Welcome to Art class: The “art” may be survival


If you have visited my blog before you will have read about “The collapse of complex civilisations” by Dr Joseph Tainter.

For quite a while it has been my intention to share these paintings by Thomas Cole (I’m sad enough to have the series stored in my Picture Gallery!) because it always struck me that “ol’ TC knew the score”. But I just never quite got around to it. Then, to my delight, I found this video. Job’s a good ‘un.

So you have the benefit of seeing the pictures and getting a bit of commentary too.

The Rise and fall of complex civilisations

For me, though, THE recurring question is what happens when the civilisation in question is truly global? Obviously, in Tainter’s book the past civilizations were separated by time or geography that allowed for the “cycle” to begin again…

Complex systems are really robust – up until a certain point.  I’ve referred many times to Joseph Tainter’s theory that once past that ‘certain point’, things begin to fall apart rapidly.  In Tainter’s own words:

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