Building a Mature Economy

Written by Bjork on February 25th, 2009

Andrew Bjork

After reading Tropical Nature, I too was caught up in the wonderful world of the Amazonian rainforest.  Just the thought of all that variety of life and lush undergrowth makes the biologist and tree hugger in me come right out.  However, I realized that the forest, even with all it appeal and promise of adventure, isn’t exactly a nice man’s world.  There are mosquitoes waiting to lay eggs in your scalp, hords of army ants on the prowl, and the birds are so self-serving as to push the other birds’ youngsters right out of the nest.  Can we really compare this kind of world to our civilized human world? 

I think we can, if only to compare and if we are willing to learn.  There is a interesting line in the book that reads, “Adaptation is not a simple matter of efficiency.  All is compromise.”  I mention compromise, because I see it as a basis upon which we live.   Mr. Merriam-Webster defines compromise as a settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concession, or as the blending of qualities of two different things.  We self-interested humans are much like the plants and animals of the Amazon and we use compromise to reach an end.  We use others to reach our end, and often that benefits us both.

Where improvement can occur is in how we adapt.  Animals adapt to their surroundings, and so do we.  Only that sometimes as individuals or businesses we get so caught up with how we want to do things.  We have certain needs or wants, and we want to achieve those in our own way, which isn’t always the best way.  If we can learn to adapt better to others and meet their needs, while achieving our ends, we will all be that much closer to the ideal.


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