Why systems-thinking and Complexity management are vital for survival


Collapse, if and when it comes again, will this time be global. No longer can any individual nation collapse. World civilization will disintegrate as a whole. Competitors who evolve as peers collapse in like manner.

JosephTainter

The Collapse of Complex Civilisations (1988, p214)

Complexity is a characteristic of dynamic systems. It is the multiple inter-connections, sometimes referred to as the “problem-solving capability”, without which the system cannot perform its intended purpose(s). Every system has a sustainable level of complexity [critical complexity].

Butterfly Effect: Due to the inter-connectedness of systems the impact of a single (even relatively minor) event can be manifest in more than one outcome.

Catastrophic changes in the overall state of a system can ultimately derive from how it is organised — from feedback mechanisms within it, and from linkages that are latent and often unrecognised.

From a report for Federal Reserve Bank of New York Read more of this post

If you think "ruling elites" are a fantasy…think again


Now I am not suggesting that the US is representative of the rest of the world but I would certainly be curious to know how the UK picture looks! According to Michael Moore circa 400 families in America have more money than the other 300 million!

Hopefully, the “apathy” that allowed this situation to develop is a thing of the past. We were all too busy buying into the consumerist myth of “financial independence” (that was really the DEPENDENCE that fuelled individual (ego) and institutional greed)  So, unless “the 99%”, quickly, rediscover the power of INTERDEPENDENCE and utilise the communication tools at our disposal, life in the post-critical society i.e. after the next financial collapse, will make austerity measures look positively appealing! Read more of this post

USA on the Edge of Chaos!?


I always thought I had a good idea what Tainter and (to some extent) Beck were alluding to when referring to “elites”, essentially, bringing the house down rather than give up what they have grown so accustomed to viewing as theirs to do with what they liked. But this piece is mind-blowing and so blatant SOMEONE needs to call a halt to it all now or the dollar won’t last until 2015 and I dread to think of the implications for US citizens….WikiLeaks exposing some truths should be the least of their worries.

Noam Chomsky has recently talked of the “profound hatred for democracy on the part of our Political leadership” and, more controversially drew comparisons with late Weimar Germany

Government Says No to Helping States and Main Street, While Continuing to Throw Trillions at the Giant Banks

If you can spare an hour (or so) please listen to what Prof Ferguson has to say. Initially I was on really interested to hear what he said about the relationship between Empires – Complexity Theory – Economics but I was unable to drag myself away. BUT do yourself a favour, skip the intro (it’s torture), click to “Watch Full Program” and, at least, spare 8mins to absorb Chapter 4. Unless you are pressed for time…or already know everything…you WILL … Read More

via Get “fit for randomness” [with Ontonix UK]

Related articles

Facebook and GS tie-up may be unholy disaster (Part 2)


I was reassured to find out that I am not the only person who “harbours concerns” about the future for Facebook:

“…This meme has slowly propagated, and quite a few other analysts have looked at the same; See Douglas Rushkoff and the Reformed Broker, amongst others. Goldman Sachs does not agree with this assessment, as they just poured $500 million into FB at a $50 billion dollar valuation, with an option for another $1.5 billion right behind it.

If and when Facebook goes public, they must monetize their user base — I find it hard to see how they do that without annoying their base of users away. Mine is a decidedly non-consensus viewpoint.

The free web app has to figure out a way to have the site generate revenue and profits from its immense user base. Currently, they generate about $ 1 billion dollars in revenues at about a 25% margin”.

Read full article: 5 Questions for Facebook Investors

Facebook have been “valued” by banksters Goldman Sachs at an outrageous amount but, on a couple of levels, this may be just a step too far: Facebook has already lost some of its appeal. It has become less “personal”, more confusing and complex with the addition of more and more features.    Then there was the underhand way in which the privacy debacle was handled. Facebook are only where they are now because of … Read More

via Get “fit for randomness” [with Ontonix UK]

Empires on the Edge of Chaos (Prof Niall Ferguson)


If you can spare an hour (or so) please listen to what Prof Ferguson has to say. Initially I was on really interested to hear what he said about the relationship between Empires – Complexity Theory – Economics but I was unable to drag myself away.

BUT do yourself a favour, skip the intro (it’s torture), click to “Watch Full Program” and, at least, spare 8mins to absorb Chapter 4. Unless you are pressed for time…or already know everything…you WILL watch more.

As he says, he is no Economist but I have heard more FACTS, forthright and common sense opinion from him than from many proponents…that’s the Scots for you!

He reminds us Brits about the scale and pace of the decline of our Empire.

He tells Americans what you don’t want , but need to hear…without any political spin or Fed endorsed guesswork.

Chapter 4. Complexity Theory

Elements of this lecture reminded me of my recent blog “Disaster Myopia” but, of course, since starting blogging almost 2 years ago I have made several references to the work of Joseph Tainter (Collapse of Complex Societies) and to Ulrich Beck (The Risk Society)

Current societies…are characterised by their extreme complexity at a moment in history in which traditional political institutions have lost much of the power, a power which has now passed into the hands of multinational companies

Ulrich Beck