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sketchplanations:

Pace layers.

I love this concept from Stewart Brand, that different aspects of the world change at different speeds. So, fashion and art changes and cycles faster than commerce which is faster than infrastructure, and in turn governance, culture and finally Nature. The outer layers tend to innovate faster and so pull along, or be stabilised by, the lower, slower layers. At the boundaries you get constructive turbulence, say between Uber and governance, or how the growth in video streaming requires Internet infrastructure to come along with it. I’m sure you can find counter examples, but as a framework for thinking about big complex things I find it quite handy.

I find it more than handy.

Written by

Founder, Work Futures. Editor, GigaOm. My obsession is the ecology of work, and the anthropology of the future.

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