Monthly Archives: December 2008

Climate Change and Resilience

Marty Weitzman, a Harvard economist, has calculated that there is a 1 in 20 chance that climate change will destroy human life on Earth within 200 years. Measuring resilience/fragility is as sensitive to the “long-tail” problem as are most other matters. Nicholas Nassim … Continue reading

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Resilience and Social Complexity

I think of resilience in Holling’s terms: the ability of a system, to experience change and disturbance without catastrophic qualitative change in its basic functional organization – it is a measure of the system’s ability to maintain integrity. In natural … Continue reading

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Complexity and Information Flows

Does the internet and the ‘free’ knowledge it provides increase or reduce social complexity? The standard response would probably be that it increases diversity because each of us interacts with it and chooses from it what suits us. The prior … Continue reading

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Complexity and Fragility in Social Systems

Complexity in natural systems is generally thought to give them resilience. So why do social systems appear to become less resilient, more fragile, as they increase in complexity? There are several possibilities: 1) What we perceive as social complexity is … Continue reading

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