Category Archives: Natural systems

scientific methods & principles for natural systems research

Wishful solutions that multiply problems later

Re: Climate change media 6 January 2009 CarbonEquity, Climate Action Centre, Melbourne To subscribe (one email per week) send blank email

David, reply 1/10/09

Interesting list of studies and alternatives!   In the same way that “clean coal” seems to never have existed except as wishful thinking, “good growth” never has either, and most of the solutions on the list depend on it.

There are a lot of other ways that some of our “solutions” multiply problems too.    It’s a major theme of what we’re dealing with.  All our increasingly insolvable problems were created by widely supported solutions of the past. Continue reading Wishful solutions that multiply problems later

Why “new rules” apply? – Nature changed them

Steve Salmony, 1/12/09 reply to post below

Very nice letter, clear and solid.   I think one more thing that people will need to understand in some way is “why the rules changed”, and then address what rules changed and what new rules apply.

The basic public support for “sustainability” has been achieved, we just seem clueless as to what it really means or what we’d need to do to achieve it.

The big dilemma is that everyone’s favorite solution, self-restraints and technology efficiencies, don’t have the intended effect on the whole system, *especially* if they work.     Continue reading Why “new rules” apply? – Nature changed them

“Producer side” & “Consumer side” as one circle

1/9/09 post to ClimateConcernGroup

re: Consumer-side v. Producer-side Environmentalism http://links.org.au/node/843

No doubt it does help to look around at all the contradictions, and try to connect them, but from a scientific view each side of a circle still represents the same object. The difference between the “production” and “consumption” side, from a systems view of the economic issues, is that they’re two sides of the same circle.

The actual control available for natural system circles is usually not in which side of the circle you favor, but the economic multiplier that adds or subtracts an increment to both sides of the circle every time a dollar goes all the way around it. Continue reading “Producer side” & “Consumer side” as one circle

Overshoot self-correction to collapse in the S&P 500 Mar-Aug 07

What’s it look like to you? The price swings in the S&P; 500 over the last 4 months seem to display the natural complex system self-controls of the financial system ‘fishtailing.
Systemic failure is generally the consequence of pushing self-correction mechanisms beyond their response limits. Continue reading Overshoot self-correction to collapse in the S&P 500 Mar-Aug 07

whether successfully averted for the moment or not, …

Hi folks,

…this week’s global run on credit seems like a casebook example of how a natural system failure to provide growing physical returns on investment would effect financial commitments for endlessly growing financial returns.   They  naturally conflict.

One thing we can do is watch it closely, so others may learn from our experience.   Because systemic collapse is a big physical process in a big physical system, displaying all-together new kinds of rapidly spreading behaviors, watch for that.   If you see that sort of thing perhaps you’ll ‘believe your eyes and ears’ and not feel the observations were ‘planted’ in your imagination somehow.

Remember what things seemed to mean before and after,
and make note of it.

Fun and sand piles

Posted to [FRIAM] 1/13/07

—————————

Hugh,

On thing worth adding is the reason it’s useful to consider the maze of instrumental behaviors that constitute systems in the context of the whole envelope of their developments (¸¸¸.·´ ¯ `·.¸¸¸)from beginning to end. It turns the mystery of complex developmental systems into the puzzle of when and how they’ll go through the classic switches and display the key landmarks of doing so. Continue reading Fun and sand piles

Calculus for History Majors

As we discover the huge role complex natural systems have in change of all kinds, we’re finding that evolving systems are our environment, the whole context and much of the shape of history.

It’s high time history majors learned about the best method available for reading their changes. A most curious and revealing thing about complex systems is that the first evidence of emergent change is often a display of the physical property that corresponds to the central mathematical idea of calculus, continuity.

In a mathematical function you can define a slope, and the same is true of almost any real change in complex systems. Complex systems evolve through progressions, and applying a logic like that of calculus to measures of change over time shows you where the progressions emerge from the noise and when they shift.

It reveals a great deal about the nature of a system because it provides direct evidence of it’s creative behavior as a whole.

Continue reading Calculus for History Majors

How could we possibly tell?

 

How could we tell whether we’ve ended up being at war with the natural defenses of the indigenous dessert community of Iraq?

The fact that the behavior of the ‘insurgency’  is seemingly so illogical and counter productive for what would be presumed to be their own interests is one good clue.   Natural system responses are not planned or based on policy analysis, but on gut reactions.   Quite often enough natural system defense mechanisms are self defeating.

Continue reading How could we possibly tell?

Ok Ok, I give up

What remains hidden in the hot debate over “intelligent design” and Darwin’s evolution, miraculously, is the strategic location of the odd gaps in the fossil record.

Where those gaps are located is rather embarrassing to both sides.

I think if you’re thinking clearly about the problem, not defending one side or the other, the answer is obvious. The gaps in the record contain almost all the biological change that the theory of ‘little steps’ is supposed to explain, occurring at the origin of most species. Evolution actually proceeds by big steps (the dirty truth). Continue reading Ok Ok, I give up

What’s the plan man!

I’m not getting much sleep lately, taking on too much, burning with ideas; not a good plan. But then neither is humanity’s plan for us all to make decisions 16 times faster every lifetime forever.

It indicates we’re missing something, like where the heck are we going anyway! Sounds presumptuous perhaps, but I can fix that. The underlying problem is that our perceptions of where we are operate on a sliding scale.

Continue reading What’s the plan man!