james b glattfelder

james b glattfelder bw

 We spend billions of dollars trying to understand the origins of the universe, while we still don’t understand the conditions for a stable society, a functioning economy, or peace.  – Dirk Helbing, Professor of Sociology at ETH in Zurich

could this be possible – do we really understand more about the fabric of reality than we do about the fabric which emerges from out human interactions?

an intriguing solution –  coming from the science of complexity

physics in a nutshell:

physics in a nutshell

we’re actually really lucky his works, because no one really knows why the thoughts in our heads should actually relate to the fundamental workings of the universe

despite its success, physics has its limits

swarms of birds/fish, ecosystems, brains, financial markets,… complex systems are very hard to map into math equations

james b 1

what looks like complex behavior from the outside is actually the result of a few simple rules of interaction 

this means you can forget about the equations and just start to understand the system by looking at the interactions

most complex systems have this amazing property called


the system as a whole suddenly starts to show behavior which cannot be understood/predicted by looking at the components of the system – whole is literally larger than the sum of its parts

you can forget about the complexity of the individual parts, just focus on rules of interaction

the nodes in the network are the systems components, links – are interactions

ownership networks

potential power – (mark’s labor) probability of disposing one’s own will despite the opposition of others.

flow of control in ownership

the control is flowing in ownership networks and accumulating at the nodes

the 737 top share holders have potential to control 80% of tnc’s value, they are  0.1 percent, 

146 top players, can control 40% of tnc’s value

the high degree of control is very extreme

the high degree of interconnectivity could pose signifiant systemic risk to global economy

we could reproduce network with a few simple rules.. structure is probably the result of self-organization, an emergent property which depends on the rules of interaction in the system

so probably not a result of a top down approach like a global conspiracy, but rather an 

the study james b

take numbers in study with a grain of salt..

hoping to open the door…

still a big problem – ideas relating to finance, politics, society,.. are often tainted by people’s personal ideologies.

hope that this complexity perspective allows for common ground to be found

reality is so complex…. we need to move away from dogma


decoding complexity



posted by Edwin de Bree..

Waarom democratisering van kapitalisme nodig is.

Why democratization of capitalism is needed.