32 Comments

SoundEagle in Longevity and the Living Society


Notes and Treats

Please know that SoundEagle’s posts (and pages) contain music, videos, puzzles, games and/or interactive animations, all of which are absent from the corresponding posts received by followers in the form of email notifications, which can contain only texts and images. Therefore, it is necessary for followers and readers to visit SoundEagle’s website to enjoy the multimedia features contained in the posts (and pages).

Treat yourself to playing with the five “Longevity SeaTurtles” below, and see whether you will discover how to move and feed them.

SoundEagle in Longevity and the Living Society

Environmental Sensitivity
Persona
Tolerance
Frugality

The Living Society

Sound, Society and Environment

Preface

Designed and administered by Click here to contact SoundEagle (Webmaster and Designer)SoundEagle, this website has served as a multimedia playground to investigate the polyphonic dance of ideas, to consider their manifold eddies, their unexpected simultaneities or juxtapositions, as well as their multiple embodiments and modes of expressions, as they unfurled through the lenses of plurality, the faces of diversity, and the facets of multidisciplinarity, intermingling from time to time, and topic to topic, with the semantic fields of culture, the speculative realms of philosophy, the aesthetic worlds of art, and the analytic spheres of science.

In this post, the unit of analysis is an aggregate of individuals forming a social system, group or community. The focus is on the longevity of such aggregate, as characterized and bolstered by four desirable characteristics identifiable in many long-lived social entities or collectives. To that extent, this post can provide an abiding meta-narrative or meta-blueprint for any aggregated entity or social enterprise seeking a consolidated, farsighted and adaptive approach towards achieving and maintaining cohesive practices, constructive relationships, sustainable management and holistic governance in order to amplify the capacity to realize social and environmental goals, rather than just being more financially valuable.

Definition

Over the years, SoundEagle has encountered various communities, cooperatives, associations, organizations, institutions, departments, faculties, companies, groups, classes, forums, networks, clubs and societies, observing, participating in and learning from them in various contexts and capacities, some of which have entailed the creation and maintenance of websites. The styles and contents of these websites, as much as they have been conceived, structured and composed by SoundEagle, reveal in varying degrees certain underlying commitments to values, people, learning, innovation, and preservation of written and intellectual knowledge, all of which define “The Living Society“.

The definition, or rather, the attribution, is valid and justifiable insofar as a living society comprises like-minded people who are attracted, identified or governed by their own norms, shared values and mutual interests within a dominant, larger society, or within a distinctive culture and institution. In other words, a living society arises from the relationships and interactions among its constituent members, including those emerging or thriving under new social forms and relations, whether in cyberspace or via the application of knowledge to social, economic and cultural activities.

Problems

To the extent that a living society is collaborative, it can enable its members to benefit in ways that would not otherwise be possible on an individual basis. However, collaboration also brings with it challenges, many of which concern not just the strengths and weaknesses of those members, but also the opportunities and threats both within and without the society, affecting its health and status. Whilst medical and scientific advances as well as higher living standards and better governance have dramatically raised the average lifespan of human beings in many regions of the world, the same cannot be readily claimed about the longevity of businesses, enterprises and other social entities, many of which have suffered from early decline or premature demise.

At times of turbulence or transition triggered or accompanied by inevitable socio-economic and socio-demographic changes, many societies (whether online or offline) have not escaped the fates and troubles that have fallen upon numerous companies and corporations. They are facing challenges that threaten their viability and even validity, including rising rent and public liability insurance premium, dwindling or aging membership, waning or diversion of interest, disruptive internal politics, lack of prospective officials, declining voluntarism, rising individualism, shifting social moray, widening generation gap, changing public taste, altered cultural capital, persisting nuclear-family syndrome, dramatic technological change, as well as external factors such as recurrent flooding, fire threat, prolonged drought, water restriction and other natural disasters.

Even though the presence of a democratic process of voting as well as the observance of agendas and charters have many benefits, they do not necessarily guarantee the quality and quantity as well as the validity and reliability of the executive members’ deliberations, decisions and outcomes, which are, after all, highly dependent on the calibre, knowledge, wisdom, upbringing, mental horizon and other human qualities, faculties and/or professional qualifications of the members. In particular, asserting or insisting that any decision by the committee of a society is always the right, valid and only one to follow to the exclusion of any much needed change, objection, amendment, (re)assessment, (re)evaluation and/or any other recourse is to act in a rigid, unhelpful, disruptive, foolhardy, bureaucratic and/or irresponsible manner.

That the problem of attrition is escalating in some societies is well-known. However, attrition is often only a symptom and hardly the sole cause of the demise of a society. What tends to be more pressing and vexing than attrition is that many new ideas, social media, community engagements and essential sustainability measures are unimplemented or very slow in their adoption by clubs and societies. Their introductions, features and benefits can frequently fall on deaf ears, or are continually resisted and/or misunderstood by older members due to inertia, fear, ignorance, complacency and other factors.

Furthermore, one of the most serious issues is that many or most members just want to remain and retain more or less the same, year after year, and have done little else to promote the longevity, diversity and robustness of their societies. Instead of being more benevolent, receptive, open-minded and inclusive, some members and/or officials continue to be quite tight-fisted, small-minded and even indifferent, especially on issues of governance and sustainability, which are much exacerbated by attrition and by a culture of denial, exclusion and entrenchment, even in the face of looming crises.

Solutions

Various pressures and challenges notwithstanding, and regardless of specific goals and visions to be realized in the medium and long terms, on the whole, societies rise or fall according to the ways in which they gather and manage their resources: people, information and money. They need to create the conditions in which their people will voluntarily give their best, and set the contexts for the rest of the organisations’ members to perform tasks, partake benefits and participate in activities.

Enduring companies and long-lived societies not only maximize improvements in human and environmental wellbeing but also regard their peoples and enterprises as ecological systems, symbiotic networks and “living work communities” rather than purely or predominantly financial entities, fiscal engines, investment portfolios or economic machines. They are holistic caretakers and all-round stewards of resources, both internally and externally, being able to cherish, adapt and/or renew their resources to gain both peripheral and systemic advantages. Appropriating from the wisdom of Arie de Geus, the following four characteristics are applicable to societies in good health and longevity:

  • Environmental Sensitivity
    1. Long-lived societies sample, learn and adapt to what is going on around them.
    2. Sensitivity to the environment represents a society’s ability to learn and adapt.
  • Persona
    1. Long-lived societies are cohesive and have a strong sense of identity based on the ability to build a shared community.
    2. Cohesion and identity are aspects of a society’s innate ability to build a community and a persona for itself.
  • Tolerance
    1. Long-lived societies are patient, generally decentralised, with widespread decision-making authority, and tolerant of “non-core” activities on their periphery (which may well become tomorrow’s core).
    2. Tolerance and its corollary, decentralisation, are both symptoms of a society’s awareness of ecology: its ability to build constructive relationships with other entities, within and outside itself.
  • Frugality
    1. Long-lived societies are conservative with their money, which they use to govern their own growth and to give them options.
    2. Conservative financing is one element in a very critical societal attribute: the ability to govern its own growth and evolution effectively.
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32 comments on “SoundEagle in Longevity and the Living Society

  1. Interesting post. The turtles animation went well with the sidebar music (I chose ‘Where Eagles Fly’). I thought their movements illustrated adaptation, community and patience. All of them were in a line following each other, then all bunched in the corner, then going different directions until a few grouped for a time. The concepts were explained well enough that I could relate them to my family and work experiences.

    • Hi Lucy, SoundEagle is glad that you are able to find the time to read this latest post and also to relate it to your family and work whilst listening to a piece of music or two located in the sidebar. As a reward to your visit, let it be known that there is another way to enjoy the turtles: you can feed them with food. Let’s see if you could work out how to do that . . . .
  2. what a wonderful new look and feel. I like your images, sound, movement, humour and writing- all in all the effect is uplifting, no it is actually joyful

    • Hi Melanie, it is delightful to have your kind patronage and constructive feedback! Have you had a chance to play with and feed the Longevity Turtles?

      The three of us, Mr Atheist, you and SoundEagle, have interacted wonderfully in your and his blogs, but not yet on SoundEagle‘s. It is uncertain as to whether he has ever visited and looked closely at any of SoundEagle‘s websites and blogs.

      May you and your family have a great week enjoying what mid-June has to offer!

      • he has been absent since he started his new job about a month ago??
        I will definelty play with those turtles and by the way, after your invitation, I did do one of your puzzles. it was the first time I have tried to do a puzzle on line- I enjoyed it

      • Hopefully, all of these stimulating, playful, interactive and intellectual contents and stylistic presentations on this website will keep us young and mentally sharp well into our twilight years . . . . .

        Do you have any suggestion or request for SoundEagle’s next post, Melanie?

  3. I am in awe or your word of the day, quote, article, history.. brilliant I simply am treading water waiting for what comes next

    I have been negligent lately; missed your wit and sense of humour

  4. Greetings SoundEagle! and thank you
    for another thoughtful post
    that gives us much to consider
    on both personal and communal levels.

    I mean that
    the longevity qualities that you describe:
    —Environmental sensitivity, Tolerance, Persona and Frugality—
    are valid and can take us a long way towards a good life,
    both for us as individuals
    as well as for societies, businesses or groups.

  5. Aside:
    The little turtles are so cute,
    though I couldn’t help thinking that
    the more I fed them,
    the more frantically they scrambled to catch food!
    They also have different shades of colour.

    • How exciting it is to see that the smartest SeaTurtle has finally arrived in full Gravatar credentials to join the “Longevity SeaTurtle Society“, watching, playing with and feeding its five members identifiable via their colour-coded personas!

      SoundEagle earnestly hopes that the smartest SeaTurtle has learnt to:

      • Become their all-round leader, astute director and farsighted manager who are sensitive to their environment (lest they lack resilience and adaptability).
      • Feed them frugally with nutritious food (lest they become obese in the medium term and run out of healthful fodder in the long term).
      • Monitor their peripheral foraging and exploration with tolerance and understanding (lest they become too insulated, institutionalized, provincial and narrow-minded).
      • Nurture their colourful personas whilst maintaining positive group dynamics empowered by good cohesion and strong identity (lest they lack individuality and distinctiveness to set themselves apart from the crowd, becoming just the run of the mill).
      • Aha! I like the idea of being a “SeaTurtle ring-leader!”
        Do they have names?

      • As the very first fully qualified “SeaTurtle ring-leader” of the “Longevity SeaTurtle Society“, SoundEagle‘s esteemed SeaTurtle friend and illustrious follower should have the distinct honour of bestowing names upon the societal members individually.
  6. I hope to hear more from you and others about 2 points:

    1. Conservative economic practices within the context of ‘frugality’

    The term ‘Frugality’ sounds rather scary and austere, though I know what you mean. It is far wiser to plan for the future rather than be wasteful and careless.

    I suggest that conservative economic practices need only be described as ‘mindful’ and ‘environmentally conscious’ rather than “frugal”. I’ll use an example from a volunteer society of which I was recently a member to show what I mean.

    In my experience the volunteer society tended to ‘freeze’ up, in the sense that seasoned members did not wish to spend a cent. They forgot to promote their work and organise activities to connect with the rest of the population and renew their vitality. They did not use resources to train, develop and further expand their beneficial activities. Until an outsider came along to demonstrate how they could spend just a little to improve the lives of people in their community a lot, they remained very isolated and insular. So I think that the term ‘frugality’ needs to be defined and qualified further when considering the practicalities of managing living societies.

    Overall however, I hope that attitudes on the value of volunteerism and all sorts of valuable unpaid work (I’m thinking of motherhood as well) will change radically in the future. Society simply cannot function without a lot of this work. As you imply current notions of attaching financial “value” alone to people, activities and societies are unjust, inaccurate, unrealistic and unbalanced. It also reflects a form of social injustice.

    • Hi SeaTurtle, your points are very well made, though the issues are very much less dependent on or related to choosing a better or more appropriate word, for there are considerable differences between “frugal” and “austere”. The former depicts or encapsulates the need or desirability to be penny wise (but not pound foolish), prudent, thrifty, economical, careful and sparing without being too tight, stingy or meagre, whilst the latter has the sense of being grim, strict, severe, ascetic, rigid, sombre, harsh, stern, grave and unsmiling.

      Your story illustrates that the four desirable characteristics cannot and should not be mutually exclusive or independently considered. Rather, they need to be understood and adopted synergistically with dynamic balance, apposite proportion and contextual validity, where one characteristic resonates and informs the other(s).

  7. 2. Further corollaries for ‘Tolerance.’
    I was VERY interested in the connection between Tolerance and Decentralisation. It led me to think:

    What other corollaries to Tolerance are there in societies?
    Once again, many thanks for instigating this discussion, SoundEagle.

    • Tolerance and Decentralisation can be highly correlated to the extent that the latter tends to engender difference, variety, diversity, multiplicity and plurality, all of which require the former so that societal members can coexist in spite of (the increase in) their disparities and differences, even if/when individuals in a decentralised system or society do not fully understand each other’s cultures or viewpoints.
  8. […] Notes and Treats Please know that SoundEagle’s posts (and pages) contain music, videos, puzzles, games and/or interactive animations, all of which are absent from the corresponding posts received by followers in the form of email notifications,…  […]

  9. Love the philosophy of your blog. Now I can tweet about it…

  10. Thanks for liking my cartoon! I will check out your blog-looks like you talk about a lot of my interests. :)

  11. SoundEagle:: I saw that you liked my latest blog about the book “Proof of Heaven”. I thought I would come browse your blog, and I am very impressed! So many wise and thoughtful features…. I will have to come back when I have more time, and listen to some of your music. You are a very multi-faceted soul, I think. Happy Trails!!!

  12. I love the sea turtles, and I had to stop feeding them or my whole day would have slid by. What a great site you have! Very thoughtful post on longevity. I hope the world can find a way to be peaceful.

  13. […] Having briefly surveyed the Queensland Orchid Society both retrospectively and introspectively, it would be time for us to attempt a prospective consideration or a speculative projection with the question “Will the Queensland Orchid Society reach its Centennial Anniversary?”. Let us refrain from giving the classic response with “only time can tell” or even with “the best predictor of future outcome is past performance”. Is the Queensland Orchid Society facing a slow, inevitable decline and merely riding on the inertia of its aging membership? Or is the Society more or less continuing on a steady course into an unknown, unpredictable or changing future? Or is it still awaiting its delayed prime and golden period, assuming that they have not passed and yet to arrive? Is the Society just around the corner of a new epoch of vitality? Is it accelerating or consolidating its missions via improved avenues and multifaceted channels? Whatever its future may be, we look forward to forging and partaking in an even more vibrant, diverse and inclusive future exemplified by “The Living Society“. […]

  14. The points u have raised are valid . Yes , there is a trend to be frugal to a point where no growth or improvement is evident . With every good , sound Successful business there is a Vision statement or a set of goals deemed to be nessecary for all round success . These successful businesses have team building activities / reporting stratagies that acknowledge skill & expertise . All this can be incorporated into the club framework with a charter that can be used as an operating guideline .
    In saying all this a club is only as good as it’s committee members & unfortunately personalities vary . To combat this a technique I use is acknowledging strengths & ignoring the negitives ( not always possible because of the ripple effect ) but maybe some operating benchmarks can be helpful because I have noticed complacency does creep in .

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