Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Jane Jacobs on Economics

In his talk to the Long Now, Spencer Beebe cites Jane Jacob's The Nature of Economies. Jane argues (in my paraphrase):
that the economy is just a subsystem of the larger Earth's ecosystem. As such it abides by nature's laws, which constrain how economies behave. The extent to which we put our economy in harmony with the larger ecosystem, the better the economy will behave and be sustained. The Earth's ecosystem--including the economic subsystem--is a complex adaptive system which cannot be commanded or controlled, but defines itself and re-creates itself as it continues. No development is isolated. All development is co-development. No development is linear. All development is a web. The more we adjust our economy to these principles, the better off we will be.

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