What the Mayans can teach us about wind turbines


Ms Costa is promoting her new book in this article and, perhaps understandably, is using GW Bush & Tony Blair to illustrate how belief can replace fact in complex situations. Please don’t get too hung up on that but, rather the “pattern” evident in the demise of once great civilizations. She does have the good grace to acknowledge Joseph Tainter (of whom I have written plenty)  but this is also a subject covered, most notably, by Jared Diamond amongst others.

I hope here book isn’t a tired “jump on the bandwagon” rehash of previous work on the subject!? If so, she may be better advised to consider the future “post critical” landscape because that will be interesting…and challenging!

Among physicists it is common knowledge that increased complexity leads to higher rates of failure. So as our problems become more complex, the number of wrong solutions begins to outnumber the right ones. As complexity escalates, the chances that we will make the right call diminish.

via What the Mayans can teach us about wind turbines | Mail Online.

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