Step-changes in Complexity

Under what circumstances does complexity increase?

I want to begin a discussion of the big, exciting events in history writ large — by which I mean nothing less than the sum total of human history, evolutionary history, Earth’s history, stellar history, and ultimately, the history of the universe.

You know the events I mean. The revolutions, the explosions, the Golden Ages, the times in history when unexpected, unpredictable things happen suddenly, often in quick succession, and after which nothing is ever quite the same. When the whole world effloresces or withers, explodes or collapses. Call it punctuated equilibrium, call them Black Swans, or recall the quote of unknown origin (though often misattributed to Lenin): that “There are decades when nothing happens, and weeks when decades happen.”

I want to talk about the weeks when decades happen.

Read more here. I’ll be expanding that thinking over the rest of this week.

If you want to discuss this topic on Zoom, please join the salon I am hosting through the Interintellect on Monday 27th July 2020 at 9pm BST. You can read more about the event or get tickets here.

Hope to see you there! And as always, I’d love to hear from you.

Bryan

Image: Mesa Shumacher/Santa Fe Institute