March 29, 2020
Asher goes for a deep dive in his interview with investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed about how the novel coronavirus is rippling through the systems that make up modern society. To set the stage, they cover some heady territory, including Thomas Homer-Dixon’s “synchronous failure,” Joseph Tainter’s analysis of collapse and the diminishing marginal returns of complexity, C.S. Holling’s “adaptive cycle,” and Naomi Klein’s “shock doctrine.” With these frameworks of systems thinking in mind, they explore how we can make progress toward re-envisioning a prosocial, equitable, and environmentally sound society.
- Nafeez Ahmed’s article “Coronavirus, Synchronous Failure and the Global Phase-Shift”
- Thomas Homer-Dixon describes synchronous failure in his book The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization.
- Joseph Tainter covers the effects of increasing complexity in his book The Collapse of Complex Societies.
- C.S. Holling’s 2001 paper “Understanding the Complexity of Economic, Ecological, and Social Systems”
- Naomi Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine
- Article by Brian Fath et al. on the adaptive cycle and its application to social systems