August 2013

Monthly Archives

  • Redefining Development

    This post is the first of a series on “principles” of Compression Thinking, which is so different that it can redefine what is meant by economic development. Let’s begin with a key principle, global return on energy (EROI) decreasing for many, many reasons. Less discussed, but related is that obtaining large quantities of common raw […]

  • Out of Our Own Complexity

    Complexity is automatically difficult to discuss because something truly complex is murkily understood, therefore impossible to precisely define. Yogi Berra nailed complexity: “If I understand it, it’s simple; if I don’t, it’s complicated.” Something intricate, like a fancy mechanical watch, may not be very complex. If we apply our minds to the mechanism for a […]

  • Bubbles of Trust

    Executives loved Francis Fukuyama’s 1995 book, Trust. It posited that broad social trust is necessary to form big corporations, complex economic systems, and innovative start-ups. People must quickly learn to trust strangers. However, that trust is thin. It’s over-lawyered with contracts and typified by the phrase “trust but verify.” A modern financial bubble is also […]