The Third of the Grand Revolutions

There’s a lot of talk about the Digital Revolution and the effects it had, has, might have. Let’s take a step back to put things into perspective: Could it be that this revolution is a lot larger than we usually think? Are we currently experiencing the beginnings of a major transformation not only of our technological base, but of the very […]

Cities, companies, and innovation – Biological beginnings

Coming from the background of theoretical physics, Geoffrey West looked at the field of biology from the angle of complex adaptive systems. Given the seemingly infinite diversity of life, he set out to find the basic underlying principles that run through biological systems, hoping in the end to transfer those principles to social (human-made) systems like cities or […]

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“. […]

Technology – A multi-purpose tool

Intuitively, we’ll all subscribe that technology is a tool: we use technology to do something, we employ technology to achieve a goal. And that’s entirely in line with Brian Arthur’s definition of a technology as the orchestration of phenomena to achieve a human purpose. But what are those purposes? With today’s post, I’ll try to find out whether there are some […]

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 […]