the problems of layered systems that are out of pace

there’s a chapter in resilience (specifically page 244) that discusses what happens when systems that move at different paces intersect. i’m not totally sure what the implications are for me, my work, and the people around me, but it’s an interesting point to cover.

different types of systems at different scales operate at different paces. the book’s example: the pace of market transactions move much faster than than the time needed to recover nutrients in the soil on a particular plot of land. things can get really messy when systems are layered in ways that cause them to be out of sync. when the demands of a global food system require production at a pace that’s too high, the likelihood of the land being pushed past the point of recovering goes way up.

the situation can gets even messier when there are power imbalances between the different systems. expanding on the above point, global market systems move with the power and force of global corporations, while people who are in tune with the land and its needs tend to be individuals, small place-based communities, and indigenous people.

when people operating at these different levels are unable (or unwilling) to understand each other and everything in between, well… it’s problematic to say the least. and then, when things like capitalist market economies expand and become the dominant forces in places that had sustainable, functioning communities and make it impossible for them to turn back… fuck.

relevant resource:

writing: 12:14
spell-check, link-finding, & formatting: 6:26