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we should look at the twin foundation of humanity and the planet as reality-based sources of a new narrative.

a reality-based myth.  muy interesante indeed.  this starts to blur the distinction between myth and theory, the former traditionally associated with irrationalism and subjectivity, the latter associated with reason and objectivity.  perhaps this should be an explicit criterion of our myths, that they should be as empirical, consistent, and explicative as possible, in short, that we make our political myths as close to scientific theories as possible.  with the crucial caveat, however, that we emphatically acknowledge that our myths -- just like scientific theories -- are not the final Truth, that they are provisionary, dynamic, and evolving.

then what would the role be for values in such "scientific myths"/reality-based narratives?  if science is supposed to be objective, then wouldn't making our myths scientific rule out human values?  no.  because the objectivity of science deals with the quantities we measure; however, it is our value system (i.e. our interests, our perspectives, our assumptions) that determins what we measure and how we do so.  most importantly, our values are the only thing that by which we can say if a particular measurement is good or bad (e.g. participation rate of labor force, unemployment rate, percentage of unemployed persons in the population, GDP, body fat index, etc. are all things to be measured; but it is our values that assign relative importance and desirability/undesirability to each of these categories of measurements as well as to the range of measurable quantities within each category.)

We need to start at the bottom and define a new system of value and wealth, then articulate it into discrete elements and metrics.

discrete elements and metrics.  sounds like a plan.

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire

by marco on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 01:48:38 PM EST
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discrete elements and metrics.  sounds like a plan.

I was taking up these ideas :

It has to be built on different implicit values that can be reduced to simple and manageable concepts that are equivalent to today's 'growth' and 'unemployment' and 'productivity.' (...)
can progressive aims be reduced to metrics labelled with simple names for essential concepts like environmental health, sustainability, etc, that have the same sound-bite quality?

from ThatBritGuy's comment. Is it a plan? It would certainly involve structuring interconnected memes that would need easily graspable names.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 04:12:24 PM EST
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I agree very much.  I meant, Sounds like a good plan, a sound approach.  And I had the same response to ThatBritGuy's emphasis on discovering and defining the cencepts -- memes, as you put it -- to start building this myth/theoretic structure.  Perhaps these are the "elements" you refer to.  And I would agree that "metrics" are just as critical, as they introduce objectivity into our observations as to how well our myth/theory corresponds to our experience of reality.

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire
by marco on Sat Apr 15th, 2006 at 12:34:41 AM EST
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