Autocatalysis: The Engine of Growth, the Mediator of Natural Selection

Robert Ulanowicz has written a couple of really important books that take us beyond Newton, beyond Darwin, beyond the Enlightenment, beyond irreversible thermodynamics, beyond statistical mechanics, and even beyond quantum physics in our quest to understand the agencies by which order emerges from chaos.  (Christians, naturally, put the Holy Trinity in that slot.  Nothing inContinue reading “Autocatalysis: The Engine of Growth, the Mediator of Natural Selection”

The Ecology of the Christian Church

It may sound pionty-headed – in fact, qb’s quite sure that it does – but qb has just discovered a rich stream of ecology literature that may substantially explain why dissidents – vocational, counterculture prophets – are essential to the long-term health and sustainability of communities (even, and perhaps particularly, Christian ones). And a bonus:Continue reading “The Ecology of the Christian Church”

An Idea Whose Time is Past

One of the most clever solutions ever posed to water and air pollution is the concept of capping the releases at a specified level, converting that “cap” to a marketable commodity in the form of pollution credits, and then trading those credits on the open market, whose alchemy can then seek the most efficient wayContinue reading “An Idea Whose Time is Past”

Foreshadowing Irrational Exuberance, ca. 1866

Well, after a pretty rough night weather-wise, Samuel’s safely in the Frank Denius Bubble at football camp learning not to hitch a half-step at the end of a three-step drop.  Old habits die hard, but the difference between a completed slant and an intercepted one is measured in milliseconds, so we’ve got some work toContinue reading “Foreshadowing Irrational Exuberance, ca. 1866”

Devouring Game Theory (or Just Hallucinating?)

WARNING:  Readers not into game theory, ecology, economics, or academic reading may safely skip this arcane post. The question that just arose for me is, “if we threw Adam Smith (The Wealth of Nations), Thomas Malthus (resource/population ecologist), and J. F. Nash (game theorist and subject of “A Beautiful Mind”) into a smoke-filled room equippedContinue reading “Devouring Game Theory (or Just Hallucinating?)”

A Must-Read Blog Series

Dr. Beck has completed it as of Friday morning, and it’s outstanding.  It consists of about 10 posts, scholarly but easy to read, on the topic of “original sin.”  Those of you who have been intrigued by the intersection of Christian ethics with such things as Peak Oil, biophysical limits, and ecological footprint will findContinue reading “A Must-Read Blog Series”

William Rees: Ecological Footprint

I met Dr. Rees in Ames, IA, three years ago after he spoke at Iowa State University.  Wendy Powers arranged for us to eat breakfast with him where he was staying overnight before returning to Vancouver, where he works in the UBC school of Public Planning or some such.  He is as delightful a conversationalistContinue reading “William Rees: Ecological Footprint”