large complexities require large systems

June 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

I Don’t like the implications but

Paul Revere's Ride

June 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

Just finished reading David Hackett Fisher’s wonderful biography of the ride.

Revere did not ride alone that night: what he did was to trigger a network of couriers throughout new england, a network he had spent two years developing. As a reult, riders in DARPA like redundancy were able to move rapidly from the center to inform all the towns in New England of the march of the Regulars (couldn’t call them british because all the New Englanders thought of themselves as British citizens) began their march out to control weapons storage then under the control of the countryside.

Two key findings then.

1. New England was, from an informational point of view, ungovernable because of the distance and dispersion fro England. A true information failure. (for example, after Lexington. the Patriots sent a fast ship to England with printed broadsides of the Lexington encounter that arrived two weeks before the Royalists’ ship arrived, hence commanding the news cycle. This was done on purpose by the patriots).

2. Revere developed the first network with nodes and redundancy, with many riders rehearsed and ready to ride and spread the alarm.

Both of these factors will lay a role as we lurch toward sustainability, social disruptions will be large and information flow creating new networks will be very important.

This show once again that there is nothing that can be read that is so remote that it is not immediately useful.

Douglass Carmichael Stanford MAHB, Stanford Strategy Studio, Media X Shakespeare and Tao Consulting Http:// Http://

Social theory: home ownership

June 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

The NYT this morning has an article on a speech by FDIC chair Bair. She says we over did it on home ownership. but the problem was, spruces were increasing and it looked like it was worth it to buy now and watch the prices rise, as rents were also rising rapidly. that meant that slower income people had to spay more for housing in any case, sand ther tactic they took made sewnse (many sksf those folks still own their house bought on sub prime). Bairx’s speech fits the mold of blame the poor for buying, and hhe policy makers for trying to get them into ownership. wrong conclusion. This is important because, as we go through the changes necessary for climate response, we need to be accurate about the effects of policy on different parts of society.

Douglass Carmichael Stanford MAHB, Stanford Strategy Studio, Media X Shakespeare and Tao Consulting Http:// Http://

Gross National Happiness, the case of Bhutan

June 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

economics as a discipline

June 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

Here is the crux. The following from Paul Krugman

Misplaced Optimism

SCIENCE review of climate books

June 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

Here is a great review in SCIENCE  of a number of books that fit into MAHB mission.



The Climate Change Debates

Philip Kitcher


After summarizing the American  books (you can read the whole review by clicking above)


Economics: three paths

June 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

The standard views on the overall approach to the economy  are three

1.       Pull back on public  spending and cut deficit

2.       Spend more on infrastructure and create jobs

3.        Invest government money in new green technologies and energy transformation

All assume that a path of growth is a necessary good, and that the wealth held at the top should stay there. The first implies that lower incomes bear the brunt, the second that big construction and heavy equipment corporations lead the way and the third that we have a new bubble on green. Each ha reasonable aspects but each can be gamed so strongly that benefits are not likely to be realized. This context is where we are needling to move toward sustainability but few even consider it in  the equation, see for example


Douglass Carmichael MAHB Millennium  Assessment of Human Behavior  Stanford Media X , Stanford Stratgey Studios and  Palo Alto StrategyStudios Book draft  at  Palo Alto tues-thurs cell 206-388-7712 Russian River 707-865-0433

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