2012/03/30 EWG Meeting minutes

Economics’s Docs 2012/03/30 EWG Meeting minutes

1. Meeting minutes 26th March 2012 – approved. No EWG meeting on Good Friday or Easter
Monday (6th and 9th April).
2. Banking – need to focus on what brought us together originally. Marshall our resources.
Road map was originally planned for Monday but people need time to explore in
preparation. Limit our ambitions to match time availability and resources. Revised
timetable will be circulated by Tim and road-map deferred to a week on Friday (13th April).
We need to move forward on the banking campaign plus undertake a drains up analysis of
banking and monetary system. Dave will circulate the previous analysis (15 page). Housing
proposal due to go to GA – agreed to use OLSX media team to promote to press etc.
Saturday 12th May occupy showcase day; EWG need to have something prepared – road
map session should focus on this as an objective.
3. Finsbury Square – dialogue is progressing. Statement has forced people to reassess their
participation in occupy. Although there are signs of reinvigorated commitment by some at
FS, there remains some scepticism as to whether the problems will be resolved permanently.
Polarisation between those that see occupation of physical space as vital and those who see
occupy as an idea. Similarly, activism versus social safety net for the vulnerable. “Occupy is
a tender plant with all the birds building their nests on it – risks killing it.” There is a planned
police initiative to the clear streets of the unhoused in advance of Jubilee/Olympics. Occupy
can play a political role in highlighting issues of homelessness and social deprivation.
Occupiers at FS (even those with problems) lend critical mass and weight to occupy; we
owe it to them to help support them (those that are willing and able to do so). Situation is
complex but those with a will to address the problems of the vulnerable are doing valuable
work. Those more interested in the political or cerebral aspects of Occupy are free to focus
on their main interest.
4. Problem solving – Politics is dialogue with those we don’t agree with. Ideas circulated by
Tim on problem solving methodology. Economic theory on prices being a free market
phenomenon is not true; prices are connected to power – always. Economics derived from
physics/mathematics? To ignore the root causes of problems is to hack at the branches –
ultimately ineffective. “Nest” of the fire is where fireman concentrates the hose to put out
the fire, not the flames. Define evil? Doing harm knowingly. For every 1000 hacking at the
branches, only one attacking the roots. Comparing different methods of analysis. Root
causes – human nature – structure /systems need to be considered in parallel. Handbook of
ideas. Is root cause analysis the right approach? Should we look for incremental solutions a
la software? We need to be sensitive to how we’re arguing. We’re not reflexive enough.
David Bourne “slowing down the thinking process” – not a luxury we can afford. Need to
resolve issues to find the essence of the differences rather than arguing about derivative
abstractions. Need to examine specific things – put numbers to things. 99% is how many?
To clarify issues – general semantics. Intelligent analysis corrupted by management
consultants. Forest of abstractions. The map is not the territory. The secret of consensus:
There can be no disagreements only misunderstandings. We are all looking at the same
universe, in the end we must agree. Alfred Korzybski. Can only agree if we have clarity of
information uncontaminated by powerful vested interests. Four stages: forming, storming,
norming and performing. Plethora of tools for problem solving available. Brainstorming –
research has shown writing down ideas more productive. Different ways of brainstorming.
PostIts to collect brainstorming ideas. Einstein, Liam Hudson. What is the question? Gordon
Pask? Finding solutions from elsewhere. 10,000 hours to master a topic. Learn best when
uncomfortable and out of one’s depth. Conjunction of events, chance factor/responsiveness
to those factors. Serendipity appears to the prepared mind. Dan Pink – Drive (RSA talk on
monetary reward not being an effective driver for creativity). Ken Robertson – Educational
paradigms RSA Animate. Banker motivated by salary because it demonstrates value
referenced to his/her peers. Set of rewards beyond money. Occupy needs to create feeling of
well-being , love and adequacy. Eleanor Ostrom – contribute to the commons. Problem
solving – convert materialism into social awareness. Sometimes one instinctively knows the
answer. Why can’t a mouse be the size of an elephant? Cube leg strength required for
squared value for weight. Intuitive awareness. Various sources of problem solving ideas:
The Five Day Course in Thinking – Edward de Bono; Start Thinking – Jack Cohen &
Graham Medley; How to Solve It – G Polya; Confrontation Analysis – Nigel Howard.
Occupy St Paul’s always referred to as “the camp”. Need to be less theoretical and manifest
occupy physically at FS. Brainstorming is all very well but how many of us have been on a
farm and seen a cat catching the mouse which is its only source of food? We should get
down to FS Tent City University for Jasper 1pm next Tuesday on Usury. Focus on keeping
FS a success. Promote the excellent Occupy Times as the alternative to spin in the
mainstream media corrupting the narrative. Necessity is the mother of invention. If you’ve
got leisure time you’ll experiment creatively. One way to solve a problem is to give it to
somebody else. Mind/Body problem? Reconcile matter and consciousness. The act of
observation affects what is observed. The cult of the fact, we can’t see the facts? Why do we
have theory of economics and who does it serve? Why do people seek order and control.
Survival? We look for symmetry. It goes way beyond that – confrontation of awareness.
…..to be continued on Monday 2nd April 2012

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