Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Metaphor of Sand and the Strictly Bounded Interests of Nations

Change, they say, within any system happens at the boundaries of one to the next. This is given a lovely bit of contrast in the article linked below about what has become of the intricacies of Sand.

Sand, it seems, has become a complexity of itself in the interplay of nations; especially as it concerns states such as Singapore and Malaysia. Counter intuitive though it might seem, you can build upon sand; either as simple fill, grouted, or mixed with concrete. More to the point, however is the fact that one nations sand can become another's expanded borders; literally taking the ground out from under a neighbor and using it to make new ground for yourself.

As the article makes clear, however, in the age of interdependent markets, extra national economic entities, and the fluidity of both information systems, as well as the physical systems we live within, the notion of the nation state as a specifically bounded object is seen for the illusion it has always been.

From my perspective it is but one more example of how problems can no longer be solved in isolation. Integrated solutions cannot be limited by arbitrary boundaries any more than any of they other flows that course through the grand matrix that is human kind on this planet now.

I urge you to read this article. It is quite thought provoking.


Built on Sand: Singapore and the New State of Risk