Malthus and Moore

Here’s a nice puzzle for you: Is there any lesson that we could learn from the Malthusian Trap and apply that to Moore’s Law? Or is that a bridge too far? Well, let’s look at a couple of arguments. Thomas Malthus At the very beginning of the 19th century, the political economist Thomas Malthus wrote “An Essay on the Principle of Population“. […]

Three days, three breakthroughs

Wow, what a ride! Just between 10 and 12 December 2015 –within the blink of an eye–  three events occurred that we will likely consider breakthroughs in a couple of years: the Paris Agreement, the launch of OpenAI, and the first successful run of Wendelstein 7-X. While one of those events is widely agreed as historic, the other two currently […]

Different scales, different purposes, all intertwined

Complex adaptive systems exists at different scales, both spatial and temporal. As Lance Gunderson and Crawford Holling described it, those different scales form of structure of nested adaptive cycles. To make this idea a bit more tangible, let’s take weather and climate: we are all exposed to the very local patterns every minute we are outdoors; we take into […]

Opposing objectives

The front–loop of the adaptive cycle is very present in our daily experience, no wonder that it dominates our thinking as well. It’s the place where we are most comfortable, where we want to be. Continued growth and the accumulation of resources create an impression that all change is positive, that all change is progress: your business model is […]

Some second thoughts on first contact

The concept of adaptive cycles can serve as a framework for a rich discussion on innovation. However, before diving deeper into the specifics of the concept, let’s look at the basic description of the adaptive cycles again and review some of the earlier posts on this blog: to what extent do those ideas fit with this concept? I’d […]