“There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.”

Anais Nin (1903 – 1977)

17 thoughts on “#Scale

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  3. miraj k says:

    most of the times giant impacts have giant consequences.
    incremental and continuous impacts are best as these can be scaled sustainably and without any adverse consequences.

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  6. joe says:

    I recommend Prof David MacKay’s excellent book (and free ebook) on the energy crisis, where there is widespread belief that small actions together add up to a large effect. This is a fallacy – small actions add up to small outcomes. Even if everyone changes their lightbulbs, the cumulative effect on the total energy budget is small.

    As he says:

    Have no illusions. To achieve our goal of getting off fossil fuels, these reductions in demand and increases in supply must be big. Don’t be distracted by the myth that “every little helps.” If everyone does a little, we’ll achieve only a little. We must do a lot. What’s required are big changes in demand and in supply.

  7. kiwanja says:

    @Joe – Thanks for sharing that. I’m not sure how this applies in the charity or development sector, but I can understand how it would with energy conservation. Something to think about, for sure. I personally believe that we all have the potential to make a difference, and the more of us that do it the bigger the positive impact will be.

  8. joe says:

    @kiwanja I don’t believe that ‘every little helps’ or that ‘little actions add up to big actions’ in energy, development or anything else. If nothing else, the time/effort taken to do things with small impacts (implying that they then add up to bigger impacts) means that they’re highly inefficient.

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  15. kiwanja says:

    @Joe – Interesting way of looking at things! So, you’re saying that if anything someone chooses to do doesn’t or won’t have massive impact, then they shouldn’t bother? That would be quite sad, don’t you think?

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