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Straight is Top Down

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Originally Published on OpEdNews

From http://www.flickr.com/photos/10710442@N08/3425859361/: Long & Winding Road

I'm on a tiny backwater island ... The roads are crazy. They go up and down big hills, with wild twists and turns.  Driving three miles takes 15-25 minutes. I tell the cab driver how scary these roads are. He replies, "We think that your giant expressways are scary." 

And a realization slaps me in the face. Curving, winding, up and down roads are bottom up. Straight roads are top-down. The insight expands. Straight is top down. Rounded, curves and fractals are bottom-up.  Winding roads respect nature and flow with it. Straight highways demolish nature and communities. 

My friend Dustin points out that straight roads take top-down central planning and they make for faster, more efficient travel. He's right. 

But they also encourage centralization as opposed to decentralized, local living and doing business. Straight roads are factors that erode localization. 

Straight is rare in nature, particularly living nature. Even a horizon is really an arc of a giant curve. And the needles of sea urchins, shafts of feathers and quills of porcupines, echidnas and hedgehogs are dead keratin, not living flesh, but even these are arcs.  Life is curved. 

When we create THINGS with straight lines and sharp angles we are imposing top-down structures. 

Back in the sixties and seventies, there were hippies and straights. Straights went with the system, followed all the rules and lived top-down lives of normality -- in the materialist, social milieu. Hippies challenged rules and questioned authority. 

In today's world it is often easier to embrace straight lines. Top-down, centralized mass production makes straight things because they are cheaper and easier. Those straight parts lead to straight products, straight architecture. 

Researchers have found that a preference for curves is wired into the brain. Straight lines actually increase the activation of the amygdala -- the part of the brain that signals fear or threat. 

Benoit Mandelbrot used mathematics to explain the fractal geometry of nature. Fractal patterns re-iterate at multiple levels of viewing. Now that's bottom up. 

How do you apply this idea? Straight lines signify a conflict with nature. They may suggest some authoritarian decision to disrupt the natural order, to chop up or demolish existing local communities and neighborhoods. When you see straight lines, beware. Thinnk about the systems they've interfered with. Think about the top-down powers who have decided that they were worth subjecting a previously curved and probably fractal locality or thing to. 

It may seem to cost more to create with curves and fractal characteristics. But most top-down, technological, modern construction and manufacturing practices ignore the costs that affect people and communities. Add them into the mix and those "savings" may quickly disappear. 

I'm writing a book about Bottom-up. This will be a chapter in it. I'd love your thoughts, arguments, suggestions and insights on this. 

 

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Rob Kall is executive editor, publisher and website architect of OpEdNews.com, Host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show (WNJC 1360 AM), and publisher of Storycon.org, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor . He is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Listen to over 200 of Rob's Podcast interviews here.

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.


With his experience as architect and founder of a technorati top 100 blog, he is also a new media / social media consultant and trainer for corporations, non-profits, entrepreneurs and authors.

Rob is a frequent Speaker on the bottom-up revolution, politics, The art, science and power of story, heroes and the hero's journey and Positive Psychology. He is a campaign consultant specializing in tapping the power of stories for issue positioning, stump speeches and debates, and optimizing tapping the power of new media. Watch me speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.

See more Rob Kall articles here and, older ones, here.

To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..

And here's a one hour radio interview where I was a guest- on Envision This, on 10/23/13. And here is the transcript. 

And Rob's quotes are here.

To watch me on youtube, having a lively conversation with John Conyers, former Chair of the House Judiciary committee, click here Now, wouldn't you like to see me on the political news shows, representing progressives. If so, tell your favorite shows to bring me on and refer them to this youtube video.

Rob's radio show, The Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, runs 9-10 PM EST Wednesday evenings, on AM 1360, WNJC and is archived at www.opednews.com/podcasts Or listen to it streaming, live at www.wnjc1360.com

Rob also hosted a health/mind/body/heart/spirit radio show-- the Rob Kall Futurehealth radio show. Check out podcasts from it at futurehealth.org/podcasts

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