Paula Hendricks

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Archive for the ‘earth system’ Category

Progress is made in jumps not gradual increments

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I am struck by how we move — in jumps not smooth gradual progressions. For the last 6 months I’ve been reading geology books and in some of them the scientists talk about how the earth systems change in leaps – jumps – and that one of their concerns about climate changes is that the rest of us think somehow the warming will occur in small incremental gradual increments over a long period of time. And they believe the systems leap into new territory in much shorter time frames.

I picked up a book called the Black Swan and while I have not read it yet, I see from the flap that it talks about how the assumptions underlying our system models do not account well for sudden, unpredictable abrupt change. Just look at the recent financial crises to see this in action.

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What I am reading today: 10/10/08

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I’ve found myself reading non-fiction books over the past six months — geology books, books about food, books about systems. For a die-hard fiction, mystery reader this has been fascinating to me.

The books I am actively reading now include: Thomas Freidman’s Hot, Flat, and Crowded; Hugh Laurie’s (yeah, yeah, of House fame) The Gun Seller; and Richard Florida’s Who’s Your City. I was reading Fred Pearce’s With Speed and Violence, but I seem to have put that last one down for now.

Hmmm. The future of the world, a mystery, urban life, and climate change.