According to Rob Hopkins of the Transition Movement, and following David Holmgren, the co-creator of the permaculture concept, sustainability is not enough and we need to move beyond it. But what comes after sustainability? The answer, it seems, is: resilience. How successful has the paradigm of sustainability been at achieving its aims? It makes an … Continue reading What comes after Sustainability? Resilience?
self-organisation is a high-level property that emerges from the underlying network, not a feature of any of the individual components. This has interesting consequences. Where any part of the mechanism is sensitive to the environment, the whole self-organising loop can be too. http://aeon.co/magazine/science/why-the-symbol-of-life-is-a-loop-not-a-helix/ Here's an example from the Resilience Alliance - the adaptive cycle - that … Continue reading The feedback loop as a symbol for life in the 21st Century
“My father told me the oceans were limitless, but that was a false signal.” NYT on collapsing fish stocks in the South Pacific. In Mackerel's Plunder, Hints of Epic Fish Collapse Related articles In Mackerel's Plunder, Hints of Epic Fish Collapse (nytimes.com)
Quick, quick, slow - the dance steps of collapse What kinds of stories are we telling one another these days about the fall of civilizations? The idea that the decline of a civilization is without narrative causality is itself a narrative. This is the unacknowledged ideology of historian Niall Ferguson’s recent piece for Foreign Affairs. … Continue reading The decline of civilization – sudden or gradual?
Chatting with my young son this evening it occured to us that superheroes require certain types of cities, certain kinds of urban form, in order to thrive. Spiderman needs tall buildings closely packed in order to leap between them. The Hulk needs impressive edifices to knock down. Only certain types of urban form are fit … Continue reading Detroit: a city fit for superheroes?
A nice article by Howard Silverman of People & Place on the links between climate change, cultural theory and the myths of nature identified by the Resilience Alliance. http://bit.ly/959Dmp
A confession: I visited the Great Barrier Reef a couple of years ago and it was the most stunning experience of my life. The beauty, intricacy, diversity, were amazing. The experience of immersion in this underwater world was and is vivid – literally alive. But I felt profoundly uneasy participating iin the industrial system that … Continue reading How to deviate from climate change destruction – the case of the Great Barrier Reef
In reply to Matthew Taylor's question over at his RSA blog: "how can it be true both that there are some social environments which encourage particular attitudes and behaviours (which could be said broadly to fit an egalitarian outlook) while, at the same time, in relation to any specific problem or decision, a set of … Continue reading On the relationship between behaviour and context in Cultural Theory
This month Four Cultures is going to be considering Resilience and its connection with Grid-group Cultural Theory. By Resilience I mean the cross-disciplinary scientific approach inspired by the work of Canadian ecologist Buzz Holling, and promoted in a number of places, especially through the Resilience Alliance and through the Stockholm Resilience Centre. There's a video … Continue reading A Month of Resilience