Computing in the Long Emergency, part 2

I recently learned about a (so-called) international development project taking place in Niger. People in a region of the country have been suffering from malnutrition and outright hunger due to periodic drought-induced crop failures. To help respond to this humanitarian crisis, an NGO that was providing food aid to the region partnered with some researchers … Continue Reading

The Wisdom of Deathbed Conversion

In 2005 it seemed that everything had changed. And then in 2007 it happened again. All of a sudden the only thing to expect was the unexpected. I’m talking of course about the weather, and the changes due to radiation entrapment. The climate seemed like it was dying. Out of desperation, many prominent environmentalists converted … Continue Reading

The Invisible Technological Midpoint

Some time back Adam explored the notion of minimalism, and I’d like to revisit that in the context of technology and civilization. The conclusion he seemed to come to was that some sort of middle course is the right one—shunning all technology can be just as limiting as embracing all of it. In part because … Continue Reading

Limiting the Complexity of Complex Systems

It’s widely known that financial system is very complex. Even just the credit system is complex: One question we might ask is “is the global financial system complex?” The answer is obvious: yes. But there’s a different question I’ve been wondering for some time: “how complex is it?” That is, is there a way to … Continue Reading