Georgia Magazine - November 2012 - (Page 5)
BY PAUL WOOD President/CEO, Georgia Electric Membership Corporation
www.georgiamagazine.org (800) 544-4362, in Georgia; (770) 270-6500
GEORGIA Magazine, the largest-circulation monthly magazine in the state, is published by Georgia Electric Membership Corp. (GEMC), the trade association for Georgia’s 42 consumer-owned electric utilities. On average, more than 500,000 members welcome the magazine into their homes each month. Georgia’s notfor-proﬁt electric cooperatives provide reliable, safe and affordable electric service to more than 73 percent of the state’s land area serving 4.5 million residents. For more information, visit www.georgiaemc.com.
EDITOR Ann Orowski, CCC MANAGING EDITOR Jennifer Hewett, CCC ASSOCIATE EDITOR Victoria Scharf DeCastro ASSISTANT EDITOR Kevin Braun ASSISTANT EDITOR Jim Jess EDITORIAL INTERN Vanessa Schill CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Gale Cutler, Linda Erbele, Jane F. Garvey, Deborah Geering, J. Keith Jones, Alline Kent, Ann McCleary, Bobbi Otis, Amanda Robinson, Karon Warren CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Terry Allen, Savannah Chandler, Gale Cutler, Laura Ellis, Linda Erbele, Frank Fortson, Jane F. Garvey, Deborah Geering, Josh Kirby, Ashley Kramer, Byron McCombs, David H. Nash, Trudie Thibodeaux, Cassandra Young ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES
Bees butting heads
Laurel George, (404) 541-0628; Laine Kirby Wood, (770) 289-5700 Country Market, (800) 626-1181 National
NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE
Trudie Thibodeaux, Kerstin Weis Mary Wellman, (770) 270-6981
2012 ADVISORY BOARD
Matthew Akins, Gale Cutler, Ren Davis, Nicole Dover, Hinson Mosley, Steve Mullice, Amy Orr, Jane Perfect, Rodney Reese, Angela Shipp, Brad Thomas, Louis Tonsmeire, Neal Trice
GEORGIA EMC OFFICERS CHAIRMAN Alice Mallory, Coweta-Fayette EMC VICE CHAIRMAN G. Anthony Norton, Snapping SEC.-TREASURER Randy Crenshaw, Irwin PRESIDENT/CEO, GEMC A. Paul Wood
GEORGIA Magazine (USPS-473120, ISSN 10615822) is published monthly by Georgia Electric Membership Corp., P.O. Box 1707, 2100 East Exchange Place, Tucker, GA 30085. Periodicals postage paid at Thomaston, GA, and additional mailing ofﬁces. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to GEORGIA Magazine, P.O. Box 1707, Tucker, GA 30085. Printed in Georgia by Quad/ Graphics.
Acceptance of advertising by GEORGIA Magazine does not imply endorsement by the publisher or Georgia’s electric membership corporations of the product or services advertised. GEORGIA Magazine’s LIABILITY FOR ERRORS IN, OR OMISSIONS OF, ADVERTISEMENTS, WHETHER IN CONTRACT OR IN TORT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO DAMAGES TO THE ADVERTISER’S BUSINESS, SHALL IN NO EVENT EXCEED THE AMOUNT OF CHARGES FOR THE ADVERTISEMENT THAT WAS OMITTED OR IN WHICH THE ERROR OCCURRED.
ome people look at a swarm of honeybees and see only chaos— thousands of bees moving about aimlessly with no coordination or structure. Scientists, on the other hand, see a sophisticated society with strict rules for determining how decisions will be made for the good of the entire hive. Biologist Thomas Seeley, of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., has spent his career studying honeybees. He wrote a recent article for Smithsonian Magazine that described how bees make the decision to move to a new home. What he discovered was a thoroughly democratic process of decision making. Scouts are sent out—always females—to look for a new home. The new home can’t be just any old place. It has to be just right—large enough to hold enough honey for the hive to feed itself all winter and with an entrance small enough to help ward off invaders. When the female scout reports to the rest of the colony, she must be enthusiastic about her ﬁnd. If she thinks the new home is ideal, she will wag her tail vigorously and dance about many times. If the home is only mediocre, the scout will display less passion as she dances. Throughout her communication with the hive, the scout is always prepared to be ﬂexible in her opinion. She may travel many times back and forth from a prospective new home to the hive. And each time she will dance to persuade the others. Finally, she stops dancing. Those from ideal sites will dance longer than bees from less-than-desirable sites. To win her case, the scout will even resort to “head-butting” other scouts to discourage them if she believes she has a better site for their new
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home. However, if another scout arrives late to the deliberations with an even better report, the process of evaluation begins anew. It is entirely democratic. The whole colony plays a role in making major decisions. Town hall meetings are perhaps the closest that humans come to such a democratic process. We’ve all been in public meetings where the most fervent person with an idea carries the day, and we’ve also been present when an idea that seemed great at the start eventually dies as enthusiasm for it wanes. On rare occasions, we’ve been there when a better idea arrives late and is adopted by the group. Success depends on how well each listener judges the merits of ideas presented. Thus, there is a critical role to play by everyone in the room. It also helps if group members are ﬂexible, making sure a single idea does not fail just because it arrived late to the discussion. The end result will always be better if, like honeybees, we humans could agree that we share the same goal. Democracies should be about coming together for the common good, not about destroying those with whom we disagree. Butting heads is not a bad thing so long as the outcome makes us all better off.
Looking for a great holiday gift?
Visit www.georgiamag azine.org to order “It’s My View,” a hardbound book featuring 100 of the magazine readers’ favorite columns from past years.
It’s My View
A collection of readers ’ favorite ‘Viewpoint’ columns from GEOR GIA Magazine
President/CEO, Georgia Electric
By Paul Wood
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - November 2012
Georgia Magazine - November 2012
Calendar of Events
Homes for the Holidays
Flip-Flops and Caviar: Winning Georgia Products
More Great Georgia Products
Lodging and Dining on the North Georgia Art Ramble
Statement of Ownership
More Snapshot Submissions
Second Helping: More Holiday Side Dishes
Plant of the Month
November Online Trivia Contest
Georgia Magazine - November 2012