Warrior groups
This page describes the organizational forces that limit change.  It explains how to overcome them when necessary. 

Power& tradition holding back progress
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. 
Be responsive to market dynamics
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. 
Overcome reactionaries
Primary Navigation

The impact of warrior groups

Summary
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. 
War & Peace & War
In Peter Turchin's book 'War & Peace & War' he describes how different cultures 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.  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.  
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
adapt across a geographically distinct metaethnic frontier, historically a shift in geography forces the separation of pastoral and farming communities forcing the emergence of asymmetric ideas, strategies and roles across the boundary. 
.  He develops an
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolutionary
description of the forces and dynamics of collective solidarity in these highly competitive environments. 

The book reviews the life cycle of a number of pre-industrial empires including:
Turchin suggests that a number of dynamic processes contribute significantly to the formation, maintenance and collapse of all these empires. 

Turchin explains that underlying the dynamics is an
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. 
evolutionary amplifier
which supports the formation of cohesive groups.  While these groups don't have the familial genetics that sustain
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. 
alturism in social insects
, he suggests that the presence of an
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 amplifier
from repeated cooperative acts allows positive returns, 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 network effects of being connected together overcoming the negative effects of scale.   to accrue.  While cheating could destroy the virtuous cycle it can be kept in check by the presence of
This page reviews the strategy of collective punishment of agents who game agreements in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its consequences are discussed. 
moral values
which actively punish
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
that do not invest in the shared activities. 

Different
First describes the dynamic nature of any complex adaptive system (CAS). 

It then introduces the broad effects of change which includes opportunities and risks/uncertainties. 

As a CAS grows opportunities become undermined so they must be acted on quickly. 

Uncertainties are also transformed and relayed by the dynamic network.  In particular the recombination of current and new ideas brought in from the network is discussed. 

niche environments
present different problems for the groups living within them.  Many metaethnic frontiers are based on geographic transitions between land which can sustain farming and land which can only support pastoralism.  Different societies develop on each side of the geographic frontier.  The pastoral environment is difficult and encourages the development and maintenance of warrior skills: riding, hunting, killing, raiding;  The farming environment demands specialization in relatively peaceful activities.  But it can sustain larger populations and relative 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.  
.  The asymmetry promotes raids by the pastoralists on the farmers. 

If the farming community has a cohesive army it can fend off the raiders.  But if the army is not motivated to repel the raiders the pastoral warriors may overthrow the aristocracy of the farming society and replace them with its own leaders aims to develop plans and strategies which ensure effective coordination to improve the common good of the in-group.  John Adair developed a leadership methodology based on the three-circles model. 


Turchin writes that the pastoral warriors then become integrated into the farming 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.  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.  
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
over time.  Within three or four generations the warrior skills have been blunted.  Indeed eventually as the new aristocracy becomes less war-like the scenario can repeat. 

Turchin writes that while collective solidarity is the best indicator of the health of an empire, other faster changing dynamic processes affect the level of collective solidarity of a farming society:
These dynamic processes interact with each other. 

While the population can be generally sustained by the land, or more land and other resources can be obtained, a highly coherent society will expand.  But the very success will become self-limiting:

Turchin paints a picture of three levels of wheels within wheels. 

Comparing China and Europe Turchin finds that the same dynamic processes acting within the different geographic boundaries explains the repeated breakup of European superpowers while the Chinese empire persisted even as its aristocracy was repeatedly replaced by bordering warrior tribes. 

In contrast to Jared Diamond's conclusion comparing China and Europe Turchin suggests that China is unusual having such a homogeneous geography that it is not subdivided by metaethnic frontiers.  Europe is more typical.  Europe's core arable land was settled by Catholic Christians.  It is surrounded on all sides by metaethnic frontiers which generated concentrations of warriors with high collective solidarity.  Each warrior group would pull away from the center and the other similar groups forming on the other frontiers.  Hence the Carolingian empire, Charles the great (Charlemagne 768/71-814) leveraged his Frankish tribe and Catholicism to control much of Europe crossing multiple metaethnic frontiers.  He established patterns of governance, political relations and culture that dominated Europe for centuries.  After Charles death the empire broke up.  , for example, was unstable and Europe subsequently repeatedly formed multiple empires which then collapsed. 

Turchin notes trends in
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? 

education
are revealing indicators of intra-elite competition:
  • 20th century credentialing crisis - ever increasing numbers of school graduates went to college.  By the end of the century having a degree was insufficient to get a job.  Ph.Ds started to increase and the length of study required expanded.  
  • 14th century Paris - expansion in the time to get a doctorate over the 13th century
  • 16th century France - Cost of education expanded much faster than inflation
  • 17th century great revolution - Enrollments in Oxford & Cambridge peaked, and then declined in the 18th century

The application of
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
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
represents an empire as a system 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
collaborating to utilize a set of
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Key research is reviewed. 
emergent
niches.  The repeated collaboration with
This page reviews the strategy of collective punishment of agents who game agreements in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its consequences are discussed. 
moral control
creates an
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. 
evolutionary amplifier
between interacting humans where each warrior gains
This page reviews the strategy of bundling multiple products within a single offer in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism is discussed with examples from biology and business. 
force from the development of specialists
based on the support of other
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
in the network. 

The aristocracy that emerges from the effects of the metaethnic frontier and amplifiers demonstrates a susceptibility to
This page reviews Christensen's disruption of a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism is discussed with examples from biology and business. 
disruption and parasitism


Industrialized nations have been able to limit the impacts of land on population density.  While Turchin's wheels still appear to be present in the industrial systems
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

innovations
present a powerful alternative amplifier for supporting collaboration as long as the
E. O. Wilson reviews the effect of man on the natural world to date and explains how the two systems can coexist most effectively. 
side effects can be managed
.  


Market Centric Workshops
The Physics - Politics, Economics & Evolutionary Psychology
Politics, Economics & Evolutionary Psychology

Business Physics
Nature and nurture drive the business eco-system
Human nature
Emerging structure and dynamic forces of adaptation


integrating quality appropriate for each market
 
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
| Design |
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. 
Program Management
| Home

Profiles | Papers | Glossary | E-mail us