Quite easy to mark

post to FRIAM 1/20/07

marking a map to help navigating the sysems territory

One of the things that Roger’s comments bring out about the discontinuities you find in tracing organism growth (epigenesis) is the question of markers. Normal single growth curves are famous for representing huge changes and having almost no markers at all to signify what’s really happening.

There really are only two places on them that are easy to mark, the upward and downward inflection points (¸¸ .·|´ ¯ and ¯`|·. ¸¸ respectively). The origins and endings of the curves seem completely disguised by the smallness of events at their tails.

Elsewhere in the history of their changes the wide distribution of seemingly unconnected but well orchestrated events makes it very hard to single out any particular thing for significance. The inflection points, however, can be made quite mathematically precise, and do approximately correspond to matching major changes in what’s going on. Continue reading Quite easy to mark

Buy High Sell Low

posted to AIA COTE forum 1/20/07

Steering feedback systems is tricky…

Anyone who has changed jobs and had to move investment accounts is familiar with the temptation to buy funds that are high, and just about to fall, and get rid of ones that are low, and just about to rise. Emotional first impressions are generally not a good guide for complex systems, and can cause us to make consistently bad choices.

We have problems of this kind in the design of the sustainability movement I think. Conservation is good, living simply is good, inventing cool things and making room for others is good, and doing these so our world can continually increase its consumption by steady small percents is a total disaster.

Continue reading Buy High Sell Low