Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Arizona UPRISING -- Change happens... or does it?

Newton's First Law of Motion states:
Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.
This is also known as the Law of Inertia.

Inertia is not limited to the realm of physics. There is cognitive inertia.
Cognitive inertia refers the tendency for beliefs or sets of beliefs to endure once formed. In particular, cognitive inertia describes the human inclination to rely on familiar assumptions and exhibit a reluctance and/or inability to revise those assumptions, even when the evidence supporting them no longer exists or when other evidence would question their accuracy. The term is employed in the managerial and organizational sciences to describe the commonly observed phenomenon whereby managers fail to update and revise their understanding of a situation when that situation changes, a phenomenon that acts as a psychological barrier to organizational change. 
Then there is social inertia or cultural inertia, where cognitive inertia takes over small or large groups or societies.

The common thread is resistance to change.

Cultural inertia is the reason it took until Lincoln's presidency before slavery -- in spite of the Founding Fathers declaring decades earlier that  "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..." -- to abolish the unquestionably evil practice of slavery.

Cultural inertia is the reason it took until August 1920 -- with ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution -- before women were granted the right to vote throughout the United States.

The United States, by the way, was NOT the first nation to recognize that right. Note that the (Progressive) State of Arizona did so with the passage of a ballot measure on November 5, 1912. That was the first general election after Arizona obtained statehood.

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Let's cut to the chase. Change happens.

Does it matter how or why change happens? Or doesn't happen?

Why do I bring this up now? Pointedly stated, we are at the most important moment in human history: NOW.

How quaint, right? Can we change the past? Notwithstanding those who would rewrite history, what happened, happened. Can we predict the future? Can we change the future?

I'm thinking that there are people who have the ability to predict, or at least envision what is likely to take place in the future based on a current course of action or set of events. There are also people who can present a vision of what a person or group may want to make happen in the future, and based on collective intelligence or resourcefulness, the group may be able to take steps at a given moment (a certain "now") to increase the likelihood their vision of the future will actually take place.

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As a society, there are some pretty fierce and seemingly insurmountable crises on the horizon.

First and foremost, we MUST Move to Amend the US Constitution to overturn or nullify the Citizens United ruling. US citizens have demanded amendments before and when the cultural inertia was overcome, change happened.

For several decades, scientists and engineers have seen climate change and other consequences of industrialization approaching.

Because of this understanding, rapid development of new technologies available to meet and overcome related challenges and crises have also been in the works for decades. When we overcome the cultural inertia, food production, manufacturing and transportation technology as well as energy usage practices will change.

Remember, overcoming inertia is only accomplished by application of an external force.



WE are the leaders we've been waiting for. -- Bob Edgar

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Technological change in society can also be often incredibly disruptive. Such is the case before us with the Navajo Generating Station in Northern Arizona. The need for crucial, long ranging decisions about NGS was thrust upon our state when out-of-state utilities holding substantial ownership percentages in NGS announced intent to divest.

The decisions announced by Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and Nevada Energy are out of the hands of Arizonans. Other related decisions can and should be influenced by the people of Arizona and what is in OUR best interests. Which brings us to Arizona's political environment and makes election campaigns for statewide offices in 2014 most urgent NOW.

Several people are already considering or planning to compete for the two expected open seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission. But only one candidate thus far has impressed me as having the vision and determination to lead Arizona through the challenges we face. People like Glenn Hamer and Steve Macias already recognize that situation also. They wrote:

In her recent “My Turn,” [which was also published by the Arizona Eagletarian as a guest blog post] Nancy LaPlaca touted Los Angeles and Nevada for their plans to abandon coal-fueled electricity (“Coal is poor investment in state’s energy future,” May 6).
She encouraged Arizona to follow suit with little to no regard for the economic implications of her suggestion, which would undoubtedly result in higher energy and water rates for the state.
LaPlaca has already provided data to show how wrong Hamer and Macias are. I plan to publish some of that information over the next few days. But when I started writing this evening, it became apparent that the most urgent thing to convey was how Hamer and Macias represent inertia or resistance to change. A resistance, by the way, that is undoubtedly futile.

If the two of them were genuinely advocates for Arizona businesses, rather than commit themselves to remaining in a state of cognitive inertia, perhaps the organizations they work for would be better served if the two would set forth an entrepreneurial vision recognizing the business opportunities this situation represents.

For a little chuckle, view this clip. But please, don't take it too seriously. We are not the United Nations, after all. Wink, wink.


Above all, do not forget that Arizona was built upon a very progressive foundation.

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