Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
HierarchyPerspectives for Ecological Complexity$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

T. F. H. Allen and Thomas B. Starr

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226489544

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226489711.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 17 February 2020

Scale as an Investigative Tool

Scale as an Investigative Tool

(p.301) Chapter Twelve Scale as an Investigative Tool

T.F.H. Allen

Thomas B. Starr

University of Chicago Press

The diversity of life forms depends on the existence of the eukaryotic cell. Eukaryotes overcome scaling conflicts where increased size separates the working structural parts from genetic instructions that lets them play their role. For engineers emergence means collapse and negative, unfortunate outcomes. Accordingly engineers overbuild. In ecological systems complexity is a way around emergence in that it expects radical change and works to incorporate it as a normal happening. Biological and ecological systems work with varying contexts that change inertial frames. The chapter presents a protocol for using scale. Three alternatives are: 1. use an easily applied scale; use an elaborate exact scale. 2. change the scale; change the point of view. 3. focus on the form of the scale used; focus on what appears using the scale. It appears that society is at its scaling limits, about to be overcome. Complexity in both the situation and in the response causes social problem solving itself to cease to work. Issues of scale and complexity appear to underlie the disenchantment in the First World. It may take us down as it did the Romans.

Keywords:   collapse, economics, endosymbiosis, engineering, inertial frames, interference patterns, point of view, positive feedback, scale, society

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.