Pattern of Disruption

a woman wearing a silk kimono robe

Dropping Silk Stockings Created an Oral Health Revolution (The Pattern of Disruption, Part 7)

For most of human history, it was not routine for people to brush their teeth. But by the 1960s, majorities of most Western countries had a daily oral hygiene routine. Because oral hygiene is so central to wider health, the mainstreaming of dental care had a huge impact on the global disease burden, reducing the …

Dropping Silk Stockings Created an Oral Health Revolution (The Pattern of Disruption, Part 7) Read More »

feast

The Shipping Container Disruption Helped End Famines (The Pattern of Disruption, Part 6)

Images from Unsplash by Spencer Davis and Avel Chuklanov   The basics of life – energy, minerals, water, food – are not evenly distributed around the world, so peace and prosperity depend strongly on the ability to move goods and people quickly and cheaply. That’s how a seemingly obscure technology revolution starting in the mid-1950s …

The Shipping Container Disruption Helped End Famines (The Pattern of Disruption, Part 6) Read More »

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could spark global food riots – the solution is precision fermentation

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is about to set in motion a chain of feedback effects leading to a sudden, rapid escalation of global political instability. Various UN agencies, and now the IMF, have warned of social unrest at a similar scale to the ‘Arab Spring’ events in 2011. What few understand is the role of key technology …

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could spark global food riots – the solution is precision fermentation Read More »

The Coming Global Fertilizer Crisis – and How to Solve it (The Pattern of Disruption, Part 5)

A global food crisis is looming, with high natural gas prices driving up the cost of ammonia fertilizer and the war in Ukraine threatening this year’s crops from both there and Russia. The consequences of mishandling this crisis could be dire. Research by complexity theorist Yaneer Bar-Yam suggests that high food prices are directly connected …

The Coming Global Fertilizer Crisis – and How to Solve it (The Pattern of Disruption, Part 5) Read More »

The Disruption of Slavery Unveils Fastest Path to End Today’s Wars (The Pattern of Disruption, Part 4)

We are now at a crossroads in history, and no path forward looks pleasant. The war in Ukraine is killing innocent civilians, disrupting lives, and shaking the markets in energy, food and other commodities, making us wonder how we let ourselves become so complacent in trading with Russia, whose government has shown such little respect …

The Disruption of Slavery Unveils Fastest Path to End Today’s Wars (The Pattern of Disruption, Part 4) Read More »

How Synthetic Industries Replaced Natural Sources and Transformed the World (The Pattern of Disruption, Part 3)

  When people figure out how to do something that previously only nature had done, this new technology can completely transform the possibility space for a sector while making old ways of doing things obsolete – and all in a surprisingly short period of time. While the time can be very long between when an …

How Synthetic Industries Replaced Natural Sources and Transformed the World (The Pattern of Disruption, Part 3) Read More »

Emmanuel Macron, the President of France

France is Forgetting the Most Powerful Force in the Universe (The Pattern of Disruption, Part 2)

Europe is amid an energy crisis of epic proportions, with a shortage in the supply of fossil fuels causing painfully high energy prices. And today, French President Macron wants to revitalize nuclear to solve this challenge. But if you understand the pattern of disruption, you will see why this might not be so straightforward. When …

France is Forgetting the Most Powerful Force in the Universe (The Pattern of Disruption, Part 2) Read More »

a man in a cave

The Pattern of Disruption

The first in a new series about how the ‘pattern of disruption’ explains how our societies and economies change and evolve, and where they might be heading. It’s often assumed that ‘disruption’ is a uniquely modern phenomenon. But it’s not. Technology disruptions can be found at the heart of major societal and civilizational upheavals going …

The Pattern of Disruption Read More »