Saturday, January 31, 2015

A simplistic take on systems thinking...

When life was simple, making a living was about farming or hunting the nature for your own needs and building from what was available, your own shelter. If you had surplus you bartered it in the local market for things you did not have and needed to have. 

As social structures matured and life got slightly less simpler making a living  was not just about farming or hunting your own food, building from what was locally available, your own shelter. Inevitably since you did not spend too much time worrying about predators and prey, you grew quite a few things in surplus and bartered them for few other things you did not have at all. 

System of bartering had its own problems. If you had surplus of apples that grew in winter and needed to barter them for oranges in summer you had to keep accounts with the person who grew oranges in summer in exchange of the apples in winter.  It became even more complex if you had to keep accounts with several people with whom you bartered your apples in winter in anticipation of the oranges in summer.

So then currency or money was born. Initially it was not meant to be confused with wealth or happiness . To put it simply, you got a written note ( or a coin)  that promised you a certain value worth for your oranges in exchange for all the apples that you gave away as surplus in the winter.

Very quickly mankind realized that life was’nt all apples and oranges.  
You needed to barter all the time. You needed rice, wheat, oil, vegetables, meat, wood, fuel, bread, pizzas, burgers, chocolates,  clothes, condomns,  cereals,  soap, washing machines, BMW, blood pressure pills, iphone, laptop  electricity and internet connectivity to live a reasonably fulfilled life.

We realized  we could not produce all of this all by ourselves. 
So we began to specialize.

Some specialized in producing apples, while some went about selling apples.
Soon some began to brand the apples while others continued producing the apples.

The someone patented the apple and prohibited others from producing the apple.

Then everyone who wanted to buy apple, had no choice but to pay up the guy who patented the apple and ended up paying much more for the apple.

It all became too complicated to explain to the poor farmer who actually produced apples.  Thankfully the tree and the land that actually produced the apple never asked for an explanation.  

In the meanwhile inorder to make the process of ‘making a living’ more organized people got together and formed farmers cooperatives, then they formed banks, then came cashiers, then cash machines, loans, credit cards, mortgages, builders, hedge funds, exchange rates, trade agreements, governments, derivatives, globalization, depression, recession, subprime crisis.

Also global warming.

But that is besides the point.  

Meanwhile  those poor guys who were producing the apples started to commit suicide. 

But that is also besides the point. 

Or is it ??? be continued.  

1 comment:

  1. Like the accompanying pictures.
    Bartering had some simplicity and need based trading.


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