“We have to undertake a different kind of accounting, more exacting if less exact… We participate in our little human economy to a considerable extent by factual knowledge, calculation, and manipulation; our participation in the Great Economy also requires those things, but requires as well humility, sympathy, forbearance, generosity, and imagination.”
This is my new friend Fred, a California slender salamander. He lives under a log, snuggled up with the mycelium of the forest.
I’ve recently become fascinated by mycelium, microbes, and bacteria. Okay, that’s a little weird. But consider this!
If you really wanted to assess the health of an ecosystem, studying the bacteria, nematodes, and mycelium would be a great place to start.
And this brings us to the trouble of measurement. Too often our measurements skate along the surface, never delving into the soil beneath. This is quite literally true for agricultural endeavors, but it is metaphorically true for all sorts of other endeavors as well.
Instead of digging in to assess the soil, we simply weigh the harvest.
Instead of valuing, we count.
I call this The Great Denominator Challenge – what is our unit of measure, and why? We will explore this idea further in our next post.