Insights from General Complexity Evolution for Our Current Situation
Keywords:Energy, Complexity, Evolution
Will the pace of change in our global technological society continue to accelerate? Or will it follow the path of most previous technological waves, which slowed down as they matured? The purpose of this paper is to explore how historical general evolutionary processes involving increased energy flows and corresponding higher complexity levels might have contributed to the global problems we face today with regard to energy, environmental, inequality, and demographics. This situation will be compared with various integrated complexity evolutionary models of three major phases in evolution (life, humans, and civilization). While natural ecosystems seem to have both positive and negative feedback mechanisms to prevent the onset of senescence, the current economic system seems to have avoided constraints to enter a positive feedback loop that results in unsustainable resource use and pollution. There are still many contrasting interpretations of what this means for the near future, but integrating insights from these perspectives may help us better understand these processes.
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