Monday, September 25, 2006

Auto-catalysis of a New Industry

The book "Investigations" by Stuart Kauffman is a whirlwind of a book. He manages a convincing attempt at explaining the connection between the theory of evolution, thermodynamics, and economics. According to him, the diffusion and absorbtion of technology in our world is governed by his proposed fourth law of thermodynamics. I bring it up here because I believe that the most interesting commercial space companies are at the boundary of whatever edge of "chaos" and innovation that are goverened by this law (if it exists).

The fourth law: “As an average trend, biospheres and the universe create novelty and diversity as fast as they can manage to do so without destroying the accumulated propagating organization that is the basis and nexus from which further novelty is discovered and incorporate into the propagating organization.” Applied to technology, I guess this is an update of the concept of future shock.

The most interesting concept I learned is the concept of auto-catalysis. The idea is that once you have the possibility of diversity and symbiosis in a population, then the population can thrive. I believe there's a direct correlation between this concept and the idea that it will take a diverse set of space companies for the commercial space industry to take off.

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