Bionomics

Bionomics

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Rothschild, Michael Henry Holt and Company, 1990
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IN THIS SUMMARY

The bionomic perspective is indeed a fresh way of observing the facts of society and the economy. In Bionomics, Rothschild not only offers a new paradigm but a new paradigm of a whole new world. The author assimilates the basics of economic theory, biology, history, and Newtonian physics to illustrate the validity and applicability of the bionomic approach. Indeed, Bionomics shows that there is a more viable way of taking advantage of fundamental environmental forces to help solve America’s most pressing problems.Essentially, a living organism is a structure for housing the information recorded in its genes. Copying this information is the only means ensuring its survival-only DNA can accomplish this. Thus, the unique quality of genetic information lies in the fact that it alone can make copies of itself.In the pattern set by the early cooperating bacteria, some single-celled organisms banded together to form increasingly efficient multicellular life forms. At each successive level of organizational complexity, increasingly elaborate control systems are needed, however, such coordination consumes more energy. It is this high cost of coordination (i.e., high overhead) that probably prevented nature from producing creatures even larger than the blue whale and the giant sequoias.The same is true of the economy. In the drive for greater efficiency and competitive advantage in crowded markets (niches), businesses spontaneously evolve into large, complex organizations. But, as in nature, small organizations far outnumber the behemoths, are more diverse and productive, and fit into market niches incapable of supporting larger organizations. Nonetheless, lone proprietors are not very productive: Their costs of coordination are minimal, but they lack efficiency-a condition easily remedied by hiring a few employees. The microprocessor has allowed firms to lower costs of coordination even more. It radically increases the productive potential of every work cell in the economy, allows the production of more sophisticated products, and significantly decreases the time it takes to respond to consumer demand.