Demographic Doom Podcast

The Curse of Complexity

November 24, 2019

Civilization is always getting more complex. This is measurable in various ways, including the number of laws on the books and number of job descriptions in employment records. Modern society consists of systems built upon systems. Each new system is intended to solve a problem, but the total mass of these systems eventually outweighs their utility. When a society becomes so complex that it cannot be governed, it eventually collapses. Glenn Campbell explains complexity, based loosely on the work of anthropologist Joseph Tainter. (Search YouTube for "Joseph Tainter complex".)