This is what concerns me the most. Systems by definition have to be sustainable. That means they have to have a constant energy input. The modern world is designed and built on fossil fuels, and the million-year-old stack has been used almost entirely just within two centuries. This was basically free lunch (the whole portion at a single bite) and even economists know that there is no such thing as free lunch. From a mere energy perspective, past growth rates can not be sustained, even with a massive push in renewables (as we still are a 90% fossil fuel society today). So our rigorous efficiency-driven systems design (from economics to health care to education) of the past will lead us straight towards failure, when we can not make the leap to a resilient systems future. Steve Hallett has been doing some great thinking about this topic!
“life.” As certain currencies became abundant as an output of a successful process or organism, other organisms evolved to take that output and convert it into something else. Over billions of years, this is how the Earth’s ecosystem has evolved, creating vast systems of metabolic pathways and forming highly complex self-regulating systems that, for example, stabilize our body temperatures or the temperature of the Earth, despite continuous fluctuations and changes among the individual elements at every scale—from micro to macro. The output of one process becomes the input of another. Ultimately, everything interconnects.We live