Jared Diamond: Societal Collapse

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Jared Diamond: System Collapse“, posted with vodpod

If you listen carefully to what Jared Diamond is saying in the TED video above, he is describing not a five part, but a six part power curve into a systemic singularity. This has been one of the core themes of discussion of this blog.  We all seem to be too close to our problems to see the commonality.  The interrogatives come into play here:

  1. Goals
  2. People
  3. Functions
  4. Forms
  5. Times
  6. Distances

Times and Distances being the basis on which the higher orders are built.

When we look at the recent economic “crisis” we see 300 trillion in currency circulating and roughly 1 trillion to 2 trillion shifting suddenly and unexpectedly.  We witnessed a systemic collapse, a singularity, a tipping point, a power curve, an exponential change, a phase transition or whatever label you want to call it.  These have been happening everywhere since Time and Distance began in different contexts and orders both in human and non-human systems.

What Jared Diamond and other alarmists are implying is that human society is now a system approaching its final singularity in this century on this planet.  We are implying that today we are experiencing a less than one percent crisis on a power curve into a singularity.  How many more iterations will the global system withstand?  Will humanity make the step into space successfully before we experience a global dark age?  How will the six or more factors in the power curve play out?

The truth to me appears to be that power curves whether they play out or not result in either a systemic climax or anti-climax followed by a systemic collapse.  Would it not be better if we experienced a systemic climax that led to us expanding into the solar system?

Systemic collapse seems to be the fashion of this generation.  Every generation looks with fascination at its own youth, maturition, reproduction and acceleration into mortality.  Some die early, some die late, but all die.  It is an irrevocable law of nature.  It is not about self-interest.  It is about what self-interest is defined as.

Related Posts:

Beyond the Singularity

Servitas and Libertas

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . 2 Comments »

The Brain: Beautiful Indeed

A Beautiful Mind: The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate, John Nash by Sylvia Nasar is a far superior portrayal of the life of John Forbes Nash than the motion picture version. His super-egocentric personality, his ambition, his bisexuality, his relationships with mistress and bastard son, his wife Alicia and son John would never have popular appeal. The power of his mind would never be within the grasp of a lay audience. However, his actual breakdown, the faithfulness of his wife, even after divorce and the devotion of his peers that maintained him through the decades of mental illness after he turned thirty should have made film.

John’s paranoid schizophrenia was not as physically dramatic as portrayed in the motion picture. Most schizophrenia isn’t. Much of John’s battle was trying to make sense of the distorted input his mind was feeding him. He cycled between a sense of omnipotence and impotence as his delusions grew within him only to collapse like a deck of cards as they collided with reality. His illness drove him across Europe and the United States and exhausted his family and colleagues as they sought to help him and resurrect the unique intellect.

John’s recovery was helped by medication, however in his 40s and 50s, living with his ex-wife, as there was no one left to take him in, he wandered Princeton campus like a ghost. And somehow his delusions turned from pathology, to numerology, to mathematics and finally to actual pure mathematical research. John said that aging itself had altered his mind and he began to recognize that the delusions caused by political thought and religious thought could be deliberately rejected as wasted effort and what was left was science.

John’s Nobel for Economics did not come without controversy, however his supporters prevailed. They felt that Nash had been overlooked his entire life by the mathematical community and finally he could be vindicated. Nash’s contribution to game theory, the Nash equilibrium, that has changed every science where there were noncooperative systems was finally recognized.

A very good video lecture on John Nash by Sylvia Nasar at MIT in 2002 is here.