Sunday, October 11, 2009

By continuities, I mean patterns that extend across time. These are not laws, like gravity or entropy; they are not even theories, like relativity or natural selection. They are simply phenomena that recur with sufficient regularity to make themselves apparent to us. Without such patterns, we’d have no basis for generalizing about human experience: we’d not know, for example, that birth rates tend to decline as economic development advances, or that empires tend to expand beyond their means, or that democracies tend not to go to war with one another. But because these patterns show up so frequently in the past, we can reasonably expect them to continue to do so in the future.

The landscape of history, by John Lewis Gaddis. p.31.

A continuity is often an indicator of an underlying infrastructure that sustains the pattern by counter-acting entropy.

tags: process, artifact, niche construction, pattern, greatest, course

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