The more efficiently we produce something, or the cheaper we make it, the more we increase demand for it, contrary to the need to downshift our consumption.
The more we strive to be happy the less happy we will be, where-as focusing on other goals may bring greater happiness more easily. Many countries with far less wealth than the developed countries report being just as happy.
People can make decisions based not on what they actually want to do, but on what they think that other people want to do. The result is that everybody decides to do something that nobody really wants to
The Planning paradox
The bigger and more complete our plans, the less likely they are to
stand the test of time. A famous quote.."No plans survives the first contact with the enemy" and as Mike Tyson once said " Everyone's got a plan until they get a punch in the face".
The Green paradox
Sustainable or Green solutions that appear to have positive effects and outcomes, are often actually detrimental when all factors are taken into account. The harder the solution is being held on to or sold, the more likely that its' overall impact is likely to be questionable.
The Competition paradox
When competition is an arms race that nullifies each others advantage, the result is a disadvantage for the system (and consumer). Imagine how much less your goods might cost if there was no expenses on marketing, advertising and other competition related overheads. For example, our supermarkets spend hundreds of millions of dollars per year just to maintain a stable relative market share - duh?
The Control paradox
The greater control that is forced on people or a system, the less it is 'in control'. When it comes to living systems - relationship, trust and collaboration tend to achieve far greater progress and stability, than attempts at control.The more we push, the more systems resist.
The Expertise paradox
When we continue to know more and more about less and less, we end with knowing everything about nothing. Virtually all problems can be solved with common sense.
The Less is More paradox
There is a lot to like about simplicity as we discussed in this previous article
.(Lots of you commented on and loved) If we are shooting for ecological balance we will all need to get by on a bit less, the trick is enjoying and thriving in that state.
.....and for some fun..
The Liar paradox
"I am lying". If the liar is indeed lying, then the liar is telling the truth, which means the liar just lied!
There are more than 200 paradoxes listed in Wikipedia, that is probably the tip of the iceberg. The point of this edition of the Edge is to put some of them on your radar, perhaps in your language, and over time part of your Transition toolkit.
As time goes on the disrupted decade is less likely to be 'Black and White' and it is increasingly likely that we will need to be able to discern more of the 'Grey' areas of transition, if we are going to be effective and enjoy the journey.
Discerning that a particular problem is wicked or tricky is a good start, spotting and teasing out if there are paradoxes at play should help develop better conversations and decisions about how to handle it.
Meanwhile, the 'post truth' folks that continue to tell porkies, are still trying to convince themselves and us that the old normal, 'black and white' world still exists - when in truth we are already in a 'New normal' world, show them up with some critical thinking - by pointing at the paradoxes they are not addressing!
This weeks quote
The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change - Carl Rogers
Grant Symons - The Transition Guy