Category Archives: complexity

Beyond Fortress America

As we go through this year’s American election cycle, we hear politicians talk about American power in ways that don’t reflect an understanding of today’s interconnected world. The talk is about how America must be strong on its own – … Continue reading

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Failing Tests

There’s been much talk lately about problems with the No Child Left Behind law. So many states are falling behind on meeting some of its provisions that the Obama administration has announced it will issue waivers to free them from … Continue reading

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Is It Moral to Cheer Bin Laden’s Death?

I’ve noticed some discussion on the web and in the media about the reaction to Bin Laden’s death, specifically whether it’s morally appropriate to cheer such an event. I think this is a very complex issue that evades a simple … Continue reading

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New Terms for New Times

Because something is happening here But you don’t know what it is Do you, Mister Jones? – Bob Dylan, “Ballad of a Thin Man” It’s tough enough to live in a time like the present, when things are changing in … Continue reading

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Fixing the System

Many of the problems confronting the US today involve systems that aren’t working properly. Examples that come to mind include financial services (the banks), the economy in general, American healthcare, the governments in Afghanistan and Iraq, and global climate change. … Continue reading

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“Stuff” Happens

If you’re looking for a clue as to why we have so many problems in today’s world, one place you might look is how we actually look at problems. Our traditional way of dealing with a problem is to break … Continue reading

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Flu In The Time Of Globalism

The big news item of the moment is the growing threat of a swine flu pandemic. The speed with which this disease has spread is yet another reflection of our interconnected world. In earlier times diseases tended to travel slowly … Continue reading

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An Illuminating Paradox

One time, while driving on an interstate highway when the weather was gray and misty, I noticed a curious paradox. Although it was only sprinkling occasionally, nearly every car had its headlights on, complying with an obscure New York Sate … Continue reading

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On Trees and Forests

I was kind of surprised when former Fed chair Alan Greenspan admitted to a Congressional committee that he was “in a state of shocked disbelief” over the current financial crisis. I know next to nothing about economics or the goings … Continue reading

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Chaos On Wall Street

PBS’ News Hour recently featured a Paul Solman interview of Benoit Mandelbrot, a mathemetician known for his work on Chaos Theory, and Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of the book “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.” It offers … Continue reading

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Complexity on Wall Street

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know much about economics. Then again, based on the last few weeks, there are a lot of people on Wall Street that don’t know much about economics either. (Why would an investment … Continue reading

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