The Roman Philosopher Lucius Anneaus Seneca (4 BCE-65 CE) was perhaps the first to note the universal trend that growth is slow but ruin is rapid. I call this tendency the "Seneca Effect."
Showing posts with label Bardi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bardi. Show all posts

Friday, August 26, 2022

The Limits to Growth 50 years later: an Indispensable Book


A Comment by Bernard Paquito on the New Report of the club of Rome, "Limits and Beyond" 
Reproduced with the kind permission of the author

Bardi & Pereira did a great job with this collective book: Limits and Beyond. Authors have different backgrounds, cultures, point of views about the Limits to Growth consequences and perspectives.

For instance, the first chapter is absolutely necessaryBardi presents a brief history of this report, and most importantly a history of critics and misinterpretations (e.g., market vs physical factors in economy).

Other authors highlighted that the original messages of the LtG book were misunderstood: “the message of overshoot caused by decision delays was not picked up by the Limits to Growth readership”. They remind us that the most important variable of Limits to Growth was the well-being of people and not the gross domestic product.

Dennis Meadow’s chapter presents a short answer for the most frequent questions about the Limits to Growth, e.g., How can the world’s population be reduced ? Does World3 take wars into account ?

Also, a chapter (written by Gianfranco Bologna) presents the links between Limits to Growth readership, understanding and the current model of Planetary Boundaries, Safe Operating Space and Doughnut Economics.

Other chapters introduce the authors' personal experience and reception of Limits to Growth in South Africa, Asian countries or soviet bloc.

According to the Conway’s law, Pezeshki explains the roles of empathy (at different levels in a system) to provoke social changes.

Finally, Gaya Herrington summarize his work about the checking of Limits to Growth with current data and presents a nuanced vision of tested scenarios. She performed an updated World3 modelization with following variables: population, fertility, mortality, pollution, industrial output, food, services, non-renewable natural resources, human welfare and ecological footprint. Her discussion is brilliant.

If we do not change the framing through which we formulate the questions and their responses there is a little chance that the general orientation of our relationships (among humans, with life, with time) could change.” Carlos Alvarez Pereira p259

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The "Seneca Effect" Published

Springer: The Frontiers Collection

The Seneca Effect

Why Growth is Slow but Collapse is Rapid

Authors: Bardi, Ugo

Presents wisdom from an ancient Roman Philosopher that you can use today. Explains why technological progress may not prevent societal collapse. Provides a true systems perspective on the widespread phenomenon of collapse. Highlights principles to help us manage, rather than be managed by, the greatest challenges of our times.
My new book, "The Seneca Effect" is now available, you can find it on the Springer site, or on Amazon and other on-line sellers. Excuse me if I define it as "monumental" but, really, it has been a lot of work and the book contains a lot of things, mainly explained on the basis of system dynamics. It goes from the crumbling of pyramids, the breakdown of everyday things, all the way to social and economic collapses, including famines wars and assorted catastrophes. Yet, it is not a catastrophistic book. It is just that catastrophes exist and we have to deal with them. And, if nothing old ever disappeared, nothing new could come.

One thing I have to explain about this book is the relatively high price. This is part of Springer's policies; they are not mainstream publishers and they have different pricing policies. And, as you probably know, authors have little to say on this subject, although I think I managed to convince Springer to price this book at relatively low levels for their standards. Don't think I hadn't tried mainstream publishers but, apparently, books about collapse are a no-no with publishers, right now. Nobody wants to mention the subject and maybe there are good reasons.....  (in ancient times, they said, "name the devil and the devil is here")

Also, I can send you a flyer for a 20% discount; just write me at ugo.bardi(thing-a-magig) (valid until Oct 07, 2017). If it is still too expensive for you, if you follow the Cassandra blog or the Seneca blog, there are many things you can learn about system dynamics and collapses. It is truly a fascinating subject!


Here is a description of the book that you can find on the Springer site

The essence of this book can be found in a line written by the ancient Roman Stoic Philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca: "Fortune is of sluggish growth, but ruin is rapid". This sentence summarizes the features of the phenomenon that we call "collapse," which is typically sudden and often unexpected, like the proverbial "house of cards." But why are such collapses so common, and what generates them? Several books have been published on the subject, including the well known "Collapse" by Jared Diamond (2005), "The collapse of complex societies" by Joseph Tainter (1998) and "The Tipping Point," by Malcom Gladwell (2000). Why The Seneca Effect?

This book is an ambitious attempt to pull these various strands together by describing collapse from a multi-disciplinary viewpoint. The reader will discover how collapse is a collective phenomenon that occurs in what we call today "complex systems," with a special emphasis on system dynamics and the concept of "feedback." From this foundation, Bardi applies the theory to real-world systems, from the mechanics of fracture and the collapse of large structures to financial collapses, famines and population collapses, the fall of entire civilizations, and the most dreadful collapse we can imagine: that of the planetary ecosystem generated by overexploitation and climate change. The final objective of the book is to describe a conclusion that the ancient stoic philosophers had already discovered long ago, but that modern system science has rediscovered today. If you want to avoid collapse you need to embrace change, not fight it. Neither a book about doom and gloom nor a cornucopianist's dream, The Seneca Effect goes to the heart of the challenges that we are facing today, helping us to manage our future rather than be managed by it.