When did the “Liquid Society” Start?

“Liquidity” by Lorenzo Genetti, January 2015, Mar del Plata, Argentina.   The characterization of modernity as a “liquid time” is one of the greatest successes of contemporary sociology. The term, coined by the Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, realizes precisely the transition from a “solid” -stable, repetitive to a ‘liquid’ -flexible, voluble- modernity in which social…

Entropy, Complexity and the Strong Anthropic Principle

Observers are necessary to bring the Universe into being. The Universe must have those properties which allow life to develop within it at some stage in its history. The Universe (and hence the fundamental parameters on which it depends) must be such as to admit the creation of observers within it at some stage. These…

The Fourth Law

Entropy happens to all things physical which are larger than an atom. This means they run down, decay, and eventually cease to exist in their original form. This unavoidable demise has led us to the greatest mystery of the Universe that we have ever encountered. With an overwhelming tendency toward decay in the macroscopic world…

What are the Units of Complexity?

Complexity is a fundamental physical characteristic of every system that may be found in Nature. Its importance is similar to that of energy. There have been numerous attempts of measuring complexity. However, most are limited either to very simple systems, character strings or to computer code and have very little practical use. In many cases,…

Coping With Turbulence: More Theories and Math?

Isn’t it time to review our theories on economics, to see them in a radically different light? What lessons are we learning from this and other  crises, if any at all? In the 1930 around 10000 banks have defaulted. The total amount of assets involved was equivalent to approximately 100 billion of today’s dollars. In…

In Math We Trust. That is Precisely the Problem.

The economy is a dynamic system which is far too complex for us to understand. Human nature is extremely complex and billions of irrational humans form the economy. How can such a system ever be thought to be inherently stable as many prominent economists have sustained? But this system, like every other natural or man-made…

How Complex is the World? We’ve Measured It.

Using annual data from the World Bank, spanning the last 5 decades, we have computed the complexity of the World seen as a system of interacting systems (countries). There are currently 196 countries (the US recognises only 195), each of which is monitored via a series of over 1250 indicators, covering the economy, energy, transportation,…

The Principle of Fragility

The following equation, which we call the Principle of Fragility, has been coined by Ontonix in early 2005 and indicates why complexity management is a form of risk management: Complexity X Uncertainty = Fragility  In order to understand the Principle of Fragility let us borrow Fourier’s idea of variable separation and create a useful parallel.…