Are We on the Edge of Chaos?

Robert Hacker, 2020-07-06

Edge of Chaos

  • Ex: water turning into gas (phase transition); edge of chaos is when there’s a mix of both water and steam – emergent state.

  • Scale Threshold – once crossed the growth in information processing becomes paramount [phase transition].

  • Information Threshold – once crossed facilitates additional growth in scale [emergence].

  • Maybe the Information Threshold was crossed in March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic, and currently we’re experiencing the chaos.

PESTEL Analysis for the Edge of Chaos

  • Politics (government) – the role of government (among others) is information processing and distribution. Digitalization of the government may reduce its size and make information flow less partisan.

  • Economics – two major trends negatively affecting employees:

o   Gig economy – in the US 40%+ workers are employed casually or part-time vs 17% in 1990. [MK: hidden form of unemployment?]

o   AI/robots replacing humans at with simple and repeatable job duties [Amazon].

  • Social – the income inequality (Gini Coefficient) is increasing every year, and this is a global trend. Perhaps, only a war [MK: or a global catastrophe] is a working solution to distract workers with no economic opportunity.

  • City-states are a viable alternative to a centralized government (Moscow, anyone?), adapt very fast and build their own ecosystems. May outsource defence, too.

  • Journalist integrity got shifted towards sensationalism and breaking news. [MK: no wonder that this affects social life of humans]

  • Technology – only 1% of work globally is manual. AI deployment everywhere in the future. Inability by the governments to keep up with technology developments may lead to cities breaking out into city states (see above). [MK: let’s not forget about mass surveillance.]

  • Environment – global climate change [man-made or not] is already visible and accelerates.

  • Law and Regulation – law is slow to understand technology and its implications (court cases, anyone?). Need lawmakers with access to deep expertise in emerging tech. [MK: how legal are smart contracts?]