Mr. Trump and the Global Circus

Just what is the crazy-like-a-fox President-elect of the U.S. up to? His antics would make P.T. Barnum blush with admiration. Mr. Trump has created a spectacle of showmanship on a scale unequaled at any place and at any time in the past. His millions of voters are more Pavlovian than a 50-dog act. And his detractors are as puzzled as they are livid. Let’s step back and take a look at the history leading up to this circus. Perhaps this can provide us with some hint on what to do next, before the lions are released into the cage with us.

The Decline and Fall of Globalization

To understand what happened in the recent US Presidential election, we have to go back to the early 1980s. At that time the overall global social mood shot upward, probably as a consequence of growing international financial integration that tended to undermine the age-old paradigm of “international diversification”. As the social mood became ever more positive, feelings that “everyone is a potential friend” grew stronger and drove events toward increasing interdependence, trade, and cooperation. It’s no accident that the European Union was formed during this period, along with the World Economic Forum in Davos. This story is graphically shown in the diagram below, where we see globalization totally flat until the mid ‘80s, where it exploded until around 2008.

Complexity Gaps Lead to Inequality

American political scientist Francis Fukuyama announced the “end of history” in his essay of the same name published in 1989. In that article, Fukuyama argued that communistic social and economic principles collapsed along with the Soviet Union thus leading to a victory for liberal-democratic capitalism in their decades-long battle. What many people missed in Fukuyama’s essay was the part in which he wondered whether citizens in the West would proceed to lose moral and spiritual purpose now that the Cold War had ended the East- West ideological conflict.

David Smucker on Breaking the Light

Lloyd takes long, complex exposures in New York City’s streets at night with his handheld 35 mm Canon digital camera. Far from static and serene cityscapes, his photographs exuberantly embrace the energy of the city and its inhabitants. The word embrace, though, doesn’t fully cover what’s going on in these photos. These works are a dance with light. Trusting an intuitive response to the cadences of the patterns of lights illuminating the city, Lloyd moves himself and his camera in time to their unseen rhythms. Each exposure done this way is unpredictable, made in a kind of wild and blind trance. Lloyd must surrender to the power of light as it tears though the darkness. In his dance he follows the light, enabling it to reveal its secrets to him.

The Big Bang that Fizzled or, Hell no! No Big Bang

Cosmologist Sean Carroll gave a TED talk Distant time and the hint of a multiverse. He said “The universe is really big. We live in a galaxy, the Milky Way Galaxy. There are about a hundred billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. Every one of these (little blobs) is a galaxy roughly the size of our Milky Way — a hundred billion stars in each of those. There are approximately a hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe. . .”
“What you have to think about is we have a universe with a hundred billion galaxies, and a hundred billion stars each. At early times, those hundred billion galaxies were squeezed into a region about this big – (literally a pinpoint) — at early times.

Quantum Entanglement Redux

The notes below from Wired Magazine (Jan. 2011) shed light on how BREAKING THE LIGHT images are made through an interaction with light photons called quantum entanglement. Each image is made during a single time exposure with a hand held camera. While the shutter is closed I am “blind” to the multi-colored lights where I am shooting. The camera does a “quantum dance” that guides it movements. These excerpts shed light on how my “blind” eye influences my other open eye and vice-versa through quantum entanglement. The robin’s eyes, through a layer of cryptochrome at the retina, are theorized in this article to have quantum entanglement with the earth’s very weak magnetic field.

Healthcare Patents and Hot-Dog Vendors

While patents on medical devices seem normal, patents on drugs and chemical entities may seem like a stretch. I am not sure that the law makers in Venice in 1474, who invented the legal concept of a patent, envisioned the need to patent molecules. In fact, molecules were not even envisioned at that time. We all know that a patent allows an inventor time to commercialize his or her product, but are patents really needed for the economic viability of healthcare? Shouldn’t healthcare be all about saving lives and promoting health and not about making money on people who desperately need healthcare? Do patents have a benefit to patients, not just the patent holders? I think the answer to this question is “perhaps.” Patents promote diversity of products in the healthcare market place by forcing inventors to develop drugs outside the domain of currently patented products.

How the World Works

Excerpts from the book Confronting Complexity X-Events, Resilience, and Human Progress by John L. Casti Roger D. Jones Michael J. Pennock preface table-of-contents Click to Buy Paperback E-Book Bundled     Watch the video.

US Healthcare as a Complex System

Healthcare in the U.S. is complicated. There are dozens of components: hospitals, hospices, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, home care, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies, the Food and Drug Administration, the Patent Office, specialized physicians, general physicians, physicians assistants, nurses, medical device manufacturers, Medicare, Medicaid, private insurers, self insurers, employers, self-employed, wellness centers, chronic conditions, acute conditions, end-of-life conditions, rare diseases, personalized medicine, cosmetic surgery, concierge medicine, and many more. The complication is impossible for any single person to penetrate or understand.