Re: Stages in Chaos Theory LO2932
Mon, 25 Sep 1995 12:49:20 -0400 (EDT)

Replying to LO2859 --

I'm not sure this gets at your question, but it's what popped into my
mind. We often see an exponential growth curve. When we are part of it,
that's all we see. Yet, the larger system archetype is "Limits to Growth,"
"Tragedy of the Commons," or something similar. When the growth curve
peaks, a decline, maybe even a crash follows. The alternative is to
transform the system to create another growth curve, and usually involves
the "death" of the factors responsible for the first growth curve. While
in the middle of the growth curve, it's very difficult to see or even
imagine the impending decline. To be a doomsayer in times of growth is
often viewed as heresy.

I would just add that this gives us a picture of sustainable
development: a series of S-curves - exponential growth followed by decline
while the system transforms, followed by another period of growth, then
decline, etc. A regular learning curve. Hypothesis: Sustainable
development = Continuous learning???

Jim Saveland
USDA Forest Service