Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Security and Knowledge are Competing Challenges

Why are the competing challenges of personal security, vs. knowledge acquisition, important from an equilibrium design perspective? For the most part, societies take for granted that successful individuals expect to strive for both. In particular, it's important to commit to knowledge acquisition in the form of human capital investment, to also make financial security a more likely economic outcome.

However, the extent to which security and knowledge are both actively pursued, depends in part on the opportunities that are already available to us when we're young. Consequently, hard choices sometimes have to be made, between the pursuit of intellectual challenges and sources of security. Further, the monetary compensation of knowledge work has increasingly taken divergent paths, which means not all knowledge endeavour compensation is well aligned with the expectations of today's real estate formation and related financial structure. A well designed equilibrium structure, would need to encourage ongoing knowledge challenges, without completely compromising security needs.

Even though a defined equilibrium wouldn't assign full monetary compensation for the pursuit of knowledge challenges, an equilibrium corporate structure would build a greater degree of asset security into the system at the outset, by aligning infrastructure and local asset generation with time value. Small groups in particular, would not only benefit from flexible infrastructure and building components which can be changed as needed, but which simplify the process of combining security and intellectual challenges as mutually held goals.

Closely related to these mutually held life challenges, is the desire to explore the world which lies beyond our own immediate environments. Many individuals often wait to explore such realms until the challenges of human capital investment which lead to financial security, have already been secured. However, in part because this approach to life challenges has become less certain, some now choose the third option of exploration while they are still quite young. Indeed: Doing so can be a rational choice, since exploration may hold the greatest personal meaning while we still have sufficient physical stamina to enjoy such adventures.

Equilibrium design would take these important elements of life, into account. Since each group would be relatively small, these individuals would seek to provide additional meaning for single elements of these life challenges. As a result, knowledge centered communities would take on unique qualities which make equilibrium design more important as components of different life cycles, rather than a single "concrete" destination in which to to experience life's changes.

One problem with either/or decision making processes for knowledge versus security, in the present: When we "abandon" the pursuit of knowledge for reasons of personal security, the impulse to return to intellectual challenges may resurface, at various life junctures. However, as we age, it can become increasingly difficult to pursue intellectual challenges as a human capital investment strategy, since many forms of experiential knowledge don't readily contribute to personal security. Some of the most important aspects of intellectual challenge, only become obvious after we gain sufficient life experience beyond the "sheltered" or otherwise limited circumstance of our early years.

Equilibrium design could also prove important for those who would like to migrate, but are increasingly limited in their options. All the more so, as nations limit immigrants during the present struggle with compensatory limits for today's knowledge use patterns. One only need consider, who has the greatest incentive to migrate: Those in search of greater opportunity. Perhaps one reason charter cities didn't gain traction in the past decade, is that they were frequently suggested as migration options for individuals who already held secure economic positions in society. By far one of the most important elements of equilibrium design, is that it provide real challenges and opportunities for those who continue to seek them.

Too much focus on "alternative" as extreme political reaction, encouraged me to shift my explanation of equilibrium possibility. It's also important to note the difference between design and planning. One can say that any corporate structure has design elements which diverge from planning. How so? Corporate structure creates internal patterns for individuals and specific resource capacity. This is quite different from "planning", in which policy too often takes place which expects a full range of external or divergent resource capacity, to somehow realign in response. Often, amidst the rational explanations that planning does not work, it's easy to miss the extent to which internal resource design capacity, could improve economic outcomes. Design makes it possible to envision new economic paths for participation and inclusion, which do not yet exist.

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