The Collapse of Everything

Monday, July 02, 2012

Dr. John Casti is a complexity scientist, systems theorist and the co-founder of The X-Center, a Vienna-based research institute focusing on human-caused extreme events and how to anticipate them. Casti discusses his book, X-Events: The Collapse of Everything


John Casti

Comments [10]

Bala R Subramanian from Edison, NJ

Complexity has always existed and will continue to exist. What is new is our awareness of that complexity and willingness to deal with it. Complexity when organized and managed (like the nature around us has ) does not and need not result in collapse. Humanity need to separate individuals from the collective and provide tools such as this silent-office ( ) to each and everyone to cope with complexity and thrive from it.

May. 10 2013 12:34 PM

The Lehrer Show usually does a better job of vetting. This gentleman has little new to offer and apparently has some readily refutable notions. His sort of thinking would lead to technological stagnation. Worrying about the LHC? A foolish waste of time. I know that Brian knows better, but he is just so damn polite.

Jul. 02 2012 07:59 PM
John A

Stephen from Stony Brook,
A black hole possesses localized strong gravity. Gravity effects all matter of any mass. Are you saying there's something to keep gravity from working in this case? Sorry if you read me as a troll - not intended.

Jul. 02 2012 11:57 AM
Stephen from Stony Brook

Sigh...what a fear mongerer. The worst kind of pseudoscience. Firstly, although the BWR/PWR design for nuclear reactors such as Fukushima are not the best (a thorium Molten Salt Reactor is far safer), the Japanese have explicitly designed not only their reactors but ALL of their buildings to withstand huge seismic forces.

Secondly, the LHC comment he makes is pure lie - he never finishes the argument that ALL scientists say at the LHC (I know several of them, as I am a chemist). It's a simple matter of thermodynamics (energy management). IFF they are making a black hole during an experiment, WHERE DOES THE ENERGY COME FROM to propagate the so-called sucking of the earth into it? There simply isn't any energy around to continue such an energetic event. The energetics of the theoretical black hole are simply decoupled from the much lower energy states around them. Vibrate a high-E string on your guitar and the low E won't move - no coupling, even though they're in the same key!

Peddlers of fear like this person ALWAYS omit exculpatory fact.

Jul. 02 2012 11:13 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I'd rather we took measures to prevent these disasters than to survive them. ...OK, both.

Jul. 02 2012 10:58 AM
john from office

There was the thought that we could all die with the first use of atomic weapons. That we would be unable to control the reaction.

Jul. 02 2012 10:56 AM

This is guy is full of it. The Fukushima disaster did involve Japanese mistakes, including design errors, but to pretend that the Japanese didn't prepare for a tsunami is flat-out false. The earthquake (in fact, _three_ earthquakes) was among the most powerful _ever_. The entire island of Japan was shifted. The earth's rotational speed was changed.

Likewise, he betrays _stunning_ ignorance of the LHC.

This guy's babbling is the _worst_ kind of pseudo-scientific fear-mongering.

Jul. 02 2012 10:56 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Does Dr. Casti think global climate disruption fits into his "too much complexity, too little understanding" model? Seems to me there's plenty of understanding, but many people don't believe what's understood.

Jul. 02 2012 10:55 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

Great old adage: KISS (Keep It Simple Silly). Works for many aspects of life.

Jul. 02 2012 10:51 AM
Ed from Larchmont

I remember the 2003 blackout of the Eastern Seaboard - it was caused, they said, by a branch falling on a power line in Ohio and the cascading results. Not everything is in our control.

Jul. 02 2012 08:04 AM

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