Today, I'm chatting with Russ, a fellow Python programmer and open source expert (I've seen him at OSCON), but also The Angry Economist. He's really frustrated with Quakers who don't know the difference between "debt" and "deficit" and otherwise oversimplify complicated issues.
In my view, Earth is this giant spherical motherboard, powered by starlight (the Sun mostly). We insert our waterwheels and what not to get work done (what we consider work, i.e. bread making).
We don't repay the sun (a fusion furnace). We're like a giant not-for-profit depending on grant income i.e. cosmic energy (measured in calories or joules or what have you).
And what's the business of this Earthian economy of ours? I think of it as a giant university system. We're trying to get smarter (and succeeding to some degree), so we get more work done with less of a downside.
Right now, we're still pretty dumb though. How do I know? Humans suffer way more than feels right to me. Higher living standards = less preventable suffering.
Pretty simple huh. Too simple?
Addendum: Hazel Henderson is using a computer metaphor too I see: "Economics is now widely seen as the faulty sourcecode deep in societies’ hard drives." (The Politics of Money) Economics = faulty sourcecode. Heh. Works for me.