Food for thought

  The motif of a line graph sprouting twigs and leaves on the DVD intro to A Good Year appeals to a remarkable analogy a favorite author of mine made between ecology and economics. Urban planning visionary Jane Jacobs distilled some of her thinking on economic systems into a Socratic dialogue she calls The Nature of Economies, in which the protagonist takes behaviorist economic theory to the next level and proposes sustainability models instead of individualist ones, arguing that biomimicry teaches balance, interdependence and cooperation as well as competition and hierarchy. I think if you liked the ideas in the movie, you’d like this book, too. Jacobs would get the connections between success and comedy, growth and harmony, patience and timeliness. She would probably be able to explain them. She can certainly elaborate on how much more fertile failure is than success.

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