On 9-1 Misha wrote:
> I'll post later on epistemology of science
>stuff that's burbling around in my sub-basement. Including the New
>Physics stuff that relates to sustainable ag.
Oh goody! This summer I read James Gleick's CHAOS: Making A New Science,
which is a very readable account (even for a farmer like me) of what some
claim is a scientific revolution a la Kuhn in the hardest of sciences
(physics, math) that exposes and goes beyond the severe limitations of
the linear reductionist paradigm. I was excited to see how this
development parallels a similar critique in sustag circles. Some of the
chaos theorists claim to have discovered a new so-called fractal
geometry of nature whose similarities across changes in scale mimic
developmental patterns in everything from cotton prices to clouds to
blood vessels as they diminish in size toward capillarity, and many other
scalar repetitions in living organisms.
I was interested to see that the "new science" developed only by breaking
out of the narrow disciplinary focus characteristic of the old paradigm.
This seems to parallel a growing conviction in sustag circles that the
pursuit of sustainability must ultimately address the intimate
relationship between ecological imperatives,the shape of our farms, the
nature of rural community, and the constraints of the reigning political
But Misha, beyond these obvious parallels is there anything of sustenance
to sustag in the new physics of fractals?
Northland Sheep Dairy
"Mother Nature never tries to farm without livestock" --Albert Howard
"Pueblo que canta no morira" --Cuban saying
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