By popular demand, we welcome Joseph Tainter, USU professor and author of The Collapse Of Complex Societies (free book download here). Author: Joseph Tainter The Collapse of Complex Societies, though written by an archaeologist, will therefore strike a chord Dr. Tainter describes nearly two dozen cases of collapse and reviews more than years of explanations. Collapse of Complex Societies has ratings and 91 reviews. Mark said: Ok, done!Tainter’s work is an opus. How could it be otherwise with a title lik.

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He seems fair and level-headed. His rejections of existing theories as incomplete seem to often focus on theories not spelling out a full causal chain between cause and effect to his satisfaction, rather than proper rejection of a causal link, and in that light his identification of declining marginal returns as the key factor can be cast in doubt compared to, for example, resource depletion, which seems more central to the economic argument he builds — declining marginal returns being a seemingly unavoidable factor, but societies which discover new energy sources seeming to survive despite it.

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All problem solving organizations are subject to cost-benefit analysis. I found it well worth the effort, and recommend it to collpse interested in this subject matter. He’s actually a little boring, and casual readers expecting lurid thrills from this book are likely to put it down after the first few pages.

His paper Complexity, Problem Solving, and Sustainable Societies focuses on the energy cost of problem solving, and the energy-complexity relation in manmade systems. Discover Prime Book Box for Kids.

Joseph Tainter

This is well trodden ground, from those like Francis Fukuyama who ascribe most development of complex societies to warfare to those with a more anarchist bent, like James C. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. However, there is a plausible argument that modern technology, as well as modern habits of thought, whatever their drawbacks may be, permit a society to be organized with dispersed problem solving by networks, which may, to some extent, be immune from diminishing returns.


He does point to economic theories, one of the eleven groups, as the one probably richest in explanatory possibilities. Mar 21, Steve Greenleaf rated it really liked it Shelves: His arguably best-known work, The Collapse of Complex Societiesexamines the collapse of Maya and Chacoan civilizations, [2] and of the Western Roman Empirein terms of network theoryenergy economics and complexity theory.

The empire was split into two halves, of which the western soon fragmented into smaller units. Aug 11, Alex rated it really liked it Shelves: The Romans “solved” this problem by conquering their neighbours to appropriate their energy surpluses in concrete forms, as metals, grain, slaves, etc. Intense, authoritarian efforts to maintain cohesion by Domitian and Constantine the Great only led to an ever greater strain on the population.

This was probably the most interesting part of the book. Whether we want to or not, for the sake of America, we must try to understand the Donald Trump phenomenon, as it has completely swept the nation and also fiercely divided it.

Primitivist Archetypes in s Children’s Programming”. Whatever the answer, it is clear that speculation is part of the study of history and that was lacking in this book.

This theory is handy in its versatility – it can apply to whatever the most fundamental resource of a society is, from soil nutrition to fisheries to information flow to technical development to oil.

Tainter’s conceptual framework seems, collapsr further analysis, to be closely in-line with Quigley’s theories of historical analysis. Joseph Tainter arrived inwith this book, to offer an alternative—namely, total economic determinism yainter through a framework of his own devising. His focus on regulations and taxes makes one feel Tainter is in with the Chi-town gang.


Open Preview See a Problem? In the end, however, he pronounces the existing literature inadequate to the task of explaining how and why thriving civilizations eventually disappear. While for the most part convincing, Tainter’s thesis has a few holes worthy of highlight. These offer different levels of complexity and different sources of evidence to compare against each other.

For the Romans, the empire was essentially founded on conquest. A sizable portion of the text is dedicated to refuting “mystical” explanations of collapse. Retour en infographie sur ces technologies. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. East Dane Designer Men’s Fashion.

Joseph Tainter: The Collapse Of Complex Societies | Zero Hedge

With the global economy teetering on a shaky foundation and prepper-types everywhere heralding the end of global civilization as we know it, the nature and mechanism of the collapse of complex societies has rarely seemed as relevant as it does today. To Tainter the story of a complex society is a race against the resource clock. You can decide to make it visible only to you or to a restricted audience.

Too much sober thought stifled societiies, may be it is because Tainter is an archaeologist who likes substantive reasons rather than flights of fancy. One of the strengths of his framework is the broadness of its terms of reference The civilization plateau’s and the structure established to help it grow becomes a part of society. Linked as we are by globalization, if any one nation collapses, they’ll dollapse be bailed out and subsumed by another. He argues that the sustainability or collapse of a society follows from the success or failure of its problem-solving institutions.