The current age is one of SYSTEMISM or ‘faith in Systems’.

Below some reflections on the very fashionable #FoodSystems paradigm (based on Gall's great work 'Systemantics'), especially in view of the upcoming 2021 @UN @FoodSystems Summit.

There may be trouble ahead.
The prevailing view is one of the System-as-machine, whereby it would suffice to know & master a set of underlying mechanisms to understand, predict, & steer System’s behaviour & outcomes, in response to a Problem.
However, this utopian mindset has been criticized for the likely failure & damage it entails & the false sense of holistic management it seems to suggest. Frequently, Systems turn out to be an interventionist expression of high-modernist and reductionist top-down administration.
The Problem Food Systems aim to tackle through a #FoodCanFixIt approach consist of an alleged ‘broken food chain’ & the consumption of unhealthy & unsustainable diets. Although there's noble intent in that mission, it's likely to meet the pitfalls of System design & management.
Systems behave unpredictably & go out of control when growing in size & complexity. During that process, they lose some of their basic functions while creating new & unexpected ones. Complexity *emerges*, whereas any element of one system is also an element in countless others.
Worse, Systems usually operate in #failure mode, not functioning as expected. Instead of accomplishing a pre-set goal, they create new, persistent, & encroaching problems associated with their functioning or even with their mere presence.
Such malfunction is not easily detectable (if ever) due to a lack of proper criteria for evaluation, which for large Systems may be beyond human capacity. The LARGER the System, the larger the errors, and the more chance that they escape notice or be excused.
Moreover, old and failed Systems tend to linger as putrefying cadavers or toxic waste, & become new problems to be cleaned up, thereby creating even more new Systems. Also, taking a System down is more tedious than setting it up.
Although System evaluation is cited as a part of its management, this practically translates into an asphyxiating formalization of Goals & Objectives. The latter generate an ILLUSION of achievement & efficiency but mostly imply administrative encirclement & negative feedback.
Systems behave as if they have a will to live & work for their own Goals, rather than for the benefit of humanity or the Stated Purpose of the System (e.g., ‘#BuildBackBetter’).

Both the System & people contained therein tend to *NOT* do what the System claims they are doing.
Instead, they bring new ‘realities’ into existence & perpetuate what they have named (often as a slogan; eg 'war on poverty’). They take credit for desirable events (called Outcomes) that are believed to be causally induced by the System, but disregard output that is undesirable.
Yet, what hasn’t been named or has been denied existence is not considered as ‘REAL’. By then, Systems that are sufficiently large and complex absorb all attention to making its program work rather than on the problem that needed to be solved.
People immersed in Systems are shielded from the real world, being only exposed to filtered & distorted versions of it. This creates a virtual reality, narrowed down by the use of metrics & identifiers, rather than interactions with actual human communities & their environments.
As a result, people in Systems develop a suspension of normal mental activity & replace it by a trance-like state & a ‘mania of self-esteem’, catalyzed by titles & the illusion of power. Systems designers also tend to design ways for themselves to bypass the System.
Systems attract Systems-people, individuals who easily adapt to life in Systems, & select for increasing specialization. The end result of this may be bizarreness, the accumulation of internal communication processes dealing with unfinished tasks, & self-referential NOISE.
Systems aim at data-gathering. This yields little *information* & tends to be self-defeating. With increasing digitalisation, datasets, & ICT, the opportunities for (& impact of) error will rise due to the inability of human imagination to anticipate malfunction. #4IR
Failure will likely decrease if:

- already existing Systems are used, preferably small ones, while working Systems are best left alone

- new Systems evolve from working systems & are gently implemented, to avoid disturbance of working Systems

- Systems *increase* options
- system failures, obtained through proper rapid feedback, are acknowledged & cherished, not used to further ‘push on the System’

- systems are loose, simple in structure, aligned with basic motivations, & working with human tendencies rather than against them
Given all the known damage that can originate from (usually authoritarian) Grand System approaches, I largely prefer the potential of modest, common-sense, organic, bottom-up dynamics. Working *with* communities, animals, & ecosystems. My views here: frontiersin.org/articles/10.33…
Another reason for favouring dialogue with actual farmer communities over transnational corporate networks (in the massive public-private partnerships that are now infesting Food Systems initiatives) is that it minimizes toxic agenda setting. aleph-2020.blogspot.com/2020/08/ideolo…
... and favours traditional, wholesome food solutions over the dystopian evolution towards corporate-owned & lab-grown imitation foods (now presented by some of the Food Systems insiders as the Holy Grail). aleph-2020.blogspot.com/2019/12/mock-a…
BEWARE of Food Systems going in overdrive. Before you know it, you'll be facing a #GreatFoodTransformation....

Presented as a Solution but essentially creating a new Problem. Or better: a whole new set of multiple Problems.

And as for Hotel California, the danger is here: you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave...


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More from @fleroy1974

20 Feb
In the (urban middle classes of) the post-industrial West, the symbolic value of #meat has been inverted. It always stood for nourishment & vitality, but now represents debauchery & harm.

What happened?

THREAD 🧵: a (very) simplified version of a complex historical trajectory
In the mid-19th C, coming from a Swedenborgian legacy (& building on even earlier meat-avoiding asceticism & mysticism), meat starts to be seen as impure in some Christian sects. Within that same legacy, Theosophy & New Age develop. The first vegetarian societies are founded.
With modernity, scientism develops, & thus an obsession with resource control, monitoring, metrics, top-down interventionism & societal progress & emancipation. Household economies are born, so that diets (now a matter of calories, not tradition) become a target for zealotry.
Read 14 tweets
16 Feb
BILL GATES, big investor in synthetic meat & in the militant organizations lobbying for its implementation (eg. Good Food Institute) & media hailing its virtues (eg. Guardian), wants to use REGULATION to move ALL rich countries to ... 100% synthetic beef. technologyreview.com/2021/02/14/101…
Here's a thought:
- Gates is a WHO top donor
- WHO is the "anchoring agency" for Action Track 2 on sustainable diets (chaired by EAT's founder) in the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit
- The UN Summit will set the agenda for future dietary policy worldwide
- WHO's Branca (EAT-Lancet member) wants to "reset" the food system & work on the "consumer side"
- EAT's founder & Action Track 2 chair wishes to "to take full advantage of the Summit...to force" EAT's idea of change
- Good Food Institute also involved
Read 15 tweets
14 Feb
Most have heard of @wef's 2021 #TheGreatReset or its earlier 2012 #GreatTransformation.

Many are aware of #EATLancet's #GreatFoodTransformation.

Few know #Tellus' #GreatTransition or #WBGU's #GreatTransformation.

The similarities of the names aren't coincidental.
All go back to an interrelated network of organizations, many of which were shaped by Maurice Strong in the '70-'90s. Strong was an oil businessman, New Ager, Rockefeller asset & UN protagonist. #TheGreatReset & its dietary part #TheGreatFoodTransformation are part of his legacy.
Today, the post-Strong Great Transition/Transformation network is being mobilized for the UN #FoodSystems Summit. The aim: to change dietary policies worldwide.

In addition, "vegan tech" (lab-grown foods) has joined the club, $$$-fueled by #SiliconValley investors (& others).
Read 10 tweets
8 Feb
😖 This is so 2020 something. At least in the old days, prophets of doom didn't need the "I'm an expert" disclaimer.
But self-hatred seems to be alive and well...
Read 4 tweets
6 Feb
If #SDGs are meant to save earth from industrial destruction, why was the ex-CEO of Unilever (producer of ultraprocessed foods) among its designers on the "UN High-Level Panel of eminent persons"? Not to mention sharks like Podesta & Cameron?

un.org/sg/en/manageme… Image
And WHY has the @UN signed a strategic partnership, to meet the #SDGs, with the greatest predators of them all: the elites of the corporate system represented by the @wef? Because they expect that the world's largest polluters can be "converted"? Or...🤔

This 👇 may turn out to be our era's biggest joke. And a dangerous and bad one too. Image
Read 6 tweets
6 Feb
Forget insects, eat #rat to save the planet?

h/t @Kenn_FFCI/status ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/P…
If one likes it, that's fine of course. After all, it is not uncommon in some parts of the world, such as Gabon.

In the Philippines, rats are tinned & "sold as STAR meat (rats spelled backwards) in supermarkets"
Even in the part of Flanders where I'm coming from, muskrat was a regional dish. Also known as "water rabbit".
Read 5 tweets

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