@jobsworth Geoffrey West, Jane Jacobs and Joe Tainter places your interests into the systems sciences. You might continue with reading Allen, Tainter and Hoekstra (2003) Supply Side Sustainability, and then Allen, Allen, Malek et al. 2009 “Confronting economic profit with hierarchy theory: The concept of gain in ecology”.
The crossovers between (human-oriented) service systems and natural systems (e.g. ecologies) will be a central theme at ISSS San Jose 2012 next July, if you’re in California next summer.
The School of Everything may be interested in two courses on systems thinking developed for Aalto University over the last year, accessible as open courseware, and described in a research paper presented this summer.
Comment on More Wond’ring Aloud – confused of calcutta.
… some of the assertions made by Geoffrey West over at Santa Fe. I had the opportunity to spend some time mano a mano with West at TED Global this year, and obviously heard him speak about what he’s been learning re “the surprising math of cities and corporations”.
What particularly intrigued me was West’s introduction of the superlinear/sublinear construct into his ideas, empirically proven. As a long-term devotee of Jane Jacobs, Christopher Alexander and Stewart Brand from a buildings and cities perspective, and influenced heavily by Howard Rheingold in how I viewed all this in digital space, it was not hard to convince me that cities were living breathing spaces, complex organisms well worth studying. I was also comfortable with seeing companies in similar vein, now moving into Tainter territory again, looking at the collapse of complex societies, something I referred to in my previous post.