Steering for Thrivability

Core Concepts for Navigating Complexity


  • Nora Bateson

  • living systems are learning systems

    • A system results from relationships. If not enough relational data not a robust enough system. Warm data.

  • Are we creating support structures, such as AI that allow for learning?

    • For example, DAO innovations are focused on fixed code. How to evolve into living contracts?


Hydra FTW

  • Indoor plants need wind. Otherwise their stalks can be weak and gangly. If you start seeds indoors, blow on them…perturb them.

  • Striving for a way to “build back better”

  • Symmathesy: learn from disorder and perturbation

  • Feedback and feed forward


  • Beyond Dualism

    • false certainty

    • no box thinking

  • Dimensions and gradients of possibility
    axis: X, Y, Z….

Carrying Capacity

  • A spectrum with thresholds

  • Covid CC

    • ICU

    • hospital beds

Inverse and Shadows

  • Inverse

    • Super exciting growth chart hides the consumption of resource and personnel

    • Externalities and other ways of manipulating statistics to make invisible what is declining to support the growth chart

  • Shadow and other shady things

    • This also shows up in human behavior. Anything that seems like an admirable characteristic may cover over, hide, or justify shady elements.


What other core concepts do you notice supporting the ability to steer within complexity?

What is carrying capacity good for and what might it miss (see inverse)? How will we get adequate data for it?

How do we sense thrivabilty in a course correcting learning environment striving to be antifragile? Something that seems horrible in one moment turns into a necessary perturbation in hindsight.