KEW Episode 58: Fix the Broken System

In this episode I cover two main points:

  1. Millions of people have no interest in the Are vs Should Problem because they can’t meet their basic human needs for things like food, clean water, and safe shelter.
  2. These problems can only be fixed if we live more in the Are and less in the Should.

There are no two ways about it, I believe that we need to be more Are, and less Should. I am even starting to believe that the world’s biggest problems can only be solved by people who realize their full ‘Are’ potential. It seems imperative that we learn to develop our Are potential and to shun the Shoulds. Being in our Ares is what is going to fuel the creativity necessary to move forward as a species and solve our most pressing issues.

And, sure, some people already live more in their Are who have invented awesome things like rocket ships an iPhones, but many of these amazing inventions don’t mean much to a lot of people on Earth. I think much of the industrialization and consumerism we see today is fueled by the Should and not the Are.

Similarly, many people do not have the food, water, and shelter necessary to even ponder the Are vs Should Problem. I realize my white privilege is what allows me to even ask whether I am the person I AM or the person I feel like I SHOULD BE. I get that. Not everyone has that luxury. But we all deserve it. We’re all born to be who we Are, but our circumstances and opportunities available dictate whether we have luxury time to ponder such things. And the solutions to these food, water, and shelter problems is going to be found by someones’ (or many someone’s) Are.

Every person on earth deserves to have their needs met. We deserve to have food, clean water, safety, community, and all of the other basic needs. We also deserve to wonder and to be curious. We deserve to have the choice about whether we thrive or survive. We deserve the chance to be who we Are.

So I feel a sense of urgency around the Are vs Should Problem. We need more of us to think. To learn. To create. To figure out. But to do these things we need to allow ourselves to bIf more of us learned how to minimize the Shoulds, we would make more discoveries, invent more useful items, and more quickly solve the world’s most pressing problems.

Obviously this means that we, as individuals, need to work on this – and I promise, I will develop a “how-to” in the not-too-distant future, but we also need to pave the way for everyone else.

Think about it. We can put people on the moon. Entrepreneurs go to ‘space’ for fun. Most of us have the internet in our pockets. Don’t tell me we can’t figure out how to take care of each other. To give each other the opportunity to be who we Are.

Full podcast audio download here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/9012436-kew-episode-58-fix-the-broken-system.mp3?download=true

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Full YouTube video on my YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/czX5R-FPwTA

Preview KEW Episode 58: Fix the Broken System

Twenty years of training and working as an Ecologist and Evolutionary Biologist means I see everything as a system of interacting parts. I really can’t see the trees for the forest. When I look at a part, I see the system to which it belongs. It’s a curse.

An example is when I worked for a state environmental agency. I absolutely needed my manager to explain to me how my position fit in to the larger system (the agency). I needed to understand how the system worked, at least on a cursory level, to really understand what my job was. Even at one of my first jobs delivering pizza, it wasn’t until I had participated in the whole life cycle of phone order to ticket to cooking to delivery to balancing the drawer at the end of the night that the whole thing made sense and that I had a sense of purpose.

In the context of the Are vs. Should problem, the ‘system’ (and this could be many things, but here I mean American capitalism as an example) is waaaay to skewed toward the Should to the point that the Ares are steadily losing value. In this scenario, it becomes extra difficult to develop our Ares when the deck is stacked against it.

But more than that, the global system leaves too many people unable to even ponder the Are vs Should Problem. If you don’t have enough food, shelter, and medicine to keep you safe and healthy, you have no need to ponder life’s more philosophical problems. You care not for the Should nor the Are, as you are too busy trying not to die. This, I suggest, is a problem with the system that can potentially be solved by getting everyone more in their Are.

In other words, we need to look upstream at how the larger system works, and how it impedes our progress, to make it possible for us to change.

Full Episode this Friday right here at KEW http://www.chrisburcher.com

KEW Episode 39: The Growth Fallacy

With respect to economics, people often say that you have to grow to stay in business. I heard this a lot when I tried to run my business at a static level of production (i.e., no growth). I found that we actually HAD MORE MONEY left over when we controlled expenses and held production at the level of demand. I discovered that we spent so much money on growth that we were more profitable when we didn’t have those line items. Imagine that!

So it bugs me when people adhere to that mantra: Grow or Die! It not only doesn’t make sense, it can be detrimental.

Take human population size. The more people, the more resources are consumed, and the more damage is done to our home. Now, we could certainly do this differently, but there is a concept called Carrying Capacity that says any population in a given area can only be as large as the resources available to support it.

So growth can be bad.

Now, I’m only talking about growth that consumes resources here. Personal growth. Learning. Musical ability. There are many types of growth that are healthy and, I believe, essential to humanity. But when considering consumptive growth, we absolutely have to start accounting for true resource use – after all, accounting is a critical part of business, right? And I argue that we have done some pretty poor accounting when it comes to big business and the environment.

Podcast download: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/7398811-kew-episode-39-the-growth-fallacy.mp3?blob_id=32331385&download=true

Or, I’m on most of the podcast servers like Stitcher or Apple Podcasts.

YouTube video link: https://youtu.be/n2rGWiVQx3c

FLASHBACK! KEW Episode 17: S.U.C.K. in the U.S.A.

In this Episode I discussed what I think is ‘wrong’ with living in the US as of late 2020. This isn’t a rant against political parties or an attempt to argue for a particular political position. Rather, I question some of the basic beliefs we have about how our ‘system’ works. Why do we make the decisions we make? Why do we accept that ‘government is inefficient’ or that ‘capitalism is the best economic system’?

I guess I just tire of the ‘you can’t turn a battleship’ argument that says we can’t change anything because it’s ‘too hard’ or ‘unfair’ or that ‘if we switch from coal to solar all the miners will lose their jobs’. I’m tired of the cop outs and would much prefer pushing our collective comfort zones toward change rather than believing that the ‘same old, same old’ is going to produce different results.

Link to preview here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=718755388826234

(hopefully facebook won’t prevent me from posting this, given the title 🙂 )

Link to full Episode post here: https://chrisburcher.com/2020/08/14/kew-episode-17-s-u-c-k-in-the-u-s-a/