Fall of societal entities
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Fall of societal entities

Summary
Joseph Tainter introduces the problem of collapse and then develops a theory of complexity and reviews prior theories of collapse of societies.  He then builds a general explanation of collapse and explains declining marginal returns in significant aspects of complex societies, and evaluates the theory by examining its applicability to historical examples.  He then subsumes other explanatory themes into his marginal returns logic and applies it to our current situation

Following our summary of his arguments, RSS is Rob's Strategy Studio frames these from the perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory: CAS entities are, according to Abbott, a class including people, families, corporations, hurricanes.  They implement abstract designs and are demarcatable by their reduced entropy relative to their components.  Rovelli notes entities are a collection of relations and events, but memory and our continuous process of anticipation, organizes the series of quantized interactions we perceive into an illusion of permanent objects flowing from past to future.  Abbott identifies two types of entity:
  1. At equilibrium entities,
  2. Autonomous entities, which can control how they are affected by outside forces;
provide an effective emergence and collapse point.  The history are a class of fine-grained histories of the universe, in quantum mechanics, which all agree on a particular account of what is followed (events of large inertial mass) but vary over all possible events of what is not followed, which are summed over. 
of events which results in each emergence point Tainter reviews introduces constraints on the aggregate entity.  These constraints can help define the emergence and collapse point and remove inconsistencies from the analytic framework.  Tainter's economic framework, conforming to the equilibrium proposed by Walras and Jevons, can benefit from alignment with complexity economics
Collapse of Complex Societies

In Joseph Tainter's book 'The Collapse of Complex Societies' presents a general theory of the process, as well as his
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Evolution's schematic operators and Samuel modeling together support the indirect recording of past successes and their strategic use by the current agent to learn how to succeed in the proximate environment. 
model
of complexity, M. Mitchell Waldrop describes a vision of complexity via:
  • Rich interactions that allow a system to undergo spontaneous self-organization and, for CAS, evolution
  • Systems that are adaptive
  • More predictability than chaotic systems by bringing order and chaos into
  • Balance at the edge of chaos
: the process from which complex societies
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emerge


1 Introduction to collapse
Tainter paints a picture of lost civilizations, the remnants over-run with jungle, and wonders why it happened.  He asserts it is a troubling vision to all of us.  It seems to imply that civilizations are fragile and impermanent.  He wonders if
States are instances of a high level emergent animal autonomous entity capable of entering an additional niche: amplifying resource capture and effective utilization; through improved collaboration, innovation and productivity. 

Emerging from cultural superOrganisms, states can evolve based on slow gene culture coevolution.  But so far, they have gathered limited schematic strategies for effective development, operation, reproduction and evolving.  Instead they are beginning to use memetic schemas to improve the rate of evolution.  With few instances and little time in existance, states current strategies are suboptimal in part because of poor memetic operators. 
 
modern societies
are similarly vulnerable, and notes the worries of those who see our current growth rates as problematic.  And the current research presents: a mystery with explanations being ad hoc, focused on specific examples, leaving no general understanding; and it contained conceptual and logical flaws.  This book develops a general explanation of collapse, based on archaeology and history, with implications for current conditions

4 What is collapse?
Tainter notes that collapse has been ill-defined.  In this book it is a political process, the rapid significant loss of an established level of sociopolitical complexity, which impacts economics is the study of trade between humans.  Traditional Economics is based on an equilibrium model of the economic system.  Traditional Economics includes: microeconomics, and macroeconomics.  Marx developed an alternative static approach.  Limitations of the equilibrium model have resulted in the development of: Keynes's dynamic General Theory of Employment Interest & Money, and Complexity Economics.  Since trading depends on human behavior, economics has developed behavioral models including: behavioral economics. 
, art, literature and primarily the sociopolitical area.  Tainter stresses that complexity progresses continuously.  So collapse equally applies to regional chiefdoms, agricultural villages, hunter-gatherer is a lifestyle organized around a band of relatives, evolved in humans focused on capturing the cognitive niche in the African savanna.  It is of great significance in shaping our minds: behaviors, emotions, creativity, intelligence; and developing survival strategies including use of fire and language, according to evolutionary psychologists.  It was practiced by all humans, for most of Homo sapiens existence, until the emergence of farming, and still is by some isolated bands: Ju/'hoansi, New Guinea: Gebusi, Mae Enga; & Borneo head hunters, Maasai & Zulu warriors from Africa, Amazonians: Waorani, Jivaro; Brazilian and Venezuelan Yanomamo.  Since the band moves on when it has depleted the resources in an area of land, the soil remains vibrant, but the large animals were typically placed in a position of stress from which they did not recover. 
bands, as well as empires such as Rome, when any of them rapidly loses significant complexity.  Tainter is seeking a general explanation. 

5 Collapse in history
Collapse is a recurrent feature of human societies.  Tainter introduces some historic examples: Western Chou, Harappan, Mesopotamia, Egyptian Old Kindom, Hittites, Minoans, Mycenaeans, Western Roman Empire, Olmec, Lowland Classic Maya, Mesoamerican Highlands, Casas Grandes, Chacoans, Hohokam, Eastern Woodlands, Huara, Kachin, Ik; with details of their
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergence
and collapse:

18 After collapse
Societies after collapse demonstrate:
Collapsed complex societies lose the support services that justified cooperation.  Local self-sufficiency must be obtained.  Symbiotic relationships is a long term situation between two, or more, different agents where the resources of both are shared for mutual benefit.  Some of the relationships have built remarkable dependencies: Tremblaya's partnership with citrus mealybugs and bacterial DNA residing in the mealybug's genome, Aphids with species of secondary symbiont bacteria deployed sexually from a male aphid sperm reservoir and propagated asexually by female aphids only while their local diet induces a dependency.  If the power relations and opportunities change for the participants then they will adapt and the situation may transform into separation, predation or parasitism. 
fracture into predation.  The focus of attention becomes very local.  Tainter explores whether collapse is universally a catastrophe
22 The nature of complex societies
Tainter proposes to understand what a complex society is, to help get a picture of how it collapses.  He asks:
Tainter laments that he will only focus on: the nature of complexity, the question of discrete stages, major views on emergence of complex societies; as most germane to understanding collapse. 

23 Complexity
Tainter asserts complexity is associated with: size of a society, number and distinctiveness of its parts, variety of specialized social roles, number of distinct social personalities, and the variety of mechanisms for organizing these into a coherent, functioning whole.  He associates increasing complexity with inequality and heterogeneity.  He explains that in early civilizations inequality tended to be initially high and heterogeneity low, but through time, inequality decreased and heterogeneity grew associated with the development of multiple hierarchies.  And he notes the growth in the amount of information processed by a society and suggests greater social complexity was needed to cope with the greater quantity and variety of information.  Tainter references Simon's point that complex societies are nearly decomposable systems, built up from social units that are potentially stable and independent. 

Tainter highlights the unusual nature of modern complex societies, recalling that for most of the time since homo sapiens'
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergence
we existed in small hunter-gatherer is a lifestyle organized around a band of relatives, evolved in humans focused on capturing the cognitive niche in the African savanna.  It is of great significance in shaping our minds: behaviors, emotions, creativity, intelligence; and developing survival strategies including use of fire and language, according to evolutionary psychologists.  It was practiced by all humans, for most of Homo sapiens existence, until the emergence of farming, and still is by some isolated bands: Ju/'hoansi, New Guinea: Gebusi, Mae Enga; & Borneo head hunters, Maasai & Zulu warriors from Africa, Amazonians: Waorani, Jivaro; Brazilian and Venezuelan Yanomamo.  Since the band moves on when it has depleted the resources in an area of land, the soil remains vibrant, but the large animals were typically placed in a position of stress from which they did not recover. 
bands, only in the last 6,000 years have hierarchical, organized, interdependent
States are instances of a high level emergent animal autonomous entity capable of entering an additional niche: amplifying resource capture and effective utilization; through improved collaboration, innovation and productivity. 

Emerging from cultural superOrganisms, states can evolve based on slow gene culture coevolution.  But so far, they have gathered limited schematic strategies for effective development, operation, reproduction and evolving.  Instead they are beginning to use memetic schemas to improve the rate of evolution.  With few instances and little time in existance, states current strategies are suboptimal in part because of poor memetic operators. 
 
states
existed, but they are our reference point.   They dominate the earth's lands and people and are what we consider normal.  But the more typical communities is a lifestyle organized around a band of relatives, evolved in humans focused on capturing the cognitive niche in the African savanna.  It is of great significance in shaping our minds: behaviors, emotions, creativity, intelligence; and developing survival strategies including use of fire and language, according to evolutionary psychologists.  It was practiced by all humans, for most of Homo sapiens existence, until the emergence of farming, and still is by some isolated bands: Ju/'hoansi, New Guinea: Gebusi, Mae Enga; & Borneo head hunters, Maasai & Zulu warriors from Africa, Amazonians: Waorani, Jivaro; Brazilian and Venezuelan Yanomamo.  Since the band moves on when it has depleted the resources in an area of land, the soil remains vibrant, but the large animals were typically placed in a position of stress from which they did not recover. 
were homogeneous and small, mostly organized around kinship with minimal leadership now aims to develop plans and strategies which ensure effective coordination to improve the common good of the in-group.  Pinker notes the evolved pressure of social rivalry associating power with leadership.  Different evolved personality types reinforced during development provided hunter-gatherer bands with alternate adult capabilities for coping with the various challenges of the African savanna.  As the situation changed different personalities would prove most helpful in leading the band.  Big men, chiefs and leaders of early states leveraged their power over the flow of resources to capture and redistribute wealth to their supporters.  As the environmental state changed and began threatening the polity's fitness, one leader would be abandoned, replaced by another who the group hoped might improve the situation for all.  Sapolsky observes the disconnect that occurs between power hierarchies and wisdom in apes.  In modern Anglo-American style corporations, which typically follow Malthus, and are disconnected from the cultural superOrganism nest site, the goal of leadership has become detached from the needs of this broader polity, instead: seeking market and revenue growth, hiring and firing workers, and leveraging power to reduce these commitments further.  Dorner notes that corporate executives show an appreciation of how to control a CAS.  Robert Iger with personality types: Reformer, Achiever, Investigator; describes his time as Disney CEO, where he experienced a highly aligned environment, working to nurture the good and manage the bad.  He notes something is always coming up.  Leadership requires the ability to adapt to challenges while compartmentalizing.  John Boyd: Achiever, Investigator, Challenger; could not align with the military hierarchy but developed an innovative systematic perspective which his supporters championed and politicians leveraged.  John Adair developed a modern leadership methodology based on the three-circles model. 
, and they varied in size, complexity, ranking, economic differentiation and other factors. 

Tainter explains equality is obtained from an individual's direct access to the resources that sustain life, from mobility, and conventions that prevent economic is a human cultural superOrganism complex adaptive system (CAS) which operates and controls trade flows within a rich niche.  Economics models economies.  Robert Gordon has described the evolution of the American economy.  Like other CAS, economic flows are maintained far from equilibrium by: demand, financial flows and constraints, supply infrastructure constraints, political and military constraints; ensuring wealth, legislative control, legal contracts and power have significant leverage through evolved amplifiers. 
accumulation and encourage sharing.  When leaders now aims to develop plans and strategies which ensure effective coordination to improve the common good of the in-group.  Pinker notes the evolved pressure of social rivalry associating power with leadership.  Different evolved personality types reinforced during development provided hunter-gatherer bands with alternate adult capabilities for coping with the various challenges of the African savanna.  As the situation changed different personalities would prove most helpful in leading the band.  Big men, chiefs and leaders of early states leveraged their power over the flow of resources to capture and redistribute wealth to their supporters.  As the environmental state changed and began threatening the polity's fitness, one leader would be abandoned, replaced by another who the group hoped might improve the situation for all.  Sapolsky observes the disconnect that occurs between power hierarchies and wisdom in apes.  In modern Anglo-American style corporations, which typically follow Malthus, and are disconnected from the cultural superOrganism nest site, the goal of leadership has become detached from the needs of this broader polity, instead: seeking market and revenue growth, hiring and firing workers, and leveraging power to reduce these commitments further.  Dorner notes that corporate executives show an appreciation of how to control a CAS.  Robert Iger with personality types: Reformer, Achiever, Investigator; describes his time as Disney CEO, where he experienced a highly aligned environment, working to nurture the good and manage the bad.  He notes something is always coming up.  Leadership requires the ability to adapt to challenges while compartmentalizing.  John Boyd: Achiever, Investigator, Challenger; could not align with the military hierarchy but developed an innovative systematic perspective which his supporters championed and politicians leveraged.  John Adair developed a modern leadership methodology based on the three-circles model. 
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emerge
they are constrained from exercising authority or amassing wealth is schematically useful information and its equivalent, schematically useful energy, to paraphrase Beinhocker.  It is useful because an agent has schematic strategies that can utilize the information or energy to extend or leverage control of the cognitive niche.    and prestige.  Competition to lead will cause resources to be distributed to demonstrate status is a publically accepted, signal that one possesses assets: wealth, beauty, talent, expertise, access & trust of powerful people; to be able to help others. 
, undermining accumulation of goods.  In Melanesia such leaders are termed a Big Man is used by anthropologists to describe an individual who captures resources and strives to build a following through generosity, but is never permanently successful, his influence being limited to his faction and the flow of resources.  The term was coined in Native Melanesia.  Beinhocker outlines a logical shift from big men to economic market operations. 
.  But other Polynesian societies have permanent positions of rank, where authority resides in the office, not the individual.  And the role of chief is often observed to be hereditary.  Entire islands are integrated into a single chiefdom are political entities where the role of leader has been formalized, and it may be hereditary.  The chief is sustained by flows of resources, including from farming and the large population it can sustain, and inequality is pervasive in these situations.  But the power of the chief is constrained by kinship obligations and the lack of true coercive force explains Tainter.  He notes these restrictions have been removed in states which anthropologists view as qualitatively different kind of society. 
.  In these more complex societies inequality is pervasive.  They are organized around kin relations but
The complexity of behavior is explored through Sapolsky developing scenarios of our best and worst behaviors across time spans, and scientific subjects including: anthropology, psychology, neuroscience, sociology.  The rich network of adaptive flows he outlines provides insights and highlight challenges for scientific research on behavior. 

Complex adaptive system (CAS) theory builds on Sapolsky's details highlighting the strategies that evolution has captured to successfully enter niches we now occupy. 

behavior
between people is prescribed by the impersonal structure of society where downward flow of amassed resources ensures loyalty

Tainter contrasts
States are instances of a high level emergent animal autonomous entity capable of entering an additional niche: amplifying resource capture and effective utilization; through improved collaboration, innovation and productivity. 

Emerging from cultural superOrganisms, states can evolve based on slow gene culture coevolution.  But so far, they have gathered limited schematic strategies for effective development, operation, reproduction and evolving.  Instead they are beginning to use memetic schemas to improve the rate of evolution.  With few instances and little time in existance, states current strategies are suboptimal in part because of poor memetic operators. 
 
states
and chiefdoms, asserting states include:
Tainter highlights how factions in a stateless society will inhibit centralization since each faction will fear the impact on it of some other becoming preeminent.  He argues that religion provides a response to the stresses of conflict and a justification for an overarching integration. 

Tainter sees the philosophy and assumptions underlying evolutionary typologies of simple societies as significant to understanding collapse, with two disjoint alternatives:
  1. When they increase in complexity the changes are quantized:
  2. There is a continuous increase in complexity; with Tainter concluding that typological approaches obscure social variation and change within a typological level and acceptance of a continuous process admits interesting and significant social transformations.  
Tainter concludes complexity varies continuously and argues that collapse is its reverse, a decline in complexity, and is also a continuous function.  Collapse occurs whenever complexity rapidly, significantly and noticeably declines. 

31 The evolution of complexity
Long-standing
States are instances of a high level emergent animal autonomous entity capable of entering an additional niche: amplifying resource capture and effective utilization; through improved collaboration, innovation and productivity. 

Emerging from cultural superOrganisms, states can evolve based on slow gene culture coevolution.  But so far, they have gathered limited schematic strategies for effective development, operation, reproduction and evolving.  Instead they are beginning to use memetic schemas to improve the rate of evolution.  With few instances and little time in existance, states current strategies are suboptimal in part because of poor memetic operators. 
 
states
acquire many functions and features which then obscure their original functions and reasons for emergence.  And subsequent evolution may depend on new factors.  Theories should also account for the persistence of the emergent entity.  A general framework for the
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergence
of the primary
States are instances of a high level emergent animal autonomous entity capable of entering an additional niche: amplifying resource capture and effective utilization; through improved collaboration, innovation and productivity. 

Emerging from cultural superOrganisms, states can evolve based on slow gene culture coevolution.  But so far, they have gathered limited schematic strategies for effective development, operation, reproduction and evolving.  Instead they are beginning to use memetic schemas to improve the rate of evolution.  With few instances and little time in existance, states current strategies are suboptimal in part because of poor memetic operators. 
 
state
:
has been identified:
Tainter notes the Enlightenment's: Jean Bodin, Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, Adam Ferguson, Jean-Jacques Rousseau; interest in the theory of the state

Additionally, the emergence of primary states drives secondary state formation.  This has been characterized and supports two schools of explanation: conflict asserts that the state emerged out of the needs and desires of individuals and subgroups of a society according to Tainter.  The state is based on divided interests, on domination and exploitation, on power struggles.  Economic stratification induced intra-societal conflicts that are constrained by state coercion.  Marxists adopt this position.  Tainter asserts that in 'Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State,' Engels argued the differential acquisition of wealth led to hereditary nobility, monarchy, slavery, and wars for pillage.  For Marxists, the state was developed to sustain these sources of wealth, with production surpluses being appropriated by the non-producers. 
- associated with the ideas of Ibn Khaldun and more recently: Morgan, Marx, Engels, Childe, White and Fried; functionalist propose complexity, stratification, and the state arose, not out of the ambitions of individuals or subgroups but out of the needs of society explains Tainter.  The theory assumes complexity serves population-wide needs.  Integration is socially useful and differential rewards acrued by adminisatrators are costs that are accepted to ensure the benefits of centralization. 
- Spencer, Sumner, Durkheim, Moret, Davy, and Service; which pervade the understanding of collapse

Tainter develops a critique of conflict and functionalist theories:
Tainter admits that he requires a synthesis of conflict and functionalist ideas but leans towards functionalism, seeing psychological reductionism of conflict theory as an insurmountable flaw.  He highlights the point that
States are instances of a high level emergent animal autonomous entity capable of entering an additional niche: amplifying resource capture and effective utilization; through improved collaboration, innovation and productivity. 

Emerging from cultural superOrganisms, states can evolve based on slow gene culture coevolution.  But so far, they have gathered limited schematic strategies for effective development, operation, reproduction and evolving.  Instead they are beginning to use memetic schemas to improve the rate of evolution.  With few instances and little time in existance, states current strategies are suboptimal in part because of poor memetic operators. 
 
states
are
Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
problem-solving organizations
,
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emerging
as a response to changed circumstances.  Tainter signals that this point has much to do with understanding why they collapse. 

37 Summary and implications
Tainter concludes the loss of complexity, like its emergence, is  a continuous variable.  Collapse may involve a drop within a major level of complexity or between these.  It is a process of major, rapid change from one structurally stable level to another. 

39 The study of collapse
Tainter notes there is a substantial research effort regarding collapse.  The fall of the: Western Roman Empire, Chou Dynasty, and Mauryan Empire; are a key focus, with scholars attempting to understand the past, and practical attempts to ascertain the future.  As well as deriving
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Evolution's schematic operators and Samuel modeling together support the indirect recording of past successes and their strategic use by the current agent to learn how to succeed in the proximate environment. 
models
of current political philosophy. 

39 What collapses? More on definitions
Collapse has long been judged as the fall of specific political entities are, according to Abbott, a class including people, families, corporations, hurricanes.  They implement abstract designs and are demarcatable by their reduced entropy relative to their components.  Rovelli notes entities are a collection of relations and events, but memory and our continuous process of anticipation, organizes the series of quantized interactions we perceive into an illusion of permanent objects flowing from past to future.  Abbott identifies two types of entity:
  1. At equilibrium entities,
  2. Autonomous entities, which can control how they are affected by outside forces;
.  But within the last two centuries the social sciences highlighted the transformation of civilizations as culture is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Damasio notes prokaryotes and social insects have developed cultural social behaviors.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  Damasio suggests culture is influenced by feelings: 
    • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
    • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
    • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
forms.  They view the end of a civilization as a transformation of the features: art, architecture, literature, music is a complex emergent capability supported by sexual selection and generating pleasure.  It transforms the sensing of epiphenomena: Contour, Rhythm, Tempo, Timbre; to induce salient representations: Harmony, Key, Loudness, Melody, Meter, Pitch, and perceptions: Reverberation - echo; which allow musicians: Elton John, Elvis Presley; to show their fitness: superior coordination, creativity, adolescent leadership, stamina; true for birds and humans.  Levitin showed that listening to music causes a cascade of brain regions to become activated in a particular order: auditory cortex, frontal regions, such as BA44 and BA47, and finally the mesolimbic system, culminating in the nucleus accumbens.  And he found the cerebellum and basal ganglia were active throughout the session.  He argues music mimics some of the features of language and conveys some of the same emotions.  The brain regions pulse with the beat and predict the next one.  As the music is heard it is modeled and generates dopamine rewards for matching each beat and noting creative jokes in the rhythm.  The cerebellum finds pleasure in adjusting itself to stay synchronized. 
, philosophies, politics; and
The complexity of behavior is explored through Sapolsky developing scenarios of our best and worst behaviors across time spans, and scientific subjects including: anthropology, psychology, neuroscience, sociology.  The rich network of adaptive flows he outlines provides insights and highlight challenges for scientific research on behavior. 

Complex adaptive system (CAS) theory builds on Sapolsky's details highlighting the strategies that evolution has captured to successfully enter niches we now occupy. 

behaviors
that characterize a cultural entity.  Tainter sees problems with this strategy: the definition of civilization is vague and intuitive with different aspects transforming at different times, value judgments are required in the grouping of societies - civilized being ones like us; that limit its usefulness in objective scientific
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Evolution's schematic operators and Samuel modeling together support the indirect recording of past successes and their strategic use by the current agent to learn how to succeed in the proximate environment. 
modeling
of collapse. 

An alternative strategy characterizes civilizations as large, complex structures, allowing Tainter to extract a definition of civilization: is the cultural system of a complex society; which he accepts.  The cultural features are seen to be epiphenomena of social, political, and economic is the study of trade between humans.  Traditional Economics is based on an equilibrium model of the economic system.  Traditional Economics includes: microeconomics, and macroeconomics.  Marx developed an alternative static approach.  Limitations of the equilibrium model have resulted in the development of: Keynes's dynamic General Theory of Employment Interest & Money, and Complexity Economics.  Since trading depends on human behavior, economics has developed behavioral models including: behavioral economics. 
complexity.  Tainter asserts complexity calls these traditions into being: civilization
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emerges
with complexity, exists because of it, and disappears when complexity does.  This allows Tainter to study complexity as a measurable and specifiable objective monitor of civilization.  And he sees the social science studies of why civilizations disappear as providing important details for understanding why polities do.  It also allows inclusion of
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Evolution's schematic operators and Samuel modeling together support the indirect recording of past successes and their strategic use by the current agent to learn how to succeed in the proximate environment. 
models
of civilizations which disappeared while the societies did not collapse. 

42 Classification of theories
There are many theories of collapse, which Tainter groups into eleven explanatory themes:
  1. Depletion or cessation of a vital resource or resources on which the society depends. 
  2. The establishment of a new resource base. 
  3. The occurrence of some insurmountable catastrophe
  4. Insufficient response to circumstances. 
  5. Competition with other complex societies. 
  6. Intruders
  7. Class conflict, societal contradictions, elite mismanagement or misbehavior
  8. Social dysfunction.  
  9. Mystical factors
  10. Chance concatenation of events
  11. Economic factors
43 Framework of discussion
Tainter explains the premise of his approach is - if the logic of an argument is faulty, a discussion of factual matters is unnecessary.  His focus is the logic of the themes.  Facts are never of major importance.  Tainter perceived that the existing explanations don't logically account for it.  In the discussion he details his reservations.  In most cases the theme provides value but does not fully achieve its logical goal. 

44 Resource depletion
This theme includes the gradual depletion of a resource base, and a dramatic loss of resources from a change in the environment such as a climatic shift.  A causal chain from economic is a human cultural superOrganism complex adaptive system (CAS) which operates and controls trade flows within a rich niche.  Economics models economies.  Robert Gordon has described the evolution of the American economy.  Like other CAS, economic flows are maintained far from equilibrium by: demand, financial flows and constraints, supply infrastructure constraints, political and military constraints; ensuring wealth, legislative control, legal contracts and power have significant leverage through evolved amplifiers. 
deterioration to collapse was speculated about by first hand observers.  Participants in the collapse of the Western Roman Empire observed an aging and loss of vigor.  They referenced a decline in agriculture emerged several times and various places, probably first around 11,000 years ago.  It depends on and supports evolved amplifiers which introduce instability and problems with sustainability of the populations that depended on it, unlike the earlier hunting and gathering.  Today the uncertainty can be hedged, although third world farmers' businesses are undermined by first world agricultural policy.  J.R. McNeill explains the sustainability issue: "all farming is a struggle against the depletion of soil nutrients.  Crops absorb nutrients; these are eaten by people or animals; then they spend shorter or longer periods of time in human or animal bodies, before returning to the soil.  If these nutrients, in one manner or another, return to farmers' fields, then a nutrient cycle can last indefinitely.  If they do not, then those fields gradually lose nutrient and over time produce less and less food - unless some intervention such as fertilizer counteracts the nutrient loss."  However, McNeill notes three notable exceptions: Egypt until the Aswan High Dam, Southern China, Medieval Europe; "each ecologically successful over long periods of time."  Their success resulted from trial and error and favorable circumstances. 
and mining as well as political weakness.  Cyclic shifts in climate are associated with energized or senile civilizations.  Some postulate an 800 year climatically-induced cycle to human affairs, superimposed on shorter cyclic patterns.  But Tainter notes different theorists highlight contradictory climatic conditions as beneficial!  Often studies include soil degradation through farming practices as one contributor to a broader collapse: Maya, Peru; while the Nile's chaotic pattern of draughts and destructive floods which required the dependent population to rebuild the entire irrigation system, and the perpetual silting of the Indus river, contributed to social unrest, and weakening of the political hierarchy but was not a causal agent of collapse of the Egyptian old kingdom and Harappan civilizations. 

Resource depletion added to the political and economic stresses on production systems that induced collapse in Mesopotamia.  The intensification of agriculture emerged several times and various places, probably first around 11,000 years ago.  It depends on and supports evolved amplifiers which introduce instability and problems with sustainability of the populations that depended on it, unlike the earlier hunting and gathering.  Today the uncertainty can be hedged, although third world farmers' businesses are undermined by first world agricultural policy.  J.R. McNeill explains the sustainability issue: "all farming is a struggle against the depletion of soil nutrients.  Crops absorb nutrients; these are eaten by people or animals; then they spend shorter or longer periods of time in human or animal bodies, before returning to the soil.  If these nutrients, in one manner or another, return to farmers' fields, then a nutrient cycle can last indefinitely.  If they do not, then those fields gradually lose nutrient and over time produce less and less food - unless some intervention such as fertilizer counteracts the nutrient loss."  However, McNeill notes three notable exceptions: Egypt until the Aswan High Dam, Southern China, Medieval Europe; "each ecologically successful over long periods of time."  Their success resulted from trial and error and favorable circumstances. 
and enhanced irrigation induced above-average harvests, supporting increased prosperity, security and stability.  But soon saline groundwater undermined the agricultural productivity is the efficiency with which an agent's selected strategy converts the inputs to an action into the resulting outputs.  It is a complex capability of agents.  It will depend on the agent having: time, motivation, focus, appropriate skills; the coherence of the participating collaborators, and a beneficial environment including the contribution of: standardization of inputs and outputs, infrastructure and evolutionary amplifiers. 
and stability.  Sassian and Islamic elites increased fiscal demands forcing the integration of increasingly marginal lands that delivered more marginal returns undermining living standards and ecological robustness.  Revenues fell while costs grew, impacting the maintenance processes and geographic reach of the
States are instances of a high level emergent animal autonomous entity capable of entering an additional niche: amplifying resource capture and effective utilization; through improved collaboration, innovation and productivity. 

Emerging from cultural superOrganisms, states can evolve based on slow gene culture coevolution.  But so far, they have gathered limited schematic strategies for effective development, operation, reproduction and evolving.  Instead they are beginning to use memetic schemas to improve the rate of evolution.  With few instances and little time in existance, states current strategies are suboptimal in part because of poor memetic operators. 
 
state
removing the opportunity to solve the agricultural problems. 

Pollen diagrams of the declining Roman Empire highlight declines of cereals, arable plants, pasture, weeds; with woodland encroaching on cultivated land.  It is suspected that intensification of farming emerged several times and various places, probably first around 11,000 years ago.  It depends on and supports evolved amplifiers which introduce instability and problems with sustainability of the populations that depended on it, unlike the earlier hunting and gathering.  Today the uncertainty can be hedged, although third world farmers' businesses are undermined by first world agricultural policy.  J.R. McNeill explains the sustainability issue: "all farming is a struggle against the depletion of soil nutrients.  Crops absorb nutrients; these are eaten by people or animals; then they spend shorter or longer periods of time in human or animal bodies, before returning to the soil.  If these nutrients, in one manner or another, return to farmers' fields, then a nutrient cycle can last indefinitely.  If they do not, then those fields gradually lose nutrient and over time produce less and less food - unless some intervention such as fertilizer counteracts the nutrient loss."  However, McNeill notes three notable exceptions: Egypt until the Aswan High Dam, Southern China, Medieval Europe; "each ecologically successful over long periods of time."  Their success resulted from trial and error and favorable circumstances. 
to provide resources for the largest markets, distributed by the central administration, limited food shortages and encouraged population expansion but eventually caused erosion, over grazing and agricultural exhaustion. 

Tainter sees complex societies as experienced in managing and mitigating resource shortages.  They should adapt in evolutionary biology is a trait that increased the number of surviving offspring in an organism's ancestral lineage.  Holland argues: complex adaptive systems (CAS) adapt due to the influence of schematic strings on agents.  Evolution indicates fitness when an organism survives and reproduces.  For his genetic algorithm, Holland separated the adaptive process into credit assignment and rule discovery.  He assigned a strength to each of the rules (alternate hypothesis) used by his artificial agents, by credit assignment - each accepted message being paid for by the recipient, increasing the sender agent's rule's strength (implicit modeling) and reducing the recipient's.  When an agent achieved an explicit goal they obtained a final reward.  Rule discovery used the genetic algorithm to select strong rule schemas from a pair of agents to be included in the next generation, with crossing over and mutation applied, and the resulting schematic strategies used to replace weaker schemas.  The crossing over genetic operator is unlikely to break up a short schematic sequence that provides a building block retained because of its 'fitness';  In Deacon's conception of evolution, an adaptation is the realization of a set of constraints on candidate mechanisms, and so long as these constraints are maintained, other features are arbitrary. 
, using their wealth is schematically useful information and its equivalent, schematically useful energy, to paraphrase Beinhocker.  It is useful because an agent has schematic strategies that can utilize the information or energy to extend or leverage control of the cognitive niche.    of strategies, once they detect such stresses.  So he asks what is it that causes these responses to fail on occasion

51 New resources
There is a minority within the advocates of functional propose complexity, stratification, and the state arose, not out of the ambitions of individuals or subgroups but out of the needs of society explains Tainter.  The theory assumes complexity serves population-wide needs.  Integration is socially useful and differential rewards acrued by adminisatrators are costs that are accepted to ensure the benefits of centralization. 
themes that proposes the discovery of new, bountiful resources results in collapse.  When inequities are removed the need for
Terrence Deacon explores how constraints on dynamic flows can induce emergent phenomena which can do real work.  He shows how these phenomena are sustained.  The mechanism enables the development of Darwinian competition. 
constraints
and social control reduces and the system may collapse to a lower level of complexity.  One scenario is the discovery of resources, such as iron, which enabled simpler development of weapons.  This allowed peasants and barbarians to leverage weapons to challenge the armies of
States are instances of a high level emergent animal autonomous entity capable of entering an additional niche: amplifying resource capture and effective utilization; through improved collaboration, innovation and productivity. 

Emerging from cultural superOrganisms, states can evolve based on slow gene culture coevolution.  But so far, they have gathered limited schematic strategies for effective development, operation, reproduction and evolving.  Instead they are beginning to use memetic schemas to improve the rate of evolution.  With few instances and little time in existance, states current strategies are suboptimal in part because of poor memetic operators. 
 
states
: middle Chou feudal network, Mycenaean, Hittite; collapses.  Tainter sees this theme as incapable of explaining the fall of Rome or the collapse of any of the other advanced societies.  

52 Catastrophes
Hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and epidemics is the rapid spread of infectious disease: AIDS (Oct 2016), Cholera (2010), Clostridium difficile (May 2015), Ebola, Influenza, Polio, SARS, Tuberculosis, Typhoid (Apr 2018), Malaria, Yellow fever, Zika; to large numbers of people in a population within a short period of time -- two weeks or less.  Epidemics are studied and monitored by: NIAID, CDC, WHO; but are managed by states in the US.  Infection control escalation is supported by biocontainment units: Emory, Nebraska.  Once memes are included in the set of infectious schematic materials, human addictions can present as epidemics concludes Dr. Nora Volkow of the NIDA.  CEPI aims to ensure public health networks are effectively prepared for epidemics.  PHCPI aims to strengthen PCPs globally to improve responsiveness to epidemics.  GAVI helps catalyze the development and deployment of vaccines.  Sporadic investment in public health enables development of conditions for vector development: Mosquitos.  The increasing demands of the global population are altering the planet: Climate change is shifting mosquito bases, Forests are being invaded bringing wildlife and their diseases in contact with human networks.  Globalized travel acts as an infection amplifier: Ebola to Texas.  Health clinics have also acted as amplifiers: AIDS in Haiti, C. diff & MRSA infections enabled & amplified by hospitals.  Haiti earthquake support from the UN similarly introduced Cholera. 
are clear favorites of collapse theorists.  Tainter notes these theories differ little from resource depletion except in emphasis. 
Mesoamerican Mayan collapse is sometimes attributed to the arrival of yellow fever is an infectious disease of primates caused by a flavivirus, yellow fever virus.  The virus is vectored by mosquitos: In the canopies of Rain Forest trees where monkeys are infected, Aedes aegypti in cities; but hunters can act as a reservoir for infection into aegypti.  Monkeys are tracked by public health officials as signals for outbreaks of the disease.  Often asymptomatic but patients who develop severe symptoms die within 10 days.  Symptoms include: Jaundice, High fever and multiple organ failure. 
.  Others detect an earthquake with subsequent social upheaval.  Maize mosaic virus, brought to the Maya Lowlands by a hurricane from the Caribbean may have induced repeated crop failures.  Brewbaker sees this as analogous to the 1845 Irish potato blight. 
An immense volcanic eruption on the island of Thera is identified as inducing collapse of the Minoan civilization.  Some researchers add subsequent invasion by mainland Greeks.  Others add induced tsunamis and earth quakes as adding to the desolation. 
Sonia Shah reviews the millennia old (500,000 years) malarial arms race between Humanity, Anopheles mosquitoes and Plasmodium.  250 - 500 million people are infected each year with malaria and one million die. 
Malaria
has been proposed as a contributor to the decline of Rome, and plagues is a Yersinia pestis bacterial infection of humans, typically vectored by fleas, although it can be spread through the air between humans via infected droplets.   have also been identified as weakening the empire. 

Tainter sees this theme as a particularly weak explanation of collapse, because complex societies routinely withstand catastrophes without collapsing.  He argues the event must result in devastating resource depletion.  The interesting factor is why the society could not cope.  Additionally, human societies encounter repeated catastrophes, which social, managerial and economic is a human cultural superOrganism complex adaptive system (CAS) which operates and controls trade flows within a rich niche.  Economics models economies.  Robert Gordon has described the evolution of the American economy.  Like other CAS, economic flows are maintained far from equilibrium by: demand, financial flows and constraints, supply infrastructure constraints, political and military constraints; ensuring wealth, legislative control, legal contracts and power have significant leverage through evolved amplifiers. 
arrangements are deployed
This page discusses the benefits of proactively strengthening strong points. 
prophylactically
to cope with. 

54 Insufficient response to circumstances
This theme depends on a proposed fundamental limitation of social, political and economic is a human cultural superOrganism complex adaptive system (CAS) which operates and controls trade flows within a rich niche.  Economics models economies.  Robert Gordon has described the evolution of the American economy.  Like other CAS, economic flows are maintained far from equilibrium by: demand, financial flows and constraints, supply infrastructure constraints, political and military constraints; ensuring wealth, legislative control, legal contracts and power have significant leverage through evolved amplifiers. 
systems which prevent an appropriate response to circumstances, and make collapse inevitable. 
Meggers suggests culture is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Damasio notes prokaryotes and social insects have developed cultural social behaviors.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  Damasio suggests culture is influenced by feelings: 
    • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
    • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
    • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
is fed by the agricultural productivity of the proximate environment.  She struggled to explain the advent of the Maya, opting for migration from some more productive area, and then slow decline.  The Chacoan collapse has been explained by the impact of the arid environment. 

It is often asserted that complex societies are inherently unstable.  It has been suggested that efficient utilization of resources, by specialization, takes time to develop.  But once this is achieved the network is fragile and prone to disruption without any strategic reserve.  It is noted that dedicating resources to civilized pursuits: art, architecture; diverts them from generating economic wellbeing indicates the state of an organism is within homeostatic balance.  It is described by Angus Deaton as all the things that are good for a person:
  • Material wellbeing includes income and wealth and its measures: GDP, personal income and consumption.  It can be traded for goods and services which recapture time.  Material wellbeing depends on investments in:
    • Infrastructure
      • Physical
      • Property rights, contracts and dispute resolution
    • People and their education
    • Capturing of basic knowledge via science.  
    • Engineering to turn science into goods and services and then continuously improve them. 
  • Physical and psychological wellbeing are represented by health and happiness; and education and the ability to participate in civil society through democracy and the rule of law.  University of Wisconsin's Ryff focuses on Aristotle's flourishing.  Life expectancy as a measure of population health, highly weights reductions in child mortality. 
.  Service proposed 'the more specialized and adapted in evolutionary biology is a trait that increased the number of surviving offspring in an organism's ancestral lineage.  Holland argues: complex adaptive systems (CAS) adapt due to the influence of schematic strings on agents.  Evolution indicates fitness when an organism survives and reproduces.  For his genetic algorithm, Holland separated the adaptive process into credit assignment and rule discovery.  He assigned a strength to each of the rules (alternate hypothesis) used by his artificial agents, by credit assignment - each accepted message being paid for by the recipient, increasing the sender agent's rule's strength (implicit modeling) and reducing the recipient's.  When an agent achieved an explicit goal they obtained a final reward.  Rule discovery used the genetic algorithm to select strong rule schemas from a pair of agents to be included in the next generation, with crossing over and mutation applied, and the resulting schematic strategies used to replace weaker schemas.  The crossing over genetic operator is unlikely to break up a short schematic sequence that provides a building block retained because of its 'fitness';  In Deacon's conception of evolution, an adaptation is the realization of a set of constraints on candidate mechanisms, and so long as these constraints are maintained, other features are arbitrary. 
a form in a given evolutionary stage, the smaller its potential for passing to the next stage.  Less complexity is being associated with increased
To benefit from shifts in the environment agents must be flexible.  Being sensitive to environmental signals agents who adjust strategic priorities can constrain their competitors. 
flexibility
.  An established civilization becomes unable to change and respond.  Bateson argues that when flexibility is not used it is automatically lost. 

The response to a long-term reduction in revenues, by the leadership now aims to develop plans and strategies which ensure effective coordination to improve the common good of the in-group.  Pinker notes the evolved pressure of social rivalry associating power with leadership.  Different evolved personality types reinforced during development provided hunter-gatherer bands with alternate adult capabilities for coping with the various challenges of the African savanna.  As the situation changed different personalities would prove most helpful in leading the band.  Big men, chiefs and leaders of early states leveraged their power over the flow of resources to capture and redistribute wealth to their supporters.  As the environmental state changed and began threatening the polity's fitness, one leader would be abandoned, replaced by another who the group hoped might improve the situation for all.  Sapolsky observes the disconnect that occurs between power hierarchies and wisdom in apes.  In modern Anglo-American style corporations, which typically follow Malthus, and are disconnected from the cultural superOrganism nest site, the goal of leadership has become detached from the needs of this broader polity, instead: seeking market and revenue growth, hiring and firing workers, and leveraging power to reduce these commitments further.  Dorner notes that corporate executives show an appreciation of how to control a CAS.  Robert Iger with personality types: Reformer, Achiever, Investigator; describes his time as Disney CEO, where he experienced a highly aligned environment, working to nurture the good and manage the bad.  He notes something is always coming up.  Leadership requires the ability to adapt to challenges while compartmentalizing.  John Boyd: Achiever, Investigator, Challenger; could not align with the military hierarchy but developed an innovative systematic perspective which his supporters championed and politicians leveraged.  John Adair developed a modern leadership methodology based on the three-circles model. 
, may be increased use of coercion, which is costly, inefficient and so self-defeating.  In general the leadership was unable to bring about the necessary changes for continued existence.  Some scholars suggest under stress the societies can't become less specialized and continue with operations that were causing the stress, possibly including population increases, causing eventual collapse.  Tainter finds these arguments superior to: catastrophe, resource depletion and new resources; with causal mechanisms defined.  But they rely on implicit assumptions of complex societies: Dinosaur - a huge maladaptive dead end, Runaway Train - driven along a path of increasing disastrous complexity and unable to change, and House of Cards - complex societies are fragile and have low margins of reserve resulting in inevitable collapse; none of which is obviously the case in today's complex societies

61 Other complex societies
Scenarios present competition with other complex societies as the cause of collapse.  Tainter notes that conflict between empires mostly leads to expansion of the victor.  And examples of collapse: Rome; cannot be explained by this theory. 

61 Intruders
In this theory collapse of a complex society: Europe, Near East, China, New World; is identified with the impacts of intruding migrating populations of less complexity.  Tainter writes this aligns with conflict theory asserts that the state emerged out of the needs and desires of individuals and subgroups of a society according to Tainter.  The state is based on divided interests, on domination and exploitation, on power struggles.  Economic stratification induced intra-societal conflicts that are constrained by state coercion.  Marxists adopt this position.  Tainter asserts that in 'Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State,' Engels argued the differential acquisition of wealth led to hereditary nobility, monarchy, slavery, and wars for pillage.  For Marxists, the state was developed to sustain these sources of wealth, with production surpluses being appropriated by the non-producers. 
and provides a simple resolution which is helpful to populist leaders.  But Tainter is unsatisfied with a recurrent process being explained by historical accident and asserts this theory does not explain much since a weak tribally-organized people wins which requires explanation. 

64 Conflict/contradictions/mismanagement
The main theme is antagonism and conflicting goals between social classes.  Tainter explains that collapse is assumed to occur when the peasant population withdraws support, because of the elite's self-serving and mismanagement.  He highlights: Plato, Aristotle, Ibn Khaldun, Vico, Volney; discussing cyclic theories and failure to delegate operational responsibility.  The cost of coercive policing is raised.  The association between resource depletion and tax increases is discussed.  He notes Service's quarrels between levels of the hierarchy.  Special interests are seen as particularly corrosive.  Tainter reviews conflict theories regarding: Mesoamerica, Peru, China, Mesopotamia, Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Spain, Netherlands, Harappans, Easter Island; noting how flexible the themes are. 

Tainter notes the obvious value to elites and population of being able to deal with natural and social adversity.  So he sees propositions of failure due to control of labor and resources as hugely incomplete.  They must illuminate the dichotomy of elite rationality vs. collective suicide.  He notes that peasants are frequently disaffected, but rarely revolt, and their goal when they do is transformation not collapse. 

73 Social dysfunction
Tainter dismisses these theories: Integrative deficiencies, Abandonment, Violation of systemic connections in the economic core, External influences, laws which are contrary to optimal use of techno-environment; which are attractive to popular writers, as incomplete, missing: source of stress, causal mechanism; so they can't be analyzed objectively. 

74 Mystical factors
These are popular theories, second only to class conflict, which contain no reference to empirically knowable processes.  Instead they highlight attributes: decadence, vigor, senility - which is used by Plato in the Laws, and Hegel in his Philosophy of History, Danilevsky & Spengler in Decline; with biological analogies recurring in the literature.  Morality provides rules for identifying right from wrong.  It develops in stages with children using play to work out rules of appropriate behavior.  Kohlberg's 1950s experiments using children led him to conclude moral judgement is a cognitive process that develops in three stages.  Sapolsky raises issues with the framework: Its a model, It does not apply to other cultures, Intuition & emotion are as significant as cognition, Moral reasoning doesn't predict moral actions; and notes the capacity of the frontal cortex to regulate emotions and behavior is far more predictive.  The marshmallow test, performed on three to six year olds, actually predicted their subsequent SAT scores at high school, social success and lack of aggression, and forty years on more PFC activation during a frontal task and a lower BMI!  Jonathan Haidt argues people's moral decisions are rationalizations rather than using reasoning. 
is also a popular argument: Montesquieu - with Epicureanism highlighted as undermining moral order.  Toynbee argues for the process of challenge and response, which enables development supported by moral and spiritual values, while collapse results from wickedness and sin inducing a loss of creative power and a failure of vitality.  Ormsby-Gore follows Toynbee but sees collapse induced by internal decay.  Valery assumed civilizations as inherently fragile; needing moral qualities to be sustained.  Dawson argued that collapse is associated with increasing complexity and centralization.  Gray identified repeated cycles within cycles in Classical history.  Unlike the prior examples, mystical factors are presented as universal theories used to explain collapse in Mesopotamia, Rome, Egypt, and Slavic nations. 

To assess mystical factors Tainter groups his issues into themes:

86 Chance concatenation of events
A variety of authors argue that a series of contingent events caused the collapse of the societies they studied: Bury - Rome, Willey & Shimkin - Maya, Butzer - Egypt, Diehl - Byzantium; but Tainter sees no basis for generalization.  He notes that some argue random factors influence all processes, but concludes they will occur with some statistical regularity and so cannot account for a phenomenon far more limited in its occurrence. 

86 Economic explanations
Tainter asserts economic is the study of trade between humans.  Traditional Economics is based on an equilibrium model of the economic system.  Traditional Economics includes: microeconomics, and macroeconomics.  Marx developed an alternative static approach.  Limitations of the equilibrium model have resulted in the development of: Keynes's dynamic General Theory of Employment Interest & Money, and Complexity Economics.  Since trading depends on human behavior, economics has developed behavioral models including: behavioral economics. 
explanations consistently exhibit a limited number of themes:
  1. Declining advantages to complexity,
  2. Increasing disadvantages of complexity,
  3. Increasing costliness of complexity

Tainter sights Lewis's discussion of a shrinking economy is a human cultural superOrganism complex adaptive system (CAS) which operates and controls trade flows within a rich niche.  Economics models economies.  Robert Gordon has described the evolution of the American economy.  Like other CAS, economic flows are maintained far from equilibrium by: demand, financial flows and constraints, supply infrastructure constraints, political and military constraints; ensuring wealth, legislative control, legal contracts and power have significant leverage through evolved amplifiers. 
supporting a costly and cumbersome superstructure - the decline of the Ottoman Empire from the 16th century:
Economic is the study of trade between humans.  Traditional Economics is based on an equilibrium model of the economic system.  Traditional Economics includes: microeconomics, and macroeconomics.  Marx developed an alternative static approach.  Limitations of the equilibrium model have resulted in the development of: Keynes's dynamic General Theory of Employment Interest & Money, and Complexity Economics.  Since trading depends on human behavior, economics has developed behavioral models including: behavioral economics. 
analysis by Lattimore of the Chinese dynastic cycle has likened it to a series of rising and falling returns.  A new dynasty would increase returns by concentrating people in favorable areas where they would organize water and agriculture on a large scale.  But once production peaked (1) the resource base could no longer support the expanded population.  Agrarian depression induced the populus to rise up and destroy the dynasty (2). 
More generally, Tainter notes Johnson and R. McC. Adams's argument that processes that facilitate or inhibit cost-benefit efficiency in political organization lead to social continuity or collapse. 

Weaknesses can be introduced into an economy by intensification and expansion of marginal agricultural lands: Sassanian, Maya; (2). 

In simpler societies prolonged deprivation results in a decline in the advantages of economic cooperation and so the social institutions disappear (1). 

Tainter concludes economic theories are superior to the others:
  1. They recognize the need to identify internal factors of weaknesses, and proceed to do so
  2. They identify specific mechanisms or events controlling change
  3. They identify a specific causal chain; even though the authors did not typically generalize them beyond the specific examples. 
89 Summary and discussion
None of the explanations of collapse fails completely, excepting the mystical, and Tainter concludes the economic theme is logically successful as far as it goes.  Each theme highlights relevant variables and processes: resource shortages, conflict of class interests, catastrophes, and responses are not effective; but requires assumptions that logically fail.  Tainter aims to develop a general explanation which subsumes and enlightens the themes.  The economic theme will be used to understand collapse, it will be tested and the fit of the other themes will be demonstrated

91 Understanding collapse: the marginal productivity of sociopolitical change
Flows of different kinds are essential to the operation of complex adaptive systems (CAS). 
Example flows are outlined.  Constraints on flows support the emergence of the systems.  Examples of constraints are discussed. 
Flows
of energy maintain all
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory provides an organizing framework that is used by 'life.'  It can illuminate and clarify complex situations and be applied flexibly.  It can be used to evaluate and rank models that claim to describe our perceived reality.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents.  It highlights the constraints that shape CAS and so predicts their form.  A proposal that does not conform is wrong. 

John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS
.  They support mechanisms used by human groups to acquire and distribute resources.  Such mechanisms are constrained by sociopolitical institutions.  Energy flows and sociopolitical organization are directly associated are entities which:
  • Are far from equilibrium
  • Consume and save low entropy
  • Can use accessible low entropy to maintain themselves
.  Tainter asserts the amount of energy required is proportional to the complexity of the system.  Industrial societies utilize vast flows of energy.  More complex societies are more costly to maintain than simpler ones per capita.  As societies increase in complexity more
This page discusses the effect of the network on the agents participating in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  Small world and scale free networks are considered. 
networks
are created between the
Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
agents
, hierarchic constraints are applied to the networks, information flow is
This page discusses the benefits of bringing agents and resources to the dynamically best connected region of a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
centralized
and more information is processed by more specialists.  Tainter states it is an immutable fact that the support costs per agent rise significantly with greater complexity.  And he wonders what benefit the society obtains from this investment.  He argues the additional complexity solves perceived problems, and is valuable as long as the benefit obtained outweighs the associated costs. 

Tainter asserts that the return on investment in complexity tracks a hill shaped curve of benefits, including a transition from an increasing benefit but a decreasing rate of improvement to a decreasing level of benefit output produced at an increasing rate of decline.  He argues the increased costs of sociopolitical evolution frequently reach a point of diminishing marginal return in the benefit desired from investing in complexity

Tainter stresses four concepts already discussed which support his understanding of collapse of complex societies:
  1. Human societies are problem-solving organizations
  2. Sociopolitical systems require energy for their maintenance
  3. Increased complexity carries with it increased costs per capita
  4. Investment in sociopolitical complexity as a problem-solving response often reaches a point of declining marginal returns

93 The marginal productivity of increasing complexity
Tainter outlines the constituent parts of complexity: agriculture and resource production, information processing, sociopolitical control and specialization, and overall economic productivity; none of which is an independent entity are, according to Abbott, a class including people, families, corporations, hurricanes.  They implement abstract designs and are demarcatable by their reduced entropy relative to their components.  Rovelli notes entities are a collection of relations and events, but memory and our continuous process of anticipation, organizes the series of quantized interactions we perceive into an illusion of permanent objects flowing from past to future.  Abbott identifies two types of entity:
  1. At equilibrium entities,
  2. Autonomous entities, which can control how they are affected by outside forces;
.  He asserts that all these activities represent investments by human populations in stability and welfare. 

Tainter then illustrates common problems faced by all complex societies:
109 Explaining declining marginal returns in complex societies
Tainter notes that in the prior discussion he has looked for examples of declining marginal productivity and has not considered the alleviation induced by technological innovation is the economic realization of invention and combinatorial exaptation.  Keynes noted it provided the unquantifiable beneficial possibility that limits fear of uncertainty.  Innovation operates across all CAS, being supported by genetic and cultural means.  Creativity provides the mutation and recombination genetic operators for the cultural process.  While highly innovative, monopolies: AT&T, IBM; usually have limited economic reach, constraining productivity.  This explains the use of regulation, or even its threat, that can check their power and drive the creations across the economy. 
.  He argues that there are cases: steam engines uses heat to generate steam to do mechanical work.  They have an external combustion source that burns wood or coal.  Early instances include Newcomen's stationary beam atmospheric engine, and Boulton and Watt's more efficient beam engine.  The steam engine was later used in railroads. 
; where technical innovation can be shown to decline in marginal productivity over time.  And he defends the proposition of declining marginal productivity by demonstrating why it is so for: Agriculture and resource production, Information processing, Sociopolitical control and specialization, and overall economic productivity

110 Agriculture and resource production
Boserup, Clark and Haswell, and Wilkinson have demonstrated rationally-acting human populations will first exploit those resources that yield the best return per unit of effort, excepting uncertainties is when a factor is hard to measure because it is dependent on many interconnected agents and may be affected by infrastructure and evolved amplifiers.  This is different from risk, although the two are deliberately conflated by ERISA.  Keynes argued that most aspects of the future are uncertain, at best represented by ordinal probabilities, and often only by capricious hope for future innovation, fear inducing expectations of limited confidence, which evolutionary psychology implies is based on the demands of our hunter gatherer past.  Deacon notes reduced uncertainty equates to information. 
.  Tainter asserts it follows that hunter-gatherers is a lifestyle organized around a band of relatives, evolved in humans focused on capturing the cognitive niche in the African savanna.  It is of great significance in shaping our minds: behaviors, emotions, creativity, intelligence; and developing survival strategies including use of fire and language, according to evolutionary psychologists.  It was practiced by all humans, for most of Homo sapiens existence, until the emergence of farming, and still is by some isolated bands: Ju/'hoansi, New Guinea: Gebusi, Mae Enga; & Borneo head hunters, Maasai & Zulu warriors from Africa, Amazonians: Waorani, Jivaro; Brazilian and Venezuelan Yanomamo.  Since the band moves on when it has depleted the resources in an area of land, the soil remains vibrant, but the large animals were typically placed in a position of stress from which they did not recover. 
first exploit foods that are higher in nutritional value, and easier to obtain and process in a labor-conserving, extensive pattern of land use.  And agriculture starts with slash-and-burn before adding high labor-intensive farming emerged several times and various places, probably first around 11,000 years ago.  It depends on and supports evolved amplifiers which introduce instability and problems with sustainability of the populations that depended on it, unlike the earlier hunting and gathering.  Today the uncertainty can be hedged, although third world farmers' businesses are undermined by first world agricultural policy.  J.R. McNeill explains the sustainability issue: "all farming is a struggle against the depletion of soil nutrients.  Crops absorb nutrients; these are eaten by people or animals; then they spend shorter or longer periods of time in human or animal bodies, before returning to the soil.  If these nutrients, in one manner or another, return to farmers' fields, then a nutrient cycle can last indefinitely.  If they do not, then those fields gradually lose nutrient and over time produce less and less food - unless some intervention such as fertilizer counteracts the nutrient loss."  However, McNeill notes three notable exceptions: Egypt until the Aswan High Dam, Southern China, Medieval Europe; "each ecologically successful over long periods of time."  Their success resulted from trial and error and favorable circumstances. 
schemes. 

Tainter similarly sees wood being used before coal and oil.  He notes that humans also seek prestige goods.  But in all cases as the most rational option is depleted more costly alternatives are leveraged. 

111 Information processing
It has already been explained why investment in education declines in productivity is the efficiency with which an agent's selected strategy converts the inputs to an action into the resulting outputs.  It is a complex capability of agents.  It will depend on the agent having: time, motivation, focus, appropriate skills; the coherence of the participating collaborators, and a beneficial environment including the contribution of: standardization of inputs and outputs, infrastructure and evolutionary amplifiers. 
.  Tainter argues axiomatically, general knowledge will always yield greater benefits than specialized
He sees the situation with research & development as similar: Science proceeds by Kuhn's iterative process of: revolutionary new paradigm:
Desmond & Moore paint a picture of Charles Darwin's life, expanded from his own highlights:
  • His naughty childhood, 
  • Wasted schooldays,
  • Apprenticeship with Grant,
  • His extramural activities at Cambridge, walks with Henslow, life with FitzRoy on the Beagle,
  • His growing love for science,
  • London: geology, journal and Lyell. 
  • Moving from Gower Street to Down and writing Origin and other books. 
  • He reviewed his position on religion: the long dispute with Emma, his slow collapse of belief - damnation for unbelievers like his father and brother, inward conviction being evolved and unreliable, regretting he had ignored his father's advice; while describing Emma's side of the argument.  He felt happy with his decision to dedicate his life to science.  He closed by asserting after Self & Cross-fertilization his strength will be exhausted.  
Following our summary of their main points, RSS frames the details from the perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory.  Darwin placed evolution within a CAS framework, and built a network of supporters whose complementary skills helped drive the innovation. 
 
Darwin
, Marx, Mendel, Einstein; paradigm development, paradigm application, and then another revolution; with the small number of successful revolutionaries becoming more famous than the horde producing derivative works.  But it is the specialized, follow-on work which typically builds a large, costly, interdisciplinary research team dependent on complex institutions and sophisticated technologies.  Tainter quotes Rostow, and Sato and Suzawa who observe diminishing returns in this cumulative process.  Through examples: biology, archeology,
The structure and problems of the US health care network is described in terms of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory. 

The network:
  • Is deeply embedded in the US nation state. It reflects the conflict between two opposing visions for the US: high tax with safety net or low tax without.  The emergence of a parasitic elite supported by tax policy, further constrains the choices available to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the network.  
    • The US is optimized to sell its citizens dangerous levels of: salt, sugar, cigarettes, guns, light, cell phones, opioids, costly education, global travel, antibacterials, formula, foods including endocrine disrupters;
    • Accepting the US controlled global supply chain's offered goods & services results in: debt, chronic stress, amplified consumption and toxic excess, leading to obesity, addiction, driving instead of walking, microbiome collapse;
    • Globalization connects disparate environments in a network.  At the edges, humans are drastically altering the biosphere.  That is reducing the proximate natural environment's connectedness, and leaving its end-nodes disconnected and far less diverse.  This disconnects predators from their prey, often resulting in local booms and busts that transform the local parasite network and their reservoir and amplifier hosts.  The situation is setup so that man is introduced to spillover from the local parasites' hosts.  Occasionally, but increasingly, the spillover results in humanity becoming broadly infected.  The evolved specialization of the immune system to the proximate environment during development becomes undermined as the environment transforms. 
  • Is incented to focus on localized competition generating massive & costly duplication of services within physician based health care operations instead of proven public health strategies.  This process drives increasing research & treatment complexity and promotes hope for each new technological breakthrough. 
  • Is amplified by the legislatively structured separation and indirection of service development, provision, reimbursement and payment. 
  • Is impacted by the different political strategies for managing the increasing cost of health care for the demographic bulge of retirees.  
  • Is presented with acute and chronic problems to respond to.  As currently setup the network is tuned to handle acute problems.  The interactions with patients tend to be transactional. 
  • Includes a legislated health insurance infrastructure which is:
    • Costly and inefficient
    • Structured around yearly contracts which undermine long-term health goals and strategies.  
  • Is supported by increasingly regulated HCIT which offers to improve data sharing and quality but has entrenched commercial EHR products deep within the hospital systems.  
  • Is maintained, and kept in alignment, by massive network effects across the:
    • Hospital platform based sub-networks connecting to
    • Physician networks
    • Health insurance networks - amplified by ACA narrow network legislation
    • Hospital clinical supply and food production networks
    • Medical school and academic research network and NIH
    • Global transportation network 
    • Public health networks 
    • Health care IT supply network
medicine
; Tainter asserts scientific fields become highly specialized and costly over timeNarrowly-focused, intensive research questions being asked today are harder to answer than those of the past, with requirements for higher standards of process and analysis and the rest of the increasingly complex questions, such as explaining processes, still waiting with costs accruing. 

115 Sociopolitical control and specialization
Tainter argues control and specialization are the essence of a complex society.  He sees declining marginal return from investing in complexity as due to:
  • Increasing size of bureaucracies
  • Increasing specialization of bureaucracies
  • Cumulative nature of organizational solutions
  • Increasing taxation
  • Increasing costs of legitimizing activities
  • Increasing costs of internal control and external defense
Less costly features are added before more costly ones.  Activities become more specialized and delegated.  People are increasingly performing administrative actions.  Often there are no benefits, or they provide no value.  Tainter sees no value to military arms races, in a war where both sides use the strategy of development and use of advanced weapon systems to gain an advantage, each advance induces the other side to respond with its own asymmetric advances.  Neither side will necessarily gain the upper hand in which case the weapon systems themselves advance rapidly with little direct benefit for the combatants.  .  Tainter highlights Scherer's conclusion that the F-4 Phantom was a US Navy Interceptor, manufactured by McDonnell-Douglas, which compromised its tactical fighter characteristics to support carrier operation and storage.  Robert Coram explains it was no match for a MiG: big, heavy with twin-engines and no guns for use in air-to-air combat and its missiles: Sidewinder; were virtually useless in a tight turning fight. 
was a greater leap relative to the F-85 or F-86 Sabre was a Korean War US fighter aircraft, with swept wings and a bubble canopy which directly descended from the German jet designs captured by the US and Soviet Union at the end of the Second World War.  Robert Coram asserts it was the best air-to-air combat aircraft the US produced until the prototype YF-16. 
than the F-15 is a US Air Force fighter, built as the F-X program, and re-designated F-15 after it was forced to become a fixed wing aircraft.  Robert Coram explains that for John Boyd it epitomized the multi-role, master of none, 'addiction' of the Air Force bureaucracy and its aligned defense contractors.  This extended phenotype's need to add features: tail hook, nose wheel steering, maintenance ladder, huge radar; expanded its weight, making it impossible to maneuver in a dogfight while retaining usable energy. 
was to the F4. 

Tainter notes the arms race of lobbyists seeking tax loopholes and regulators working to discover and close them.  And he details Perrows concerns about
Dietrich Dorner argues complex adaptive systems (CAS) are hard to understand and manage.  He provides examples of how this feature of these systems can have disastrous consequences for their human managers.  Dorner suggests this is due to CAS properties psychological impact on our otherwise successful mental strategic toolkit.  To prepare to more effectively manage CAS, Dorner recommends use of:
  • Effective iterative planning and
  • Practice with complex scenario simulations; tools which he reviews.   
failures of complex systems


Meanwhile rulers must invest in legitimizing their reigns, investments that tend to escalate, or alternatively invest in, even more costly, coercion. 

Over time the investments marginal product declines and the society struggles to maintain the status quo. 

117 Overall economic productivity
Tainter asserts the per capita rate of economic is a human cultural superOrganism complex adaptive system (CAS) which operates and controls trade flows within a rich niche.  Economics models economies.  Robert Gordon has described the evolution of the American economy.  Like other CAS, economic flows are maintained far from equilibrium by: demand, financial flows and constraints, supply infrastructure constraints, political and military constraints; ensuring wealth, legislative control, legal contracts and power have significant leverage through evolved amplifiers. 
growth declines with increasing GNP is:
  • Gross domestic product which measures the total of goods and services produced in a given year within the borders of a given country (output) according to Piketty.  Gordon argues to include products produced in the home & market-purchased goods and services, following Becker's theory of time use.  Gordon stresses innovation is the ultimate source of all growth in output per worker-hour.  GDP growth per person is equal to the growth in labor productivity + growth in hours worked per person.  GDP has many problems.  Gordon concludes that between 1870 and 1940 all available measures GDP is hugely understated because:
    • GDP is a poor measure of:
      • Value & wealth
      • Who gets what
      • Global supply chains
    • GDP excludes:
      • Reduction in infant mortality between 1890 (22%) and 1950 (1%)
      • Brightness & safety of electric light,
      • Increased variety of food including refrigeration transported fresh meat and processed food
      • Convenience and economies of scale of the department store and mail order catalog and resulting product price reductions
      • Services by house makers
        • Time & health gains from having flush toilets, integrated sewer networks; rather than having to physically remove effluent and cope with fecal-oral transmission
      • Leisure
      • Costs & benefits of different length work weeks
      • Speed and flexibility of motor vehicles - which were not included in the CPI until 1935, after the transformation had occurred.  And competition from improved foreign vehicles, while it provides purchaser/user with improved standard of living (less breakdowns, repairs, etc.) is measured as reduced domestic manufacture
      • Coercion and corruption to obtain resources 
      • Consumption impact of finite resources: coal, oil;
      • Destruction impact of loss of entire irreplaceable species
    • GDP includes items that should be excluded:
      • Cost of waste - cleaning up pollution (single use indestructible plastic bags), building prisons, commuting to work, and cars left parked most of the time; should be subtracted
  • Guanine-di-phosphate is a nucleotide base. 


Tainter notes economists' assertion that high rates of growth use up the existing backlog of knowledge.  The implication is that future growth depends on the rate of discovery of new knowledge.  And developing nations are able to apply knowledge developed elsewhere allowing faster growth for a time. 

Tainter adds that declining marginal productivity leaves proportionately less capital is the sum total nonhuman assets that can be owned and exchanged on some market according to Piketty.  Capital includes: real property, financial capital and professional capital.  It is not immutable instead depending on the state of the society within which it exists.  It can be owned by governments (public capital) and private individuals (private capital).   for investment.  Productivity growth depends on research and development.  It becomes increasingly costly to achieve returns, and once basic innovations is the economic realization of invention and combinatorial exaptation.  Keynes noted it provided the unquantifiable beneficial possibility that limits fear of uncertainty.  Innovation operates across all CAS, being supported by genetic and cultural means.  Creativity provides the mutation and recombination genetic operators for the cultural process.  While highly innovative, monopolies: AT&T, IBM; usually have limited economic reach, constraining productivity.  This explains the use of regulation, or even its threat, that can check their power and drive the creations across the economy. 
have been achieved, derivative works and improvements incur a high cost. 

118 Explaining collapse
Tainter argues that a society increasing in complexity does so as a system.  As some of its interlinked parts are forced in a direction of growth, others must adjust.  To be maintained as a cohesive whole a social system can tolerate only limited growth in one aspect at the expense of the others.  The interlinked growth of the several subsystems is 'complexity.'  The growth results in benefits: administration of resource storage and distribution, investment in agricultural, energy, and mineral production, internal order and external defense, information processing and public works.  But this growth carries energy costs and at some stage the investment in complexity as a problem solving strategy yields a declining marginal return.  At this point a complex society becomes increasingly vulnerable to collapse:
  1. As the society is impacted by:
  2. Declining marginal returns make complexity a less attractive problem-solving strategy relative to other less costly strategies enabled by disintegration.  As marginal returns deteriorate tax rates rise with less returned to the local level, just to sustain the few projects the hierarchy focuses on.  Independence becomes increasingly attractive, forcing the central hierarchy to dedicate funds to legitimization or coercion.  Peasants can join disaffected elites, but more often signal stress with upheaval and respond apathetically to the needs of the polity.  The result is a downward spiral.  Eventually organization shifts to the local level where it can be sustained with resources. 
Tainter highlights the problems for the complex society as it progresses along the curve of benefits of complexity vs level of complexity.  Tainter notes as societies enter the stressful downward trends the leaders scan for new solutions.  If none are found the constituent social units recognize that severing ties will be more beneficial.  Tainter notes his descriptions undermine the assumption of an economic equilibrium. 

123 Alternatives to collapse
Technical innovation is the economic realization of invention and combinatorial exaptation.  Keynes noted it provided the unquantifiable beneficial possibility that limits fear of uncertainty.  Innovation operates across all CAS, being supported by genetic and cultural means.  Creativity provides the mutation and recombination genetic operators for the cultural process.  While highly innovative, monopolies: AT&T, IBM; usually have limited economic reach, constraining productivity.  This explains the use of regulation, or even its threat, that can check their power and drive the creations across the economy. 
may provide an alternative to severing ties but it was unusual in human history depending on research and development.  Tainter references Wilkinson who suggests it actually depressed productivity is the efficiency with which an agent's selected strategy converts the inputs to an action into the resulting outputs.  It is a complex capability of agents.  It will depend on the agent having: time, motivation, focus, appropriate skills; the coherence of the participating collaborators, and a beneficial environment including the contribution of: standardization of inputs and outputs, infrastructure and evolutionary amplifiers. 
of labor. 

Tainter is more enthusiastic about leverage of new energy sources: fossil and nuclear fuels.  But he notes the equivalent for ancient societies was subjugating other proximate societies to obtain the accumulated reserves and some of their yearly productivity.  Ultimately the strategy stalls and must be repeated or collapse will occur.  Even when there is more opportunity for expansion eventually the length of borders to be defended, scale of administration needed, cost of military, all place limits on the strategy. 

Tainter concludes the alternatives to collapse for ancient societies could only provide a temporary respite from declining marginal productivity. 

127 Evaluation: complexity and marginal returns in collapsing societies
Tainter describes how to ideally evaluate the economic framework of collapse: isolate and quantify the costs and benefits of various instances of social complexity, and plot changes in these costs and benefits through time, but the records do not exist.  Instead Tainter's strategy is to look in detail at three complex societies: Western Roman Empire, Classic Maya, Chacoan; that have collapsed. 

128 The collapse of the Western Roman Empire
Tainter judges the Roman Empire a paradoxical success and failure of history.  He asserts its collapse relates to the formation of the entity are, according to Abbott, a class including people, families, corporations, hurricanes.  They implement abstract designs and are demarcatable by their reduced entropy relative to their components.  Rovelli notes entities are a collection of relations and events, but memory and our continuous process of anticipation, organizes the series of quantized interactions we perceive into an illusion of permanent objects flowing from past to future.  Abbott identifies two types of entity:
  1. At equilibrium entities,
  2. Autonomous entities, which can control how they are affected by outside forces;
:

148 Assessment of the Roman collapse
Conquest was at the heart of the expansion of the city of Rome.  It returned gold and silver to the Roman treasury generating a costless process, except for rising administrative costs.  But three factors lowered these returns over
Carlo Rovelli resolves the paradox of time. 
Rovelli initially explains that low level physics does not include time:
  • A present that is common throughout the universe does not exist
  • Events are only partially ordered.  The present is localized
  • The difference between past and future is not foundational.  It occurs because of state that through our blurring appears particular to us
  • Time passes at different speeds dependent on where we are and how fast we travel
  • Time's rhythms are due to the gravitational field
  • Our quantized physics shows neither space nor time, just processes transforming physical variables. 
  • Fundamentally there is no time.  The basic equations evolve together with events, not things 
Then he explains how in a physical world without time its perception can emerge:
  • Our familiar time emerges
    • Our interaction with the world is partial, blurred, quantum indeterminate
    • The ignorance determines the existence of thermal time and entropy that quantifies our uncertainty
    • Directionality of time is real but perspectival.  The entropy of the world in relation to us increases with our thermal time.  The growth of entropy distinguishes past from future: resulting in traces and memories
    • Each human is a unified being because: we reflect the world, we formed an image of a unified entity by interacting with our kind, and because of the perspective of memory
    • The variable time: is one of the variables of the gravitational field.  With our scale we don't register quantum fluctuations, making space-time appear determined.  At our speed we don't perceive differences in time of different clocks, so we experience a single time: universal, uniform, ordered; which is helpful to our decisions

time
:
  1. The number of profitable conquests declined.  Rome eventually encountered the Persian state which was too costly to subdue and administer.  And other states did not include the wealth is schematically useful information and its equivalent, schematically useful energy, to paraphrase Beinhocker.  It is useful because an agent has schematic strategies that can utilize the information or energy to extend or leverage control of the cognitive niche.    to justify the campaigns. 
  2. Logistics of transport and communications make lands beyond a certain distance from the capital too difficult to govern.  This was true the further inland from the Mediterranean the target was.  
  3. The administrative cost of maintaining the conquered nations continues, increasing the demands on yearly Imperial income. 
The imperial administration had invested in a standing army and administrative infrastructure which could not be sustained without the benefits of conquest.  Instead it had to depend on the variable output of agriculture.  To cope, the administration debased the currency is legal tender which provides no interest payments to the holder.  It is a central aspect of money and in CAS is an analog of a short term potential energy token such as the high energy phosphate bond of the base ATP.  But the interaction of the geometric breeding and deaths of agents that perform actions and the linear increase in real resources, described by Turchin, results in the correspondence between energy and currency being complex and adaptive. 
, which generated inflation and encouraged higher taxation to develop some capital is the sum total nonhuman assets that can be owned and exchanged on some market according to Piketty.  Capital includes: real property, financial capital and professional capital.  It is not immutable instead depending on the state of the society within which it exists.  It can be owned by governments (public capital) and private individuals (private capital).   reserve. 

The unsustainable cost structure induced unrest which was contained by increasing: the power of the Imperial superstructure, and the burden on the rest of the population.  The overthrow of the empire introduced far less costly and complex tribal societies. 

Tainter explains that the Roman Empire in the East survived because of:
Tainter continues, explaining that the Western empire did not generate the economic growth necessary to balance the costs of its superstructure because: its processes ensured it was under-populated, jobs were not filled and the state's attempts to remedy the situation were driven top-down.  There was too little demand potential in the population to drive economic development. 

152 The Classic Maya collapse
Tainter notes the Lowland Classic Maya Civilization is often considered puzzling developing in a lowland tropical rainforest.  The most recent archaeological field work indicates high population densities at Tikal, supported by intensive farming emerged several times and various places, probably first around 11,000 years ago.  It depends on and supports evolved amplifiers which introduce instability and problems with sustainability of the populations that depended on it, unlike the earlier hunting and gathering.  Today the uncertainty can be hedged, although third world farmers' businesses are undermined by first world agricultural policy.  J.R. McNeill explains the sustainability issue: "all farming is a struggle against the depletion of soil nutrients.  Crops absorb nutrients; these are eaten by people or animals; then they spend shorter or longer periods of time in human or animal bodies, before returning to the soil.  If these nutrients, in one manner or another, return to farmers' fields, then a nutrient cycle can last indefinitely.  If they do not, then those fields gradually lose nutrient and over time produce less and less food - unless some intervention such as fertilizer counteracts the nutrient loss."  However, McNeill notes three notable exceptions: Egypt until the Aswan High Dam, Southern China, Medieval Europe; "each ecologically successful over long periods of time."  Their success resulted from trial and error and favorable circumstances. 
, with terracing, canals and raised fields.  The elite were concerned with dynastic succession, political struggles, alliances, royal marriages, etc. and warfare is depicted in the art and highlighted by fortifications.  Intensive agriculture is indicated by the presences of deforestation, cornfields, scrubland and occasional hamlets. 

Tainter attributes competition and conflict to population pressure on resources.  To cope the Maya increased agricultural intensity and societal complexity, evidenced by formal public architecture (buildings on platforms), social differentiation (seen in burial status differentiation).  Population, agricultural investment, sociopolitical complexity, architectural elaboration, and conflict continued to grow.  Tikal and Uaxactun became dominant centers. 

And then the number of new monuments started to decline in a Hiatus and political decentralization occurred.  Eventually the former growth trends recurred:
166 The collapse
The collapse was preceded by monumental building, and political decentralization occurred as it proceeded, duplicating events in the Hiatus between the Early Classic and Late Classic.  Collapse events occurred at individual sites across the Southern Lowlands cascading rapidly.  As society failed, initially symbiotic is a long term situation between two, or more, different agents where the resources of both are shared for mutual benefit.  Some of the relationships have built remarkable dependencies: Tremblaya's partnership with citrus mealybugs and bacterial DNA residing in the mealybug's genome, Aphids with species of secondary symbiont bacteria deployed sexually from a male aphid sperm reservoir and propagated asexually by female aphids only while their local diet induces a dependency.  If the power relations and opportunities change for the participants then they will adapt and the situation may transform into separation, predation or parasitism. 
peripheral groups attempted incursions.  The collapse removed administrative and residential structures, stopped temple construction and refurbishment and manufacture of luxuries, and calendars and writing systems disappeared from use along with the elite class that used them.  There was also major population loss through death and emigration but the relationship to the collapse is unclear, with no crash of the peasant population seen at some sampled sites.  Tainter concludes the relationship was complex, M. Mitchell Waldrop describes a vision of complexity via:
  • Rich interactions that allow a system to undergo spontaneous self-organization and, for CAS, evolution
  • Systems that are adaptive
  • More predictability than chaotic systems by bringing order and chaos into
  • Balance at the edge of chaos
.  The collapse is seen to be transmitted between population centers with distressed cities raiding neighbors and inducing further devastation.  But the sites in the Northern Lowlands were not undermined. 

169 Assessment of the Maya collapse
The Maya were a high-density, stressed is a multi-faceted condition reflecting high cortisol levels.  Dr. Robert Sapolsky's studies of baboons indicate that stress helps build readiness for fight or flight.  As these actions occur the levels of cortisol return to the baseline rate.  A stressor is anything that disrupts the regular homeostatic balance.  The stress response is the array of neural and endocrine changes that occur to respond effectively to the crisis and reestablish homeostasis. 
  • The short term response to the stressor
    • activates the amygdala which: Stimulates the brain stem resulting in inhibition of the parasympathetic nervous system and activation of the sympathetic nervous system with the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine deployed around the body, Activates the PVN which generates a cascade resulting in glucocorticoid secretion to: get energy to the muscles with increased blood pressure for a powerful response.  The brain's acuity and cognition are stimulated.  The immune system is stimulated with beta-endorphin and repair activities curtail.  In order for the body to destroy bacteria in wounds, pro-inflammatory cytokines increase blood flow to the area.  The induced inflammation signals the brain to activate the insula and through it the ACC.  But when the stressor is
  • long term: loneliness, debt; and no action is necessary, or possible, long term damage ensues.  Damage from such stress may only occur in specific situations: Nuclear families coping with parents moving in.  Sustained stress provides an evolved amplifier of a position of dominance and status.  It is a strategy in female aggression used to limit reproductive competition.  Sustained stress:
    • Stops the frontal cortex from ensuring we do the harder thing, instead substituting amplification of the individual's propensity for risk-taking and impairing risk assessment! 
    • Activates the integration between the thalamus and amygdala. 
      • Acts differently on the amygdala in comparison to the frontal cortex and hippocampus: Stress strengthens the integration between the Amygdala and the hippocampus, making the hippocampus fearful. 
      • BLA & BNST respond with increased BDNF levels and expanded dendrites persistently increasing anxiety and fear conditioning. 
    • Makes it easier to learn a fear association and to consolidate it into long-term memory.  Sustained stress makes it harder to unlearn fear by making the prefrontal cortex inhibit the BLA from learning to break the fear association and weakening the prefrontal cortex's hold over the amygdala.  And glucocorticoids decrease activation of the medial prefrontal cortex during processing of emotional faces.  Accuracy of assessing emotions from faces suffers.  A terrified rat generating lots of glucocorticoids will cause dendrites in the hippocampus to atrophy but when it generates the same amount from excitement of running on a wheel the dendrites expand.  The activation of the amygdala seems to determine how the hippocampus responds. 
    • Depletes the nucleus accumbens of dopamine biasing rats toward social subordination and biasing humans toward depression. 
    • Disrupts working memory by amplifying norepinephrine signalling in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala to prefrontal cortex signalling until they become destructive.  It also desynchronizes activation in different frontal lobe regions impacting shifting of attention.  
    • Increases the risk of autoimmune disease (Jan 2017) 
  • During depression, stress inhibits dopamine signalling.  
  • Strategies for stress reduction include: Mindfulness. 
population, practicing intensive agriculture, living largely in political centers, supporting both an elite class and major public works, and competing for scarce resources.  Tainter explains the reasons for the collapse lie in the earlier times: topographic redundancy of the Southern Lowlands contributes.  Fluctuations in productivity is the efficiency with which an agent's selected strategy converts the inputs to an action into the resulting outputs.  It is a complex capability of agents.  It will depend on the agent having: time, motivation, focus, appropriate skills; the coherence of the participating collaborators, and a beneficial environment including the contribution of: standardization of inputs and outputs, infrastructure and evolutionary amplifiers. 
of a stressed food production system are consequential, because without diversity,
Matt Ridley demonstrates the creative effect of man on the World. He highlights:
  • A list of preconditions resulting in
  • Additional niche capture & more free time 
  • Building a network to interconnect memes processes & tools which
  • Enabling inter-generational transfers
  • Innovations that help reduce environmental stress even as they leverage fossil fuels

trading
and sharing of out-of-phase surpluses, are not available as strategies.  Instead competition and warfare would be induced.  And these interacted with the organizational response and the farming emerged several times and various places, probably first around 11,000 years ago.  It depends on and supports evolved amplifiers which introduce instability and problems with sustainability of the populations that depended on it, unlike the earlier hunting and gathering.  Today the uncertainty can be hedged, although third world farmers' businesses are undermined by first world agricultural policy.  J.R. McNeill explains the sustainability issue: "all farming is a struggle against the depletion of soil nutrients.  Crops absorb nutrients; these are eaten by people or animals; then they spend shorter or longer periods of time in human or animal bodies, before returning to the soil.  If these nutrients, in one manner or another, return to farmers' fields, then a nutrient cycle can last indefinitely.  If they do not, then those fields gradually lose nutrient and over time produce less and less food - unless some intervention such as fertilizer counteracts the nutrient loss."  However, McNeill notes three notable exceptions: Egypt until the Aswan High Dam, Southern China, Medieval Europe; "each ecologically successful over long periods of time."  Their success resulted from trial and error and favorable circumstances. 
methods causing adaptations in evolutionary biology is a trait that increased the number of surviving offspring in an organism's ancestral lineage.  Holland argues: complex adaptive systems (CAS) adapt due to the influence of schematic strings on agents.  Evolution indicates fitness when an organism survives and reproduces.  For his genetic algorithm, Holland separated the adaptive process into credit assignment and rule discovery.  He assigned a strength to each of the rules (alternate hypothesis) used by his artificial agents, by credit assignment - each accepted message being paid for by the recipient, increasing the sender agent's rule's strength (implicit modeling) and reducing the recipient's.  When an agent achieved an explicit goal they obtained a final reward.  Rule discovery used the genetic algorithm to select strong rule schemas from a pair of agents to be included in the next generation, with crossing over and mutation applied, and the resulting schematic strategies used to replace weaker schemas.  The crossing over genetic operator is unlikely to break up a short schematic sequence that provides a building block retained because of its 'fitness';  In Deacon's conception of evolution, an adaptation is the realization of a set of constraints on candidate mechanisms, and so long as these constraints are maintained, other features are arbitrary. 
, encouraging: large groups,
This page discusses the benefits of bringing agents and resources to the dynamically best connected region of a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
centralization
for easy defense; similar developments in each of them.  But fighting is costly and so deterrence is typical, with signals, is an emergent capability which is used by cooperating agents to support coordination & rival agents to support control and dominance.  In eukaryotic cells signalling is used extensively.  A signal interacts with the exposed region of a receptor molecule inducing it to change shape to an activated form.  Chains of enzymes interact with the activated receptor relaying, amplifying and responding to the signal to change the state of the cell.  Many of the signalling pathways pass through the nuclear membrane and interact with the DNA to change its state.  Enzymes sensitive to the changes induced in the DNA then start to operate generating actions including sending further signals.  Cell signalling is reviewed by Helmreich.  Signalling is a fundamental aspect of CAS theory and is discussed from the abstract CAS perspective in signals and sensors.  In AWF the eukaryotic signalling architecture has been abstracted in a codelet based implementation.  To be credible signals must be hard to fake.  To be effective they must be easily detected by the target recipient.  To be efficient they are low cost to produce and destroy. 
of prowess - temples and art works - displayed prominently.  Collapse probably relieved the stress on the peasant population initially, as they no longer had to supply the superstructure with resources.  But in the long run, with the imposition of an increasingly costly building program on an undernourished population, the population base of the Southern Lowlands dwindled, encouraging collapse. 

178 The Chacoan collapse
Tainter explains the Chacoan society of the San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico is only known from archaeological remains.  The basin is a subunit of the Colorado Plateau.  It consists of broad plains dissected by mesas and buttes of low relief.  It is surrounded by mountains and plateau.  In the center of the basin is Chaco Canyon.  It provides environmental variety within the homogeneous basin.  The Canyon has several tributary drainages.  Some may be running with water while others are dry and is unusual within the basin for maximizing capture of runoff precipitation.  But Tainter notes it has relatively poor soils. 

Tainter describes the architecture of the Chacoan society: Great Houses have been constructed with hundreds of rooms - many were just store rooms - and multiple stories, created by large construction units with ordered layouts and needing high levels of labor organization.  They were costly to construct.  As well as these relatively few massive buildings are hundreds of small unplanned villages containing buildings of far cheaper construction.  Burials in the villages are modest affairs while those associated with the Great Houses contain valuable artifacts that were imported into the basin.  A straight road network emanating from Chaco Canyon connects the Great Houses there to other sites of Great Houses, in areas with better agricultural potential. 

183 Assessment of the Chacoan collapse
When the population of the Basin found it could no longer leave to relieve subsistence stress, a strategy was developed using spatial energy averaging where
This page discusses the benefits of bringing agents and resources to the dynamically best connected region of a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
centralization
of
This page reviews the catalytic impact of infrastructure on the expression of phenotypic effects by an agent.  The infrastructure reduces the cost the agent must pay to perform the selected action.  The catalysis is enhanced by positive returns. 
storage, road
This page discusses the effect of the network on the agents participating in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  Small world and scale free networks are considered. 
networks
, and coordination was used to optimize the heterogeneous nature of the peripheral agriculture in the basin.  Maximum insurance against productivity is the efficiency with which an agent's selected strategy converts the inputs to an action into the resulting outputs.  It is a complex capability of agents.  It will depend on the agent having: time, motivation, focus, appropriate skills; the coherence of the participating collaborators, and a beneficial environment including the contribution of: standardization of inputs and outputs, infrastructure and evolutionary amplifiers. 
fluctuations was obtained by establishing economic access to the most diverse areas.  Chaco Canyon provided the most effective
This page discusses the effect of the network on the agents participating in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  Small world and scale free networks are considered. 
distribution node
to link them all. 

But later in the growth of the Basin population the strategy was deviated from when additional nodes were introduced which were less heterogeneous and had less fertile soil.  And they still required interconnects and storage facilities.  Over time some peripheral nodes in the system left the network which was becoming suboptimal.  It is also possible that a prolonged draught added to the stress of the strategic failures, encouraging the breakdown in cooperation and collapse of the interdependent parts. 

187 Evaluation
Tainter asserts that the three examples of collapse can be understood by the same general principles.  Each suffered from collapse when their: environment and subsistence practices, pressure of outside peoples, internal conflict, population growth, catastrophes, sociopolitical dysfunction; interacted with the shifting cost/benefit ratio of their investment in complexity.  It was when the ratio deteriorated excessively or coincided with a declining marginal return that collapse became likely. 

188 Roman collapse
Conquest was at the heart of the expansion of the city of Rome.  It returned gold and silver to the Roman treasury generating a costless process, except for rising administrative costs.  But three factors lowered these returns over
Carlo Rovelli resolves the paradox of time. 
Rovelli initially explains that low level physics does not include time:
  • A present that is common throughout the universe does not exist
  • Events are only partially ordered.  The present is localized
  • The difference between past and future is not foundational.  It occurs because of state that through our blurring appears particular to us
  • Time passes at different speeds dependent on where we are and how fast we travel
  • Time's rhythms are due to the gravitational field
  • Our quantized physics shows neither space nor time, just processes transforming physical variables. 
  • Fundamentally there is no time.  The basic equations evolve together with events, not things 
Then he explains how in a physical world without time its perception can emerge:
  • Our familiar time emerges
    • Our interaction with the world is partial, blurred, quantum indeterminate
    • The ignorance determines the existence of thermal time and entropy that quantifies our uncertainty
    • Directionality of time is real but perspectival.  The entropy of the world in relation to us increases with our thermal time.  The growth of entropy distinguishes past from future: resulting in traces and memories
    • Each human is a unified being because: we reflect the world, we formed an image of a unified entity by interacting with our kind, and because of the perspective of memory
    • The variable time: is one of the variables of the gravitational field.  With our scale we don't register quantum fluctuations, making space-time appear determined.  At our speed we don't perceive differences in time of different clocks, so we experience a single time: universal, uniform, ordered; which is helpful to our decisions

time
:
  1. The number of profitable conquests declined.  Rome eventually encountered the Persian state which was too costly to subdue and administer.  And other states did not include the wealth is schematically useful information and its equivalent, schematically useful energy, to paraphrase Beinhocker.  It is useful because an agent has schematic strategies that can utilize the information or energy to extend or leverage control of the cognitive niche.    to justify the campaigns. 
  2. Logistics of transport and communications make lands beyond a certain distance from the capital too difficult to govern.  This was true the further inland from the Mediterranean the target was.  
  3. The administrative cost of maintaining the conquered nations continues, increasing the demands on yearly Imperial income. 
The imperial administration had invested in a standing army and administrative infrastructure which could not be sustained without the benefits of conquest.  Instead it had to depend on the variable output of agriculture.  To cope, the administration debased the currency is legal tender which provides no interest payments to the holder.  It is a central aspect of money and in CAS is an analog of a short term potential energy token such as the high energy phosphate bond of the base ATP.  But the interaction of the geometric breeding and deaths of agents that perform actions and the linear increase in real resources, described by Turchin, results in the correspondence between energy and currency being complex and adaptive. 
, which generated inflation and encouraged higher taxation to develop some capital is the sum total nonhuman assets that can be owned and exchanged on some market according to Piketty.  Capital includes: real property, financial capital and professional capital.  It is not immutable instead depending on the state of the society within which it exists.  It can be owned by governments (public capital) and private individuals (private capital).   reserve. 

The unsustainable cost structure induced unrest which was contained by increasing: the power of the Imperial superstructure, and the burden on the rest of the population.  The overthrow of the empire introduced far less costly and complex tribal societies. 

Tainter explains that the Roman Empire in the East survived because of:
Tainter continues, explaining that the Western empire did not generate the economic growth necessary to balance the costs of its superstructure because: its processes ensured it was under-populated, jobs were not filled and the state's attempts to remedy the situation were driven top-down.  There was too little demand potential in the population to drive economic development. 

The Germanic kingdoms that succeeded Roman rule in the West were more successful at resisting invasions, and did so at lower levels of size, complexity, permanent military apparatus and costliness.  Tainter sees this as a significant development: the marginal return on investment in complexity increased significantly in Western Europe.
 
189 Mayan collapse
The Maya were a high-density, stressed is a multi-faceted condition reflecting high cortisol levels.  Dr. Robert Sapolsky's studies of baboons indicate that stress helps build readiness for fight or flight.  As these actions occur the levels of cortisol return to the baseline rate.  A stressor is anything that disrupts the regular homeostatic balance.  The stress response is the array of neural and endocrine changes that occur to respond effectively to the crisis and reestablish homeostasis. 
  • The short term response to the stressor
    • activates the amygdala which: Stimulates the brain stem resulting in inhibition of the parasympathetic nervous system and activation of the sympathetic nervous system with the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine deployed around the body, Activates the PVN which generates a cascade resulting in glucocorticoid secretion to: get energy to the muscles with increased blood pressure for a powerful response.  The brain's acuity and cognition are stimulated.  The immune system is stimulated with beta-endorphin and repair activities curtail.  In order for the body to destroy bacteria in wounds, pro-inflammatory cytokines increase blood flow to the area.  The induced inflammation signals the brain to activate the insula and through it the ACC.  But when the stressor is
  • long term: loneliness, debt; and no action is necessary, or possible, long term damage ensues.  Damage from such stress may only occur in specific situations: Nuclear families coping with parents moving in.  Sustained stress provides an evolved amplifier of a position of dominance and status.  It is a strategy in female aggression used to limit reproductive competition.  Sustained stress:
    • Stops the frontal cortex from ensuring we do the harder thing, instead substituting amplification of the individual's propensity for risk-taking and impairing risk assessment! 
    • Activates the integration between the thalamus and amygdala. 
      • Acts differently on the amygdala in comparison to the frontal cortex and hippocampus: Stress strengthens the integration between the Amygdala and the hippocampus, making the hippocampus fearful. 
      • BLA & BNST respond with increased BDNF levels and expanded dendrites persistently increasing anxiety and fear conditioning. 
    • Makes it easier to learn a fear association and to consolidate it into long-term memory.  Sustained stress makes it harder to unlearn fear by making the prefrontal cortex inhibit the BLA from learning to break the fear association and weakening the prefrontal cortex's hold over the amygdala.  And glucocorticoids decrease activation of the medial prefrontal cortex during processing of emotional faces.  Accuracy of assessing emotions from faces suffers.  A terrified rat generating lots of glucocorticoids will cause dendrites in the hippocampus to atrophy but when it generates the same amount from excitement of running on a wheel the dendrites expand.  The activation of the amygdala seems to determine how the hippocampus responds. 
    • Depletes the nucleus accumbens of dopamine biasing rats toward social subordination and biasing humans toward depression. 
    • Disrupts working memory by amplifying norepinephrine signalling in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala to prefrontal cortex signalling until they become destructive.  It also desynchronizes activation in different frontal lobe regions impacting shifting of attention.  
    • Increases the risk of autoimmune disease (Jan 2017) 
  • During depression, stress inhibits dopamine signalling.  
  • Strategies for stress reduction include: Mindfulness. 
population, practicing intensive agriculture, living largely in political centers, supporting both an elite class and major public works, and competing for scarce resources.  Tainter explains the reasons for the collapse lie in the earlier times: topographic redundancy of the Southern Lowlands contributes.  Fluctuations in productivity is the efficiency with which an agent's selected strategy converts the inputs to an action into the resulting outputs.  It is a complex capability of agents.  It will depend on the agent having: time, motivation, focus, appropriate skills; the coherence of the participating collaborators, and a beneficial environment including the contribution of: standardization of inputs and outputs, infrastructure and evolutionary amplifiers. 
of a stressed food production system are consequential, because without diversity,
Matt Ridley demonstrates the creative effect of man on the World. He highlights:
  • A list of preconditions resulting in
  • Additional niche capture & more free time 
  • Building a network to interconnect memes processes & tools which
  • Enabling inter-generational transfers
  • Innovations that help reduce environmental stress even as they leverage fossil fuels

trading
and sharing of out-of-phase surpluses, are not available as strategies.  Instead competition and warfare would be induced.  And these interacted with the organizational response and the farming emerged several times and various places, probably first around 11,000 years ago.  It depends on and supports evolved amplifiers which introduce instability and problems with sustainability of the populations that depended on it, unlike the earlier hunting and gathering.  Today the uncertainty can be hedged, although third world farmers' businesses are undermined by first world agricultural policy.  J.R. McNeill explains the sustainability issue: "all farming is a struggle against the depletion of soil nutrients.  Crops absorb nutrients; these are eaten by people or animals; then they spend shorter or longer periods of time in human or animal bodies, before returning to the soil.  If these nutrients, in one manner or another, return to farmers' fields, then a nutrient cycle can last indefinitely.  If they do not, then those fields gradually lose nutrient and over time produce less and less food - unless some intervention such as fertilizer counteracts the nutrient loss."  However, McNeill notes three notable exceptions: Egypt until the Aswan High Dam, Southern China, Medieval Europe; "each ecologically successful over long periods of time."  Their success resulted from trial and error and favorable circumstances. 
methods causing adaptations in evolutionary biology is a trait that increased the number of surviving offspring in an organism's ancestral lineage.  Holland argues: complex adaptive systems (CAS) adapt due to the influence of schematic strings on agents.  Evolution indicates fitness when an organism survives and reproduces.  For his genetic algorithm, Holland separated the adaptive process into credit assignment and rule discovery.  He assigned a strength to each of the rules (alternate hypothesis) used by his artificial agents, by credit assignment - each accepted message being paid for by the recipient, increasing the sender agent's rule's strength (implicit modeling) and reducing the recipient's.  When an agent achieved an explicit goal they obtained a final reward.  Rule discovery used the genetic algorithm to select strong rule schemas from a pair of agents to be included in the next generation, with crossing over and mutation applied, and the resulting schematic strategies used to replace weaker schemas.  The crossing over genetic operator is unlikely to break up a short schematic sequence that provides a building block retained because of its 'fitness';  In Deacon's conception of evolution, an adaptation is the realization of a set of constraints on candidate mechanisms, and so long as these constraints are maintained, other features are arbitrary. 
, encouraging: large groups,
This page discusses the benefits of bringing agents and resources to the dynamically best connected region of a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
centralization
for easy defense; similar developments in each of them.  But fighting is costly and so deterrence is typical, with signals, is an emergent capability which is used by cooperating agents to support coordination & rival agents to support control and dominance.  In eukaryotic cells signalling is used extensively.  A signal interacts with the exposed region of a receptor molecule inducing it to change shape to an activated form.  Chains of enzymes interact with the activated receptor relaying, amplifying and responding to the signal to change the state of the cell.  Many of the signalling pathways pass through the nuclear membrane and interact with the DNA to change its state.  Enzymes sensitive to the changes induced in the DNA then start to operate generating actions including sending further signals.  Cell signalling is reviewed by Helmreich.  Signalling is a fundamental aspect of CAS theory and is discussed from the abstract CAS perspective in signals and sensors.  In AWF the eukaryotic signalling architecture has been abstracted in a codelet based implementation.  To be credible signals must be hard to fake.  To be effective they must be easily detected by the target recipient.  To be efficient they are low cost to produce and destroy. 
of prowess - temples and art works - displayed prominently.  Collapse probably relieved the stress on the peasant population initially, as they no longer had to supply the superstructure with resources.  But in the long run, with the imposition of an increasingly costly building program on an undernourished population, the population base of the Southern Lowlands dwindled, encouraging collapse. 


190 Chacoan collapse
When the population of the Basin found it could no longer leave to relieve subsistence stress, a strategy was developed using spatial energy averaging where
This page discusses the benefits of bringing agents and resources to the dynamically best connected region of a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
centralization
of
This page reviews the catalytic impact of infrastructure on the expression of phenotypic effects by an agent.  The infrastructure reduces the cost the agent must pay to perform the selected action.  The catalysis is enhanced by positive returns. 
storage, road
This page discusses the effect of the network on the agents participating in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  Small world and scale free networks are considered. 
networks
, and coordination was used to optimize the heterogeneous nature of the peripheral agriculture in the basin.  Maximum insurance against productivity is the efficiency with which an agent's selected strategy converts the inputs to an action into the resulting outputs.  It is a complex capability of agents.  It will depend on the agent having: time, motivation, focus, appropriate skills; the coherence of the participating collaborators, and a beneficial environment including the contribution of: standardization of inputs and outputs, infrastructure and evolutionary amplifiers. 
fluctuations was obtained by establishing economic access to the most diverse areas.  Chaco Canyon provided the most effective
This page discusses the effect of the network on the agents participating in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  Small world and scale free networks are considered. 
distribution node
to link them all. 

But later in the growth of the Basin population the strategy was deviated from when additional nodes were introduced which were less heterogeneous and had less fertile soil.  And they still required interconnects and storage facilities.  Over time some peripheral nodes in the system left the network which was becoming suboptimal.  It is also possible that a prolonged draught added to the stress of the strategic failures, encouraging the breakdown in cooperation and collapse of the interdependent parts. 


191 Conclusions
Tainter arrives at a number of observations about the collapse process:
  • In each of the three cases:
    • The costliness of complexity increased over time while benefits declined
    • Substantially increased costs occurred late, just before collapse, imposed on a weakened population
    • People on the periphery rose to prominence after the old society collapsed
  • In the cases of Rome and the Maya, the population base declined and the well-being of the majority deteriorated, as they struggled to support the costly superstructure.  The Chacoan regional cooperation deteriorated as the costs became higher than the benefits
  • In the case of the Maya and Chacoans, there was little reoccupation of their territories, suggesting environmental deterioration.  The Roman situation is very different with under-population during the later Empire. 
Prior proposals can't fully explain the examples:
Tainter concludes the examples can be understood as responses to declining marginal returns on investment in complexity

193 Summary and implications
Tainter concludes that collapse is a sudden, pronounced loss of an established level of sociopolitical complexity, and is recurrent in human history affecting all types of societies.  After summarizing the logic of the book:
Tainter suggests further study of the historic examples, he reviews other work on collapse and shows how it can fit within his marginal returns framework.  Tainter shows how other theories of collapse align with the framework.  And finally he discusses the implications for contemporary societies

203 Suggestions for further applications
Tainter notes that declining marginal returns can not be the only cause of collapse, since nuclear war can probably induce it.  But from his discussion of the study of collapse he asserts no other existing theory on its own explains collapse, and his strategy of reviewing collapse in three historic examples demonstrates the mechanism is clarified by his theory.  He now looks at other examples seeking to identify areas for future research:

205 Declining marginal returns and other theories of collapse
Tainter notes that a general theory, such as the marginal returns framework, must: illuminate, clarify and apply flexibly; or it is just trivial.  And it should incorporate more specific treatments with aligned histories are a class of fine-grained histories of the universe, in quantum mechanics, which all agree on a particular account of what is followed (events of large inertial mass) but vary over all possible events of what is not followed, which are summed over. 
.  Tainter integrates: resource depletion - its effect depends on the society's position on the curve, new resources - under declining marginal returns hierarchic complexity is a burden and in this circumstance is abandoned, catastrophes - once marginal returns induces economic weakness the society becomes susceptible to the shock, insufficient response - as a society progresses along the curve it will lose the vitality to adapt, other complex societies - economic weakness will be increased when proximate lands are already occupied, intruders - once a large state is declining it will present opportunities for otherwise weaker intruders, conflict - inequality becomes obvious when high taxes don't result in benefits, social dysfunction - Tainter sees leadership as less significant than the system and once this starts to decline there is little a leader can do, mystical, chance - has an impact when the society is already weakened, economic explanations - declining marginal returns provides the global logic for the economic mechanisms; demonstrating how they can contribute to but not cause collapse of complex societies. 

209 Contemporary conditions
Collapse appears to be a devastating potential threat for people with no opportunity or ability to become primary food producers.  It seems clear that collapse would initiate massive loss of life and drive down the standard of living.  And industrialized
States are instances of a high level emergent animal autonomous entity capable of entering an additional niche: amplifying resource capture and effective utilization; through improved collaboration, innovation and productivity. 

Emerging from cultural superOrganisms, states can evolve based on slow gene culture coevolution.  But so far, they have gathered limited schematic strategies for effective development, operation, reproduction and evolving.  Instead they are beginning to use memetic schemas to improve the rate of evolution.  With few instances and little time in existance, states current strategies are suboptimal in part because of poor memetic operators. 
 
societies
must more effectively manage: resource depletion, waste, and their population explosion.  Tainter argues that marginal returns can
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Evolution's schematic operators and Samuel modeling together support the indirect recording of past successes and their strategic use by the current agent to learn how to succeed in the proximate environment. 
model
the costs and benefits of investment in complexity at least for: agriculture, minerals and energy, R&D, health, education, government, military and industrial management.  Productivity is the efficiency with which an agent's selected strategy converts the inputs to an action into the resulting outputs.  It is a complex capability of agents.  It will depend on the agent having: time, motivation, focus, appropriate skills; the coherence of the participating collaborators, and a beneficial environment including the contribution of: standardization of inputs and outputs, infrastructure and evolutionary amplifiers. 
can generate new growth but the trends are towards reduced value.  But he accepts nuclear destruction and asteroid storms are beyond the framework.  The concerning trends induce two reactions:
  1. Economists is the study of trade between humans.  Traditional Economics is based on an equilibrium model of the economic system.  Traditional Economics includes: microeconomics, and macroeconomics.  Marx developed an alternative static approach.  Limitations of the equilibrium model have resulted in the development of: Keynes's dynamic General Theory of Employment Interest & Money, and Complexity Economics.  Since trading depends on human behavior, economics has developed behavioral models including: behavioral economics. 
    optimistically group the issues as economic dilemmas which can be solved with ingenuity, siting the principle of infinite substitutability.  Tainter notes two issues: sociopolitical organization has no known substitutes, difficult to apply indefinitely with R&D and pollution costs escalating.  Tainter highlights that ancient societies could attempt to capture more space and wealth is schematically useful information and its equivalent, schematically useful energy, to paraphrase Beinhocker.  It is useful because an agent has schematic strategies that can utilize the information or energy to extend or leverage control of the cognitive niche.   , but today's world is filled to capacity with humans - a new factor in our history are a class of fine-grained histories of the universe, in quantum mechanics, which all agree on a particular account of what is followed (events of large inertial mass) but vary over all possible events of what is not followed, which are summed over. 
    , participating in recently formed and previously unusual complex societies structured into
    This page discusses the effect of the network on the agents participating in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  Small world and scale free networks are considered. 
    networks
    .  Spiraling competition will drive the societies along the curve of marginal productivity supported by the dominant power and or the
    States are instances of a high level emergent animal autonomous entity capable of entering an additional niche: amplifying resource capture and effective utilization; through improved collaboration, innovation and productivity. 

    Emerging from cultural superOrganisms, states can evolve based on slow gene culture coevolution.  But so far, they have gathered limited schematic strategies for effective development, operation, reproduction and evolving.  Instead they are beginning to use memetic schemas to improve the rate of evolution.  With few instances and little time in existance, states current strategies are suboptimal in part because of poor memetic operators. 
     
    society
    's population's contributions, until a competitor fails and is subsumed.  And this shift in marginal productivity will continue even as the network becomes increasingly aligned. 
  2. Environmentalists argue to collapse back to a sustainable situation.  But Tainter notes this is impossible because reduced economic activity would require reduced military spending which would encourage other proximate societies to leverage their improved military position to take control.  Today's societies are locked in an economic arms race, in a war where both sides use the strategy of development and use of advanced weapon systems to gain an advantage, each advance induces the other side to respond with its own asymmetric advances.  Neither side will necessarily gain the upper hand in which case the weapon systems themselves advance rapidly with little direct benefit for the combatants.   that Tainter concludes will end in global collapse
Today's
States are instances of a high level emergent animal autonomous entity capable of entering an additional niche: amplifying resource capture and effective utilization; through improved collaboration, innovation and productivity. 

Emerging from cultural superOrganisms, states can evolve based on slow gene culture coevolution.  But so far, they have gathered limited schematic strategies for effective development, operation, reproduction and evolving.  Instead they are beginning to use memetic schemas to improve the rate of evolution.  With few instances and little time in existance, states current strategies are suboptimal in part because of poor memetic operators. 
 
societies
are operating in an arms race, in a war where both sides use the strategy of development and use of advanced weapon systems to gain an advantage, each advance induces the other side to respond with its own asymmetric advances.  Neither side will necessarily gain the upper hand in which case the weapon systems themselves advance rapidly with little direct benefit for the combatants.   using stored energy supplies, which provide some respite from the struggles of prior history.  But Tainter concludes there is just a limited window and, given the inevitability of decline in marginal productivity driving down living standards for many, it must be used to discover new sources of energy subsidy is schematically useful information and its equivalent, schematically useful energy, to paraphrase Beinhocker.  It is useful because an agent has schematic strategies that can utilize the information or energy to extend or leverage control of the cognitive niche.    that can sustain humanity long term. 



This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory provides an organizing framework that is used by 'life.'  It can illuminate and clarify complex situations and be applied flexibly.  It can be used to evaluate and rank models that claim to describe our perceived reality.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents.  It highlights the constraints that shape CAS and so predicts their form.  A proposal that does not conform is wrong. 

John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
Complex adaptive system (CAS) theory
views systems as composed of
Flows of different kinds are essential to the operation of complex adaptive systems (CAS). 
Example flows are outlined.  Constraints on flows support the emergence of the systems.  Examples of constraints are discussed. 
flows
: all far from equilibrium, moving between
Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
agents
; essential for the
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergence
and sustainability of autonomous entities are entities which:
  • Are far from equilibrium
  • Consume and save low entropy
  • Can use accessible low entropy to maintain themselves
.  Tainter's complex society is such an entity are, according to Abbott, a class including people, families, corporations, hurricanes.  They implement abstract designs and are demarcatable by their reduced entropy relative to their components.  Rovelli notes entities are a collection of relations and events, but memory and our continuous process of anticipation, organizes the series of quantized interactions we perceive into an illusion of permanent objects flowing from past to future.  Abbott identifies two types of entity:
  1. At equilibrium entities,
  2. Autonomous entities, which can control how they are affected by outside forces;
which provides its participating humans with advantages: access to more
Carlo Rovelli resolves the paradox of time. 
Rovelli initially explains that low level physics does not include time:
  • A present that is common throughout the universe does not exist
  • Events are only partially ordered.  The present is localized
  • The difference between past and future is not foundational.  It occurs because of state that through our blurring appears particular to us
  • Time passes at different speeds dependent on where we are and how fast we travel
  • Time's rhythms are due to the gravitational field
  • Our quantized physics shows neither space nor time, just processes transforming physical variables. 
  • Fundamentally there is no time.  The basic equations evolve together with events, not things 
Then he explains how in a physical world without time its perception can emerge:
  • Our familiar time emerges
    • Our interaction with the world is partial, blurred, quantum indeterminate
    • The ignorance determines the existence of thermal time and entropy that quantifies our uncertainty
    • Directionality of time is real but perspectival.  The entropy of the world in relation to us increases with our thermal time.  The growth of entropy distinguishes past from future: resulting in traces and memories
    • Each human is a unified being because: we reflect the world, we formed an image of a unified entity by interacting with our kind, and because of the perspective of memory
    • The variable time: is one of the variables of the gravitational field.  With our scale we don't register quantum fluctuations, making space-time appear determined.  At our speed we don't perceive differences in time of different clocks, so we experience a single time: universal, uniform, ordered; which is helpful to our decisions

time
, and gains
Rather than oppose the direct thrust of some environmental flow agents can improve their effectiveness with indirect responses.  This page explains how agents are architected to do this and discusses some examples of how it can be done. 
indirect
benefit from
This web page reviews opportunities to find and capture new niches, based on studying fitness landscapes using complex adaptive system (CAS) theory.  CAS SuperOrganisms are able to capture rich niches.  A variety of CAS are included: chess, prokaryotes, nation states, businesses, economies; along with change mechanisms: evolution and artificial intelligence; agency effects and environmental impacts. 
Genetic algorithms supported by fitness functions are compared to genetic operators. 

Early evolution of life and its inbuilt constraints are discussed. 

Strategic clustering, goals, flexibility and representation of state are considered. 
society's access to more niches
; that support achievement of natural selection's base objectives.  From this perspective the
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergence
of the complex society is analogous to that of the: eukaryote is a relatively large multi-component cell type.  It initially emerged from prokaryotic archaea subsuming eubacteria, from which single and multi-celled plants, multi celled fungi, including single-cell variant yeast, drips, protozoa and metazoa, including humans, are constructed.  A eukaryotic cell contains modules including a nucleus and production functions such as chloroplasts and mitochondria. 
,
Antonio Damasio argues that ancient & fundamental homeostatic processes, built into behaviors and updated by evolution have resulted in the emergence of  nervous systems and feelings.  These feelings, representing the state of the viscera, and represented with general systems supporting enteric operation, are later ubiquitously integrated into the 'images' built by the minds of higher animals including humans. 

Damasio highlights the separate development of the body frame in the building of minds. 

Damasio explains that this integration of feelings by minds supports the development of subjectivity and consciousness.  His chain of emergence suggests the 'order of things.'  He stresses the end-to-end integration of the organism which undermines dualism.  And he reviews Chalmers hard problem of consciousness. 

Damasio reviews the emergence of cultures and sees feelings, integrated with reason, as the judges of the cultural creative process, linking culture to homeostasis.  He sees cultures as supporting the development of tools to improve our lives.  But the results of the creative process have added stresses to our lives. 

Following our summary of his arguments RSS frames his arguments from the perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory.  Each of the [super]organisms discussed is a CAS reflecting the theory of such systems:
  • Damasio's proposals about homeostasis routed signalling, aligns well with CAS theory. 
  • Damasio's ideas on cultural stresses are elaborated by CAS examples. 

body frame with subjectivity
- or more likely DRIPS are a small group of single-celled parasites, the Mesomycetozoea.  The first four genera identified in the group were the Dermocystidium, Ichthyophonus, Psorospermium and the Salmon parasite - the Rosette agent - Sphaerothecum destruems.  DRIPS are the link between all the animals that are the direct ancestors of current humans and the fungi. 
, choanoflagellates are the first protozoans dated to 900 million years ago.  There are about 140 species.  Some are linked by a stalk in a colony while others are free swimming.  They have a flagellum which is like their metazoan Sponge descendant's choanocyte.  Choanoflagellates are the link between all the animals that are the direct ancestors of current humans and the DRIPS. and spongess are the first metazoan.  They live by moving a current of water through their whole body using the synchronized beats of the flagella of special cells, the choanocytes, which line the chambers and canals of th walls of a sponge.  Sponges have no neural circuits.  All sponge cells are germ-line cells, are toti potent and self assemble into the most primitive metazoan.  Sponges are the link between all the animals that are the direct ancestors of current humans and the choanoflagellates. which show
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolution's
punctuated is Steven Jay Gould and Niles Eldridge's proposal about how evolution occurs.  They suggested that most of the time 'nothing happens' and then there are intermittent rapid lurches.  The idea is analogous to Schumpeter's waves of creative destruction.  Complex adaptive systems will operate this way driven by the underlying slow mutations of the germ-line schemata and the action of infrastructure and evolved amplifiers. 
progress towards a Hox regulate the development of anatomical structures of insects, mammals and plants.  They are part of the evo-devo toolkit.  The homeobox includes the Hox and ParaHox segmentation genes.   segmented placozoan are multicellular animals with the smallest genome and simplest bodily organization of any multicellular animal.  Trichoplax has only four cell types and a single Hox gene.  It has two main cell layers and between them a few contractile cells that act like muscles.  It has no front, back, left or right.  Placozoans are the link between all the animals that are the direct ancestors of current humans and the sponges.; significant stepping stones which preceded the superOrganism is a wealthy autonomous entity needing and controlling the richest niches in the proximate environment, that emerges from the bundled cooperation of schematically aligned agents.   The term is based on the social insect model, used by: ants, termites, and bees; and identified by Holldobler & E.O. Wilson.  These genetically identical insect superorganisms cooperatively limit their reproduction to align with the resources available in the niche.  Wilson asserts these insects all developed nests to which they returned to raise their offspring, and when the nest sites were of limited capacity some family members responded by focusing on defending the nest and foraging while their mother became an egg laying queen, enabled by "a single genetic change which silenced the brain's program for dispersal and prevents the mother and her offspring from dispersing to create new nests," Wilson explains.  He adds climate control of the nest and disease resistance, just like the human immune system, demand individually focused diversity.  So the queen's genome consists of low variety alleles for the extended phenotypic 'robot' worker caste agents and their organization - queen and workers competing as one, with other colonies and individual insects - and other parts which are high where the genome includes significant diversity.  For humans it is an evolved cultural strategy used when the environment is supportive, but it is dependent on our imperfect cognitive assessment of kinship as well as group selection driven emotions: other-condemning, other-praising, other-suffering and self-conscious; and group oriented pressures to conform and remain: religions.  And the adjacent possible must be recreated and modeled culturally through the emergence of processes such as democracy.  It depends on inter-agent signalling.  In both insects and humans it allows specialization, and encourages operations and flows that are tightly controlled, limiting waste, leveraging parallel activity, supporting coherence.  Superorganisms reflect cliodynamic flows.  A superorganism has a development and operational phase.  As additional agents are coopted into the superorganism they align, participate in supply and demand activities and so contribute to the evolutionary amplification.  Damasio notes that prokaryotes, in rich environments, can similarly operate in a symbiotic fashion expressing cultural behaviors. 
, the complex society. 

In RSS is Rob's Strategy Studio's conception of
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory provides an organizing framework that is used by 'life.'  It can illuminate and clarify complex situations and be applied flexibly.  It can be used to evaluate and rank models that claim to describe our perceived reality.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents.  It highlights the constraints that shape CAS and so predicts their form.  A proposal that does not conform is wrong. 

John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS
,
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergent
entities are, according to Abbott, a class including people, families, corporations, hurricanes.  They implement abstract designs and are demarcatable by their reduced entropy relative to their components.  Rovelli notes entities are a collection of relations and events, but memory and our continuous process of anticipation, organizes the series of quantized interactions we perceive into an illusion of permanent objects flowing from past to future.  Abbott identifies two types of entity:
  1. At equilibrium entities,
  2. Autonomous entities, which can control how they are affected by outside forces;
recreate solutions that have been solved at lower levels of CAS, including those already participating in the aggregates is when a number of actions become coordinated and operate together.  In the adaptive web framework's Smiley, codelets become coordinated by their relative position in the deployment cascade.  The cascade's dynamics are dependent on the situation, the operating codelets responses to that situation and the grouping of schematic strings they are associated with.  The aggregate effect is a phenotype the adaptive agent. 
that support the new entity, and thus can offer their
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
schematic
strategies and emergent goals for leverage by the higher level entity. 

Since it is unlikely that Tainter's examples of complex societies have rebuilt all the functions of CAS that have been discovered and retained by
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolution
in lower level entities it is probable that these examples were confronted with situations which stressed is a multi-faceted condition reflecting high cortisol levels.  Dr. Robert Sapolsky's studies of baboons indicate that stress helps build readiness for fight or flight.  As these actions occur the levels of cortisol return to the baseline rate.  A stressor is anything that disrupts the regular homeostatic balance.  The stress response is the array of neural and endocrine changes that occur to respond effectively to the crisis and reestablish homeostasis. 
  • The short term response to the stressor
    • activates the amygdala which: Stimulates the brain stem resulting in inhibition of the parasympathetic nervous system and activation of the sympathetic nervous system with the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine deployed around the body, Activates the PVN which generates a cascade resulting in glucocorticoid secretion to: get energy to the muscles with increased blood pressure for a powerful response.  The brain's acuity and cognition are stimulated.  The immune system is stimulated with beta-endorphin and repair activities curtail.  In order for the body to destroy bacteria in wounds, pro-inflammatory cytokines increase blood flow to the area.  The induced inflammation signals the brain to activate the insula and through it the ACC.  But when the stressor is
  • long term: loneliness, debt; and no action is necessary, or possible, long term damage ensues.  Damage from such stress may only occur in specific situations: Nuclear families coping with parents moving in.  Sustained stress provides an evolved amplifier of a position of dominance and status.  It is a strategy in female aggression used to limit reproductive competition.  Sustained stress:
    • Stops the frontal cortex from ensuring we do the harder thing, instead substituting amplification of the individual's propensity for risk-taking and impairing risk assessment! 
    • Activates the integration between the thalamus and amygdala. 
      • Acts differently on the amygdala in comparison to the frontal cortex and hippocampus: Stress strengthens the integration between the Amygdala and the hippocampus, making the hippocampus fearful. 
      • BLA & BNST respond with increased BDNF levels and expanded dendrites persistently increasing anxiety and fear conditioning. 
    • Makes it easier to learn a fear association and to consolidate it into long-term memory.  Sustained stress makes it harder to unlearn fear by making the prefrontal cortex inhibit the BLA from learning to break the fear association and weakening the prefrontal cortex's hold over the amygdala.  And glucocorticoids decrease activation of the medial prefrontal cortex during processing of emotional faces.  Accuracy of assessing emotions from faces suffers.  A terrified rat generating lots of glucocorticoids will cause dendrites in the hippocampus to atrophy but when it generates the same amount from excitement of running on a wheel the dendrites expand.  The activation of the amygdala seems to determine how the hippocampus responds. 
    • Depletes the nucleus accumbens of dopamine biasing rats toward social subordination and biasing humans toward depression. 
    • Disrupts working memory by amplifying norepinephrine signalling in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala to prefrontal cortex signalling until they become destructive.  It also desynchronizes activation in different frontal lobe regions impacting shifting of attention.  
    • Increases the risk of autoimmune disease (Jan 2017) 
  • During depression, stress inhibits dopamine signalling.  
  • Strategies for stress reduction include: Mindfulness. 
them beyond their capabilities to respond.  But they are aggregates is when a number of actions become coordinated and operate together.  In the adaptive web framework's Smiley, codelets become coordinated by their relative position in the deployment cascade.  The cascade's dynamics are dependent on the situation, the operating codelets responses to that situation and the grouping of schematic strings they are associated with.  The aggregate effect is a phenotype the adaptive agent. 
of building blocks that retain the potential to evolve and they may have obtained the emergent potential to evolve themselves.  There are a variety of obvious functions that are candidates to include:

As such the collapse of eukaryotes is a relatively large multi-component cell type.  It initially emerged from prokaryotic archaea subsuming eubacteria, from which single and multi-celled plants, multi celled fungi, including single-cell variant yeast, drips, protozoa and metazoa, including humans, are constructed.  A eukaryotic cell contains modules including a nucleus and production functions such as chloroplasts and mitochondria. 
and
Antonio Damasio argues that ancient & fundamental homeostatic processes, built into behaviors and updated by evolution have resulted in the emergence of  nervous systems and feelings.  These feelings, representing the state of the viscera, and represented with general systems supporting enteric operation, are later ubiquitously integrated into the 'images' built by the minds of higher animals including humans. 

Damasio highlights the separate development of the body frame in the building of minds. 

Damasio explains that this integration of feelings by minds supports the development of subjectivity and consciousness.  His chain of emergence suggests the 'order of things.'  He stresses the end-to-end integration of the organism which undermines dualism.  And he reviews Chalmers hard problem of consciousness. 

Damasio reviews the emergence of cultures and sees feelings, integrated with reason, as the judges of the cultural creative process, linking culture to homeostasis.  He sees cultures as supporting the development of tools to improve our lives.  But the results of the creative process have added stresses to our lives. 

Following our summary of his arguments RSS frames his arguments from the perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory.  Each of the [super]organisms discussed is a CAS reflecting the theory of such systems:
  • Damasio's proposals about homeostasis routed signalling, aligns well with CAS theory. 
  • Damasio's ideas on cultural stresses are elaborated by CAS examples. 

animals with body frames
should provide
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Evolution's schematic operators and Samuel modeling together support the indirect recording of past successes and their strategic use by the current agent to learn how to succeed in the proximate environment. 
models
for what occurs in societies:

Holland developed a general framework for understanding complexity, M. Mitchell Waldrop describes a vision of complexity via:
  • Rich interactions that allow a system to undergo spontaneous self-organization and, for CAS, evolution
  • Systems that are adaptive
  • More predictability than chaotic systems by bringing order and chaos into
  • Balance at the edge of chaos
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory provides an organizing framework that is used by 'life.'  It can illuminate and clarify complex situations and be applied flexibly.  It can be used to evaluate and rank models that claim to describe our perceived reality.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents.  It highlights the constraints that shape CAS and so predicts their form.  A proposal that does not conform is wrong. 

John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS
are a subset of complex entities are, according to Abbott, a class including people, families, corporations, hurricanes.  They implement abstract designs and are demarcatable by their reduced entropy relative to their components.  Rovelli notes entities are a collection of relations and events, but memory and our continuous process of anticipation, organizes the series of quantized interactions we perceive into an illusion of permanent objects flowing from past to future.  Abbott identifies two types of entity:
  1. At equilibrium entities,
  2. Autonomous entities, which can control how they are affected by outside forces;
, which
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolve
Tainter's attributes can be understood within this framework:

Tainter associates complexity with inequality and heterogeneity, and heterogeneity may reflect
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolved
differentiation supporting
This web page reviews opportunities to find and capture new niches, based on studying fitness landscapes using complex adaptive system (CAS) theory.  CAS SuperOrganisms are able to capture rich niches.  A variety of CAS are included: chess, prokaryotes, nation states, businesses, economies; along with change mechanisms: evolution and artificial intelligence; agency effects and environmental impacts. 
Genetic algorithms supported by fitness functions are compared to genetic operators. 

Early evolution of life and its inbuilt constraints are discussed. 

Strategic clustering, goals, flexibility and representation of state are considered. 
increased niche access
, but most types of complex, M. Mitchell Waldrop describes a vision of complexity via:
  • Rich interactions that allow a system to undergo spontaneous self-organization and, for CAS, evolution
  • Systems that are adaptive
  • More predictability than chaotic systems by bringing order and chaos into
  • Balance at the edge of chaos
entities are, according to Abbott, a class including people, families, corporations, hurricanes.  They implement abstract designs and are demarcatable by their reduced entropy relative to their components.  Rovelli notes entities are a collection of relations and events, but memory and our continuous process of anticipation, organizes the series of quantized interactions we perceive into an illusion of permanent objects flowing from past to future.  Abbott identifies two types of entity:
  1. At equilibrium entities,
  2. Autonomous entities, which can control how they are affected by outside forces;
, including superOrganisms is a wealthy autonomous entity needing and controlling the richest niches in the proximate environment, that emerges from the bundled cooperation of schematically aligned agents.   The term is based on the social insect model, used by: ants, termites, and bees; and identified by Holldobler & E.O. Wilson.  These genetically identical insect superorganisms cooperatively limit their reproduction to align with the resources available in the niche.  Wilson asserts these insects all developed nests to which they returned to raise their offspring, and when the nest sites were of limited capacity some family members responded by focusing on defending the nest and foraging while their mother became an egg laying queen, enabled by "a single genetic change which silenced the brain's program for dispersal and prevents the mother and her offspring from dispersing to create new nests," Wilson explains.  He adds climate control of the nest and disease resistance, just like the human immune system, demand individually focused diversity.  So the queen's genome consists of low variety alleles for the extended phenotypic 'robot' worker caste agents and their organization - queen and workers competing as one, with other colonies and individual insects - and other parts which are high where the genome includes significant diversity.  For humans it is an evolved cultural strategy used when the environment is supportive, but it is dependent on our imperfect cognitive assessment of kinship as well as group selection driven emotions: other-condemning, other-praising, other-suffering and self-conscious; and group oriented pressures to conform and remain: religions.  And the adjacent possible must be recreated and modeled culturally through the emergence of processes such as democracy.  It depends on inter-agent signalling.  In both insects and humans it allows specialization, and encourages operations and flows that are tightly controlled, limiting waste, leveraging parallel activity, supporting coherence.  Superorganisms reflect cliodynamic flows.  A superorganism has a development and operational phase.  As additional agents are coopted into the superorganism they align, participate in supply and demand activities and so contribute to the evolutionary amplification.  Damasio notes that prokaryotes, in rich environments, can similarly operate in a symbiotic fashion expressing cultural behaviors. 
where most participants are clones, do not display inequality.  Instead Barkow suggests inequality represents opportunities for an individual's genes to evolve capturing a competitive advantage from: seeking high rank, nepotism and capacity for social exchange; that enable and then leverage social stratification

The heterogeneity of a system does not have to be large for it to be complex.  RSS is Rob's Strategy Studio notes that the game of chess is a
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory provides an organizing framework that is used by 'life.'  It can illuminate and clarify complex situations and be applied flexibly.  It can be used to evaluate and rank models that claim to describe our perceived reality.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents.  It highlights the constraints that shape CAS and so predicts their form.  A proposal that does not conform is wrong. 

John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS
, even though it has a small set of rules, a board of 64 squares and 6 roles: King, Queen, Rook, Bishop, Knight & Pawn; because of the vast combination of legal
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
schematic
strategies that can be deployed by the two competitors.  We include a few examples of chess strategies

Tainter argues that hunter-gatherer is a lifestyle organized around a band of relatives, evolved in humans focused on capturing the cognitive niche in the African savanna.  It is of great significance in shaping our minds: behaviors, emotions, creativity, intelligence; and developing survival strategies including use of fire and language, according to evolutionary psychologists.  It was practiced by all humans, for most of Homo sapiens existence, until the emergence of farming, and still is by some isolated bands: Ju/'hoansi, New Guinea: Gebusi, Mae Enga; & Borneo head hunters, Maasai & Zulu warriors from Africa, Amazonians: Waorani, Jivaro; Brazilian and Venezuelan Yanomamo.  Since the band moves on when it has depleted the resources in an area of land, the soil remains vibrant, but the large animals were typically placed in a position of stress from which they did not recover. 
bands had minimal leadership.  But hierarchy had been important to humans and their ape cousins
The complexity of behavior is explored through Sapolsky developing scenarios of our best and worst behaviors across time spans, and scientific subjects including: anthropology, psychology, neuroscience, sociology.  The rich network of adaptive flows he outlines provides insights and highlight challenges for scientific research on behavior. 

Complex adaptive system (CAS) theory builds on Sapolsky's details highlighting the strategies that evolution has captured to successfully enter niches we now occupy. 

explains
Saplosky and social persuasion was an important aspect of hunter-gatherer life style Pinker
Computational theory of the mind and evolutionary psychology provide Steven Pinker with a framework on which to develop his psychological arguments about the mind and its relationship to the brain.  Humans captured a cognitive niche by natural selection 'building out' specialized aspects of their bodies and brains resulting in a system of mental organs we call the mind. 

He garnishes and defends the framework with findings from psychology regarding: The visual system - an example of natural selections solutions to the sensory challenges of inverse modeling of our environment; Intensions - where he highlights the challenges of hunter-gatherers - making sense of the objects they perceive and predicting what they imply and natural selections powerful solutions; Emotions - which Pinker argues are essential to human prioritizing and decision making; Relationships - natural selection's strategies for coping with the most dangerous competitors, other people.  He helps us understand marriage, friendships and war. 

These conclusions allow him to understand the development and maintenance of higher callings: Art, Music, Literature, Humor, Religion, & Philosophy; and develop a position on the meaning of life. 

Complex adaptive system (CAS) modeling allows RSS to frame Pinker's arguments within humanity's current situation, induced by powerful evolved amplifiers: Globalization, Cliodynamics, The green revolution and resource bottlenecks; melding his powerful predictions of the drivers of human behavior with system wide constraints.  The implications are discussed. 

explains
.  Pinker additionally illustrates how war was attractive to humans in times of plenty when it allowed the additional resources to be used to feed captured females and the offspring they produced.  But war is difficult for farming emerged several times and various places, probably first around 11,000 years ago.  It depends on and supports evolved amplifiers which introduce instability and problems with sustainability of the populations that depended on it, unlike the earlier hunting and gathering.  Today the uncertainty can be hedged, although third world farmers' businesses are undermined by first world agricultural policy.  J.R. McNeill explains the sustainability issue: "all farming is a struggle against the depletion of soil nutrients.  Crops absorb nutrients; these are eaten by people or animals; then they spend shorter or longer periods of time in human or animal bodies, before returning to the soil.  If these nutrients, in one manner or another, return to farmers' fields, then a nutrient cycle can last indefinitely.  If they do not, then those fields gradually lose nutrient and over time produce less and less food - unless some intervention such as fertilizer counteracts the nutrient loss."  However, McNeill notes three notable exceptions: Egypt until the Aswan High Dam, Southern China, Medieval Europe; "each ecologically successful over long periods of time."  Their success resulted from trial and error and favorable circumstances. 
communities:
Organizations can benefit from understanding and leveraging creativity.  In this page we review what creativity is, highlight the opportunity - including when it is appropriate to apply, how to do that organizationally, and when it might be avoided, and the challenges with enabling it when it is desirable. 

We introduce the aspects of the creative process. 

Creativity
,
Matt Ridley demonstrates the creative effect of man on the World. He highlights:
  • A list of preconditions resulting in
  • Additional niche capture & more free time 
  • Building a network to interconnect memes processes & tools which
  • Enabling inter-generational transfers
  • Innovations that help reduce environmental stress even as they leverage fossil fuels

education and trade
are other
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolved
hunter-gatherer is a lifestyle organized around a band of relatives, evolved in humans focused on capturing the cognitive niche in the African savanna.  It is of great significance in shaping our minds: behaviors, emotions, creativity, intelligence; and developing survival strategies including use of fire and language, according to evolutionary psychologists.  It was practiced by all humans, for most of Homo sapiens existence, until the emergence of farming, and still is by some isolated bands: Ju/'hoansi, New Guinea: Gebusi, Mae Enga; & Borneo head hunters, Maasai & Zulu warriors from Africa, Amazonians: Waorani, Jivaro; Brazilian and Venezuelan Yanomamo.  Since the band moves on when it has depleted the resources in an area of land, the soil remains vibrant, but the large animals were typically placed in a position of stress from which they did not recover. 
capabilities, each one supporting improved effectiveness of the community, allowing
Carlo Rovelli resolves the paradox of time. 
Rovelli initially explains that low level physics does not include time:
  • A present that is common throughout the universe does not exist
  • Events are only partially ordered.  The present is localized
  • The difference between past and future is not foundational.  It occurs because of state that through our blurring appears particular to us
  • Time passes at different speeds dependent on where we are and how fast we travel
  • Time's rhythms are due to the gravitational field
  • Our quantized physics shows neither space nor time, just processes transforming physical variables. 
  • Fundamentally there is no time.  The basic equations evolve together with events, not things 
Then he explains how in a physical world without time its perception can emerge:
  • Our familiar time emerges
    • Our interaction with the world is partial, blurred, quantum indeterminate
    • The ignorance determines the existence of thermal time and entropy that quantifies our uncertainty
    • Directionality of time is real but perspectival.  The entropy of the world in relation to us increases with our thermal time.  The growth of entropy distinguishes past from future: resulting in traces and memories
    • Each human is a unified being because: we reflect the world, we formed an image of a unified entity by interacting with our kind, and because of the perspective of memory
    • The variable time: is one of the variables of the gravitational field.  With our scale we don't register quantum fluctuations, making space-time appear determined.  At our speed we don't perceive differences in time of different clocks, so we experience a single time: universal, uniform, ordered; which is helpful to our decisions

time
to be obtained and dedicated most beneficially.  Wilson
E O. Wilson argues that campfire gatherings on the savanna supported the emergence of human creativity.  This resulted in man building cultures and later exploring them, and their creator, through the humanities.  Wilson identifies the transformative events, but he notes many of these are presently ignored by the humanities.  So he calls for a change of approach. 

He:
  • Explores creativity: how it emerged from the benefits of becoming an omnivore hunter-gatherer, enabled by language & its catalysis of invention, through stories told in the evening around the campfire. He notes the power of fine art, but suggests music provides the most revealing signature of aesthetic surprise. 
  • Looks at the current limitations of the humanities, as they have suffered through years of neglect.  
  • Reviews the evolutionary processes of heredity and culture:
    • Ultimate causes viewed through art, & music
    • The bedrock of:
      • Ape senses and emotions,
      • Creative arts, language, dance, song typically studied by humanities, & 
      • Exponential change in science and technology.  
    • How the breakthrough from our primate past occurred, powered by eating meat, supporting: a bigger brain, expanded memory & language. 
    • Accelerating changes now driven by genetic cultural coevolution.  
    • The impact on human nature.  
  • Considers our emotional attachment to the natural world: hunting, gardens; we are destroying. 
  • Reviews our love of metaphor, archetypes, exploration, irony, and considers the potential for a third enlightenment, supported by cooperative action of humanities and science

Following our summary of his arguments RSS frames these from the perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory:
  • The humanities are seen to be a functionalist framework for representing the cultural CAS while 
  • Wilson's desire to integrate the humanities and science gains support from viewing the endeavor as a network of layered CAS. 

shows
how hunter-gatherer's camps ensured the development of a superOrganism is a wealthy autonomous entity needing and controlling the richest niches in the proximate environment, that emerges from the bundled cooperation of schematically aligned agents.   The term is based on the social insect model, used by: ants, termites, and bees; and identified by Holldobler & E.O. Wilson.  These genetically identical insect superorganisms cooperatively limit their reproduction to align with the resources available in the niche.  Wilson asserts these insects all developed nests to which they returned to raise their offspring, and when the nest sites were of limited capacity some family members responded by focusing on defending the nest and foraging while their mother became an egg laying queen, enabled by "a single genetic change which silenced the brain's program for dispersal and prevents the mother and her offspring from dispersing to create new nests," Wilson explains.  He adds climate control of the nest and disease resistance, just like the human immune system, demand individually focused diversity.  So the queen's genome consists of low variety alleles for the extended phenotypic 'robot' worker caste agents and their organization - queen and workers competing as one, with other colonies and individual insects - and other parts which are high where the genome includes significant diversity.  For humans it is an evolved cultural strategy used when the environment is supportive, but it is dependent on our imperfect cognitive assessment of kinship as well as group selection driven emotions: other-condemning, other-praising, other-suffering and self-conscious; and group oriented pressures to conform and remain: religions.  And the adjacent possible must be recreated and modeled culturally through the emergence of processes such as democracy.  It depends on inter-agent signalling.  In both insects and humans it allows specialization, and encourages operations and flows that are tightly controlled, limiting waste, leveraging parallel activity, supporting coherence.  Superorganisms reflect cliodynamic flows.  A superorganism has a development and operational phase.  As additional agents are coopted into the superorganism they align, participate in supply and demand activities and so contribute to the evolutionary amplification.  Damasio notes that prokaryotes, in rich environments, can similarly operate in a symbiotic fashion expressing cultural behaviors. 
, with the potential to evolve a
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
memetic
culture is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Damasio notes prokaryotes and social insects have developed cultural social behaviors.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  Damasio suggests culture is influenced by feelings: 
    • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
    • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
    • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
.  These building blocks ensure the mental and physical capabilities were in place to seek and expand the adjacent possible, creating a tension between fully constrained hierarchy, enabled by farming and war, and chaos provides an explanation for the apparently random period between water droplets falling from a tap.  Typically the model of the system is poor and so the data captured about the system looks unpredictable - chaotic.  With a better model the system's operation can be explained with standard physical principles.  Hence chaos as defined here is different from complexity.  .  This provides a platform is agent generated infrastructure that supports emergence of an entity through: leverage of an abundant energy source, reusable resources; attracting a phenotypically aligned network of agents. 
for simple societies to leverage to compete for geographically distributed resources and evolve.  And the
Peter Turchin describes how major pre-industrial empires developed due to effects of geographic boundaries constraining the empires and their neighbors' interactions.  Turchin shows how the asymmetries of breeding rates and resource growth rates results in dynamic cycles within cycles.  After the summary of Turchin's book complex adaptive system (CAS) theory is used to augment Turchins findings. 
cliodynamic tensions within the warrior aristocracy
ensure moral provides rules for identifying right from wrong.  It develops in stages with children using play to work out rules of appropriate behavior.  Kohlberg's 1950s experiments using children led him to conclude moral judgement is a cognitive process that develops in three stages.  Sapolsky raises issues with the framework: Its a model, It does not apply to other cultures, Intuition & emotion are as significant as cognition, Moral reasoning doesn't predict moral actions; and notes the capacity of the frontal cortex to regulate emotions and behavior is far more predictive.  The marshmallow test, performed on three to six year olds, actually predicted their subsequent SAT scores at high school, social success and lack of aggression, and forty years on more PFC activation during a frontal task and a lower BMI!  Jonathan Haidt argues people's moral decisions are rationalizations rather than using reasoning. 
cohesion, competition, and evolution would be available to create non-familial roles. 

Dehaene
Reading and writing present a conundrum.  The reader's brain contains neural networks tuned to reading.  With imaging a written word can be followed as it progresses from the retina through a functional chain that asks: Are these letters? What do they look like? Are they a word? What does it sound like? How is it pronounced? What does it mean?  Dehaene explains the importance of education in tuning the brain's networks for reading as well as good strategies for teaching reading and countering dyslexia.  But he notes the reading networks developed far too recently to have directly evolved.  And Dehaene asks why humans are unique in developing reading and culture. 

He explains the cultural engineering that shaped writing to human vision and the exaptations and neuronal structures that enable and constrain reading and culture. 

Dehaene's arguments show how cellular, whole animal and cultural complex adaptive system (CAS) are related.  We review his explanations in CAS terms and use his insights to link cultural CAS that emerged based on reading and writing with other levels of CAS from which they emerge. 

describes
the development of reading and writing by humans.  Feynman
Richard Feynman outlines a series of amusing vignettes, as he reviews his life story. 

Richard's personality encouraged him to patiently seek out fun: performing Shewhart cycles with electricity, in his childhood laboratory, and aligning theory, and practice through building and fixing radios.  Leonardo's life inspired him to try innovation, which he concluded was hard.  He played with the emotion in communications, a skill which he used later at Caltech.  And he made a game of avoiding following orders at MIT.  Working during the holidays revealed the benefit of joining theory and practice. 

Feynman enrolled as a graduate student at Princeton, where the successful approach to science was just like his.  His approach was based on patience and fun: he used his home lab and other tools for qualitative exploration.  Overtime he added experimental techniques.  He would test the assertions in articles with amusing investigations; with his mind aligned by feelings of joy.  Everyone at Princeton heard he would want to be hypnotized.  He was driven to compare the challenges of complex subjects being taught at Princeton to his current pick.  In his summer recess he explored biology.  Gathering problems in challenging areas of science, and then picking one to solve, supported his creativity.  And his practical orientation and situation when growing up in Far Rockaway, supported his desire for choices and adolescent dislike for purely intellectual and cultural pursuits.  Being mostly self-taught, he developed different approaches to problems than the standard strategies provided by mass education. 

Richard saw his skill set as very different to that exhibited by his father.  But are they very different?

While Richard was at Princeton, America became concerned about the implications of the European war.  After a friend enlisted he decided to dedicate his summer holiday to helping the war effort.  Feynman got involved in the Manhattan Project, and went to Los Alamos where he experienced constraints, applied by: the military, the physics of the project, him on Niels Bohr; but was freed from them by Von Neumann.  The records & reports of the project were kept in filing cabinets.  Richard explored the weaknesses of the locks and safes deployed to secure these secrets.  Just after the war he was called up by the draft board for a medical but was rejected for being mentally unfit. 

After the war, Richard was asked to become a professor at Cornell.  He initially struggled in this role: Too young to match expectations, stressed by the demands of his new job and his recent experiences; until he adopted an approach that focused on fun.  He enjoyed knowing about numbers: using, learning about them and the tools to use them, and competing with others; to calculate, interpolate and approximate a value the fastest. 
Traveling to Buffalo in a light plane once a week to give a physics lecture before flying back the next morning wasn't much fun for Richard.  So he used the stipend to visit a bar after each lecture to meet beautiful women.  Richard liked bars and nightclubs, spending a summer in Albuquerque frequenting one, and later ones in Las Vegas, as he explored how to get the girls he drank with to sleep with him. 

Richard reflects on various times when he made government officials obey their parts of contracts: patent fees, limits on red tape;
 
Richard became frustrated with his life at Cornell, seeing more things that interested him on the sunny west coast at Caltech.  Both institutions, and Chicago, offered him incentives to help his decision making, but Richard began to find reevaluating the alternatives a waste of time and he saw risks in a really high salary, deciding he would move to Caltech and stay there. 

Richard is invited to attend a scientific symposium in Japan.  Each of the US attendees is asked to learn a little Japanese.  Richard takes lessons, persists, can converse effectively, but stops when he finds the cultural parts of the language conflict with his individualism. 

Richard was unhappy with his achievements in physics.  He felt: slower than his peers, not keeping up or understanding the latest details, fearful that he could not cope; as the community worked to understand the laws of beta decay.  But Martin Block pushed him to question the troubling parity premise.  Encouraged by Oppenheimer the community focused on parity and failures were discovered in a cascade of reports.  Richard attended a meeting where Lee & Yang discussed a failure and a theory to explain it.  Richard felt terrified and could not understand what they said.  His sister pushed him to change his attitude: act like a student having fun, read every line and equation of their paper; he would understand it.  And he did, as well as developing additional insights about what was happening and what still seemed conflicted.  He reported his ideas back to the community.  After Richard returned from Brazil he reviewed the confusion of facts with Caltech's experimental physicists who made him aware of Gell-mann abandoning another former premise of Beta decay.  Feynman realized his ideas were consistent: fully and simply describing the details of beta decay.  He had identified the workings of a fundamental law.  Years later he was awarded the Nobel prize for physics.  He was conflicted about the prize and attending the ceremony, but eventually enjoyed the trip, where he discussed cultural achievement with the Japanese ambassador. 

Richard was interested in the operation of the brain, modeling it on a digital computer.  He explored hallucinations and the reality of experiences. 

Richard lobbies for integrity in science. 

In aspects of his life that weren't focused directly on science, Richard was quirky.  He would tease those who asked for his help: pushing bargains to their logical conclusion; insisting on everyone keeping to their part of the agreement.  And he paid no attention to the logistical details of planning.  He loved percussion, playing: drums, bongos, baskets, tables, Frigideira; and became quite a success.  He eventually discovered art could be fun, and tried to express his joy at the underlying mathematical beauty of the physical world.  He had a great art teacher.  But he discovered although he could eventually draw well he did not understand art. 

Many of the artists he met were fakers, and even the powerful, who were interested in integrating art and science, did not understand either subject.  He found the situation was similar in other complex adaptive systems: philosophy, religion and economics; which he dabbled in for a while but found the strategies of other people practicing the study of such subjects made him angry and disturbed, so he avoided participating in them.  It seemed ironic that he was eventually asked to help in bringing culture to the physicists!

He discusses issues in teaching creative physics in Brazil.  He gets involved in the California public school text book selection process which he concluded was totally broken, but also reveals how his father provided him with a vision of how our world works, inspiring his interest in experimentation and physical theory. 

Following our summary of his main points, RSS reviews how his personality, family and cultural history supported his creative development from the perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory. 
 
helped
clarify the Mayan calendar

Tainter notes the downward
Flows of different kinds are essential to the operation of complex adaptive systems (CAS). 
Example flows are outlined.  Constraints on flows support the emergence of the systems.  Examples of constraints are discussed. 
flow
of hierarchically amassed wealth is schematically useful information and its equivalent, schematically useful energy, to paraphrase Beinhocker.  It is useful because an agent has schematic strategies that can utilize the information or energy to extend or leverage control of the cognitive niche.    to sustain loyalty within a role based chiefly society.  Tainter concludes the legitimacy depends on the belief of the elites and people that the rule is proper and valid, but it seems more likely to depend on at least 'us' winningBarkow describes the underlying evolutionary forces which enabled the
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergence
of this cultural is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Damasio notes prokaryotes and social insects have developed cultural social behaviors.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  Damasio suggests culture is influenced by feelings: 
    • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
    • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
    • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
epiphenomenon within hunter-gatherer is a lifestyle organized around a band of relatives, evolved in humans focused on capturing the cognitive niche in the African savanna.  It is of great significance in shaping our minds: behaviors, emotions, creativity, intelligence; and developing survival strategies including use of fire and language, according to evolutionary psychologists.  It was practiced by all humans, for most of Homo sapiens existence, until the emergence of farming, and still is by some isolated bands: Ju/'hoansi, New Guinea: Gebusi, Mae Enga; & Borneo head hunters, Maasai & Zulu warriors from Africa, Amazonians: Waorani, Jivaro; Brazilian and Venezuelan Yanomamo.  Since the band moves on when it has depleted the resources in an area of land, the soil remains vibrant, but the large animals were typically placed in a position of stress from which they did not recover. 
bands. 

Tainter's acceptance of continuous increase in complexity is not supported by
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory provides an organizing framework that is used by 'life.'  It can illuminate and clarify complex situations and be applied flexibly.  It can be used to evaluate and rank models that claim to describe our perceived reality.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents.  It highlights the constraints that shape CAS and so predicts their form.  A proposal that does not conform is wrong. 

John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS theory
Autonomous entities are entities which:
  • Are far from equilibrium
  • Consume and save low entropy
  • Can use accessible low entropy to maintain themselves
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emerge
discretely which Tainter is viewing as a set of labeled groupings.  A variety of entities are, according to Abbott, a class including people, families, corporations, hurricanes.  They implement abstract designs and are demarcatable by their reduced entropy relative to their components.  Rovelli notes entities are a collection of relations and events, but memory and our continuous process of anticipation, organizes the series of quantized interactions we perceive into an illusion of permanent objects flowing from past to future.  Abbott identifies two types of entity:
  1. At equilibrium entities,
  2. Autonomous entities, which can control how they are affected by outside forces;
may aggregate is when a number of actions become coordinated and operate together.  In the adaptive web framework's Smiley, codelets become coordinated by their relative position in the deployment cascade.  The cascade's dynamics are dependent on the situation, the operating codelets responses to that situation and the grouping of schematic strings they are associated with.  The aggregate effect is a phenotype the adaptive agent. 
to induce emergence of a higher level entity, but it will still be an aggregate of discrete building blocks

Tainter highlights Elman Service's argument: acquired characteristics of
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergent
States are instances of a high level emergent animal autonomous entity capable of entering an additional niche: amplifying resource capture and effective utilization; through improved collaboration, innovation and productivity. 

Emerging from cultural superOrganisms, states can evolve based on slow gene culture coevolution.  But so far, they have gathered limited schematic strategies for effective development, operation, reproduction and evolving.  Instead they are beginning to use memetic schemas to improve the rate of evolution.  With few instances and little time in existance, states current strategies are suboptimal in part because of poor memetic operators. 
 
states
obscure the ones that enabled emergence; reasoning that is also noted by Kaufmann in his discussion of how RNA (RNA), a polymer composed of a chain of ribose sugars.  It does not naturally form into a paired double helix and so is far less stable than DNA.  Chains of DNA are converted by transcription into equivalently sequenced messenger m-RNA.  RNA also provides the associations that encode the genetic code.  Transfer t-RNAs have a site that maps to the codon and match the associated amino-acid.  Stuart Kauffman argues that RNA polymers may be the precursor to our current DNA based genome and protein based enzymes.  In the adaptive web framework's (AWF) Smiley we use a similar paradigm with no proteins.   enables emergence of the
This page reviews the implications of reproduction initially generating a single initialized child cell.  For multi-cellular organisms this 'cell' must contain all the germ-line schematic structures including for organelles and multi-generational epi-genetic state.  Any microbiome is subsequently integrated during the innovative deployment of this creative event.  Organisms with skeletal infrastructure cannot complete the process of creation of an associated adult mind, until the proximate environment has been sampled during development.  The mechanism and resulting strategic options are discussed. 
organism


Sapolsky
The complexity of behavior is explored through Sapolsky developing scenarios of our best and worst behaviors across time spans, and scientific subjects including: anthropology, psychology, neuroscience, sociology.  The rich network of adaptive flows he outlines provides insights and highlight challenges for scientific research on behavior. 

Complex adaptive system (CAS) theory builds on Sapolsky's details highlighting the strategies that evolution has captured to successfully enter niches we now occupy. 

sees
culture is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Damasio notes prokaryotes and social insects have developed cultural social behaviors.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  Damasio suggests culture is influenced by feelings: 
    • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
    • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
    • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
driving the behaviors responsible for conflict asserts that the state emerged out of the needs and desires of individuals and subgroups of a society according to Tainter.  The state is based on divided interests, on domination and exploitation, on power struggles.  Economic stratification induced intra-societal conflicts that are constrained by state coercion.  Marxists adopt this position.  Tainter asserts that in 'Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State,' Engels argued the differential acquisition of wealth led to hereditary nobility, monarchy, slavery, and wars for pillage.  For Marxists, the state was developed to sustain these sources of wealth, with production surpluses being appropriated by the non-producers. 
and functional propose complexity, stratification, and the state arose, not out of the ambitions of individuals or subgroups but out of the needs of society explains Tainter.  The theory assumes complexity serves population-wide needs.  Integration is socially useful and differential rewards acrued by adminisatrators are costs that are accepted to ensure the benefits of centralization. 
responses to the surpluses generated by farming emerged several times and various places, probably first around 11,000 years ago.  It depends on and supports evolved amplifiers which introduce instability and problems with sustainability of the populations that depended on it, unlike the earlier hunting and gathering.  Today the uncertainty can be hedged, although third world farmers' businesses are undermined by first world agricultural policy.  J.R. McNeill explains the sustainability issue: "all farming is a struggle against the depletion of soil nutrients.  Crops absorb nutrients; these are eaten by people or animals; then they spend shorter or longer periods of time in human or animal bodies, before returning to the soil.  If these nutrients, in one manner or another, return to farmers' fields, then a nutrient cycle can last indefinitely.  If they do not, then those fields gradually lose nutrient and over time produce less and less food - unless some intervention such as fertilizer counteracts the nutrient loss."  However, McNeill notes three notable exceptions: Egypt until the Aswan High Dam, Southern China, Medieval Europe; "each ecologically successful over long periods of time."  Their success resulted from trial and error and favorable circumstances. 
and herding. 

Tainter sees competition between complex societies expanding the victor.  But the situation can induce
This page introduces a series of asymmetries which encourage different strategic approaches.   
The differences found in business, sexual selection, gamete structure, as well as in chess encourage escalations in the interactions. 
And yet the systems including these asymmetries can be quite stable. 
asymmetries
that encourage an arms race, in a war where both sides use the strategy of development and use of advanced weapon systems to gain an advantage, each advance induces the other side to respond with its own asymmetric advances.  Neither side will necessarily gain the upper hand in which case the weapon systems themselves advance rapidly with little direct benefit for the combatants.   if innovation is the economic realization of invention and combinatorial exaptation.  Keynes noted it provided the unquantifiable beneficial possibility that limits fear of uncertainty.  Innovation operates across all CAS, being supported by genetic and cultural means.  Creativity provides the mutation and recombination genetic operators for the cultural process.  While highly innovative, monopolies: AT&T, IBM; usually have limited economic reach, constraining productivity.  This explains the use of regulation, or even its threat, that can check their power and drive the creations across the economy. 
is enabled.  This is the case in the race for resources and arms that occurred in western Europe, but the Ottoman empire responded to suppression of its previously successful expansion strategy by looking for revenue internally where its attempted optimizations resulted in increased costs. 

Turchin
Peter Turchin describes how major pre-industrial empires developed due to effects of geographic boundaries constraining the empires and their neighbors' interactions.  Turchin shows how the asymmetries of breeding rates and resource growth rates results in dynamic cycles within cycles.  After the summary of Turchin's book complex adaptive system (CAS) theory is used to augment Turchins findings. 
outlines
the cliodynamic explanation for the
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergence
and collapse of the Carolingian empire due to: metaethnic boundaries, variation in elite solidarity, inconsistencies in rate of growth of resource and population base.  And farming emerged several times and various places, probably first around 11,000 years ago.  It depends on and supports evolved amplifiers which introduce instability and problems with sustainability of the populations that depended on it, unlike the earlier hunting and gathering.  Today the uncertainty can be hedged, although third world farmers' businesses are undermined by first world agricultural policy.  J.R. McNeill explains the sustainability issue: "all farming is a struggle against the depletion of soil nutrients.  Crops absorb nutrients; these are eaten by people or animals; then they spend shorter or longer periods of time in human or animal bodies, before returning to the soil.  If these nutrients, in one manner or another, return to farmers' fields, then a nutrient cycle can last indefinitely.  If they do not, then those fields gradually lose nutrient and over time produce less and less food - unless some intervention such as fertilizer counteracts the nutrient loss."  However, McNeill notes three notable exceptions: Egypt until the Aswan High Dam, Southern China, Medieval Europe; "each ecologically successful over long periods of time."  Their success resulted from trial and error and favorable circumstances. 
is typically unsustainable without fertilization.  Modern economically is a human cultural superOrganism complex adaptive system (CAS) which operates and controls trade flows within a rich niche.  Economics models economies.  Robert Gordon has described the evolution of the American economy.  Like other CAS, economic flows are maintained far from equilibrium by: demand, financial flows and constraints, supply infrastructure constraints, political and military constraints; ensuring wealth, legislative control, legal contracts and power have significant leverage through evolved amplifiers. 
This page discusses the effect of the network on the agents participating in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  Small world and scale free networks are considered. 
networked
States are instances of a high level emergent animal autonomous entity capable of entering an additional niche: amplifying resource capture and effective utilization; through improved collaboration, innovation and productivity. 

Emerging from cultural superOrganisms, states can evolve based on slow gene culture coevolution.  But so far, they have gathered limited schematic strategies for effective development, operation, reproduction and evolving.  Instead they are beginning to use memetic schemas to improve the rate of evolution.  With few instances and little time in existance, states current strategies are suboptimal in part because of poor memetic operators. 
 
states
also develop
This page reviews the inhibiting effect of the value delivery system on the expression of new phenotypic effects within an agent. 
extended phenotypic alignment
,
Terrence Deacon explores how constraints on dynamic flows can induce emergent phenomena which can do real work.  He shows how these phenomena are sustained.  The mechanism enables the development of Darwinian competition. 
constraining
the political elites strategic options until conditions move beyond a
This page uses the example of HP's printer organization freeing itself from its organizational constraints to sell a printer targeted at the IBM pc user. 
The constraints are described. 
The techniques to overcome them are implied. 
tipping point

Disintermediation is the shift of operations from one network provider to another lower cost connected network provider.  The first network provider leverages the cost benefits of the shift to increase its profitability but becomes disrupted.  The lower cost network provider gains revenue flows, expertise and increases its active agents.  Over time this disruptive shift will leave the higher cost network as a highly profitable shell, but the agents that performed the operations that migrated to the low cost network will be ejected from the network.  For a company that may imply the costs of layoffs.  For a state the ejected workers imply increased cost impacts and reduced revenue potential which the state are trading off for improved operating efficiency. 
of aligned organizations may also occur as profit seeking by the leadership now aims to develop plans and strategies which ensure effective coordination to improve the common good of the in-group.  Pinker notes the evolved pressure of social rivalry associating power with leadership.  Different evolved personality types reinforced during development provided hunter-gatherer bands with alternate adult capabilities for coping with the various challenges of the African savanna.  As the situation changed different personalities would prove most helpful in leading the band.  Big men, chiefs and leaders of early states leveraged their power over the flow of resources to capture and redistribute wealth to their supporters.  As the environmental state changed and began threatening the polity's fitness, one leader would be abandoned, replaced by another who the group hoped might improve the situation for all.  Sapolsky observes the disconnect that occurs between power hierarchies and wisdom in apes.  In modern Anglo-American style corporations, which typically follow Malthus, and are disconnected from the cultural superOrganism nest site, the goal of leadership has become detached from the needs of this broader polity, instead: seeking market and revenue growth, hiring and firing workers, and leveraging power to reduce these commitments further.  Dorner notes that corporate executives show an appreciation of how to control a CAS.  Robert Iger with personality types: Reformer, Achiever, Investigator; describes his time as Disney CEO, where he experienced a highly aligned environment, working to nurture the good and manage the bad.  He notes something is always coming up.  Leadership requires the ability to adapt to challenges while compartmentalizing.  John Boyd: Achiever, Investigator, Challenger; could not align with the military hierarchy but developed an innovative systematic perspective which his supporters championed and politicians leveraged.  John Adair developed a modern leadership methodology based on the three-circles model. 
encourages them to push operational capabilities
This page reviews Christensen's disruption of a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism is discussed with examples from biology and business. 
disruptively
away from the
This page discusses the benefits of bringing agents and resources to the dynamically best connected region of a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
centralized
node of the
This page discusses the effect of the network on the agents participating in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  Small world and scale free networks are considered. 
network
.  This disruption acts as a constraint limiting the elite's response to production issues.  Disruptively pushing tax collection to the periphery, without a robust mechanism to redistribute revenue is a problem today in the EU is European Union, the 1992 Maastricht Council of Ministers meeting agreed evolution of the ECSC & CAP cartels to include:
  • A single market across the members' countries supporting the transformation of the ECSC.  It maintained the CAP transfers assisting French farmers. 
  • A fixed currency 'snake' that allowed the ECSC to operate, binding the deutschmark to the other currencies of participating members: a mini Bretton Woods exchange rate mechanism; that became a single currency, the euro, managed by an independent ECB (based on the independent German Bundesbank); but tax gathering was allocated to the states whose leaders control the Council of Ministers and no effective mechanism was provided to reallocate revenues.  This has left Germany with an advantage supported by the aggregate valuation of the euro and not having to flow tax revenues to the weaker economies of the south. 
.  It was likely an attractive strategy for Rome's senators as they migrated to country estates, and would have been a way for the struggling emperors to offset having to debase the currency to maintain capital is the sum total nonhuman assets that can be owned and exchanged on some market according to Piketty.  Capital includes: real property, financial capital and professional capital.  It is not immutable instead depending on the state of the society within which it exists.  It can be owned by governments (public capital) and private individuals (private capital).  

Pinker
Computational theory of the mind and evolutionary psychology provide Steven Pinker with a framework on which to develop his psychological arguments about the mind and its relationship to the brain.  Humans captured a cognitive niche by natural selection 'building out' specialized aspects of their bodies and brains resulting in a system of mental organs we call the mind. 

He garnishes and defends the framework with findings from psychology regarding: The visual system - an example of natural selections solutions to the sensory challenges of inverse modeling of our environment; Intensions - where he highlights the challenges of hunter-gatherers - making sense of the objects they perceive and predicting what they imply and natural selections powerful solutions; Emotions - which Pinker argues are essential to human prioritizing and decision making; Relationships - natural selection's strategies for coping with the most dangerous competitors, other people.  He helps us understand marriage, friendships and war. 

These conclusions allow him to understand the development and maintenance of higher callings: Art, Music, Literature, Humor, Religion, & Philosophy; and develop a position on the meaning of life. 

Complex adaptive system (CAS) modeling allows RSS to frame Pinker's arguments within humanity's current situation, induced by powerful evolved amplifiers: Globalization, Cliodynamics, The green revolution and resource bottlenecks; melding his powerful predictions of the drivers of human behavior with system wide constraints.  The implications are discussed. 

outlines
the way the hunter-gatherer is a lifestyle organized around a band of relatives, evolved in humans focused on capturing the cognitive niche in the African savanna.  It is of great significance in shaping our minds: behaviors, emotions, creativity, intelligence; and developing survival strategies including use of fire and language, according to evolutionary psychologists.  It was practiced by all humans, for most of Homo sapiens existence, until the emergence of farming, and still is by some isolated bands: Ju/'hoansi, New Guinea: Gebusi, Mae Enga; & Borneo head hunters, Maasai & Zulu warriors from Africa, Amazonians: Waorani, Jivaro; Brazilian and Venezuelan Yanomamo.  Since the band moves on when it has depleted the resources in an area of land, the soil remains vibrant, but the large animals were typically placed in a position of stress from which they did not recover. 
lifestyle allowed
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolution
to shape our: decisions, emotions, approach to relationships; minds according to evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations that developed during human's long hunter-gatherer past, living on the African savanna.  Its implications are described in The Adapted Mind.  Subsequent studies of the effects of selection on the human genome show significant changes due to our more recent history as well. 


Barkow, Cosmides & Tooby demonstrate the impact of
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolution
on hunter-gatherers is a lifestyle organized around a band of relatives, evolved in humans focused on capturing the cognitive niche in the African savanna.  It is of great significance in shaping our minds: behaviors, emotions, creativity, intelligence; and developing survival strategies including use of fire and language, according to evolutionary psychologists.  It was practiced by all humans, for most of Homo sapiens existence, until the emergence of farming, and still is by some isolated bands: Ju/'hoansi, New Guinea: Gebusi, Mae Enga; & Borneo head hunters, Maasai & Zulu warriors from Africa, Amazonians: Waorani, Jivaro; Brazilian and Venezuelan Yanomamo.  Since the band moves on when it has depleted the resources in an area of land, the soil remains vibrant, but the large animals were typically placed in a position of stress from which they did not recover. 
reflected in evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations that developed during human's long hunter-gatherer past, living on the African savanna.  Its implications are described in The Adapted Mind.  Subsequent studies of the effects of selection on the human genome show significant changes due to our more recent history as well. 


E.O. Wilson & Holldobler
E. O. Wilson & Bert Holldobler illustrate how bundled cooperative strategies can take hold.  Various social insects have developed strategies which have allowed them to capture the most valuable available niches.  Like humans they invest in specialization and cooperate to subdue larger, well equipped competitors. 
present
the logic of superOrganisms is a wealthy autonomous entity needing and controlling the richest niches in the proximate environment, that emerges from the bundled cooperation of schematically aligned agents.   The term is based on the social insect model, used by: ants, termites, and bees; and identified by Holldobler & E.O. Wilson.  These genetically identical insect superorganisms cooperatively limit their reproduction to align with the resources available in the niche.  Wilson asserts these insects all developed nests to which they returned to raise their offspring, and when the nest sites were of limited capacity some family members responded by focusing on defending the nest and foraging while their mother became an egg laying queen, enabled by "a single genetic change which silenced the brain's program for dispersal and prevents the mother and her offspring from dispersing to create new nests," Wilson explains.  He adds climate control of the nest and disease resistance, just like the human immune system, demand individually focused diversity.  So the queen's genome consists of low variety alleles for the extended phenotypic 'robot' worker caste agents and their organization - queen and workers competing as one, with other colonies and individual insects - and other parts which are high where the genome includes significant diversity.  For humans it is an evolved cultural strategy used when the environment is supportive, but it is dependent on our imperfect cognitive assessment of kinship as well as group selection driven emotions: other-condemning, other-praising, other-suffering and self-conscious; and group oriented pressures to conform and remain: religions.  And the adjacent possible must be recreated and modeled culturally through the emergence of processes such as democracy.  It depends on inter-agent signalling.  In both insects and humans it allows specialization, and encourages operations and flows that are tightly controlled, limiting waste, leveraging parallel activity, supporting coherence.  Superorganisms reflect cliodynamic flows.  A superorganism has a development and operational phase.  As additional agents are coopted into the superorganism they align, participate in supply and demand activities and so contribute to the evolutionary amplification.  Damasio notes that prokaryotes, in rich environments, can similarly operate in a symbiotic fashion expressing cultural behaviors. 
, including the cultural is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Damasio notes prokaryotes and social insects have developed cultural social behaviors.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  Damasio suggests culture is influenced by feelings: 
    • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
    • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
    • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
The specialized environment and evolution of humans on the African savanna supports the development of a new type of superOrganism.  The emergence of culture allowed human superOrganism families to accelerate the evolutionary process and apply it to memes.  This cultural superOrganism can evolve significant capabilities and attributes that can be reflected in each emergent phenotype: hunter-gatherer band, tool chain, business, state. 

superOrganism
that humanity can participate in.  Damasio
Antonio Damasio argues that ancient & fundamental homeostatic processes, built into behaviors and updated by evolution have resulted in the emergence of  nervous systems and feelings.  These feelings, representing the state of the viscera, and represented with general systems supporting enteric operation, are later ubiquitously integrated into the 'images' built by the minds of higher animals including humans. 

Damasio highlights the separate development of the body frame in the building of minds. 

Damasio explains that this integration of feelings by minds supports the development of subjectivity and consciousness.  His chain of emergence suggests the 'order of things.'  He stresses the end-to-end integration of the organism which undermines dualism.  And he reviews Chalmers hard problem of consciousness. 

Damasio reviews the emergence of cultures and sees feelings, integrated with reason, as the judges of the cultural creative process, linking culture to homeostasis.  He sees cultures as supporting the development of tools to improve our lives.  But the results of the creative process have added stresses to our lives. 

Following our summary of his arguments RSS frames his arguments from the perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory.  Each of the [super]organisms discussed is a CAS reflecting the theory of such systems:
  • Damasio's proposals about homeostasis routed signalling, aligns well with CAS theory. 
  • Damasio's ideas on cultural stresses are elaborated by CAS examples. 

notes
that prokaryotes, a single cell system with two main types: (1) Archaea, and (2) Eubacteria.  Prokaryotes have their own DNA and infrastructure within a single enclosure.  They are biochemically very versatile: Photosynthesis -> Electron transport & phosphorylation, Enzymatic regulation and catalysis of chemical reactions, Catabolize -> phosphate bond energy, ATP cycle, glycolysis, TCA cycle, Electron transports, oxidative phosphorylation, oxidation of fatty acids, oxidative degradation of amino acids; Biosynthesis & utilization of phosphate bond energy -> carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, nucleotides, muscle & motile structures; membrane barriers & active transports, hormones; Replication, Transcription, Translation, Regulation of gene expression; self-assembly; They utilize cell membrane receptors and signalling to support symbiotic cooperation with other cellular entities, including: in the microbiome, and as chloroplasts and mitochondria within eukaryotic cells. 
form superOrganism complexes.  In each case these entities are, according to Abbott, a class including people, families, corporations, hurricanes.  They implement abstract designs and are demarcatable by their reduced entropy relative to their components.  Rovelli notes entities are a collection of relations and events, but memory and our continuous process of anticipation, organizes the series of quantized interactions we perceive into an illusion of permanent objects flowing from past to future.  Abbott identifies two types of entity:
  1. At equilibrium entities,
  2. Autonomous entities, which can control how they are affected by outside forces;
require a rich niche.  Otherwise the
This page reviews the implications of reproduction initially generating a single initialized child cell.  For multi-cellular organisms this 'cell' must contain all the germ-line schematic structures including for organelles and multi-generational epi-genetic state.  Any microbiome is subsequently integrated during the innovative deployment of this creative event.  Organisms with skeletal infrastructure cannot complete the process of creation of an associated adult mind, until the proximate environment has been sampled during development.  The mechanism and resulting strategic options are discussed. 
organism
provides a more competitive strategy.  The superOrganism strategy allows the development of differential forms: warriors with weapons and armor, nimble workers, reproductive queens and males; which can be deployed
To benefit from shifts in the environment agents must be flexible.  Being sensitive to environmental signals agents who adjust strategic priorities can constrain their competitors. 
flexibly
depending on the situation.  

Deacon
Terrence Deacon explores how constraints on dynamic flows can induce emergent phenomena which can do real work.  He shows how these phenomena are sustained.  The mechanism enables the development of Darwinian competition. 
explores
the
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergence
of complexity, M. Mitchell Waldrop describes a vision of complexity via:
  • Rich interactions that allow a system to undergo spontaneous self-organization and, for CAS, evolution
  • Systems that are adaptive
  • More predictability than chaotic systems by bringing order and chaos into
  • Balance at the edge of chaos
under constraints.  He highlights the hole that objective science leaves in the study of emergent phenomena and develops an alternative method

Deacon replaces the Newtonian idea of 'stability' with teleodynamics which RSS is Rob's Strategy Studio argue supports the operation of a cultural is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Damasio notes prokaryotes and social insects have developed cultural social behaviors.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  Damasio suggests culture is influenced by feelings: 
    • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
    • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
    • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
The specialized environment and evolution of humans on the African savanna supports the development of a new type of superOrganism.  The emergence of culture allowed human superOrganism families to accelerate the evolutionary process and apply it to memes.  This cultural superOrganism can evolve significant capabilities and attributes that can be reflected in each emergent phenotype: hunter-gatherer band, tool chain, business, state. 

superOrganism
in Mesopotamia, including many contributing morphodynamic and teleodynamic processes which continuously replace thermodynamically degrading components and counter environmental resource depletion. 

Tainter notes how humanity has had to cope effectively with periodic catastrophe
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
Evolution
Richard Dawkin's explores how nature has created implementations of designs, without any need for planning or design, through the accumulation of small advantageous changes. 
provides
iterative mechanisms to gather effective
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
schematic
strategies and the result is:
Efficiency and effectiveness limitations of complex organizational structures that are evident today include:
Service suggests
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolution
operates in stages.  Dawkins
Richard Dawkin's explores how nature has created implementations of designs, without any need for planning or design, through the accumulation of small advantageous changes. 
explains
why this idea of stages is mistaken

Tainter reviews cooperation and competition between complex societies as a cause of collapse.  The US civil war demonstrates how the integration of the Northern and Southern economies encouraged both the war and regeneration of economic alignment afterwards.  Even though the Southern aristocracy was certain that integration would drive wealth is schematically useful information and its equivalent, schematically useful energy, to paraphrase Beinhocker.  It is useful because an agent has schematic strategies that can utilize the information or energy to extend or leverage control of the cognitive niche.    to the North, as it did, they could not break the forces of alignment. 

Beckert
Sven Beckert describes the historic transformation of the growing, spinning, weaving, manufacture of cotton goods and their trade over time.  He describes the rise of a first global commodity, its dependence on increasing: military power, returns for the control points in the value delivery system(VDS), availability of land and labor to work it including slaves. 

He explains how cotton offered the opportunity for industrialization further amplifying the productive capacity of the VDS and the power of the control points.  This VDS was quickly copied.  The increased capacity of the industrialized cotton complex adaptive system (CAS) required more labor to operate the machines.  Beckert describes the innovative introduction of wages and the ways found to mobilize industrial labor. 

Beckert describes the characteristics of the industrial cotton CAS which made it flexible enough to become globally interconnected.  Slavery made the production system so cost effective that all prior structures collapsed as they interconnected.  So when the US civil war blocked access to the major production nodes in the American Deep South the CAS began adapting. 

Beckert describes the global reconstruction that occurred and the resulting destruction of the traditional ways of life in the global countryside.  This colonial expansion further enriched and empowered the 'western' nation states.  Beckert explains how other countries responded by copying the colonial strategies and creating the opportunities for future armed conflict among the original colonialists and the new upstarts. 

Completing the adaptive shifts, Beckert describes the advocates for industrialization in the colonized global south and how over time they joined the global cotton CAS disrupting the early western manufacturing nodes and creating the current global CAS dominated by merchants like Wal-Mart pulling goods through a network of clothing manufacturers, spinning and weaving factories, and growers competing with each other on cost. 

Following our summary of Beckert's book, RSS comments from the perspective of CAS theory.  The transformation of disconnected peasant farmers, pastoral warriors and their lands into a supply chain for a highly profitable industrial CAS required the development over time: of military force, global transportation and communication networks, perception and representation control networks, capital stores and flows, models, rules, standards and markets; along with the support at key points of: barriers, disruption, and infrastructure and evolved amplifiers.  The emergent system demonstrates the powerful constraining influence of extended phenotypic alignment. 

describes
the development of the global cotton trade centered on Liverpool. 

Tainter argues that: increased complexity increases costs, and the cost of complexity increases overtime while the benefits decline.  RSS is Rob's Strategy Studio views complex societies as instances of
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory provides an organizing framework that is used by 'life.'  It can illuminate and clarify complex situations and be applied flexibly.  It can be used to evaluate and rank models that claim to describe our perceived reality.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents.  It highlights the constraints that shape CAS and so predicts their form.  A proposal that does not conform is wrong. 

John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS
.  Each CAS and the entities are, according to Abbott, a class including people, families, corporations, hurricanes.  They implement abstract designs and are demarcatable by their reduced entropy relative to their components.  Rovelli notes entities are a collection of relations and events, but memory and our continuous process of anticipation, organizes the series of quantized interactions we perceive into an illusion of permanent objects flowing from past to future.  Abbott identifies two types of entity:
  1. At equilibrium entities,
  2. Autonomous entities, which can control how they are affected by outside forces;
from which the system is aggregated is when a number of actions become coordinated and operate together.  In the adaptive web framework's Smiley, codelets become coordinated by their relative position in the deployment cascade.  The cascade's dynamics are dependent on the situation, the operating codelets responses to that situation and the grouping of schematic strings they are associated with.  The aggregate effect is a phenotype the adaptive agent. 
has its entropy generating
Flows of different kinds are essential to the operation of complex adaptive systems (CAS). 
Example flows are outlined.  Constraints on flows support the emergence of the systems.  Examples of constraints are discussed. 
flows
carefully
Terrence Deacon explores how constraints on dynamic flows can induce emergent phenomena which can do real work.  He shows how these phenomena are sustained.  The mechanism enables the development of Darwinian competition. 
constrained
, and Tainter's examples deploy a superstructure to perform this function.  But in other ways they are very limited in their CAS capabilities:

Tainter's asserted hill like curve of input versus benefit produced with increasing complexity does not correspond to the operation of any identifiable
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory provides an organizing framework that is used by 'life.'  It can illuminate and clarify complex situations and be applied flexibly.  It can be used to evaluate and rank models that claim to describe our perceived reality.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents.  It highlights the constraints that shape CAS and so predicts their form.  A proposal that does not conform is wrong. 

John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS
entity are, according to Abbott, a class including people, families, corporations, hurricanes.  They implement abstract designs and are demarcatable by their reduced entropy relative to their components.  Rovelli notes entities are a collection of relations and events, but memory and our continuous process of anticipation, organizes the series of quantized interactions we perceive into an illusion of permanent objects flowing from past to future.  Abbott identifies two types of entity:
  1. At equilibrium entities,
  2. Autonomous entities, which can control how they are affected by outside forces;
: autogen, prokaryote, a single cell system with two main types: (1) Archaea, and (2) Eubacteria.  Prokaryotes have their own DNA and infrastructure within a single enclosure.  They are biochemically very versatile: Photosynthesis -> Electron transport & phosphorylation, Enzymatic regulation and catalysis of chemical reactions, Catabolize -> phosphate bond energy, ATP cycle, glycolysis, TCA cycle, Electron transports, oxidative phosphorylation, oxidation of fatty acids, oxidative degradation of amino acids; Biosynthesis & utilization of phosphate bond energy -> carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, nucleotides, muscle & motile structures; membrane barriers & active transports, hormones; Replication, Transcription, Translation, Regulation of gene expression; self-assembly; They utilize cell membrane receptors and signalling to support symbiotic cooperation with other cellular entities, including: in the microbiome, and as chloroplasts and mitochondria within eukaryotic cells. 
, eukaryote is a relatively large multi-component cell type.  It initially emerged from prokaryotic archaea subsuming eubacteria, from which single and multi-celled plants, multi celled fungi, including single-cell variant yeast, drips, protozoa and metazoa, including humans, are constructed.  A eukaryotic cell contains modules including a nucleus and production functions such as chloroplasts and mitochondria. 
, organ,
Antonio Damasio argues that ancient & fundamental homeostatic processes, built into behaviors and updated by evolution have resulted in the emergence of  nervous systems and feelings.  These feelings, representing the state of the viscera, and represented with general systems supporting enteric operation, are later ubiquitously integrated into the 'images' built by the minds of higher animals including humans. 

Damasio highlights the separate development of the body frame in the building of minds. 

Damasio explains that this integration of feelings by minds supports the development of subjectivity and consciousness.  His chain of emergence suggests the 'order of things.'  He stresses the end-to-end integration of the organism which undermines dualism.  And he reviews Chalmers hard problem of consciousness. 

Damasio reviews the emergence of cultures and sees feelings, integrated with reason, as the judges of the cultural creative process, linking culture to homeostasis.  He sees cultures as supporting the development of tools to improve our lives.  But the results of the creative process have added stresses to our lives. 

Following our summary of his arguments RSS frames his arguments from the perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory.  Each of the [super]organisms discussed is a CAS reflecting the theory of such systems:
  • Damasio's proposals about homeostasis routed signalling, aligns well with CAS theory. 
  • Damasio's ideas on cultural stresses are elaborated by CAS examples. 

framed body with subjectivity
, operational ship with its maintenance base network, negative return
Glenn Steele & David Feinberg review the development of the modern Geisinger healthcare business after its near collapse following the abandoned merger with Penn State AMC.  After an overview of the business, they describe how a calamity unfolding around them supported building a vision of a better US health care network.  And they explain:
  • How they planned out the transformation,
  • Leveraging an effective governance structure,
  • Using a strategy to gain buy in,
  • Enabling reengineering at the clinician patient interface. 
  • Implementing the reengineering for acute, chronic & hot spot care; to help the patients and help the physicians.  
  • Geisinger's leverage of biologics.  
  • Reengineering healing with ProvenExperience.  
  • Where Geisinger is headed next. 

Following our summary of their arguments RSS comments on them.  We frame their ideas with complex adaptive system (CAS) theory. 

business
, positive return, W. Brian Arthur's conception of how high tech products have positive economic feedback as they deploy.  Classical products such as foods have negative returns to scale since they take increasing amounts of land, and distribution infrastructure to support getting them to market.  High tech products typically become easier to produce or gain from platform and network effects of being connected together overcoming the negative effects of scale. 
A government sanctioned monopoly supported the construction of a superOrganism American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T).  Within this Bell Labs was at the center of three networks:
  1. The evolving global scientific network. 
  2. The Bell telephone network.  And
  3. The military industrial network deploying 'fire and missile control' systems. 
Bell Labs strategically leveraged each network to create an innovation engine. 
They monitored the opportunities to leverage the developing ideas, reorganizing to replace incumbent opposition and enable the creation and growth of new ideas. 
Once the monopoly was dismantled, AT&T disrupted. 
Complex adaptive system (CAS) models of the innovation mechanisms are discussed. 

business
, economy is a human cultural superOrganism complex adaptive system (CAS) which operates and controls trade flows within a rich niche.  Economics models economies.  Robert Gordon has described the evolution of the American economy.  Like other CAS, economic flows are maintained far from equilibrium by: demand, financial flows and constraints, supply infrastructure constraints, political and military constraints; ensuring wealth, legislative control, legal contracts and power have significant leverage through evolved amplifiers. 
,
The structure and problems of the US health care network is described in terms of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory. 

The network:
  • Is deeply embedded in the US nation state. It reflects the conflict between two opposing visions for the US: high tax with safety net or low tax without.  The emergence of a parasitic elite supported by tax policy, further constrains the choices available to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the network.  
    • The US is optimized to sell its citizens dangerous levels of: salt, sugar, cigarettes, guns, light, cell phones, opioids, costly education, global travel, antibacterials, formula, foods including endocrine disrupters;
    • Accepting the US controlled global supply chain's offered goods & services results in: debt, chronic stress, amplified consumption and toxic excess, leading to obesity, addiction, driving instead of walking, microbiome collapse;
    • Globalization connects disparate environments in a network.  At the edges, humans are drastically altering the biosphere.  That is reducing the proximate natural environment's connectedness, and leaving its end-nodes disconnected and far less diverse.  This disconnects predators from their prey, often resulting in local booms and busts that transform the local parasite network and their reservoir and amplifier hosts.  The situation is setup so that man is introduced to spillover from the local parasites' hosts.  Occasionally, but increasingly, the spillover results in humanity becoming broadly infected.  The evolved specialization of the immune system to the proximate environment during development becomes undermined as the environment transforms. 
  • Is incented to focus on localized competition generating massive & costly duplication of services within physician based health care operations instead of proven public health strategies.  This process drives increasing research & treatment complexity and promotes hope for each new technological breakthrough. 
  • Is amplified by the legislatively structured separation and indirection of service development, provision, reimbursement and payment. 
  • Is impacted by the different political strategies for managing the increasing cost of health care for the demographic bulge of retirees.  
  • Is presented with acute and chronic problems to respond to.  As currently setup the network is tuned to handle acute problems.  The interactions with patients tend to be transactional. 
  • Includes a legislated health insurance infrastructure which is:
    • Costly and inefficient
    • Structured around yearly contracts which undermine long-term health goals and strategies.  
  • Is supported by increasingly regulated HCIT which offers to improve data sharing and quality but has entrenched commercial EHR products deep within the hospital systems.  
  • Is maintained, and kept in alignment, by massive network effects across the:
    • Hospital platform based sub-networks connecting to
    • Physician networks
    • Health insurance networks - amplified by ACA narrow network legislation
    • Hospital clinical supply and food production networks
    • Medical school and academic research network and NIH
    • Global transportation network 
    • Public health networks 
    • Health care IT supply network
health care network
,
States are instances of a high level emergent animal autonomous entity capable of entering an additional niche: amplifying resource capture and effective utilization; through improved collaboration, innovation and productivity. 

Emerging from cultural superOrganisms, states can evolve based on slow gene culture coevolution.  But so far, they have gathered limited schematic strategies for effective development, operation, reproduction and evolving.  Instead they are beginning to use memetic schemas to improve the rate of evolution.  With few instances and little time in existance, states current strategies are suboptimal in part because of poor memetic operators. 
 
state
with written constitution and laws and
Plans change in complex adaptive systems (CAS) due to the action of genetic operations such as mutation, splitting and recombination.  The nature of the operations is described. 
genetic operations
performed on them; because the network of
Flows of different kinds are essential to the operation of complex adaptive systems (CAS). 
Example flows are outlined.  Constraints on flows support the emergence of the systems.  Examples of constraints are discussed. 
flows
between such
Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
agents
is catalytically, an infrastructure amplifier. 
accelerated and must be carefully
Terrence Deacon explores how constraints on dynamic flows can induce emergent phenomena which can do real work.  He shows how these phenomena are sustained.  The mechanism enables the development of Darwinian competition. 
constrained
to maintain far from equilibrium energy distributions.  The operation of aggregate is when a number of actions become coordinated and operate together.  In the adaptive web framework's Smiley, codelets become coordinated by their relative position in the deployment cascade.  The cascade's dynamics are dependent on the situation, the operating codelets responses to that situation and the grouping of schematic strings they are associated with.  The aggregate effect is a phenotype the adaptive agent. 
entities are, according to Abbott, a class including people, families, corporations, hurricanes.  They implement abstract designs and are demarcatable by their reduced entropy relative to their components.  Rovelli notes entities are a collection of relations and events, but memory and our continuous process of anticipation, organizes the series of quantized interactions we perceive into an illusion of permanent objects flowing from past to future.  Abbott identifies two types of entity:
  1. At equilibrium entities,
  2. Autonomous entities, which can control how they are affected by outside forces;
will display the Mandelbrot fat tailed distribution is a probability distribution which occurs in real world economics, physics and earth science situations.  The tail is fat because more extreme events occur than a random distribution about a mean would predict.  There is clustering of events over time typical of a punctuated equilibrium.  The statistics describing the data changes over time.  The mathematics of this distribution is far harder to leverage in models than the thin-tailed normal distribution.  So the normal distribution is sometimes inappropriately applied in fat-tail situations. 


Tainter's classical economic is the study of trade between humans.  Traditional Economics is based on an equilibrium model of the economic system.  Traditional Economics includes: microeconomics, and macroeconomics.  Marx developed an alternative static approach.  Limitations of the equilibrium model have resulted in the development of: Keynes's dynamic General Theory of Employment Interest & Money, and Complexity Economics.  Since trading depends on human behavior, economics has developed behavioral models including: behavioral economics. 
framework for collapse suffers from being based on Jevons and Walras's assumptions of system equilibrium. 
Eric Beinhocker sets out to answer a question Adam Smith developed in the Wealth of Nations: what is wealth?  To do this he replaces traditional economic theory, which is based on the assumption that an economy is a system in equilibrium, with complexity economics in which the economy is modeled as a complex adaptive system (CAS). 

He introduces Sugerscape to illustrate an economic CAS model in action.  And then he explains the major features of a CAS economy: Dynamics, Agents, Networks, Emergence, and Evolution. 

Building on complexity economics Beinhocker reviews how evolution applies to the economy to build wealth.  He explains how design spaces map strategies to instances of physical and social technologies.  And he identifies the interactors and selection mechanism of economic evolution. 

This allows Beinhocker to develop a new definition of wealth. 

In the rest of the book Beinhocker looks at the consequences of adopting complexity economics for business and society: Strategy, Organization, Finance, & Politics & Policy. 

Following our summary of his arguments, RSS explores his conclusions and aligns Beinhocker's model of CAS with the CAS theory and evidence we leverage. 

Complexity economics
replaces the equilibrium assumptions with a
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory provides an organizing framework that is used by 'life.'  It can illuminate and clarify complex situations and be applied flexibly.  It can be used to evaluate and rank models that claim to describe our perceived reality.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents.  It highlights the constraints that shape CAS and so predicts their form.  A proposal that does not conform is wrong. 

John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS
network of far from equilibrium economic is the study of trade between humans.  Traditional Economics is based on an equilibrium model of the economic system.  Traditional Economics includes: microeconomics, and macroeconomics.  Marx developed an alternative static approach.  Limitations of the equilibrium model have resulted in the development of: Keynes's dynamic General Theory of Employment Interest & Money, and Complexity Economics.  Since trading depends on human behavior, economics has developed behavioral models including: behavioral economics. 
Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
agents
.  When the aggregate is when a number of actions become coordinated and operate together.  In the adaptive web framework's Smiley, codelets become coordinated by their relative position in the deployment cascade.  The cascade's dynamics are dependent on the situation, the operating codelets responses to that situation and the grouping of schematic strings they are associated with.  The aggregate effect is a phenotype the adaptive agent. 
entity are, according to Abbott, a class including people, families, corporations, hurricanes.  They implement abstract designs and are demarcatable by their reduced entropy relative to their components.  Rovelli notes entities are a collection of relations and events, but memory and our continuous process of anticipation, organizes the series of quantized interactions we perceive into an illusion of permanent objects flowing from past to future.  Abbott identifies two types of entity:
  1. At equilibrium entities,
  2. Autonomous entities, which can control how they are affected by outside forces;
Agents can manage uncertainty by limiting their commitments of resources until the environment contains signals strongly correlated with the required scenario.  This page explains how agents can use Shewhart cycles and SWOT processes to do this. 
over-commits, misjudging the preconditions
due to the
Dietrich Dorner argues complex adaptive systems (CAS) are hard to understand and manage.  He provides examples of how this feature of these systems can have disastrous consequences for their human managers.  Dorner suggests this is due to CAS properties psychological impact on our otherwise successful mental strategic toolkit.  To prepare to more effectively manage CAS, Dorner recommends use of:
  • Effective iterative planning and
  • Practice with complex scenario simulations; tools which he reviews.   
difficulties of forward
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Evolution's schematic operators and Samuel modeling together support the indirect recording of past successes and their strategic use by the current agent to learn how to succeed in the proximate environment. 
modeling
This page reviews the catalytic impact of infrastructure on the expression of phenotypic effects by an agent.  The infrastructure reduces the cost the agent must pay to perform the selected action.  The catalysis is enhanced by positive returns. 
infrastructure
and
This page reviews the strategy of setting up an arms race.  At its core this strategy depends on being able to alter, or take advantage of an alteration in, the genome or equivalent.  The situation is illustrated with examples from biology, high tech and politics. 
evolved amplifiers
of the
Flows of different kinds are essential to the operation of complex adaptive systems (CAS). 
Example flows are outlined.  Constraints on flows support the emergence of the systems.  Examples of constraints are discussed. 
flows
, they risk falling into a self-made trap

Tainter's equilibrium complexity leverages innovation is the economic realization of invention and combinatorial exaptation.  Keynes noted it provided the unquantifiable beneficial possibility that limits fear of uncertainty.  Innovation operates across all CAS, being supported by genetic and cultural means.  Creativity provides the mutation and recombination genetic operators for the cultural process.  While highly innovative, monopolies: AT&T, IBM; usually have limited economic reach, constraining productivity.  This explains the use of regulation, or even its threat, that can check their power and drive the creations across the economy. 
to generate growth and he removes the stability implicit in the equilibrium of traditional economics is the study of trade between humans.  Traditional Economics is based on an equilibrium model of the economic system.  Traditional Economics includes: microeconomics, and macroeconomics.  Marx developed an alternative static approach.  Limitations of the equilibrium model have resulted in the development of: Keynes's dynamic General Theory of Employment Interest & Money, and Complexity Economics.  Since trading depends on human behavior, economics has developed behavioral models including: behavioral economics. 
with expanding costs.  CAS entities are, according to Abbott, a class including people, families, corporations, hurricanes.  They implement abstract designs and are demarcatable by their reduced entropy relative to their components.  Rovelli notes entities are a collection of relations and events, but memory and our continuous process of anticipation, organizes the series of quantized interactions we perceive into an illusion of permanent objects flowing from past to future.  Abbott identifies two types of entity:
  1. At equilibrium entities,
  2. Autonomous entities, which can control how they are affected by outside forces;
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emerge
due to
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolution
adding creative options to the
This page looks at schematic structures and their uses.  It discusses a number of examples:
  • Schematic ideas are recombined in creativity. 
  • Similarly designers take ideas and rules about materials and components and combine them. 
  • Schematic Recipes help to standardize operations. 
  • Modular components are combined into strategies for use in business plans and business models. 

As a working example it presents part of the contents and schematic details from the Adaptive Web Framework (AWF)'s operational plan. 

Finally it includes a section presenting our formal representation of schematic goals. 
Each goal has a series of associated complex adaptive system (CAS) strategy strings. 
These goals plus strings are detailed for various chess and business examples. 
shared plan
Hunter-gatherer is a lifestyle organized around a band of relatives, evolved in humans focused on capturing the cognitive niche in the African savanna.  It is of great significance in shaping our minds: behaviors, emotions, creativity, intelligence; and developing survival strategies including use of fire and language, according to evolutionary psychologists.  It was practiced by all humans, for most of Homo sapiens existence, until the emergence of farming, and still is by some isolated bands: Ju/'hoansi, New Guinea: Gebusi, Mae Enga; & Borneo head hunters, Maasai & Zulu warriors from Africa, Amazonians: Waorani, Jivaro; Brazilian and Venezuelan Yanomamo.  Since the band moves on when it has depleted the resources in an area of land, the soil remains vibrant, but the large animals were typically placed in a position of stress from which they did not recover. 
bands already demonstrate the emergence of gene-culture coevolution.  With this extended
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
schematic
process to operate on, new formulations of band will be tested for their capacity to reach new niches.  As usual it's a process that starts out with limited capabilities in the new entity.  For example, in today's
States are instances of a high level emergent animal autonomous entity capable of entering an additional niche: amplifying resource capture and effective utilization; through improved collaboration, innovation and productivity. 

Emerging from cultural superOrganisms, states can evolve based on slow gene culture coevolution.  But so far, they have gathered limited schematic strategies for effective development, operation, reproduction and evolving.  Instead they are beginning to use memetic schemas to improve the rate of evolution.  With few instances and little time in existance, states current strategies are suboptimal in part because of poor memetic operators. 
 
nation states
the homeostatic is, according to Damasio, the fundamental set of operations at the core of life, from the earliest and long-vanished point of its beginning in early biochemistry to the present.  It is the powerful, unthought, unspoken imperative, whose discharge implies, for every living organism, small or large, nothing less than enduring and prevailing.  Damasio stresses that the operations that ensure prevailing ensure life is regulated within a range that is not just compatible with survival but also conducive to flourishing, to protection of life into the future of an organism or a species.  Prevailing implies mechanisms for monitoring and modeling the state of the organism, controlling and constraining the flows of energy and resources through schematic agency, and to facilitate exploring the environment and acting on signals of modeled opportunities and threats.  Global homeostasis of multi-organ animals requires endocrine, immune, circulatory and nervous 'systems' and results in the emergence of minds, feelings, consciousness, machinery of affect and complex movements.  The emergence of feelings allowed the homeostatic process to become enhanced by a subjective representation of the organism's state and proximate environment within the mind.  Feelings operating in minds allowed conscious decisions to extend homeostasis to the sociocultural domain. 
process appears to be lacking robustness: people can easily become disconnected from their democratic representatives

McNeill explains that in general farming is unsustainable.  Ancient Rome was supported by a special case, obtaining supplies from the Egyptian delta. 

Ridley
Matt Ridley demonstrates the creative effect of man on the World. He highlights:
  • A list of preconditions resulting in
  • Additional niche capture & more free time 
  • Building a network to interconnect memes processes & tools which
  • Enabling inter-generational transfers
  • Innovations that help reduce environmental stress even as they leverage fossil fuels

describes
the
This page reviews the strategy of setting up an arms race.  At its core this strategy depends on being able to alter, or take advantage of an alteration in, the genome or equivalent.  The situation is illustrated with examples from biology, high tech and politics. 
evolved amplifier
: leverage of fossil fuels; which allowed the UK is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.   to expand its population base and productive capacity without the negative returns to scale, in that
Carlo Rovelli resolves the paradox of time. 
Rovelli initially explains that low level physics does not include time:
  • A present that is common throughout the universe does not exist
  • Events are only partially ordered.  The present is localized
  • The difference between past and future is not foundational.  It occurs because of state that through our blurring appears particular to us
  • Time passes at different speeds dependent on where we are and how fast we travel
  • Time's rhythms are due to the gravitational field
  • Our quantized physics shows neither space nor time, just processes transforming physical variables. 
  • Fundamentally there is no time.  The basic equations evolve together with events, not things 
Then he explains how in a physical world without time its perception can emerge:
  • Our familiar time emerges
    • Our interaction with the world is partial, blurred, quantum indeterminate
    • The ignorance determines the existence of thermal time and entropy that quantifies our uncertainty
    • Directionality of time is real but perspectival.  The entropy of the world in relation to us increases with our thermal time.  The growth of entropy distinguishes past from future: resulting in traces and memories
    • Each human is a unified being because: we reflect the world, we formed an image of a unified entity by interacting with our kind, and because of the perspective of memory
    • The variable time: is one of the variables of the gravitational field.  With our scale we don't register quantum fluctuations, making space-time appear determined.  At our speed we don't perceive differences in time of different clocks, so we experience a single time: universal, uniform, ordered; which is helpful to our decisions

time
period, that had inhibited all prior technological expansions. 
Ridley
Matt Ridley demonstrates the creative effect of man on the World. He highlights:
  • A list of preconditions resulting in
  • Additional niche capture & more free time 
  • Building a network to interconnect memes processes & tools which
  • Enabling inter-generational transfers
  • Innovations that help reduce environmental stress even as they leverage fossil fuels

notes
the investment in education of the next generation supports
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
memetic maintenance, development
and
Plans change in complex adaptive systems (CAS) due to the action of genetic operations such as mutation, splitting and recombination.  The nature of the operations is described. 
genetic operations
.  If this process is undermined this
This page reviews the strategy of setting up an arms race.  At its core this strategy depends on being able to alter, or take advantage of an alteration in, the genome or equivalent.  The situation is illustrated with examples from biology, high tech and politics. 
evolved amplifier
is driven into reverse.  Dawkins
Richard Dawkin's explores how nature has created implementations of designs, without any need for planning or design, through the accumulation of small advantageous changes. 
highlights
with echo location that the gathering of strategies that allow entry to additional niches has been optimized by evolution to limit cost buildup
Dawkins's description of the properties of
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
genes
highlights the context associated nature of the strategies that have been captured by
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolution
.  Tainter decries this specialization, but when properly deployed to the
Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
agent
it ensures appropriate strategies are available for the proximate environment.  Of course human agents are genetically constructed and evolution has ensured each agent has access to niches at the adjacent possible, enabled by the various blends of
The influence of childhood on behavior is significant.  Enneagrams define personality types: Reformer, Helper, Achiever, Individualist, Investigator, Loyalist, Enthusiast, Challenger and Peacemaker; based on the impact of childhood driven wounds. 

The Enneagram becomes a tool to enable interested people to transform from the emotionally wounded base, hidden within the armor of the type, to the liberated underlying essence. 

Childhood leaves each of us with some environmentally specific Basic Fear.  In response each of us adopts an induced Basic Desire of the type.  But as we develop the inner observer, it will support presence and undermine the identification that supports the armor of the type. 

The Enneagram reveals three sets of relations about our type armor:
  1. Triadic self revealing: Instinctive, feeling, thinking; childhood needs that became significant wounds
  2. Social style groupings: Assertive, compliant, withdrawn; strategies for managing inner conflict
  3. Coping styles: Positive outlook, competency, reactive; strategies for defending childhood wounds
Riso and Hudson augment the Enneagram with instinctual distortions reflected in the interests of the variants. 

The Enneagram also offers tools for understanding a person's level of development: unhealthy, average, healthy, liberation; including their current center of gravity, steriotypical social role, wake-up call, leaden rule, red flag, and direction of integration and disintegration. 

Complex adaptive system (CAS) theory associates the models presented by the Enneagram with evolved behaviors and structures in the mind: feelings, emotions, social behaviors, ideas; driven by genetic and cultural evolution and the constraints of family and social life.  Emergent evolved amplifers can be constrained by Riso and Hudson's awareness strategies. 

Enneagram
personality describes the operation of the mind from the perspective of psychological models and tests based on them.  Early 'Western' models of personality resulted in a simple segmentation noting the tension between: individual desires and group needs, and developing models and performing actions.  Dualistic 'Eastern' philosophies promote the legitimacy of an essence which Riso & Hudson argue is hidden within a shell of personality types and is only reached by developing presence.  The logic of a coherent essence is in conflict with the evolved nature of emotions outlined by Pinker.  Terman's studies of personality identified types which Friedman and Martin link to healthy and unhealthy pathways.  Current psychiatric models highlight at least five key aspects:
  • Extroversion-introversion - whether the person gains mental dynamism from socializing or retiring
  • Neuroticism-stability - does a person worry or are they calm and self-satisfied
  • Agreeableness-antagonism - is a person courteous & trusting or rude and suspicious
  • Conscientiousness-un-directedness - is a person careful or careless
  • Openness-non-openness - are they daring or conforming
type, to
Organizations can benefit from understanding and leveraging creativity.  In this page we review what creativity is, highlight the opportunity - including when it is appropriate to apply, how to do that organizationally, and when it might be avoided, and the challenges with enabling it when it is desirable. 

We introduce the aspects of the creative process. 

leverage creativity


Sal Khan
Salman Khan argues that the evolved global education system is inefficient and organized around constraining and corralling students into accepting dubious ratings that lead to mundane roles.  He highlights a radical and already proven alternative which offers effective self-paced deep learning processes supported by technology and freed up attention of teams of teachers.  Building on his personal experience of helping overcome the unjustified failing grade of a relative, Khan:
  • Iteratively learns how to teach: Starting with Nadia, Leveraging short videos focused on content, Converging on mastery, With the help of neuroscience, and filling in dependent gaps; resulting in a different approach to the mainstream method. 
  • Assesses the broken US education system: Set in its ways, Designed for the 1800s, Inducing holes that are hidden by tests, Tests which ignore creativity.  The resulting teaching process is so inefficient it needs to be supplemented with homework.  Instead teachers were encouraging their pupils to use his tools at home so they could mentor them while they attended school, an inversion that significantly improves the economics. 
  • Enters the real world: Builds a scalable service, Working with a real classroom, Trying stealth learning, At Khan Academy full time,  In the curriculum at Los Altos, Supporting life-long learning. 
  • Develops The One World Schoolhouse: Back to the future with a one room school, a robust teaching team, and creativity enabled; so with some catalysis even the poorest can become educated and earn credentials for current jobs. 
  • Wishes he could also correct: Summer holidays, Transcript based assessments, College education;
  • Concludes it is now possible to provide the infrastructure for creativity to emerge and to support risk taking. 

Following our summary of his arguments RSS frames them from the perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory.  Disruption is a powerful force for change but if its force is used to support the current teachers to adopt new processes can it overcome the extended phenotypic alignment and evolutionary amplifiers sustaining the current educational network? 

explains
how the industrial education process was designed to turn people into coordinators needed to maintain the operation of empires.  It was not focused on mastery is a strategy of ensuring that a given concept is adequately comprehended before being expected to understand a more advanced one, explains Salman Khan in The One World School House.  It was developed in the 1920s in Winnetka school district, Illinois under superintendent Carlton Washburne.  But since the 1920s mastery learning was ignored until the 1960s when Benjamin Bloom & James Block promoted the technique and demonstrated its superior results.  However, school system inertia sustained the traditional learning processes.  Mastery learning was once again ignored until Khan Academy provided a technology supported implementation.  , aimed to limit creativity, and did a poor job of building a platform is agent generated infrastructure that supports emergence of an entity through: leverage of an abundant energy source, reusable resources; attracting a phenotypically aligned network of agents. 
for additional learning, developing is a phase during the operation of a CAS agent.  It allows for schematic strategies to be iteratively blended with environmental signals to solve the logistical issues of migrating newly built and transformed sub-agents.  That is needed to achieve the adult configuration of the agent and optimize it for the proximate environment.  Smiley includes examples of the developmental phase agents required in an emergent CAS.  In situations where parents invest in the growth and memetic learning of their offspring the schematic grab bag can support optimizations to develop models, structures and actions to construct an adept adult.  In humans, adolescence leverages neural plasticity, elder sibling advice and adult coaching to help prepare the deploying neuronal network and body to successfully compete. 
Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
agents
whose network of understanding was full of holes

Sobolewska & Ford describe how
Flows of different kinds are essential to the operation of complex adaptive systems (CAS). 
Example flows are outlined.  Constraints on flows support the emergence of the systems.  Examples of constraints are discussed. 
flowing
people through a mass education process can generate an intellectual elite, disconnected from the problems of the less educated poor.  This has the potential to disrupt the process of representative democracy, leaving the elite unaware of any problems suffered by the poor, which can generate forces that undermine societal cohesion, through us versus them behaviors and intra-elite competition

Damasio
Antonio Damasio argues that ancient & fundamental homeostatic processes, built into behaviors and updated by evolution have resulted in the emergence of  nervous systems and feelings.  These feelings, representing the state of the viscera, and represented with general systems supporting enteric operation, are later ubiquitously integrated into the 'images' built by the minds of higher animals including humans. 

Damasio highlights the separate development of the body frame in the building of minds. 

Damasio explains that this integration of feelings by minds supports the development of subjectivity and consciousness.  His chain of emergence suggests the 'order of things.'  He stresses the end-to-end integration of the organism which undermines dualism.  And he reviews Chalmers hard problem of consciousness. 

Damasio reviews the emergence of cultures and sees feelings, integrated with reason, as the judges of the cultural creative process, linking culture to homeostasis.  He sees cultures as supporting the development of tools to improve our lives.  But the results of the creative process have added stresses to our lives. 

Following our summary of his arguments RSS frames his arguments from the perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory.  Each of the [super]organisms discussed is a CAS reflecting the theory of such systems:
  • Damasio's proposals about homeostasis routed signalling, aligns well with CAS theory. 
  • Damasio's ideas on cultural stresses are elaborated by CAS examples. 

describes
the reimplementation of
Agents use sensors to detect events in their environment.  This page reviews how these events become signals associated with beneficial responses in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  CAS signals emerge from the Darwinian information model.  Signals can indicate decision summaries and level of uncertainty. 
sensors
and
Terrence Deacon explores how constraints on dynamic flows can induce emergent phenomena which can do real work.  He shows how these phenomena are sustained.  The mechanism enables the development of Darwinian competition. 
constraints
at various levels of
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergence
.  The development of communications infrastructure appears analogous to the emergence of nervous systems to maintain homeostasis is, according to Damasio, the fundamental set of operations at the core of life, from the earliest and long-vanished point of its beginning in early biochemistry to the present.  It is the powerful, unthought, unspoken imperative, whose discharge implies, for every living organism, small or large, nothing less than enduring and prevailing.  Damasio stresses that the operations that ensure prevailing ensure life is regulated within a range that is not just compatible with survival but also conducive to flourishing, to protection of life into the future of an organism or a species.  Prevailing implies mechanisms for monitoring and modeling the state of the organism, controlling and constraining the flows of energy and resources through schematic agency, and to facilitate exploring the environment and acting on signals of modeled opportunities and threats.  Global homeostasis of multi-organ animals requires endocrine, immune, circulatory and nervous 'systems' and results in the emergence of minds, feelings, consciousness, machinery of affect and complex movements.  The emergence of feelings allowed the homeostatic process to become enhanced by a subjective representation of the organism's state and proximate environment within the mind.  Feelings operating in minds allowed conscious decisions to extend homeostasis to the sociocultural domain. 
.  Rather than drawing resources away from other aspects of the entity the additional network is provided to constrain and coordinate the utilization of captured resource. 
The development of
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Evolution's schematic operators and Samuel modeling together support the indirect recording of past successes and their strategic use by the current agent to learn how to succeed in the proximate environment. 
models
of the sensed proximate environment,
This page discusses the interdependence of perception and representation in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  Hofstadter and Mitchell's research with Copycat is reviewed.  The bridging of a node from a network of 'well known' percepts to a new representational instance is discussed as it occurs in biochemistry, within the brain, in consciousness and abstractly. 
internal and external
, of humans on the African savanna is the environment where hunter-gatherers primarily evolved.  Its grassland supported large herbivores that could be hunted easily across the plains.  Clumps of Acacia trees: with short trunks, and broad bows; & rocks supported places to hide from large carnivores.  Streams, especially important in times of drought, and paths add to the signals enabling orientation. 
, enabled
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolution
of the
Computational theory of the mind and evolutionary psychology provide Steven Pinker with a framework on which to develop his psychological arguments about the mind and its relationship to the brain.  Humans captured a cognitive niche by natural selection 'building out' specialized aspects of their bodies and brains resulting in a system of mental organs we call the mind. 

He garnishes and defends the framework with findings from psychology regarding: The visual system - an example of natural selections solutions to the sensory challenges of inverse modeling of our environment; Intensions - where he highlights the challenges of hunter-gatherers - making sense of the objects they perceive and predicting what they imply and natural selections powerful solutions; Emotions - which Pinker argues are essential to human prioritizing and decision making; Relationships - natural selection's strategies for coping with the most dangerous competitors, other people.  He helps us understand marriage, friendships and war. 

These conclusions allow him to understand the development and maintenance of higher callings: Art, Music, Literature, Humor, Religion, & Philosophy; and develop a position on the meaning of life. 

Complex adaptive system (CAS) modeling allows RSS to frame Pinker's arguments within humanity's current situation, induced by powerful evolved amplifiers: Globalization, Cliodynamics, The green revolution and resource bottlenecks; melding his powerful predictions of the drivers of human behavior with system wide constraints.  The implications are discussed. 

human mind
Information processing by societies appears analogous.  

Kahneman and Tversky have demonstrated that human's do not act rationally. 

Gordon
Robert Gordon argues that the inventions of the second industrial revolution were the foundation for American economic growth.  Gordon shows how flows of people into difficult rural America built a population base which then took the opportunity to move on to urban settings: Houses, Food in supermarkets, Clothes in department stores; that supported increasing productivity and standard of living.  The deployment of nationwide networks: Rail, Road, Utilities; terminating in the urban housing and work places allowing the workers to leverage time saving goods and services, which helped grow the economy. 

Gordon describes the concomitant transformation of:
  • Communications and advertising
  • Credit and finance
  • Public health and the health care network 
  • Health insurance
  • Education
  • Social and welfare services

Counter intuitively the constraints introduced before and in the Great Depression and the demands of World War 2 provide the amplifiers that drive the inventions deeply and fully into every aspect of the economy between 1940 and 1970 creating the exceptional growth and standard of living of post war America. 

Subsequently the rate of growth was limited until the shift of women into the workplace and the full networking of voice and data supported the Internet and World Wide Web completed the third industrial revolution, but the effects were muted by the narrow reach of the technologies. 

The development of Big Data, Robots, and Artificial Intelligence may support additional growth, but Gordon is unconvinced because of the collapse of the middle class. 

Following our summary of Gordon's book RSS frames his arguments from the perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory. 

uses historic details of the American economy
to argue that growth depends on society's adjustments to inventions.  He demonstrates that innovations is the economic realization of invention and combinatorial exaptation.  Keynes noted it provided the unquantifiable beneficial possibility that limits fear of uncertainty.  Innovation operates across all CAS, being supported by genetic and cultural means.  Creativity provides the mutation and recombination genetic operators for the cultural process.  While highly innovative, monopolies: AT&T, IBM; usually have limited economic reach, constraining productivity.  This explains the use of regulation, or even its threat, that can check their power and drive the creations across the economy. 
can drive growth when they alter the productivity is the efficiency with which an agent's selected strategy converts the inputs to an action into the resulting outputs.  It is a complex capability of agents.  It will depend on the agent having: time, motivation, focus, appropriate skills; the coherence of the participating collaborators, and a beneficial environment including the contribution of: standardization of inputs and outputs, infrastructure and evolutionary amplifiers. 
of the aggregate is when a number of actions become coordinated and operate together.  In the adaptive web framework's Smiley, codelets become coordinated by their relative position in the deployment cascade.  The cascade's dynamics are dependent on the situation, the operating codelets responses to that situation and the grouping of schematic strings they are associated with.  The aggregate effect is a phenotype the adaptive agent. 
set of
Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
agents
operating within the economy is a human cultural superOrganism complex adaptive system (CAS) which operates and controls trade flows within a rich niche.  Economics models economies.  Robert Gordon has described the evolution of the American economy.  Like other CAS, economic flows are maintained far from equilibrium by: demand, financial flows and constraints, supply infrastructure constraints, political and military constraints; ensuring wealth, legislative control, legal contracts and power have significant leverage through evolved amplifiers. 
.  But he contends the transformations occur one time, resulting in eventual declineBrynjolfsson and McAfee
Brynjolfsson and McAfee explore the effects of Moore's law on the economy.  They argue it has generated exponential growth.  This has been due to innovation.  It has created a huge bounty of additional wealth.  But the wealth is spread unevenly across society.  They look at the short and long term implications of the innovation bounty and spread and the possible future of technology. 

Following our summary of their arguments RSS comments from the perspective of CAS theory. 

note
that some innovative recombination may allow repeated transformations

Mary Beard highlights Rome's early decision to allow immigration of people willing to fight in the army.  This allowed the Roman Republic to overwhelm its competitors, all fighting with comparable tactics are goals and actions which respond to the actions of the enemy in a combat, rather than focusing on ones own strategic direction. 
and weapons, because, even when an army lost: it was rapidly replaced by another, fresh and driving home this strategic advantage. 

Tainter writes of support from a dominant power.  But recent history includes the ill-informed being enticed into contracts which are designed to become ruinous, leaving the debtor in a trap: freed slaves trapped in share cropping,
Satyajit Das uses an Indonesian company's derivative trades to introduce us to the workings of the international derivatives system.  Das describes the components of the value delivery system and the key transactions.  He demonstrates how the system interacted with emerging economies expanding them, extracting profits and then moving on as the induced bubbles burst.  Following Das's key points the complex adaptive system (CAS) aspects are highlighted. 
developing economies integrating into the global economy
; providing access and control of economic resources and people. 

Tainter proposes to use the window of reprieve to seek more sources of wealth is schematically useful information and its equivalent, schematically useful energy, to paraphrase Beinhocker.  It is useful because an agent has schematic strategies that can utilize the information or energy to extend or leverage control of the cognitive niche.   .  But RSS is Rob's Strategy Studio sees many areas where current societies have diverged problematically from the
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory provides an organizing framework that is used by 'life.'  It can illuminate and clarify complex situations and be applied flexibly.  It can be used to evaluate and rank models that claim to describe our perceived reality.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents.  It highlights the constraints that shape CAS and so predicts their form.  A proposal that does not conform is wrong. 

John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS logic
that enabled their
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergence
.  In particular they generate outputs, such as plastics, which can not be decomposed and they depend on unsustainable fossil fuel use.  These strategies must be corrected while there is
Carlo Rovelli resolves the paradox of time. 
Rovelli initially explains that low level physics does not include time:
  • A present that is common throughout the universe does not exist
  • Events are only partially ordered.  The present is localized
  • The difference between past and future is not foundational.  It occurs because of state that through our blurring appears particular to us
  • Time passes at different speeds dependent on where we are and how fast we travel
  • Time's rhythms are due to the gravitational field
  • Our quantized physics shows neither space nor time, just processes transforming physical variables. 
  • Fundamentally there is no time.  The basic equations evolve together with events, not things 
Then he explains how in a physical world without time its perception can emerge:
  • Our familiar time emerges
    • Our interaction with the world is partial, blurred, quantum indeterminate
    • The ignorance determines the existence of thermal time and entropy that quantifies our uncertainty
    • Directionality of time is real but perspectival.  The entropy of the world in relation to us increases with our thermal time.  The growth of entropy distinguishes past from future: resulting in traces and memories
    • Each human is a unified being because: we reflect the world, we formed an image of a unified entity by interacting with our kind, and because of the perspective of memory
    • The variable time: is one of the variables of the gravitational field.  With our scale we don't register quantum fluctuations, making space-time appear determined.  At our speed we don't perceive differences in time of different clocks, so we experience a single time: universal, uniform, ordered; which is helpful to our decisions

time


Human communication among large groups suffers from apparent complexity catastrophe is a dramatic breakdown in the operation of a CAS that results in general failure.  Dorner in the logic of failure, sees the Chernobyl nuclear disaster as illustrative: typical human strategies were incorrectly applied by experienced operators, because they were overconfident and incorrectly modeled the current and immediate future state of the reactor.  Beinhocker asserts positive effects generated in a large inter-connected network induce negative effects at other points in the network.  Booch argues that increasing system complexity can overwhelm human designers, inducing catastrophe in software development.  He recommends adopting object oriented hierarchy and modularity to limit complexity.  But many CAS networks include huge number of agents, responding to internal and external signals, and effectively executing evolved, distributed schematic plans.  Eventual loss of control, as in the case of cancers, is notable and highlights the effective agency of the more regular situation.  Human developed systems suffer from complexity catastrophe.  Democratic processes slowly search for representatives who will solve problems for the citizens, but Diamond in Collapse explains that democracy has struggled to cope with the tragedy of the commons.  Cliodynamic cycles operate over multiple lifetimes leaving humans prone to fall into the traps that caught their grandparents.  Evolved amplifiers support bubbles incenting dangerous deregulation, and encouraging broad participation, even though the rules ensure additional wealth accumulates to the legislative elite and aristocracy, who safely ignore moral hazard.  Parasites undermine the detection of problems.  RSS sees catastrophe enabled by a lack of rigorous schematic planning within most developed human systems. 
, because the mechanism has not typically followed the CAS process of
Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
agent
signalling, is an emergent capability which is used by cooperating agents to support coordination & rival agents to support control and dominance.  In eukaryotic cells signalling is used extensively.  A signal interacts with the exposed region of a receptor molecule inducing it to change shape to an activated form.  Chains of enzymes interact with the activated receptor relaying, amplifying and responding to the signal to change the state of the cell.  Many of the signalling pathways pass through the nuclear membrane and interact with the DNA to change its state.  Enzymes sensitive to the changes induced in the DNA then start to operate generating actions including sending further signals.  Cell signalling is reviewed by Helmreich.  Signalling is a fundamental aspect of CAS theory and is discussed from the abstract CAS perspective in signals and sensors.  In AWF the eukaryotic signalling architecture has been abstracted in a codelet based implementation.  To be credible signals must be hard to fake.  To be effective they must be easily detected by the target recipient.  To be efficient they are low cost to produce and destroy. 
: distributed
This page looks at schematic structures and their uses.  It discusses a number of examples:
  • Schematic ideas are recombined in creativity. 
  • Similarly designers take ideas and rules about materials and components and combine them. 
  • Schematic Recipes help to standardize operations. 
  • Modular components are combined into strategies for use in business plans and business models. 

As a working example it presents part of the contents and schematic details from the Adaptive Web Framework (AWF)'s operational plan. 

Finally it includes a section presenting our formal representation of schematic goals. 
Each goal has a series of associated complex adaptive system (CAS) strategy strings. 
These goals plus strings are detailed for various chess and business examples. 
plans
, with light-weight signals, that the recipient processes by referring to their copy of the
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
schematic plans
for context. 


Tainter's thought provoking book develops a general theory to explain the collapse of complex societies, illustrated using examples from our history, and then places contemporary societies within this perspective.   




























































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This page looks at schematic structures and their uses.  It discusses a number of examples:
  • Schematic ideas are recombined in creativity. 
  • Similarly designers take ideas and rules about materials and components and combine them. 
  • Schematic Recipes help to standardize operations. 
  • Modular components are combined into strategies for use in business plans and business models. 

As a working example it presents part of the contents and schematic details from the Adaptive Web Framework (AWF)'s operational plan. 

Finally it includes a section presenting our formal representation of schematic goals. 
Each goal has a series of associated complex adaptive system (CAS) strategy strings. 
These goals plus strings are detailed for various chess and business examples. 
Strategy
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This page uses an example to illustrate how:
  • A business can gain focus from targeting key customers,
  • Business planning activities performed by the whole organization can build awareness, empowerment and coherence. 
  • A program approach can ensure strategic alignment. 
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