Against scale

To scale is to go big. It's to reach an economies of scale where your enterprise will be profitable. It's to dominate the market. It's to win. It's to beat your competitors. This is music to the ears of those who are accustomed to the internal logic of today's system that obsesses for growth and competition at all levels in the world. Why is it the way it is?

For 97% of human history, we'd lived as hunter-gatherer tribes. This had shaped our mind and body with which we operate the world today. This was also when our innate propensity to cooperate evolved and natural selection exerts pressure at group-level, in addition to the innate drives to compete at individual-level for mates.

But although our innate drive to cooperate sounds reassuring, all of our innate drives evolved to serve one purpose: to exploit available resources and convert them for maximum power to grow, reproduce, and expand. And our capacity to do that had been limited by energy and technology - until the advent of fossil fuels propped up by scientific revolution.

When we let all this run for mere decades, the results are what we are seeing today: overshoot (we consume natural capital faster than it can replenish and assimilate our waste i.e. climate change), overpopulation, overconsumption, overleveraged, overfishing, and etc.

At individual-level, to scale means increasing your productivity, increase your network beyond the size of our ancient tribes, increase your workout, increase your skillsets to continue serving the current system. At group-level, to scale means sending business analytics events to Google Analytics and Mixpanel, replace customer support with AI agent that completely lack humanity and ethics, promote renewable energies and green policies and technology in the interest of business-as-usual without questioning for root cause and reimagining alternative futures. Once at country-level, everything would have been deprived of humanity and reduced to statistics, so to scale at this level means building up a nuclear arsenal in a cold game-theory calculus, sign treaties so all of us can keep growing and raping the Mother Nature, globalization to outsource resources extraction and pollution, subscribe to ideologies of "competitive advantage" and other economic notions to justify the means and ends to scale infinitely.

Scaling makes individuals sick in body and mind. Scaling deprives societies of humanity and unscripted authenticity. Scaling means a sure path to an inhabitable earth and a possible global total annihilation from nuclear war.

Scaling is easy with our smart brain and fossil fuels. NOT scaling, on the other hand, may be an intractable problem that can only be learned(i.e. wisdom) by personally experiencing disasters that are close to home and self. ☘