it's about flipping time… (spaces and resources too)!

Many individual community’s decorum, preferred timelines, and rules to success are being uprooted as catastrophic climate change and water quality disruptions are driving new relationships to time and the  emerging new rules necessary to accommodate the dynamics of nature.

Table of Contents

Disclosure: We are aware…

The tone and tenor1 of the following may fall outside of what many communities find acceptable. This informal reference article is an attempt to simply make remarks as to what has and has not worked for us when dealing with others in soils, food, healthcare and other basic human systems.

Thank you Wikimedia Foundation for showing us all an alternative path.

Our strategic intent springs from the intentions, sentiments and perceptions found in us all: healthier people interacting with a healthier planet.

We ask you to kindly hold space for us. This lay-it-all-out-there on the front-end style…

  • Allows the reader to freely come and go as often as they desire
  • Is known to stop wasting time, space and resources
  • Is known to make up for lost time

Our business model does not allow us to extract money directly from the uninitiated.2 With so many people, from so many backgrounds entering the soils, food and healthcare space, we think now is a great time to get in on this invitation to soils, food, healthcare3 and basic human systems working towards healthier people interacting with a healthier planet.

We hope you find what follows helpful. We are taking your remarks to us over at LinkedIn. We find it a great place to learn from others. Let us know how we can learn from you4


  1. We like the way Antoinne Barnes expresses his definition of tone and tenor:

    “Tone and tenor” refers to the attitude, stance or posture that is perceived by your audience. This is usually but not limited to written communication. It could also refer to a performance"

    Thanks Antoinne and Quora.com  ↩

  2. Here, we use the term uninitiated to describe those without without special knowledge of or experience in soils, food, healthcare and other basic human systems.

    Presently, we do make money in any number indirect ways that are all performance–based. In the future, as the consumer’s power relationship between products and services becomes clearer and society has time to update the license it grants businesses, governments, educational systems and more… to do what they do, we will expand our offerings and the way we do business.

    But for now…

    Much like how money is exchanged in the performance industries of stage, screen and television, we sell tickets to our demonstrations.

    What is being bought and sold is simply a ticket to a performance / demonstration. The ticket buyer is free to dismiss the performance, or allow themselves to be motivated.

    Much like the actors on stage, or players on a field, we give it our all, leaving everything on the field.

    Here is a technical, pre–funding dialog side note for Impact Investors seeking scalable, meaningful change capable of exponential growth and value, all with an eye on the coming singularity:

    In transitional times, industry experience is not as important as technical acumen and structural flexibility.

    background insight: flipping the space known as metrics…

    As old extraction economy metrics loose their power (market share, unit sales, economies of scale, and more…) new metrics and strategies surface. Here are a few:

    • capturing the bulk of an industry’s free cash flow (currently viewed by many as profits)
    • customer experience metrics
    • and more…

    additional background insight: flipping the space known as fiduciary duty…

    Today’s extraction economy has what amounts to an open secret, but still is not known widely enough to include all involved. It is a buyer beware premise. That may sound harsh in today’s world, but given the economic systems proceeding the extraction economy, it was a sufficient enough rule to get things transacted and still maintain societal order.

    We elect to be different… It took a while to put into words, but once we did, things started to roll out naturally (slow is smooth, smooth is fast and without direct intervention…).

    We sense many in society, mainly consumers, are ready for an update to the old buyer beware standard. We suggest introducing a form of fiduciary duty (more below…) as a replacement. Any young child will understand the inherent wisdom of society updating the license it grants to all businesses to include the golden rule:

    Treat others as you would like others to treat you and leave behind to history the humanly contrived notion its OK to leverage other people.

    We have seen other industries struggle with their updating of the old leveraged–based buyer beware rule. Just search for anything related to Facebook, Google, Amazon, Business Roundtable and the keywords: responsibility, antitrust, 2018, 2019, and politics and you will soon get a flavor for how fragile even those perceived to be big to fail “platforms” (business, software, political and more…) are already, in a very real way, failing to have their business’s trust model keep up.

    The key phrase we use internally to keep ourselves in check is: “Keep Rolling!”

    • As in “rolling inventory”, “rolling cash”,“rolling calls” “rolling notions”, “the rolling power of nature” and more…" — Art Scheele

    We have also seen the financial industry struggle with rolling out of the narrowcasted responsibility roles assigned to it by the beneficiaries of the extraction economy’s buyer beware rule. Check out this portal article: SEC’s new investor protection rule won’t end the fiduciary debate.

    One of the reasons we see both the “platform” business and the financial services business struggling is, well, they are both run by humans, which are known to conflate societal norms, values and laws into a single, easy to remember for members of their own community “rule”.

    So how does an early adopter demonstrate and maintain a higher sense of order for themselves without having one's own intentions, sentiments, and perceptions of what it means to do well while doing good, leveraged against them by others?

    Do what has shown to work every time a harasser, abuser or bully attempts to leverage their way into power and lay down humanly contrived self–empowering rational: Elect to do something better…

    As we roll out a number of healthier people interacting with a healthier planet(), initiatives, we seek to avoid a similar anticipated historical event(s) as experienced by others . We understand the intimate role food plays in the people’s lives. While today’s society’s “rules” do not yet fully support soils, food and healthcare companies taking a fiduciary role in people’s lives, agnetic has chosen to act as if they do.  ↩

    In doing so, we will be

    • 1 treating the soil (and nature as a whole) as a silent partner
    • 2 ready when society does indeed update its norms, values and laws
    • 3 demonstrating to all others that moving past the extraction economy’s buyer beware premise does not harm, and paradoxically, enhances a company’s Financial, Logistical, Analytical, Biological, Social standing with society.

    portal articles: fiduciary duty

  3. We choose healthcare, “The organized provision of medical care to individuals or a community” with the understanding that for us, healthcare includes treating the soil, and other nature–based components, as silent partners in all that we humans choose to do.

    Our particular focus for human healthcare is to solve, yes, we do mean to actually “Find an answer to, explanation for, or means of effectively dealing with (a problem or mystery)”, chronic diseases.

    To help illuminate our focus we mean to include:

    • Alcohol
    • Arthritis
    • Asthma
    • Cancer
    • Cardiovascular Disease
    • Chronic Chronic Liver Disease and Cirrhosis
    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
    • Deafness and hearing loss
    • Diabetes
    • Drug Overdose
    • Kidney Disease
    • Obesity
    • Oral health
    • Neurological Diseases (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases)
    • Sickle–cell disease and other haemoglobin disorders
    • Visual impairment and blindness  ↩

    nunchi portal to the above list:

  4. We are taking remarks at Russ Curry @ LinkedIN.

    As of this writing (late, 2019) LinkedIN’s platform is hosting some of the most innovative and highly reciprocal human interactions in the soils ∞ food ∞ healthcare sector. This sector is known to be critical to solving today’s water quality, climate change and other planetary challenges…  ↩

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Synopsis: Agriculture’s Awakening…

Agriculture is the latest industry learning to serve polar opposite viewpoints simultaneously, in the same space, without wasting resources. In this transitional time period, comprehensive situational awareness1 combined with quick action replaces conventional stage-gate strategies, metrics, project and time management and more.2

As incumbents scramble to protect themselves, internal industry upstarts and adjacent power players seek exponential growth opportunities that change the metrics guiding the agriculture, food and healthcare industries. Market share, unit volumes and their stage-gate business and project management models are on the way out; industry profit and performance-based business model demonstrations are on the way in.


  1. Wikipedia provides a technical description of situation awareness as “perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their future status”.

    For us, the term nunchi is more relevant.

    CNBC’s article This Korean parenting style is the best–kept secret to raising smart and successful kids provides more. Euny Hong’s book “The Power of Nunchi: The Korean Secret to Happiness and Success” (Penguin Books), is, in our view, the go–to book for our key phrase…

    without situational awareness, metrics don’t matter.

    The latest example of this ancient wisdom (late Fall, 2019) is found in, of all places, the milk industry. With industry giant Dean Foods declaring bankruptcy and soda maker Coca–Cola walking away with the industry’s profit.  ↩

  2. For the more, we direct you to the all the backgrounders in the the Appendix. For more on the displayed mindsets and behavioral patterns found in stage–gate strategies, planning, time and project management we offer Background Note 1.  ↩

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Background Notes: Always integral to leveraging and more…

We purposefully present expanded background notes in this section and in the appendix. Of particular note is Background Note 2. The general theme is harsh words may set you free1.


  1. Disclaimer: how we see nature:

    • Nature is antifragile
    • Nature is self–healing
    • Nature is apolitical
    • Nature is just not that into you
    • Nature, as a system, has no interest in human perspectives
    • Nature merely makes remarks. Nature does not explain itself to anyone.
    • Nature just is…

    We choose to be like nature. Here is our disclaimer:

    Merely making remarks is often perceived as mansplaining or worse. Experience has taught us this happens when the receiver conflates time, space and resources by inferring more than what is being offered.

    For anyone familiar with this portal phrase, He's Just Not That Into You, will understand where we are coming from.

    Others, from a completely different community, explain this phenomena using this key phrase Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder.

    Many communities use different words and actions to convey similar, if not identical meaning (intensions, sentiments, perceptions…)

    When agnetic gives remarks or other demonstrations of how, in transitional time periods, the fundamental relationships of power (time, space & resource) dynamically morph at rates most are not prepared to accept, we aim not to be complicated.

    We intend to send no mixed messages.

    In similar fashion to how Nature continues to demonstrate, we too don't spend the time, space or resources on those who think nature and humans are fragile systems where euphemisms, appeasement and domination work…she is just not that into you."  ↩

    We are into forming a confluence with antifragile people and planetary systems (nature and more…) to get on with the business of healthier people interacting with a healthier planet℠ by improving People and Planet Healthcare Interactions…℠

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As classically trained, multi-product commodity traders who grew into system designers, transitional time period management is something we have experience with.1

Agnetic is nonpartisan. We are not on a team (left, right or otherwise) that has to win. It is incredibly freeing to simply be designers of soils, food, healthcare and other basic human systems….

This article is written to help inform as you grow out your own comprehensive risk / project management systems. We limit this article to the all-important topic of situational awareness, or nunchi.

Without situational awareness, metrics are meaningless. For more of the dynamics behind this statement2

Fast-changing markets, like today’s agriculture, food and healthcare industries, act differently than traditional markets. If one fails to manage them differently, one soon finds oneself no longer relevant. This is because nature has limits. To stay closely connected to what nature is doing or not doing, one has to move at nature’s speed and style: Sometimes fast. Sometimes slow. Sometimes in direct lines. Sometimes along circuitous routes. Sometimes in discontinuous leaps.3

As human interaction systems designers who specialize in designing and delivering antifragile business systems that accommodate the dynamics of nature, we understand nature has limits, and precision matters.

To better describe this precision, we encourage you to check this out.4


  1. For example, the importance of understanding how

    allowing oneself to experience nature’s timelines to play out, and having the system design discipline and focus to let nature play out, rather than merely allowing a particular community’s decorum, timelines and expectations of what it thinks is supposed to happen.

    White papers, slide decks, spreadsheets, even YouTube videos are important explicit data and knowledge transfer tools, but lack the tacit wisdom and capabilities to transfer knowledge into valuable action timelines, regardless of conditions that exist at the time.  ↩

  2. To see how this relates to soils, food, healthcare and other basic humans systems, click here.

    For more on this human dynamic, we suggest Euny Hong’s book The Power of Nunchi: The Korean Secret to Happiness and Success (Penguin Books).  ↩

  3. “For discontinuous leaps to be achieved, innovators typically remove themselves to what jazz musicians and John Kao3, innovation thinker and author, calls ‘the woodshed.’”

    For more on the woodshed experience, check out these portal articles:

  4. You may find this a helpful way to grow your own situational awareness, similar to the way mindfulness works. As your comments, questions and insights surface, we encourage you to return to this popup.

    Welcome engineers of all types: Financial, Logistical, Analytical, Biological, Social. Yes, we recognize that is a mouthful. Because nature has limits, precision matters. So let’s unpack this statement…

    All of the following in this popup is designed to be a stand–alone reference adjacent to and in support of the linked article. It is not designed to be read or fully understood in one sitting, but is provided as place to return to as often as needed…

    1 human interaction systems is a key phrase for the following interactions (reciprocal actions or influences)

    • human–to–human
    • human–to–technology
    • human–to–physical world
    • and back again…

    and the following human systems

    • communication » business » academic » political » financial » healthcare » governmental » religious » military » logistical » food » biological » educational » learning » analytical » medical » agricultural » social » perception & decision–making system, and so much more…

    as well as the following components

    • time
    • space
    • resources
      • Financial, Logistical, Analytical, Biological, Social  ↩
        • (known together as FLABS)

    ∞2 Designers is used to convey all that engineering deals with and the quality of human interaction with engineered product(s) and or service(s) engineers sometimes struggle with; for example: designing for the entire consumer experience with the product (unboxing and more…), not just the explicit product itself…

    ∞3 the dynamics of nature and other antifragile systems that benefit from disorder is used to describe systems where the following agnetic insights come into focus:

    ∞4 Once open relationships, long since closed and often blocked by walls and platforms (held in the dark) are opened and brought into the open so that they once again can be seen (and felt) as trustworthy, as well as, consistently and constantly verifiable

    • In short, we hold true to the scientific method as we continue to apply the science of evolution to the way we humans think, decide and act.

    Additional technical backup available at agnetic.com.

Recently we spotted an agriculture industry leader recognizing the times have changed. The arrival of the Agriculture Has Entered a Liminal Space article is seen by us as a touchstone in the timeline of agriculture. For non-LinkedIn participates, here is a reformatted reprint of the ground-breaking article1.

Thank you Eric Jackson.

Eric, we agree with your nature has limits, statement. Because of those limits, we have found precision in time, space and resources matter.

Additionally, history has shown, across many industries and societal events, when a community of any scale (local, regional, national, or global…) speaks openly about how the time has come for a transition to keep up with nature, the time for contemplation, meditation, pondering, reflection, or observation has, if not completely passed, needs to be quickly augmented with action. Strict adherence to defensive tactics, strategies and other reductionist thinking, once key to success, forms insurmountable obstacles. Something more is needed to compete.


  1. Agriculture Has Entered a Liminal Space

    If you are feeling disoriented in the New Food Economy, that is completely understandable. Most folks in my generation grew up not questioning how food was produced or the market forces that were assumed to be in control. Technology, both in terms of mechanization and chemistry, was considered to be a normal part of the evolution of agriculture. There was no such thing as a bad idea as long as it produced more bushels per acre.

    But natural systems have limits. We have arguably crossed many of those thresholds already and are teetering very close to crashing the system in some corners of the world. In our desire to produce more bushels we have created an economic race to the bottom for farmers, coupled with environmental outcomes that have come home to roost and declines in food quality that are threatening the health of large swaths of the population.

    Enter the consumer. Long absent from the conversation about food production but now armed with mobile communication, the consumer represents the largest threat to the Old Way and the greatest hope for the New Way, and the liminal space in between these two paradigms is where we now find ourselves. Interesting times indeed.

    Liminality @ wikipedia.com  ↩

    Nunchi Insight: We do encourage all to join LinkedIN to gain access to the adjacent comments. These comments complement and complete Eric’s original article.

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Born to Run

In the main, people don’t grow up questioning the fundamentals of their lives seen seemingly working. They have other things to focus on. Questioning how food gets produced back in the day made about as much sense back then as people questioning how the Internet works today. It just works and that’s better than what came before.

Believe it or not, there will come a day when a future society will be ready to update itself and form new norms giving way to new societal values that sprout new laws—all focused on today’s blind spots or gaps in the way today’s society sees the Internet.

This archetype of how one society’s time, space and resource relationships and associated blind spots morph to create the next generation’s Born to Run, is simply how life has worked, works today, and will continue to be seen working for quite some time.

Such is the way nature works when it comes to the geo-strategic fundamental components of power: time, space & resources. But work it does and the precision that pays in this space is patience.1


  1. For anyone still working out the relationship of patience to time we offer this nunchi portal:

    If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a live demonstration is an invaluable experience worth seeking out.

    On this topic we suggest seeking out a musician near you. Ask around, they are all over the world. Most likely someone with just such a skill will be adjacent to you today.

    Ask them if they can demonstrate syncopation.

    Why?

    Nature has a backbeat and timing and precision count.

    This topics technical tick–tock provided by: Saher Galt’s Syncopation made easy! Interactive RHYTHM training.

    • 191111 access date.

    patience:  ↩

    “The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.”

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Breaking with the rules to free norms, values and laws to evolve naturally

In Eric’s agricultural example and on a larger scale—the Internet, both are seen delivering both the intangible and tangible value.1 Two other examples (adjacent in time, in another space) include:

As the world watches these two global platforms, it will be interesting to see how each handle the structural flexibility challenges3 that come with evolving out of a Type I extraction systems and towards a closed feedback loop Type III system. Here is a Type I, II, and III portal4.

“Breaking The Rules” is a phrase used in the past, and still used today for when small groups question what society sees, in general, as working.

These demonstrated mindsets and behavioral patterns are inferred by those directly and indirectly benefiting from “The Rules”, to be an emotional, spiritual or physical challenge to their personal existence.

In this case, this conflation of time, space & resources is a known pattern used to maintain societal order, while positioning themselves as the main beneficiaries of “The Rules”.

The way today’s society deals with such evolutionary pressures hasn’t changed all that much. People still conflate a society’s norms, with its values and its laws to form “rules” they themselves are seen not following.

We see a major benefit of the Adjacency Age’s5 technology as helping us mere mortals be more precise with these intangibles.

How does this help manifest itself? By providing new human interaction system6 capable of simultaneously growing out of current power structures and present new antifragile power systems. Where antifragile is understood as to be the type of systems which benefit from disorder. No overprotecting human in the self-assigned, self-aggrandizing, self-credentialed,7 provisional rulemaking role of gatekeeper / nanny / manny / engineer (or their financiers) / and more… is needed.


  1. Earlier we mentioned we design & deliver business systems accommodating the dynamics of nature…

    A case can be made that today’s business “platforms” (large & small; yes even the perceived to be too big to fail mega–platforms of FaceBook, Google, Amazon.com, and more…) are seen to incorporate the weaknesses of fragile systems. Supporting this seemingly absurd assertion is how vulnerable the mega–platforms have become to society’s backcheck coming in the form of political and legislative (antitrust updating) pushback.

    Backchecks and pushback, intangible as they maybe, are real and measurable. Similar to how it took time for the power of relatively new intangibles: 1) networks of technologically connected words, 2) pictures, video, live streaming and now 3) the data streaming from earth–bound sensors and earth–orbiting satellites, to take hold, are now real and a new style of force to be reckoned with.

    It can be as simple to understand and difficult to accept as this:

    Engineered systems built too withstand the forces of nature, succumb to the dynamic forces of nature. Systems designed to accommodate the dynamics of nature (an antifragile system benefiting from disorder), move along with, morph, change, adapt, evolve with nature.

    In terms of power, in this context, is simply the ability to improve one’s capacity to move in the world when the intangibles change. It’s important to take notice and be precise in how you think, decide and act.

    This latter point is tough to pull off if your mindset and word choices are machined into a narrow perception or notion of how the world should work

    nunchi portal:

    intangible  ↩

    • adjective
      • “Unable to be touched; not having physical presence.”
      • “Difficult or impossible to define or understand; vague and abstract.”
      • “(of an asset or benefit) not constituting or represented by a physical object and of a value not precisely measurable.”
        tangible
    • adjective
      • “Perceptible by touch.”
      • “Clear and definite; real.”
    • noun
      • “A thing that is perceptible by touch.”
        reckon
    • verb
      • “Establish by calculation.”
      • “Be of the opinion”
      • “Consider or regard in a specified way.”
      • “Have a specified view or opinion of.”
      • “reckon with”
      • “Settle accounts with.”
  2. To mark the complexities involved, we use this key phrase:

    'in times of transition, industry experience is not as important as technical acumen and structural flexibility ›

    More on this topic is available later in the article in Section 5 In transitional times…  ↩

  3. More on the structural flexibility and technical acumen roles in the 5 Transitional times… section below.  ↩

  4. Surviving In Place: Emulating Nature’s Economics

    "William Cooper wonders what an old fish squeezer like him is doing on the Journal of Urban Ecology’s masthead, or the National Academy of Science’s panel to investigate the building of six hundred supersonic transport planes. A fish biologist by training, Cooper has cultivated a multi–octave range of specialties, thriving in the tidal pool between disciplines that is home to good biomimics.

    In addition to teaching zoology at Michigan State University, Cooper is an adjunct professor in marine sciences in Virginia, and civil, environmental, and mineral engineering in Michigan and Minnesota. He’s chaired a department and seven advisory boards and is now on the editorial board of four journals. In fact, from the looks of his vita, you’d be hard–pressed to find a global change, waste management, or environmental risk board that Cooper has not served on. In his spare time, he works for the Brookings Institution, giving about thirty–five seminars a year to policy makers who are about to sail or sink important legislation.

    Despite this heavyweight influence, Cooper is a surprisingly self–effacing, plain talker with a grounded sense of the absurd. I laughed a lot when I talked with him, and I imagine his students enjoy the boomerang rides he calls lectures.

    A decade before it was fashionable, Cooper tells me, he wandered out of the Zoology Department at the University of Michigan and began to teach a class in ecological systems to engineers. When Braden Allenby heard about that, he invited Cooper to a 1992 Woods Hole meeting to talk about a newly birthed concept called industrial ecology. I was the only biologist in the room, Cooper recalls.

    What he told Allenby and the other business thinkers was good news.The natural world is full of models for a more sustainable economic system—prairies, coral reefs, oak–hickory forests, old–growth redwood and Douglas–fir forests, and more. These mature ecosystems do everything we want to do. They self–organize into a diverse and integrated community of organisms with a common purpose—to maintain their presence in one place, make the most of what is available, and endure over the long haul.

    But he also told them some bad news. We are nothing like the equilibrium organisms we want to emulate. Right now, we are occupying a niche that is also found in the natural world—that of opportunists, concentrating on growth and throughput (how fast raw materials can be turned into products) without giving much thought to efficiency. We’re acting as if we’re only passing through, taking advantage of the plenty and then moving on.

    Opportunists are the weeds in a farmer’s newly turned field, the bacteria in a Tupperware of leftovers, or the mice in a catless barn. These communities, called Type I systems, spring up to take advantage of abundant resources. They typically use resources as quickly as they can, turning them into adult bodies and then into numerous, small offspring—thousands of insect eggs, for instance. The idea behind this rapid growth strategy is to grow your population, maximize throughput of materials, and then head for the next horn of plenty, with no time for recycling or efficiency. Sound familiar?

    The Industrial Revolution was the equivalent of throwing a handful of flour beetles into a fresh bin of clean, sifted flour, Allenby told me. We suddenly had unlimited resources, and like any opportunistic system, we went hog wild, with one important difference. Unlike flour beetles, who can eat and be merry and then move on to another bin of flour, we are in a finite container called Earth. To get a grim foreshadowing of our predicament, put a screen atop the flour bin so the beetles can’t get out to find their next cornucopia.

    The screened–in beetles will eat and reproduce, filling the bin with beetle bodies. Because their system is so simple, there is no decay segment of society, no janitorial species to clean up the corpses and convert them back into food. That means that once the flour gets turned into flour–beetle bodies, those nutrients are locked away from the increasingly hungry population. It’s like our economy turning the last of our raw materials into products, with no mechanism for recycling those products.

    Living space quickly becomes scarce as well. As the population reaches the peak of its classic sigmoid curve, the madding crowd begins to get in one another’s way. Antennas are locking, beetles are munching on the offspring of other beetles, and copulating beetles are being interrupted by a third and a fourth before they can mate. Within days, survival rates teeter, births stall, and the population comes crashing to a hard landing.

    It’s not that these linear, Type I systems are categorically bad, says Bill Cooper. That’s a human judgment. If it weren’t for Type I systems, the Earth’s scars wouldn’t heal. Annuals come in when soils have been disturbed—after fire, windfall, plowing, or plague. They carpet the ground, gobbling newly exposed nutrients and fertilizing the soil with their wastes, setting the stage for the grand conga dance called succession: Flower field turns to shrub field turns to forest. Though their moment in the sun is short, Type I pioneers can always find a new patch of disturbance somewhere, even in little gaps that are created after a tree falls. This slightly offbeat pulsing of decay and repair in many patches is what helps the community retain its stability.

    But the strategy of ragweed, fireweed, and crabgrass doesn’t work everywhere. It’s only appropriate at the start–up stage of succession, when plenty of sunlight and soil nutrients are still available. Once the scene begins to crowd, and the pie of sun and water and nutrients is divided among more takers, the Type II strategy wins out.

    The Type II system consists of perennial berry bushes and woody seedlings that move into the field. They are there for the longer haul. Unlike Type I species, they won’t spend their energy on making millions of seeds. Instead, they’ll make a few seeds and funnel the rest of the energy into hardy roots and sturdy stems that will see them through winter. In the springtime, their prudence will pay off—they’ll rebound from their roots and reach quickly for the sun, outpacing and eclipsing the Type I annuals.

    At the very end of the conga line are those species that take this patience strategy to the extreme, showing even more loyalty to place. Type III species (the ones that will inherit the site and remain dominant until the next big disturbance) do more with less. They are designed to stay on the land in a state of relative equilibrium, taking out no more than they put in.

    Masters of efficiency, Type III species don’t have to go looking for sunlight. Their seedlings can tolerate their parents’ shade, so wave after wave of the same species can grow up here. Biologists call these species K–selected. They have larger and fewer offspring, which have longer and more complex lives. They live in elaborate synergy with the species around them, and put their energy into optimizing these relationships. Together, the mesh of life juggles materials endlessly. Virtually no wastes leach away, and the only energy imported is that of the sun. By the time a mature forest like this closes ranks, pioneer species are long gone, off to their next sunny fortune—a fire scar in a forest, a gap from a wind–torn tree, the crack in your driveway.

    Type I species are the rolling stones of the world, colonizing rather than learning to close the loops. The reason the footloose strategy works for them, says Cooper, is that new opportunities are always opening up. Back before our world was full, when we still had somewhere else to go, the Type I strategy looked like a good way to stay one step ahead of reality. These days, when we’ve gone everywhere there is to go, we have to find a different kind of plenty, not by jumping off to another planet but by closing the loops here on this one".  ↩

    Long–Tail Economics is a key part of transitioning from Type I extraction systems to Type I closed looped systems. Do buy the book, in whatever form works for you, and continue to loop yourself in to this tacit power loop…

  5. Adjacency Age is a key phrase we coined to help us be more organized and more precise. For us the term, Adjacency Age means:

    The age of humanity dealing with that combination of information, communication, networking and pattern recognition technology, now seen putting just about everything adjacent to and exposed to just about everything else, and more…  ↩

  6. human interaction systems is a key phrase for the following interactions (reciprocal actions or influences)

    • human–to–human
    • human–to–technology
    • human–to–physical world
    • and back again…

    and the following human systems  ↩

    • communication » business » academic » political » financial » healthcare » governmental » religious » military » logistical » food » biological » educational » learning » analytical » medical » agricultural » social » perception & decision–making system, and so much more…

    as well as the following components

    • time
    • space
    • resources
      • Financial, Logistical, Analytical, Biological, Social
        • (known together as FLABS)
  7. Here is the definition of self–credentialed.

    Here is a nunchi portal revealing how self–credentialing by a small community seeking power over other communities’ norms, values and laws: ‘Idea Laundering’ in Academia  ↩

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We see a confluence of geo-strategic proportion that is flipping time, space and resources.

As bitcoin, cloud computing and other adjacency technology1 proliferate at faster rates over more areas, we see an unprecedented drop in the cost of administrative activities.2

We understand the worry, anxiety, fear and anger the above reality generates in unprepared individuals, institutions, and industries.

The beauty of nature and other antifragile systems benefiting from disorder is:

Disorder is regrouped into order through self-healing through self-balancing.


  1. Adjacency Age is a key phrase we coined to help us be more organized and more precise. For us the term, Adjacency Age means:

    The age of humanity dealing with that combination of information, communication, networking and pattern recognition technology, now seen putting just about everything adjacent to and exposed to just about everything else, and more…  ↩

  2. * human resources, general management, accounting, legal and contracting work, money transfers of all types and levels, financing activities from venture, banking, investing, private equity, and more…  ↩

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Risk & project management are in a double squeeze play: Squeezing and being squeezed…

A well played out phenomenon in today’s extraction economy might be expressed as engineers1 leveraging middle manager’s time by forcing more and more duties and tasks on less and less people and allowing for less time to complete those duties.

The other squeeze play we refer to is the economic and business pressure being placed on those people, places and things (businesses, platforms2 and institutions of all types (data aggregation, education,3 religious, governmental and more…)) who have

  • 1 Traditionally benefited from conventional extraction economy’s leverage-based business models.
  • 2 Failed to evolve their thinking, deciding and action models fast enough to get out of these collapsing models.
  • 3 Struggles with the reality of the three pillars of all business models (time, space & resources) as nature-based system’s quantum leaps and other realities originating from quantum mechanics.

Here is a brief description of the powerful forces from opposite ends of the spectrum that are causing the squeeze. What is happening to agriculture now is not unique. It has been seen before in the following industries: automobiles, networking technologies, software development, film production, newspapers, computers and more…

  • Consumers with new Adjacency Age4 technology who are finding new versions of themselves by finding new ways to interact with technology and in doing so literally flip decision-making power from supplier to buyer/consumer. Pricing, quality, logistics, upstream supply chain decision-making all get flipped from supply/provider community to consumers.
  • Producers (agricultural and more…) who are used to following their input supplier rules to success (value-added strategies and tactics), are now finding the pot at the end of that rainbow empty and/or constantly moving to the point where it is never intended to be caught.5
    Such power squeeze plays rarely play out well for those who choose to stick to old game plans and are seen to be among the last to “let it go” to discover new business models that work.6

Agriculture is simply the latest industry learning the challenge of attempting to serve polar opposite viewpoints simultaneously, in the same space, without wasting resources.

Comprehensive risk management begins with situational awareness.

First up is knowing who you are. No one can tell you who you are. That’s what transitional space is all about: self-discovery, community discovery, societal discovery. Part of the discovery is choosing not only who and what you will connect with, but how you connect. A key aspect of the transition we humans are experiencing is the transition away from other humans playing the role of gatekeeper / protector / subject matter expert into a version where each of us are free standing arbiters of what does and what does not work.

As the transition rolls through time, space and resources, duties performed by gatekeepers / protectors / subject matter experts / engineers are squeezed into adjacency technology.7

Comprehensive risk management is the demonstrated capability of protecting the downside of risk while leaving the upside run as it might and equates non-financial components with the financial.

In a world where individual, institutional and industry gatekeeper’s / protector’s / subject matter / engineering expert’s roles are naturally diminished, societal norms, values and laws will naturally change to meet changing conditions.

Please keep in mind, while today’s farmers and consumers work to know themselves better to more effectively deal with a fast-changing squeeze play, and in doing so, will naturally morph today’s segmented agriculture, food and healthcare industries into a fully interacting and interdependent economic sector. Many other areas of business, government, education, military and more… are soon to follow.


  1. Here we use the term for those in “leadership” or “executive” roles and their advisors. Where “engineer” is a person who controls not an engine or ship, but the company, not–for–profit, church, governmental agency, college or institution of any type (Financial, Logistical, Analytical, Biological, Social) or their advisors…  ↩

  2. First, a shout–out to Irving Wladawsky–Berger. Irving’s writings covering “*A collection of observations, news and resources on the changing nature of innovation, technology, leadership, and other subjects.”,* have been a key nunchi portal we now share with you.

    Irving’s Despite Their Huge Upside Potential, Why Do Most Platforms Fail? is an excellent nunchi portal to better understand 1) what platforms are, 2) the types of platforms, 3) How platforms work, 4) and more…

    The article highlights the work of Michael Cusumano, Annabelle Gawer, and David Yoffie in their recently published book The Business of Platforms: Strategy in the Age of Digital Competition, Innovation, and Power.

    Suggested nunchi design exercise:

    • What threat does blockchain technology represent to all platforms*  ↩
      • In the long march, known to us as the democratization of power through digitalization, what threat(s) / opportunity(s) does blockchain’s triple level of accountability (debit, credit, and time) and its collapsing affect on all administrative apparatus (digital, human, machine and more…), have on “platforms”?
        Hint: collapsar

    *communication » business » academic » political » financial » digital (hardware, networking, software, and more…) » healthcare » governmental » religious » military » logistical » food » biological » educational » learning » analytical » medical » agricultural » social » perception & decision–making, and so much more…

  3. Two innovative responses to today’s century’s old educational model, as practiced widely throughout the United States are:

    For people seeking to, for a lack a better way to express what we see, update their individual, institutional or industry’s comprehensive situational awareness or Nunchi, we suggest observing how these two efforts treat time, space and resources.

  4. Adjacency Age is a key phrase we coined to help us be more organized and more precise. For us the term, Adjacency Age means:

    The age of humanity dealing with that combination of information, communication, networking and pattern recognition technology, now seen putting just about everything adjacent to and exposed to just about everything else, and more…  ↩

  5. Charlie Brown, Lucy and the football is a great descriptor of this now well played–out dysfunctional relationship between the average farmer and their seed, chemical, fertilizer, equipment, financier and more…

    The Regenerative Agriculture movement is showing farmers an alternative to chemical farming’s credit side of the ledger opportunity plays that have been hoisted upon the farmer, where debit risk by the farmer are supposed to result in “value added” transactional payoffs.

    The Regenerative Agriculture alternative is making meaningful cost reductions to farming by tapping into nature’s ability to provide.

    Meaningful cost reductions, in the hundred’s of thousands of dollars per farm have already fallen to early adopter’s bottom–line.  ↩

  6. For an example of how proactivity in discovering new business models that flip traditional business models on their head, we offer:

    CNBC’s full interview with billionaire Paul Tudor Jones and PayPal CEO Dan Schulman  ↩

    • Just Capital and Forbes published their third annual list of “Just” 100 companies. The list ranks how the largest publicly traded companies perform on issues such as worker pay, board diversity and environmental impact. Paul Tudor Jones, co–founder and chairman of Just Capital, and Dan Schulman, CEO of PayPal, join “Squawk Box” to discuss the initiative as well as what they are watching in the markets.
  7. Adjacency Age is a key phrase we coined to help us be more organized and more precise. For us the term, Adjacency Age means:

    The age of humanity dealing with that combination of information, communication, networking and pattern recognition technology, now seen putting just about everything adjacent to and exposed to just about everything else, and more…  ↩

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In transitional times, rock solid platform’s power evaporates, and then they collapse

The latest, in a growing list of examples of the above phenomenon is Coca-Cola’s entry into the milk and sparkling water industries.1

Importantly, during periods of transition, the power moves from the explicit to the tacit. This means old numbers, old markers of success lose their power, and new markers gain an overwhelming amount of say (power) as to what comes next.

We are referring to how when those adjacent to a market that is in transition, like Coca-Cola’s adjacency to the milk industry, Apple ’s adjacency to both the computers strictly for businesses industry and the telephone industry, and more…, the game of business shifts from superficial layer (as measured by market share, production efficiencies, branding messaging, and the like…) to a deeper game where the focus is capturing the bulk of an industry’s cash flow.

This new game doesn’t play like the old one.

Our working term for all of the above, the way we wrap our heads around the profound implications of what is now widely seen, is:

in times of transition, industry experience is not as important as

technical acumen and structural flexibility

In transitional times, a rock solid platform’s power is known to evaporate and then collapse. While the many industries of the soils, food and healthcare economic sector is the latest, many continue too struggled to find an effective way to deal with the collapse of their platforms.

We recognize the challenges people face when they are charged with the platform’s caretaking. The role of how they think, decide and act is core to how well the platform performs.

As the ecosystem around the platform changes, a fundamental challenge we recognize is many are unwilling, unable or unaware of how to let go of their attachment to a known process (easy to understand, easy to repeat patterns) which has historically, led to failure

Nunchi portal: The way many industries of the soil, food and healthcare sector think, decide and act still moves like a machine. The technical term is stage-gate.2

In other industries, where stage-gate has proven insufficient, many other types of time, project, and change management have been tried. Some of the better known are: waterfall, agile, holistic, holon and more.3

A time, project, change (and more…) risk / project management system that has been known to keep up with ecosystem changes, and the internal challenges they create is Kaizen.4

We leave this section with the following opened systems design questions the reader can consider for herself:

Does time itself move like a machine (linear and in only one direction) or like nature (relationship driven), as in “I remember like it was yesterday”?

Is our platform designed like nature…
to be antifragile and benefit from disorder?

As risk managers…
how well are we doing on risk / project management’s #1 responsibility?5


  1. nunchi portal:

    All of the above transitions are seen, by us, as extraction business models in transition to polyphony business model(s). (more on polyphony business models later in the article…).  ↩

    The commonality of all the above business models are showing the old pre–shift metrics are insufficient to mark what is happening in the new space.

    Where each may play out differently (different time, space and resource patterns), essentially they share recognizably similar patterns, opportunities, and value capture relationship(s) or overall P ∞ O ∞ V pattern(s).

  2. Informally Stage–Gate thinking, deciding and acting is understood by us to work something along the lines of:

    • Stage 1: Take lots of time to identify all the parts of a system and the relationship between the parts
    • Stage 2: Take even more time to isolate all the parts that are not the focus
    • Stage 3: Take even more time to “fix” the part that has the focus
    • Stage 4: Take even more time to bring the “fixed” part and the isolate parts back into working order  ↩
      • This stage is known not to go so well because while the stage–gaters have been out stage–gating, the world has changed subtlety or significantly enough to make Stages 1 – 4 the whole thing irrelevant…
        here is a primer we like:

    What is Stage Gate or Phase Gate Model?

  3. We counted more than a dozen management types spread over multiple context and sources.  ↩

  4. Kaizen (wikipedia)
    ∞ Here are two Kaizen implementation references to get you on your way:  ↩

  5. In our view, for any comprehensive risk manager (one capable of protecting the downside of risk while leaving the upside run as it might; or dual strategy of both hyper–conservative and hyper–aggressive; see barbell investment strategy for more…)  ↩

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Why Now?

We have found during periods of transition (like the liminal space conventional and regenerative agriculture’s leaders admittedly find themselves in today) the lines between risk and growth management get and stay blurred for quite some time.

In short, nature has taught us to wait until industry leaders recognized there have been changes to how the fundamentals of time, space and resources. We have found1

Because so much explicit knowledge is known about nature-based power patterns ( P ∞ O ∞ V and more…), we focus on the presently undervalued by the marketplace tacit knowledge set that completes all nature-based closed looped systems, like wisdom and more2.

So…

In twenty-five years of practical application of nature-based systems management applied in the real-world where platforms of all sizes, shapes and origins are seen to collapse due to geo-strategic pressure changes.3, we have learned a key lesson.

Here is a lesson in time we freely share with all:

We have been taught nature has limits.

These limits in time, space and resources means learning nature-based timing cycles is key to life-filled, enduring longevity, or to use a popular term used more broadly today: sustainable.

And one of the key timing lessons is:

To stop wasting time, space and resources (yours and others) it is best to wait until those in a system recognize times have changed, before offering help that draws on your time, space and resources.

This is how making up for lost time gets done.4


  1. For an individual’s, an institution’s, or industry’s long–held, deeply cherished, self–imposed rules of order (the way they think, decide, act and more…) to be seen as needing an update, often requires a painful unpacking and discovery of its underlying components: norms, values, and laws (both in the terms of content, and how all three relate to each other).

    Some prefer to rip such Band–Aids (their rules) slowly, some quickly.

    What comes during rule “unpacking”, and is known to have an unavoidable elongated half–life is a recognition of what was once rock–solid is, and always has been, quite fungible.

    What are we talking about?

    Nothing short of the basic relationship between the fundamentals of thinking, deciding and acting in regard to time itself, space and resources of all sorts from Financial to Social and all the Analytics, Biological and Logistical shifting realties in–between.

    It has been our experience, ripping off the Band–Aid, the unpacking done fast (even if it means getting help from an "outsider’) wastes less time, space and resources, and often can make up for lost time…

    Here is another example of a community awakening from self–imposed rules

    Jonathan Haidt: The Three Terrible Ideas Weakening Gen Z and Damaging Universities and Democracies

    « We found Jonathan’s presentation beneficial. »  ↩

  2. Since nature is just not that into humans, this tacit or unspoken is key to moving from Type I extraction systems to Type III closed–loop systems.

    nunchi portal:

    Explicit knowledge is knowing what the components are, or seeing the tangible components of a system.

    Tacit knowledge is knowing how to regroup the explicit components with a focus on time, space and resource relationships in such a way as to both protect the downside and let the upside show itself.

    This technical tick–tock may help too. Two major types of knowledge are central to Knowledge Management.  ↩

  3. nunchi portal:

    geo–strategic' is a key phrase we use for changes in Financial, Logistical, Analytical, Biological, Social conditions that are beyond any influence from any individual, institution or industry*.

    *communication » business » academic » political » financial » healthcare » governmental » religious » military » logistical » food » biological » educational » learning » analytical » medical » agricultural » social » perception & decision–making system, and so much more…  ↩

  4. If you sense the pattern of time mentioned here is similar to the pattern of time and timing used to heal other dysfunctional human systems, like addiction and harassment (all types), 360º case management, or even holding space and more…, you are on the right track.  ↩

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With time lessons laid out for all, it is time to move on to: Soil is the Silent Partner.

We have been taught by nature it is best to wait before acting1.

To help ourselves better manage the timing of what we want to do, where we want to do it and have the energy to do it when it works with the least amount of time, space and resources we remind ourselves to treat nature as a silent partner.2

This is easier said than done.

At the core of a society’s norms, values and laws are individual’s, institutional, and industry’s intentions, sediments, and perceptions (of time, space, resources and more…). How a society deals with its perception of time, space and resources is no small thing.

What Eric has lifted up is no small thing.

When it comes to soils, where are society’s perceptions?

Are America’s soil perceptions still locked into a starting point that is still all about extraction? Or, a perception that includes nature as the silent partner.

One big and fundamental difference, as Eric puts in his LinkedIN post ‘control agriculture’ and regenerative agriculture is regenerative agriculture treats the soil as the silent power.

One big and fundamental difference between chemical / conventional / today’s popular version of agriculture or ‘controlled agriculture’, as Eric states in his LinkedIN post, and regenerative agriculture, is regenerative agriculture treats the soil as the silent power.

As regenerative agriculture’s sole silent partner, regenerative agriculture grants the soil, and no one else, contingency power.

What is contingency power?

In this case it is:

The power to alter the course of what works, what doesn’t work, what stands in the way, and what it (the soil) needs next.

One unique capability that old dogs who can still learn new tricks is an ability to help others understand how to move with a community through a transitional time period. This capability includes waiting for leaders of said community to express an awareness of the inadequacies of current mindsets and behavioral pattern.

Eric, thanks for speaking up.


  1. There are many ways to express the timing and role of patience in investing/funding, logistical, analytical, biological and in–particular social/political models.

    Concisely put: In nature, often it is the subtle that drives the significant, the indirect that drives the direct. When nature / soil is your silent partner it pays to be patient.

    Here’s more…

    Often in nature, to show the full meaning of a concept it is wise to show adjacent examples until the receiver / reader is able to catch it on their own. We understand this takes license with the profoundly popular style of writing that treats every reader as a monarch by fully presenting everything, even if it has to be “dumbed–downed”.

    We take a different view. We understand, as nature–based systems, humans are inherently antifragile. This means readers benefit from disorder.

    So allow us to present several adjacent examples and see how doing so helps you:

    Rope–A–Dope
    “don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes”
    Difference Between Karate and Judo
    Need something more personal? That is what our no obligation, mutual storytelling is all about. Tell us your story and we can make this wisdom much more personal. Contact Us.  ↩

  2. A shout–out to our friend Walter Lynn. Who, for us, coined the term:

    “Treat the soil as a silent partner.”  ↩

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Discontinuous Leaps, Circuitous Roots and Routes

In the Background Notes section above we signal the power of the role circuitous routes and discontinuous leaps play in survival, innovation—life itself.

Here we highlight these known power patterns in another space not known for, or often seen intolerant of, circuitous routes and discontinuous leaps—classical and behavioral economics.

For the uninitiated, one might think that business and economics are one and the same, integrated somehow into a well oiled machine. Conventional wisdom says, keep the machine fueled and well oiled is all that is needed.

With a bit of Nunchi, one soon discovers this is not the case…

In his article, Popeyenomics: Why You Do What You Do, Tunku Varadarajan does a great job of laying out Richard Robb’s work demonstrating how people are more than robots whose behaviors are determined by their preferences1.

To help those stuck in stage-gate mindset and other leverage-based behavioral patterns originating out of the Industrial Age thinking, deciding and task model(s), which tolerates people treating other people as inanimate machined parts, we present, throughout this article, a series of keywords and tricky phrases2.

Here is a Richard Robb tricky phrase that resonates with us. How about you?3

“There are more efficient ways to prove or disprove a theorem, but combat was part of our process.” The pencil game was “for itself”—an act that resulted “from the exercise of will rather than the pursuit of preferences.”

We find this to be true in our own systems design ∞ development ∞ delivery progressions.4

Another quote from the article we relate to is this tricky phrase:

“This would make obvious emotional sense to any ordinary human being. Only for economists,5 it seems, must the matter be spelled out.”

We searched for the latest business system design thinking and found a preponderance of evidence signaling it is still stuck using the stage-gate model to relate time, space and resources6.

In our view, and as we find in nature, the design (of whatever) is not a stand-alone.

Many are realizing 1) they will have to leave their beloved stage-gate models for something more relevant; leaving product and service level metrics to ecosystem level metrics, 2) the influence of technology to decrease the timing and the amount of resource(s) allocated to thinking and deciding, 3) leaving behind the notions of the extraction economy and its over-reliance on leverage.7

Nunchi design question: How does your business model relate time, space and resources? Machined, polyphony or something else?

Power starts with how time ∞ space ∞ resources relate…


  1. Rational choice theory, and its view on humanity and how humans make choices (based on self–interest by rational actors) has always felt too narrowcasted and incomplete.

    We do go so far as laying out the notion this theory is one of those embedded assumptions, presented as never to be challenged, is simply another version of a well played–out phenomenon: “the ends justify the means”. Just another euphemism used to justify leverage–based mindsets and behavioral patterns.

    Please don’t get us wrong, at one time, this theory was quite useful in moving economic systems to more effective levels and capabilities.

    Our systems design question is: Isn’t it time for Something More…?

    Because economics deals with the core all business models where time, space and resources relate in both serial and dynamic ways, at the same time, all–the–time, please allow us to present this nunchi design question:

    • If the underpinnings of today’s extraction economy (it’s economic assumptions and theory’s) needs updating, doesn’t everything that is built on this weakening “foundation” need to be reassessed?

    Suggested nunchi design exercise:  ↩

    With the ground by which they are built upon (rational choice theory and behavioral economics) understood to be insufficient, how “stable” or “too big to fail” can today’s “platforms*” really be?

    • economic, software, search, social networks, hardware, software, governmental, educational, academic, military, and so much more…
  2. A shout–out to Tim Curry (my brother) and all first responders and members of our military (both active and retired).

    The “keyword and tricky phrases” nunchi portal originates from Tim’s experience as an undergraduate and graduation from the US Navel Academy.

    Tim and his family’s life story* stands as testimony to the power of

    • A human far from the any center of power willing to accept being antifragile and enter into combat (both the intellectual kind and the very real literal kind). And in doing so, they provide an open space for those they love, to just be.  ↩

    *And be they be. With a devout, strong spouse at Tim’s side all the way, counted among the people spawned from their polyphony are 1) a successful entrepreneurial crew at forefront of designing and delivering new earth–bound sensors bringing great value to billions 2) a family crew demonstrating to all, the benefits of choosing to be antifragile and finding their own way in the world 3) presently a crew of two, as warriors, they are naturally, without drama, self–organizing, interdependent, life–giving polyphonies that inspire and motivate all.

  3. We are taking remarks at Russ Curry @ LinkedIN.

    As of this writing (late, 2019) LinkedIN’s platform is hosting some of the most innovative and highly reciprocal human interactions in the soils ∞ food ∞ healthcare sector. This sector is known to be critical to solving today’s chronic illness, water quality, climate change and other planetary challenges…  ↩

  4. Two nunchi portals:  ↩

    • There is a subtle but significant difference between the machined “processes” people set for themselves and others, known as tasks and other euphemisms used to excuse leverage–based behaviors, and no–drama nature–based progressions.
    • We encourage all readers, the well–seasoned, the well–experienced and the uninitiated, to review the links, and the multiple definitions involved with each linked word. Such thought experiments are known to be quite helpful in saving time, space, resources and make up for lost time.
  5. …just one type of engineer found throughout the five portals to power:  ↩

    • Financial, Logistical, Analytical, Biological, Social
  6. This passage is an actual demonstration of how nature (even the human kind) are antifragile system(s) that benefit from disorder. We also call your attention to Background Note 4: Harsh Word Will Set You Free.

    All three (the passage, Background Note 4, and this entire article and whatever develops from it…) are designed not to harm or judge, merely inspire and motivate all towards a single unifying strategic intent:

    Healthier People Interacting with a Healthier Planet ↩

  7. Where euphemisms are created to normalize leveraging humans and is considered acceptable in polite society.  ↩

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Bringing about today’s extraction economy’s agriculture, food, healthcare industries: a business model treating nature as the silent partner

Bringing something about as complex as involving the multitude of components and multifaceted interactions that contribute to water quality, climate change and the way society interacts with itself, with commerce, technology and the planet is no small endeavor. This reality is a large and growing part of soils, food and healthcare businesses.

Where does on begin?

It starts with abandonment of some long-held intentions, sentiments, perceptions, and norms. Regardless of how conflated we humans equate our own self-worth with what we think, know or may have, no one has to get hurt when we let go of ideas of what is not working to free up time, space and resources for what is already being seen to work elsewhere…

We are simply discussing the letting go of long-held ideas and thoughts. We are not advocating the outright abandonment of people or ways of doing business, just the notions what has come before is all there is and all that is needed moving forward.

Specifically, there is no “rule-breaking” and other “perceived to be avoided at all cost behaviors” when non-reductionist, creative problem-solving is deployed to demonstrate how nature-based solutions work differently than engineered solutions.

For any comprehensive risk / project manager who wants to be seen as competent in managing both extremely safe investments / projects and exponential growth investments / projects, we suggest abandoning old notions of how time works and open yourself up to how time works in nature-based systems—where patience pays.

Here is what is working for us: Treat time, a key power component in the way we humans feed and protect ourselves and interact with others, as a non-binary system.

Here are the three layers or relationships of time we use to bring about meaningful change:

  • Operational layer of time: The tick-tock of daily life where thinking, deciding and acting is reduced to intra year, month, week, day, hour, minute, or as is often the case sub-minute.
  • Strategic layer of time: The seasonal flow of life where thinking, deciding and acting is expanded to include years and decades.
  • Geo-Strategic layer of time: This is to remind ourselves there are many things beyond our, or any human’s control. In this case, how we personally, as a community, as a society on earth today, handle the power patterns that span conventional notions of time. One way those who that came before us dealt with such complexities is by placing time in the context of seven generations.

Nature often delivers to humans seemingly unfixable, or unknowable problems and paradoxes. In periods of transitions, we find ourselves using seven generation thinking, deciding and action patterns to bring peace and efficiencies not otherwise available…

Where each layer of time is known to interconnect, interoperate and is interdependent on the others…

We found our use of the classic product-based business model, and its sibling, the service-based business model insufficient. At their core they share a stage-gate project management norm that perceives time as strictly linear.

If that last statement was too big a leap, we gently remind you, in nature, a system of systems with life cycles at the center, many independent systems exists alongside each other, each with their own reality of time. Where one system may remain seemingly unproductive for very long periods of time (dormant), when in fact, it is actively condensing or compounding power. At the same time, many other systems may be appearing to be quite active or productive, when in fact, they are cascading their power away.

Presently we are using a performance-based business model that originates out of the stage, screen and television industries. Our version taps into this business model known to be able to monetize intangibles into tangibles by way of its ticket-based cash flow model.1 In terms of the relationship between those that produce the performance and those that experience the performance, the cash flow comes at the front-end of the relationship.

If your business is running on a model where cash does not get paid up front, now may be the time to consider transitioning to a new model. Transitional time can be very, very rough.

There is more. While the performance-based business model is presently working well, it is insufficient for what is coming next.

We see the need for a more dynamic business model to accommodate the time, space and resource bending phenomena unleashed by the blockchain and other Adjacency Technology. More on this in a later article.

For now let’s leave you with this systems design question:

Does your business run like a polyphony or as a played out machine/ platform? A platform seen to be increasingly delivering diminishing returns and failing to effectively deal with intangible power maneuvers originating out of the social domain?2


  1. Just one example of “no leaping” into unknown space.

    Performance–based business models are not a new idea, but it may be a good idea for many industries to consider during transitional time periods…  ↩

  2. One key way is to conduct a thought experiment asking yourself, how well are we handling disconnects, pushback and other back beats of natural–systems.

    To get you started we offer:

    Syncopation made easy! Interactive RHYTHM training.

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Confluence: The Rules change when transitioning from extraction platforms to closed-looped nature-based systems

The Rules we are referring to is nothing short of flipping time, space and resource relationships common to all human relationships and systems.1

For a review of the fundamental relationship changes to power’s basic components (time, space and resources) as we humans transition out of extraction platforms to closed-loop systems we recommend Janine Benyus’s Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature.

Here is a key passage to get you started2.

Remember, a system of systems with life cycles at the center thinks, decides and acts differently from machined extraction platforms, or as those advisors closest to me remind me, “The Rules Are Different.”

Be free to come and go from this article as you see fit. When you are ready for more, we have more to demonstrate. You are invited to contact us when it works for you. Our offer begins with our famous no obligation mutual storytelling experience.3


  1. Human Relationships:

    • human–to–human
    • human–to–technology
    • human–to–physical world
    • and back again…  ↩

    Human Systems

    • communication » business » academic » political » financial » healthcare » governmental » religious » military » logistical » food » biological » educational » learning » analytical » medical » agricultural » social » perception & decision–making system, and so much more…
  2. Surviving In Place: Emulating Nature’s Economics

    Surviving In Place: Emulating Nature’s Economics

    "William Cooper wonders what an old fish squeezer like him is doing on the Journal of Urban Ecology’s masthead, or the National Academy of Science’s panel to investigate the building of six hundred supersonic transport planes. A fish biologist by training, Cooper has cultivated a multi–octave range of specialties, thriving in the tidal pool between disciplines that is home to good biomimics.

    In addition to teaching zoology at Michigan State University, Cooper is an adjunct professor in marine sciences in Virginia, and civil, environmental, and mineral engineering in Michigan and Minnesota. He’s chaired a department and seven advisory boards and is now on the editorial board of four journals. In fact, from the looks of his vita, you’d be hard–pressed to find a global change, waste management, or environmental risk board that Cooper has not served on. In his spare time, he works for the Brookings Institution, giving about thirty–five seminars a year to policy makers who are about to sail or sink important legislation.

    Despite this heavyweight influence, Cooper is a surprisingly self–effacing, plain talker with a grounded sense of the absurd. I laughed a lot when I talked with him, and I imagine his students enjoy the boomerang rides he calls lectures.

    A decade before it was fashionable, Cooper tells me, he wandered out of the Zoology Department at the University of Michigan and began to teach a class in ecological systems to engineers. When Braden Allenby heard about that, he invited Cooper to a 1992 Woods Hole meeting to talk about a newly birthed concept called industrial ecology. I was the only biologist in the room, Cooper recalls.

    What he told Allenby and the other business thinkers was good news.The natural world is full of models for a more sustainable economic system—prairies, coral reefs, oak–hickory forests, old–growth redwood and Douglas–fir forests, and more. These mature ecosystems do everything we want to do. They self–organize into a diverse and integrated community of organisms with a common purpose—to maintain their presence in one place, make the most of what is available, and endure over the long haul.

    But he also told them some bad news. We are nothing like the equilibrium organisms we want to emulate. Right now, we are occupying a niche that is also found in the natural world—that of opportunists, concentrating on growth and throughput (how fast raw materials can be turned into products) without giving much thought to efficiency. We’re acting as if we’re only passing through, taking advantage of the plenty and then moving on.

    Opportunists are the weeds in a farmer’s newly turned field, the bacteria in a Tupperware of leftovers, or the mice in a catless barn. These communities, called Type I systems, spring up to take advantage of abundant resources. They typically use resources as quickly as they can, turning them into adult bodies and then into numerous, small offspring—thousands of insect eggs, for instance. The idea behind this rapid growth strategy is to grow your population, maximize throughput of materials, and then head for the next horn of plenty, with no time for recycling or efficiency. Sound familiar?

    The Industrial Revolution was the equivalent of throwing a handful of flour beetles into a fresh bin of clean, sifted flour, Allenby told me. We suddenly had unlimited resources, and like any opportunistic system, we went hog wild, with one important difference. Unlike flour beetles, who can eat and be merry and then move on to another bin of flour, we are in a finite container called Earth. To get a grim foreshadowing of our predicament, put a screen atop the flour bin so the beetles can’t get out to find their next cornucopia.

    The screened–in beetles will eat and reproduce, filling the bin with beetle bodies. Because their system is so simple, there is no decay segment of society, no janitorial species to clean up the corpses and convert them back into food. That means that once the flour gets turned into flour–beetle bodies, those nutrients are locked away from the increasingly hungry population. It’s like our economy turning the last of our raw materials into products, with no mechanism for recycling those products.

    Living space quickly becomes scarce as well. As the population reaches the peak of its classic sigmoid curve, the madding crowd begins to get in one another’s way. Antennas are locking, beetles are munching on the offspring of other beetles, and copulating beetles are being interrupted by a third and a fourth before they can mate. Within days, survival rates teeter, births stall, and the population comes crashing to a hard landing.

    It’s not that these linear, Type I systems are categorically bad, says Bill Cooper. That’s a human judgment. If it weren’t for Type I systems, the Earth’s scars wouldn’t heal. Annuals come in when soils have been disturbed—after fire, windfall, plowing, or plague. They carpet the ground, gobbling newly exposed nutrients and fertilizing the soil with their wastes, setting the stage for the grand conga dance called succession: Flower field turns to shrub field turns to forest. Though their moment in the sun is short, Type I pioneers can always find a new patch of disturbance somewhere, even in little gaps that are created after a tree falls. This slightly offbeat pulsing of decay and repair in many patches is what helps the community retain its stability.

    But the strategy of ragweed, fireweed, and crabgrass doesn’t work everywhere. It’s only appropriate at the start–up stage of succession, when plenty of sunlight and soil nutrients are still available. Once the scene begins to crowd, and the pie of sun and water and nutrients is divided among more takers, the Type II strategy wins out.

    The Type II system consists of perennial berry bushes and woody seedlings that move into the field. They are there for the longer haul. Unlike Type I species, they won’t spend their energy on making millions of seeds. Instead, they’ll make a few seeds and funnel the rest of the energy into hardy roots and sturdy stems that will see them through winter. In the springtime, their prudence will pay off—they’ll rebound from their roots and reach quickly for the sun, outpacing and eclipsing the Type I annuals.

    At the very end of the conga line are those species that take this patience strategy to the extreme, showing even more loyalty to place. Type III species (the ones that will inherit the site and remain dominant until the next big disturbance) do more with less. They are designed to stay on the land in a state of relative equilibrium, taking out no more than they put in.

    Masters of efficiency, Type III species don’t have to go looking for sunlight. Their seedlings can tolerate their parents’ shade, so wave after wave of the same species can grow up here. Biologists call these species K–selected. They have larger and fewer offspring, which have longer and more complex lives. They live in elaborate synergy with the species around them, and put their energy into optimizing these relationships. Together, the mesh of life juggles materials endlessly. Virtually no wastes leach away, and the only energy imported is that of the sun. By the time a mature forest like this closes ranks, pioneer species are long gone, off to their next sunny fortune—a fire scar in a forest, a gap from a wind–torn tree, the crack in your driveway.

    Type I species are the rolling stones of the world, colonizing rather than learning to close the loops. The reason the footloose strategy works for them, says Cooper, is that new opportunities are always opening up. Back before our world was full, when we still had somewhere else to go, the Type I strategy looked like a good way to stay one step ahead of reality. These days, when we’ve gone everywhere there is to go, we have to find a different kind of plenty, not by jumping off to another planet but by closing the loops here on this one".  ↩

    Long–Tail Economics is a key part of transitioning from Type I extraction systems to Type III closed looped systems. Do buy the book, in whatever form works for you, and continue to loop yourself in to this tacit power loop…

  3. I know right?????

    If you are thinking this a classic bait and switch trap. (See Lucy with the football.)…

    Such passive–aggressive, and other dysfunctional behaviors are too easily recognized (and therefore so played out they are no longer sufficient to consider, much less use…) in closed–loop systems.

    When you are ready to push through your WAFA (Worries, Anxieties, Fears, and Anger) we are ready to show you new relationships in time, space and resources and the new humans experience that surface…  ↩

nunchi woodshed 0.0

Appendix

What follows is a list of items that have helped us. They are presented here in the hopes they help you. back to Synopsis: Agriculture’s Awakening…

Background Note 1: The Implications Of Stage-Gate strategies, planning, time and project management mindsets and behavioral patterns1.

Background Note 2: Not Mansplaining anything, merely making remarks like: Ms. Pauli Murray2.

Background Note 3: Disruptions Cause Opportunities.3

Background Note 4: Harsh Words May Set You Free4

Background Note 5: For The Vocal Minority Who Insist in being shown the technical tick-tock up front, here it is5


  1. Informally Stage–Gate thinking, deciding and acting is understood by us to work something along the lines of:

    • Stage 1: Working off a pre–determined platform and/or template, work first to identify the metrics by taking lots of time to identify all the parts of a system and the relationship between the parts.
    • Stage 2: Take even more time to isolate all the parts that are not the focus. This creates, among other things, an atmosphere of “the ends justify the means”, “plausible deniability” and other humanly contrived mental constructs. Such constructs are rarely known to end well, and create long–lasting disorder along the way. Here is how it works in The Academy / education. Many company’s brand and branding work is a similar manner.
    • Stage 3: Take even more time to “fix” the part that has the focus. This is where the atmospheric pressures in #2 above begin to be consciously experienced by others in the form of the now well–played–out human interaction climate that tolerates deny, delay deflect strategies and its many forms of tactical maneuvers including the use of euphemisms, passive–aggressive manipulations, intimidation and other forms of harassment. A recent demonstration of how this ancient demonstrated mindset and behavioral pattern works can be found in the (hashtag)metoo movement.
    • Stage 4: Take even more time to bring the “fixed” part and the isolate parts back into working order
      This last stage is known not to go so well because while the stage–gaters have been out stage–gating, the world has changed subtlety or significantly enough to make Stages 1 – 3, the whole thing really, no longer relevant

    Here is a situational awareness or nunchi portal we like:

    As our human perception of time gets flipped, it brings along with it a flip in the meaning of space and resources of all types: From Financial, to Logistical, to Analytical, to Biological, and importantly Social.

    Please understand, we do not seek to undermine the value a stage–gate process is capable of bringing to the table. It’s the displayed mindsets and behavioral patterns (mentioned above) tend to develop and take hold, seemingly take what started out to be an atmosphere of good intention and slowly turns into an unhealthy climate, which often, unnoticeably so, settles in to a long–term, sometimes into a very long–term, decades and decades long. operating environment(s) known to harass.  ↩

    We can see why. A common trait we have found prevalent among stage–gate advocates is the treatment of time as strictly a linear, sequential, highly structured, humanly controllable event. How else can one explain such narrowcasting of time as to fail to recognize or otherwise dismiss the interaction relationship (as in “I remember it as if it happened yesterday…” ) humans have had with time, since the dawn of humanity’s time on Earth…

  2. "I want to destroy segregation by positive and embracing methods… When my brothers try to draw a circle to exclude me, I shall draw a circle to include them. Where they speak out for the privileges of a puny group, I shall shout for the rights of all mankind.  ↩

  3. Disruptions in agriculture’s classic time, space and resource fundamental relationships are seen by us as generating internal disruptions and creating open space for incumbents to be credibly challenged by less dominate intra–industry power plays and creating opportunity for adjacent players to enter soils, food and healthcare and change “The Rules”… »  ↩

  4. Disclaimer: how we see nature:

    • Nature is antifragile
    • Nature is self healing
    • Nature is apolitical
    • Nature is just not that into you
    • Nature, as a system, has no interest in human perspectives
    • Nature merely gives remarks. Nature does not explain itself to anyone.
    • Nature is

    We choose to be like nature. Here is our disclaimer:

    Merely giving remarks is often perceived as mansplaining or worse. Experience has taught us this happens when the receiver conflates time, space and resources by inferring more than what is being offered.

    For anyone familiar with this key phrase He's Just Not That Into You will understand where we are coming from.

    Others, from a completely different community, explain this phenomena using this key phrase Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder.

    More communities use different norms and values, expressed in words and deeds. to convey similar, if not identical meaning (intensions, sentiments, perceptions…)

    When agnetic gives remarks or other demonstrations of how, in transitional time periods, the fundamental relationships of power (time, space & resource) dynamically morph at rates most are not prepared we aim not to be complicated.  ↩

    We send no mixed messages.

    Much like Mother nature is demonstrating how she is just not into us humans, we are demonstrating if you think nature and human are fragile systems where euphemisms, appeasement and domination work, we are just not that into you.

    We are into forming a confluence with antifragile people and planetary systems (nature and more…) to get on with the business of improving People and Planet Healthcare Interactions… »

  5. As your comments, questions and insights surface we encourage you to return this popup. Similar to the way mindfulness works, you may find this a helpful way to grow your own situational awareness.

    Welcome engineers of all types: Financial, Logistical, Analytical, Biological, Social. Yes, we recognize that is a mouthful. Because nature has limits precision matters. So let’s unpack this statement

    All of the following in this popup is designed to be a stand–alone reference adjacent to and in support of the linked article. It is not designed to be read or fully understood in one sitting, but is provided as place to return to as often as needed…

    ∞ 1 human interaction systems is a key phrase for the following interactions (reciprocal actions or influences)

    • human–to–human
    • human–to–technology
    • human–to–physical world
    • and back again…

    and the following human systems

    • communication » business » academic » political » financial » healthcare » governmental » religious » military » logistical » food » biological » educational » learning » analytical » medical » agricultural » social » perception & decision–making system, and so much more…

    as well as the following components

    • time
    • space
    • resources
      • Financial, Logistical, Analytical, Biological, Social (known together as FLABS  ↩

    ∞2 Designers is used to convey all that engineering deals with and the quality of human interaction with engineered product(s) and or service(s) engineers sometimes struggle with; for example: designing for the entire consumer experience with the product (unboxing and more…), not just the explicit product itself…

    ∞3 the dynamic of nature and other antifragile systems that benefit from disorder is used to convey systems where the following agnetic insights come into focus:

    ∞4 Once open relationships, since closed and now blocked by walls and platforms (held in the dark) are opened and brought into the open so that they once again be seen (and felt) as trustworthy, as well as, consistently and constantly verifiable

    • In short, we hold true to the scientific method as we continue to apply the science of evolution to the way we humans think, decide and act.

    Additional technical backup available at agnetic.com.