The most common form of State Dissonance is money. Money – in the form of promissory notes – is an explicit means of disintermediating trusted relationships. When I purchase something with money, I am saying that, for the consideration given, my relationship with you is over; my obligations to you are fully defeased. And in accepting money, the receiving party is equally divorcing any future obligation with a finality that says you have given all the consideration you need. Economists and social scientists alike have argued that this disintermediation is necessary because material, energy, or event State exchanges are inefficient. However, none of them have been able to address the erosion of community accountability and social values of citizenry impacted by this consensus behavior.
Say I have a gold mine. And, say, I want a chicken that you have so that I can have eggs every morning before I go to my gold mine. I could give you some gold in exchange for your chicken. But, if you didn’t have anything to do with the gold and you didn’t really care for gold, then we would potentially reach an impasse. I want something you have but all I have is something you don’t want. As a result, I have no means of engagement, the argument goes. So, the simplistic, linear, unimaginative mind concludes, ‘We must have a neutral surrogate (money) – which has no intrinsic value whatsoever – so that we both engage an exchange with efficiency.’
What I find most fascinating about the animation of a surrogate – in this case money – is that, we decouple things that we respectively do value and subordinate it to something with explicitly no value. And that’s deemed efficient.
Now remember, this ‘efficiency’ came from somewhere. And that somewhere was an unholy alliance between hierarchy and religion. The neutral surrogate of currency or promissory notes did not appear ex nihilo. No, it appeared for the purpose of financing conquests of the physical and the spiritual realm. And, quite conveniently, it became an efficient tool to use in the creation of taxation – an inefficiency imposed by hierarchy for disintermediation of social values like law & order, defense, and social security.
State Coherence is a condition in which matter, energy, or experience require no transformation for their utility or manifestation to achieve its purpose. In Part 1, we discussed the coconut which, at one point is calories for food, at one point is caloric heat for cooking, and at one point is fertilizer for, you guessed it, another coconut. When I need to move water to a field, I can place a wheel or turbine in the river and, using State Coherence, I can have the water move the water. If I wish to have fresh water on the coast of East New Britain in Papua New Guinea, I can use cold sea water passing through coils to condense water vapor from solar copra driers thereby collecting distilled, fresh water using cold salt water as my extraction medium.
I am intrigued by the number of environmental activists who run around the world in airplanes to whip out their laptops or iThingy's to project screen-fulls of information about what’s wrong with extractive industries. The State Dissonance of this behavior is deafening. What you’re telling me is that you will use Jet-A (jet fuel) which was pumped from the ground, refined at least 3 times; you will write your screed on your conflict metals-filled device; you will use electricity to project a gazillion watt bulb onto a synthetic screen; and, you’ll do all this to tell me that extractive industries are bad? I’m sorry, I was drowning in the State Dissonance hypocrisy so thoroughly I must have missed something.
One of the reasons we use Integral Accounting in our business and community ventures is because it provides a framework to understand State conditions. When I consider Commodity, for example, I find myself looking at all of the matter, energy or experience which exists in an ecosystem and, by explicitly identifying it, I consider what can be repurposed within State Coherence without requiring any State alteration. For example, if I want to start a not-for-profit activity and I know that to do that from scratch would require legal expenses, time, and custom and culture awareness; I can find existing, aligned or under-utilized non-profits and use them as a commodity by aligning my purpose with theirs. In this way, an artifact of Custom & Culture (in this example, a non-profit corporation), because of its presence in my ecosystem can be viewed and used as a Commodity and can obviate my need for two State creations (the definition of activities in Custom & Culture and the expenses – money – associated with the establishment thereof). By appreciating the State condition in which matter, energy or experience exists in my observation, I can strive to minimize the need to pass States through value surrogates thereby increasing efficiency and decreasing the need for intermediaries.
In a recent conversation with university students I was discussing the notion of entrepreneurship and was intrigued by the creativity each manifest in their ideas of how to build commercial and social endeavors. However, what was profoundly disturbing was the fact that not one of them had even contemplated the compulsive impulse for: a) the formation of a company; or, b) the financing of the same with monetary capital. Asked whether any considered using partnerships with affiliated, established organizations or assessing redundant resource capacity (office space, computers, sales networks, etc) of third parties to accelerate their efforts and minimize their novice risk, not one had done so. In other words, while creative in one dimension of State condition, no awareness was evidenced or even contemplated to evaluate the complete State ecosystem. While policy makers around the world lament the failure of ‘small business’, what none of them seem to consider is that what failed was never a business – merely in impulse starved from a sustaining ecosystem.
The more refinement or utility demand required to take matter, energy or experience from its native condition to the utilitarian purpose, the greater the State Dissonance. The more dependencies are implicit or explicit in the process thereof, the greater Phase Dissonance is either present (or at least latent) in the system.
Here in Charlottesville, famed architect school dean turned resource utilization pioneer Bill McDonough popularized the ‘cradle-to-cradle’ concept in everything from habitation to transport. Our work on State Coherence optimization – while fully embracing McDonough’s principles – encourages the extension of the concept into Phase State Coherence in which an ideal is the State Coherence persistence across multiple Phase applications. In its most crude form, a rock, remaining a rock, serves as paper weight, door-stop, counter-balance and river-crossing where Phase-inspired context is the only required alteration.
At the heart of Phase State consciousness, we see the value in intentional and explicit consideration of Phase and State where we can maximize utility while minimizing dissonance created by exchanges or transitive impulses which require surrogacy, intermediation, or consumption solely for the purpose of Phase or State alteration. Every kilowatt thought to be required to light a room or produce aluminum is considered and utilized only when such consumption is the only viable means of achieving an outcome. Every climate change conference agrees to select locations based on the minimum travel required to assemble people under shade of trees rather than air-conditioned conference centers in hot tropical resorts. Each public procurement begins by mandatory inclusion of public domain solutions wherever they already exist rather than paying proprietary premiums for faux innovation generated by willfully ignorant purveyors.
Should you or your organization wish to do so, our team has been working with a number of organizations to learn and experience the process of Phase and State consciousness. We’d be delighted to have you join us in this journey towards more constructive and harmonious endeavors.