resilience, not stability

Archive for December, 2012

An Experiment

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Most of my posts on this blog tackle different topics from essentially the same perspective, which is a biological/ecological systems-influenced take on the concept of system resilience. But the basic concepts of this underlying framework are spread out among a bunch of overlapping posts. In an attempt to make each post stand on its own, I find myself spending more and more time repeating past arguments in new posts in order to set the stage for new ideas. I find this repetition incredibly boring and at the same time, this half-hearted repetition probably doesn’t do much to help a new reader either.

To try and resolve this problem, I’m going to write most of my interdisciplinary resilience material in a more hierarchical format. The format I’m going to adopt here is to distil the essential framework into short summary essay and organise the rest of my writing by domain – economics, biology, ecology, technology etc. The idea is that you should be able to read the summary essays and then dive into whichever domain takes your fancy. Conversely the core ideas explored in each domain should mostly be summarised in the summary essays. These essays will be relatively simple but the material within the domain sections will be much more detailed and often messy.

This format also allows me to reconcile my desire to draw generalised parallels across domains while at the same time exploring each domain in detail. So to kick off this experiment, I’ve posted the initial summary essay titled “All Systems Need A Little Disorder” at The basic idea in this essay – that systems that need to be robust and generate novelty need some chaos (not a lot of chaos, just a little bit) – underlies pretty much all of the posts I have written on this blog. In the next few months, I will apply and elaborate upon the basic concepts in this essay across a wider array of domains than I have explored so far.

By adopting this format, I can hopefully increase the output of material that I post online and explore new topics more easily without having to rehash old posts. At the same time new readers will hopefully have a more coherent way of navigating through my ideas. I will post links to any new material on this blog as well for those of you who subscribe to the RSS feed here. I will continue to write here but the material will probably be more limited to macroeconomics and finance than it has previously been.

As always any feedback is much appreciated. Thanks for reading.

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Written by Ashwin Parameswaran

December 11th, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized