A Conceptual Framework For The TEFLON Topic

Sat, 20 Sep 1997 19:56:13 -0400 (EDT)

Dear Associates on list extropians,

The following note will introduce a topic that has held my interest since I
was first introduced to it in 1953 as the Marketing Engineer on a project to
develop a new automatic dispatching system (ADS) for the electric power
industry. The successful prototype system dispatched only nine power plants
owned by a single corporation operating in an interconnected power system of
many power companies, and the new ADS product was eventually applied on all
of the many power companies in the interconnected system. That was an easy
sale, because the theory and practice of operating interconnected sovereign
power companies with a minimum fuel input to the whole system, that is, at an
optimum dispatch as limited by safety and system stability considerations,
was fully developed in the 1930's and '40's and known to all operating
companies in the interconnection. But in the social sciences there is no
generally accepted theory, and the practice of law makers is "smash and grab"
without regard to the nature and life-cycle of the productive human assets
which constitute our social systems. I am not saying that human beings are
are as simple as power plants, but I believe that the analytical methods of
the physical sciences have a vital role to play in the social sciences, if
the powers that be will allow it.

Your response to this note, if any, will determine if the TEFLON TOPIC should

Best wishes for the success of the debate,


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Subj.: A Conceptual Framework For The TEFLON Topic
Date: 97-08-20 16:27:56 EDT
From: WesBurt
Dear Masters of All Natural, Capital, and Human Assets:

In my note of 97-08-09 to all concerned lurkers on the internet, I misspoke
when I wrote: "This TRANSPARENT or TEFLON topic consists of two parts, (1) a
Macro view of society as a WHOLE, and, (2) a Micro view of any one person of
any possible age or condition within that society."

For practical purposes the topic must consist of two Macro models as
described in my note of 97-08-09, or four parts, in order to establish a
conceptual framework capable of representing "society as a WHOLE." This is
because every society, from a self-sufficient village to the world economy,
consists of the same three components, that is: (1) a population of people,
(2) their environment and accumulated physical assets, and (3) the continuous
flow of physical goods and services which are produced, saved, invested,
wasted, or consumed by the particular society in question.

One Macro model measures, describes, and locates the net output of the
environment and accumulated physical assets of the society within the
conceptual framework. A second Macro model measures, describes, and locates
the net output (or consumption) of each member of the society within the
conceptual framework. While the third component, the continuous flow of
physical goods and services which we call the Gross National Product (GNP),
flows through both Macro models to make the conceptual framework a single
system that comprehends everything this side of the continuous energy input
which the earth receives from the sun.

Notice that the only purposeful actors in this framework are the members of
society, and they have been acting ever since time was first invented, so the
whole earth framework that we are looking at is the final result of all
previous HUMAN ACTION, as von Mises put it, and presently includes a
population of 4+ billion people, a present GNP of about $4,000/year per
person, and a vast accumulation of wealth in the form of public
infrastructure and personal property. But, when the framework is moved below
the level of the whole earth to focus on one nation at a time in our
laboratory of nations, the World Bank reports an astonishing, indeed an
obscene, range of GNP/capita in a world society that is supposed to be bound
together by a world-wide communication network.

Taking World Bank figures for 1994 in order of increasing GNP/capita we find
Ethiopia at $130/year/capita, Haiti at 220, the Russian Federation at 2,650,
Mexico near the world average at 4,010, Ireland at 13,630, the U.K. at
18,410, Germany at 25,580, the U.S. at 25,860, Japan at 34,630, Switzerland
at 37,180, and Luxembourg at $39,850/year/capita. An unbiased observer could
not help but conclude that our vaunted world-wide communications system has
been used more often to obstruct, than to facilitate, the diffusion of
knowledge among the peoples of the earth. He might also wonder about the
sorry condition of the less fortunate Ethiopians if the Ethiopian national
average is only $130/year/capita, and about the future condition of Americans
who seem oblivious of the fact that their output/capita was 171% of Swiss
output/capita in 1949 and is now only 70% of Swiss in 1994. Is this what
Charles Murray was thinking about when he wrote LOSING GROUND and THE BELL

Speaking of the diffusion of knowledge among the peoples of the earth, we
read in Etienne Gilson's condensation of the original Forward to Saint
Augustine's THE CITY OF GOD:

"ONE WORLD is impossible without ONE GOD and ONE CHURCH. In this truth
lies the ever timely message conveyed to man by St. Augustine's CITY OF GOD."

After fifteen centuries of failing to realize any of Saint Augustine's three
worthy objectives, the public needs to be informed about the original and
most essential requirement for achieving those objectives. That requirement
is to promulgate a complete statement of the ONE LAW, a statement which makes
one God, one World, and one Church technically credible. Alexander the great
knew of, but did not live long enough to implement, that original and most
essential requirement. The status-quo has been perpetuated for an additional
twenty-three centuries because an incomplete knowledge and an incomplete
application of the natural laws have financially favored the gay, lesbian,
single, celibate, elderly, and wealthy households while retarding the
financial development of every young dumb parenting family. This whole
process of perpetual injustice has been self-sustaining since Holy Scripture
promulgated the Decalogue containing 5/6ths of the Law in the Book of Exodus
without connecting the Decalogue to the Three Tithes of Moses which contained
the other 2/6ths of the Law in the Book of Numbers. As the young parents
grow old, they insist that the following generations must suffer the same
retarding effects which they suffered under an incomplete version of the Law.
The elderly say, "It will strengthen their children's character, make them
as virtuous as we are, and keep them from becoming more successful than we

The ultimate question about the utility of a technically valid conceptual
framework for an industrial society seems to be this: Will it enable the
elderly (George Soros, George Bush, Peter G. Peterson, and David Rockefeller)
to embrace both parts of the ONE LAW when formulating public policy? Or,
will we continue to apply the whole Law to our capital assets and only 5/6th
of the Law to our human assets?

Let's hear that sparkling dialogue from the Lurkers,

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