information we want at our fingertips isn’t a world that’s limited by the answers.  It’s limited by our ability to ask the right questions.  That may sound like more sophistry from a wannabe mystic, in case you’re getting tired of my schtick.  But if journalism is about connecting people to their world it seems that the ways it is changing are directly related to the size of the world that people have the ability to connect to.  That might best be handled by changing the entire approach to news.

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Restructuring, Revisited

How is that economic recovery going?  It may not feel like much, given that it’s progressing far more slowly and cautiously than after any other postwar recession.  One of the themes we’ve been discussing for over four years is that given that the downturn was of a different kind, the upswing will be different as well.  The term offered was “restructuring”, meaning that the economy we’re evolving towards is going to be very different from the one that spent the 2000s sputtering and failing.  That takes time and effort.

The term is starting to catch on outside of Barataria as investors find opportunity in the new industries that are going to grow and prosper in this new world.  That’s great progress.  But as we’ve noted many times, the real restructuring takes a broader social, political, and legal reformation and agreement that has been woefully slow to develop.  Enter Niall Ferguson, a Harvard History Prof and conservative bad boy to offer some new ways of looking at the growing malaise in the developed world in his forthcoming book, “The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die.”  His points are worth discussing, especially on the left, because they offer some new perspective and potentially more fruitful debates than we’ve been having so far.

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