Saturday, June 6, 2015

Newton's Apple

Things fall by their own weight!

Not sure where this came from but is a saying in Spanish that is used to mean that sooner of later the out-come will be based on what the in-come was. One harvest what one plants.
It's been a long time since I wrote in this blog but this morning reading the blog of my colleague Dr. Roger Martin about "America's Choice" reminded me of the need for more analysis on what the future will be.

Over the recent history of human kind economist have recurred to science as a fashionable resource, developing what modern economist call economic science. Within this discipline many words from physical science have been used, not only in a metaphoric way but, literally. Sometimes thinking that they are using the term as it's used in hard science. Think for instance in the word 'leverage' that comes from the noun lever. As Archimedes is quoted saying: "Give me a lever long enough and and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world". (Ref. Brainy Quotes.) Now modern economist using advanced mathematics can introduce a term for levering in the calculations of stock derivatives. The "leverage' term introduces ideas, feelings, and suppositions as to what the lever is in the value of stock, for example the geographic position of the resource relative to the geographic localization of the demanding industry. Feelings about the social stability of the region in which these resources are including the markets to which the products are targeted.

At the moment there are three main mega-trends governing the development of our society. And I mean our society to include the whole world.

1. First is the increasing demand for goods and services, not only population has been increasing at a fast rate but the 'per capita' demand has been increasing. This megatrend makes 'capital' be a universal commodity and one that will determine the way we relate. It doesn't matter if governments follow the Chinese model of 'state capitalism' or the US model of 'free capitalism', or some hybrid in between. Capital becomes a new kind of matter in physiconomy.

2. Second is the interconnectedness of our society. Not only economic globalization has been developing at an incredible fast rate, but information technology has allowed an extremely diverse set of societies to come to know each other and to be informed almost instantaneously of what is happening in remote (relative to the observer) places around the world. For example how long took the american public to learn about the success of the european nations' Rosetta spacecraft to 'land'  on a comet?  (For more information about Rosetta Mission click here.)

3. Third is the change that humans are causing to the environment. This change is very complex and affecting, not only the physical reality of our environment like climate but, the way we look at and understand nature itself. Please waring eye glasses, hearing aids, metallic/ceramic implants are not seen as un-natural anymore! While in the past cyborgs where considered not natural, today we see them walking among us (disclosure: I am one) every day.

These megatrends are unreductable (Reduct from algebra is to substract) therefore are general and without a doubt will guide the way society in general and regional in particular will develop. Recent books like "The World in 2015" by Laurence Smith or "The Human Age" by Diane Ackerman have articulated in an extended manner how these trends will shape things to come and in a way explain why and how things are now. Including the fact that north of parallel 45 things are booming all over the world, just have a look at what is going on in Siberia.

So the question I have now is: Are supposed to learn more physics in order to understand socio-political-economic issues?

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