macroresilience

resilience, not stability

The Ever-Increasing Cost of Propping Up A Fragile And Dysfunctional System

with 2 comments

Monetary Medication And The Economy

Mervyn King:

We’re now in a position where you can see it’s harder and harder for monetary policy to push spending back up to the old path . . . It’s as if you’re running up an ever steeper hill.

Psychotropic Medication And The Brain

Robert Whitaker quoted in an earlier essay:

Over time….the dopaminergic pathways tended to become permanently dysfunctional. They became irreversibly stuck in a hyperactive state….Doctors would then need to prescribe higher doses of antipsychotics.

Fire Suppression And The Forest

From an earlier essay:

The initial low cost of suppression is short-lived and the cumulative effect of the fragilisation of the system has led to rapidly increasing costs of wildfire suppression and levels of area burned in the last three decades.

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Written by Ashwin Parameswaran

February 13th, 2013 at 1:08 pm

2 Responses to 'The Ever-Increasing Cost of Propping Up A Fragile And Dysfunctional System'

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  1. Believe it or not the best method of fire suppression is not to get to that point at all. A “controlled burn” of the wooded area or an open field prior to the need of fire suppression is the best method. No evacuation, little expense, no fighting a fire, low,low dollar and life losses. You get the needed growth of a forest or open field so it doesn’t become overgrown with weeds, etc.

    As you can see, the agricultural benefits of a controlled burn go much further than preventing a fire from occurring.

    Fire lines or truck/car trails are very time-consuming but needed for fire prone areas. It is a lot easier to clear them now then have them cleared or make them when they are needed. It is much more than putting out the fire Itself. The greatest amount of time is making them.

    That is why we have the DOF here in Florida. Fire departments don’t fight the fire unless ask by DOF. They support the Division of Forestry who used tractors and bulldozers to cut the lines. Fire Departments protect the structures.

    Jim Menefee
    Retired Chief SJC #1

    Jim

    14 Feb 13 at 5:32 pm

  2. Jim – Thanks for the comment and the insight. I agree. Many of the posts on this blog focus on the stability-resilience tradeoff in complex systems which essentially means that preventing all disturbances eventually causes a catastrophic disturbance. Correspondingly, engineering small disturbances i.e. controlled burns can prevent catastrophic disturbances.

    Ashwin

    14 Feb 13 at 5:50 pm

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