“Systems dump excess energy in the form of structure.”

Tim Oren relates this aphorism “Systems dump excess energy in the form of structure.”  He credits James Burke. Delightful.

If true it goes a long way toward explaining why large firms, who almost by definition succeed in capturing proportionally larger rents, become less adaptable.  Comfortable abundance gives you the luxury for polishing all your policies and procedures, and pretty soon “they’re being pursued by a snail and yet they cannot get away! ‘The snail! The snail!’, they cry. ‘How can we possibly escape!?.”

3 thoughts on ““Systems dump excess energy in the form of structure.”

  1. Ben Hyde

    It’s an ornate anti-establishment point; and of course the same point has been made about art and the societies that it appears in.

    Talking of accreted structure, I love that snail thing, the threatened institution is otherwise happy like a clam.

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