Clash of Titans

I had to come out of hiding for the Barnett vs. Robb friction (good posts at Zenpundit and Phatic Communion -which is back on the blogroll) with a quote from Kevin Kelly’s older book “New Rules for the New Economy” (Kelly is a cofounder/editor of Wired and someone who really gets the new world of networks – his great book is available online through that link ):

There are two elementary kinds of loops: Self-negating loops such as thermostats and toilet bowl valves, which create feedback loops that regulate themselves, and self-reinforcing loops, which are loops that foster runaway growth such as increasing returns and network effects.

Bottom line is Barnett is looking for self reinforcing feedback loops and Robb keeps a finger on the negative feedback loops regulating the international system.

As is nature – the negative will outweigh and dictate the positive. Things get worse (and will) before they get better. There is a larger framework at play shaping the international system, but it’s not Barnett’s vision. Disruptive innovation overcomes sustaining innovation.

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  • I’m glad to be back I missed this thing. Good news is I was able to do quite a bit of book reading, so theoretically my productivity should increase.

    Oh, and glad to see that P.C. is alive and well.

  • Curtis Gale Weeks
    May 23, 2006

    I’m glad to see you are back!

    (Sorry about the ambiguity in my posts concerning the continuation of P.C. — and thanks for dropping by!)

  • Eric Anderson
    May 24, 2006

    Let me push back at that dichotomy. I’d charachterize Robb’s models as competing reinforcing loops (nation-states’ versus the global guerillas’). Global guerillas don’t regulate the international system towards an equilibrium. Or do I misunderstand you?


  • Just so you know, I’m not ignoring the question, I’m working on a post that should shed some light on it. 😉

  • I look forward to it.

    PS: Get the RSS feed off the footer and into the header! :)

  • Done

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