Better examples?

Eric & all,

A few days ago I asked: Can anyone offer other examples of growth systems that get into trouble from being unable to control their own limits? People don’t seem to understand how the best of intentions lead human systems to overshoot, so looking at natural ones might help us understand the problem. Here’s an interesting one that can’t be studied in detail. It was a long time ago and this is all the data there is, a plankton species transition that went through overshoot and partial collapse 4 or 5 times as it evolved from one to the other…! Continue reading Better examples?

RE: internalism…&things missing from approximation

Approximation sweeps away ‘fuzziness’, and one thing your and my conceptions are completely consistent on is “any system during its development moves from being more vague to becoming more definitely embodied”. There are issues in differentiating descriptive, explanatory, and organizational/behavioral ‘fuzziness’, but it’s those “fuzzy bits” that are the main thing approximation sweeps away. But studying the ‘fuzziness’ is central to finding the half of the universe that physics missed.

My analytical approach interprets it as evidence of the transitional systems which frequently can be found to have periods of implied derivative continuity in their measures, displaying some of their evolving internal dynamic structures. That’s what I’ve been carefully studying for the last many years, but now mostly play with the wordings for to find some way to communicate.

Your grasp of the links to other fuzzy ways of thinking about the subject (it’s history and citations) is far superior to mine, and hopefully I’ll get a chance to ask you some questions about it shortly. Continue reading RE: internalism…&things missing from approximation

‘dice’ or ‘approximation’, does it matter?

I’ve been meaning to do some new digging on Einstein’s enigmatic complaint. In a recent program on Channel 13 (I think, but I can’t locate it now) a recognized physicist portrayed Einstein as unable to accept uncertainty in nature, and that view seems to be becoming one of the prevalent understandings of the issue (see Wiki link below). On the face of it, since Einstein was a founder of statistical physics, it seems unlikely. “God doesn’t roll dice”, is about something else. One of the things I finally found today to expose the deeper issue was Niels Bohr’s long, polite, emphatic last-word on the subject (Bohr 1949). Bohr says that what Einstein objected to in QM was the elimination of causality and continuity.

“Yet, a certain difference in attitude and outlook remained, since, with his mastery for coordinating apparently contrasting experience without abandoning continuity and causality, Einstein was perhaps more reluctant to renounce such ideals than someone for whom renunciation in this respect appeared to be the only way open to proceed with the immediate task.”

Continue reading ‘dice’ or ‘approximation’, does it matter?

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

Phil’s state of the planet 06

Last week I had a rare privilege to be exposed to some of the best of the visionary hard science and planning for saving the Earth from its more glaring human catastrophes. There’s a very bright picture, with an unusually dark side. Were in genuinely deep trouble. The conference was put on by Columbia Univ. Earth Institute, Jeffrey Sachs director and leader.

The bright side is that there does seem to be a path for changing energy consumption technologies in the developed world to keep ocean levels from rising more than 3 to 10 feet in the next century, holding it to a quarter of what it might well be, if we follow a fairly tightly scripted science-led and politically driven global program. Continue reading Phil’s state of the planet 06

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?

The main question…

I get a lot of traffic, but people seem hesitant to comment. It’s about a potentially very useful new way to read the natural truth, connections and changes of the events around us, something important overlooked by physics. I think it can be generally accessible. I’d be very interested, and grateful, for hints on where your interest slips away, the things you don’t follow, etc. My love of the field is partly that it has made the real world seem a little more real, and heightens the intensity of my every day observations.
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Risky Play

Anyone in charge of almost any kind of organization, throwing a party, running a business, etc., will want it to build up to a point where it’s exciting, but not to where you loose control. You usually want things to approach the edge of stability, but not go over it to lose resilience. It’s fun, and in business, makes money and gets the most out of everyone.Perhaps the deep sort of common experience that explains it is playing with a water hose as a kid. The fun really begins when someone turns up the pressure and the person holding the nozzle at the time (usually one of the girls) gets scared and lets go. Continue reading Risky Play

By 2020 – The Year of Clear Vision

By 2020 the investors of the world will see their self-interest and stop compounding their returns, allowing the global economy to climax at a high stable rate of change, forestalling the climax of investment with a loss of resilience, expectation failures, environmental collapse, conflict and mistakes.

The real limit of economic growth is the loss of resilience from accumulating mistakes. I mention this because exponentials are spookily explosive, seem like nothing & follow w/ major affects. If you see a road sign saying ‘Curve Ahead’ you know if the car starts tipping it’s too late to slow down. The curve of an exponential gets ever more radical the further you take it, and it’s a mistake not to slow down. Continue reading By 2020 – The Year of Clear Vision

Construction Estimate

The question is what’s our exposure on global warming.

For one small part of it we may need to build a 10 foot high sea wall on the entire world coastline. My guestimate is that that would be about $5,000/ft for the cost of straight forward construction on solid ground. It would be far less than the reimbursement of property owners for the first 10 ft elevation of their property. The earth’s coastline is about 844,000 km, though I doubt that includes the intricacies of wetlands and estuaries etc.

The places where environmental protection, waterfront access or shipping locks and other things are needed would also add to the cost. Maybe you’d just say screw it and screw them with half the world’s coastline and cut the losses with that part of it. The places that wouldn’t be saved from rising waters by a sea wall include big sand bars like Long Island New York. Continue reading Construction Estimate

New object oriented natural science for working with natural systems.