Shirky on Business

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Simple is better as it turns out. Holds true for business as well.

The answer he arrived at was that they hadn’t collapsed despite their cultural sophistication, they’d collapsed because of it. Subject to violent compression, Tainter’s story goes like this: a group of people, through a combination of social organization and environmental luck, finds itself with a surplus of resources. Managing this surplus makes society more complex…

Tainter’s thesis is that when society’s elite members add one layer of bureaucracy or demand one tribute too many, they end up extracting all the value from their environment it is possible to extract and then some.

Old but good, via Clay Shirky. 

 

OK, I’ll Click

Greatest intro all year?

Inside a sprawling Manhattan command center, a board that detects subway activity by sensor had gone quiet. No trains were running; the Metropolitan Transportation Authority had shut the system down as Hurricane Sandy approached.

Suddenly, the screens inexplicably crackled to life.

Something was moving down there. And it was not the trains.

Read the full article here.