The Ecology of Joy
Why Ecology of Joy?
This matters because poor philosophy choices lead to violence,
war and minimal cultural achievements.
Everybody has a philosophy of
life. Even if you never took a philosophy course, we all have a
philosophy - some understanding of the way the
world works around us. A philosophy is based
on our own experience, and the experiences of others.
A philsophy that accepts the premise that fear and pain are
the most effective human motivation results in cultures where violence
is accepted as inevitable.
A philosophy based on joy as the most effective human
offers the possibility of peaceful coexistance and great personal and
The Ecology of Joy is such a philosophy.
The three parts of the Ecology of Joy
Joy is the most powerful human
motivator. Fear has been used effectively to control people,
people achieve their best when motivated by joy.
way that links form between people influence the nature of the
culture. One way to look at these links uses the concepts of heterarchy
and heirarchy. Another way to explore different
culture is found in the explorations of Partnership
by Riane Eisler. In her work, Riane talks about partnership thinking
Riane Eisler originated this term. Ecojoy proposes another
analyze cultural transformation. Media affect the way we
way of the content they
carry. But to an even greater extent, media and
technology change culture because they present a metaphor for the forms
of links between people. One of the pioneers of media studies
Riane Eisler's important book The
Chalice and the Blade explores cultural transformation theory
and partnership. My ideas about joy have roots in
Eisler's book Sacred
These three parts interact with each other. The
motivation of joy works best with heterarchical cultural links;
fear works better when combined with heirarchical
cultural links. Media and technology contain embedded ways
that we think about the links between people.
Some of the attributes of partnership and dominator thinking:
Dominator thinking fosters an external locus of control,
or, put another way, other people decide how you should act.
Partnership thinking fosters an internal locus of control -
the best person to decide how to act.
Why is change happening now?
The Internet has become the dominant medium of our time. The
Internet is fostering heterarchical linking between people.
the Internet, information flows around us like a web.
Printed newspapers and magazines are fixed like ink on paper.
order to revise a story, the page would need to be reprinted. The
Sunday newspaper carries several pounds of advertising, because
newspaper advertising cannot be personalized for the reader.
number of writers and editors is small compared to the number of
readers. Print media foster heirarchical linking.
Television network programming is the same everywhere. Except
news networks, newscasts are scheduled, and rarely update to follow
World Wide Web pages can be created on the fly, customized to the
history and demographics of each individual viewer. In the
Internet world, there are many distinct information sources, and
smaller audiences, and this medium fosters heterarchical linking, like
the web in it's name.
How do we move toward partnership culture?
To move toward a partnership culture
- Recognize that in a partnership culture joy is the most
human motivation. Seek to live and work in joy. Use
motivation for yourself and those around you.
- Strive to make the links between yourself and others in
heterarchical form. Avoid using rank or position to force
activity. Seek to work together with others to achive desired
- Share your thoughts and ideas with others in heterarchical
ways, modeling partnership interactions.
We are experiencing a condition where computing and telecomunication
technology are increasing at a geometric rate, and digital technology
costs are increasing at a much slower arithmetic rate. At
time in the near future, computers will have the capacity of the human
brain and the vast knowledge of human culture will be easily available
to everyone. Ray Kurzweil describes this in his book (and
movie) The Singularity is Near.
As our capabilities grow, we need a new philosophy to guide our actions
and interactions. That is why I am writing about the Ecology
It would be ineffective to act joyful for all conditions around us.
In order to be most effective, all of the people in a group,
organization or culture should be able to experience joy.
means that we need to help each other reach a state where we can
experience joy - free of fear and violence, able to secure adequate
food and housing. So it is useful to look at the world around us and
work together to create an Ecology of Joy.
Latest update March 24, 2009
Copyright © 1996-2009 David Devereaux-Weber dave at
Dave's web page <ddwsvcs.com>