In October 2015, Joseph Tainter was my guest in omega tau 184 to discuss his concept of increasing complexity and eventual collapse of societies. In this episode, our guest Paul Arbair discusses these concepts in the light of today’s rising populism in several countries. The episode is based on two articles Paul wrote on his blog: one on Brexit and one on Trump.
Joseph Tainter, our guest in this episode, is an anthropologist and historian. In 1988 he wrote a book called The Collapse of Complex Societies in which he argues that societies inevitably increase their inherent complexity, and, if and when the complexity becomes too “expensive” (diminishing returns), a society will collapse. In this episode, Joe explains his rationale and provides historic examples for collapse. We then discuss his theory relative today’s world, concluding with a not alltogether positive outlook.
This episode is a conversation with Ruud Hoogeveen from the Netherlands Institute for Space Research about satellite-based Earth observation, and primarily about measuring the concentration of gases such as CO2 or Ozone from space. We talk about the effects of these gases on the atmosphere, how the sensors work in principle, and about the history and evolution of the sensors over the various missions. We conclude with a look on detecting and measuring aerosols and at the future challenges and current research for satellite-based earth observation.
This episode is a conversation with Pete Bethune, the skipper of Earthrace. Earthrace has broken the world record for circumnavigation of the world with a powerboat.