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The pecking order might be actually weakly correlated to power to change society. This is very counter intuitive, because a pecking order is by definition an expression of power within society.

Put it this way: being atop the pecking order gives you the power to impede anyone to peck on you, but it also makes you the less credible source for a plea against pecking.

To grasp the full effect of this observation we have to extrapolate it away from birds, into our own society: If you are President, no one will believe you when you say that Presidentialism isn’t so great. But maybe the same holds true to any change to the lifestyle of your society. You have maximum power within society, but no way to change it.

Thus, i would say that rising in the Pecking Order is an energy-inefficient way to reform society.

This sugests a strategy to culture changes that is the opposite of the one usually employed. Instead of grab the power than change, it would be change and beware the power relations that this will stir. Weird, maybe, but not totally unprecedent: Jesus had some impact doing almost that.

Posted by Wordmobi


[This is a letter to Erin.]

I have never been to the US (somehow i seem to be unworthy of the high honour of stepping in this great country), but i imagine the culture gap that an american faces when he arrives in Latin America would be similar to the one existing between a big city and a rural zone inside the same Latin America, a gap i do know well.

This friend of mine tells me americans, despite living in a land of wealth, walk around unhappy, terribly bound to their unnecessary necessities, all the sorts of things they got used to even if in the long run it actually causes them to suffer and restricts their freedom.

So what happens is that South America can feel dull and soulless to South Americans too — and i would recommend anyone who thinks they’ve seen different to beware the tourist trap. There is meaning and richness in South America, but it is a personal achievement and quest, just as much as it is in North America, in Tibet or anywhere else (except Pasargada, of course).

There is no simple solution to the search for meaning. If any solution turns out to be simple it is invalid by definition. Meaning is not simple. If you simplify meaning you lose it. Read More »

#1. Do not change the world. Incremental changes always lead to the same old. Create anew.

#2. Do not think big. The true tools and values of any given society are not in its macrostructures, but instead in the day to day social affairs. Focus on the mechanics of living.

#3. Avoid transitions. They hide the false assumption that perfection will arrive some day. Turn fresh beginnings into a habit.

#4. Avoid values at all costs. All social movements led by values and morality derail into dogmatism. Base your actions into ideas that you can turn into metrics.

#5. Assume misunderstandings. Negotiation is not an exception, needed only in problem situations. Negotiations are the centre of society.

#6. Accept violence. Society is not a means to stop us from killing each other, but a better control mechanism for our killing abilities. Learn to use violence consciously.

#7. Be beautiful. Be strong. Be happy. YOU ARE THE WORLD.

I do know everybody else understood Norberto Chaves’ discourse differently. But let me try to show my own point of view.

I am talking about the third of Chaves’ presentations at the Encuentro Latinoamericano de Diseño 2007 of the Universidad de Palermo.

He said that our society is placing consumption in the place where love should be. He also said that mostly this is because when new technologies are created they do not have social norms to regulate them. Those norms must be developed by every kind of worker that deals with culture, which includes designers. But even if i did agree with his analysis, i do not agree with the moral judgment he turns it into »