Filippo dal fiore social scientist at mit and austrian academy of sciences
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Canterbury, 03.09.08, Conference on Conflict and Complexity. Does complexity manifests as the power to blackmail? The search for geopolitical equilibrium and the war on terror.

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Filippo Dal Fiore Social Scientist at MIT and Austrian Academy of Sciences

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Filippo dal fiore social scientist at mit and austrian academy of sciences

Canterbury, 03.09.08, Conference on Conflict and Complexity

Does complexity manifests as the power to blackmail? The search for geopolitical equilibrium and the war on terror

Filippo Dal FioreSocial Scientist at MIT and Austrian Academy of Sciences


Starting point today s scenario

Starting point: today´s scenario

21st century globalization  free flows of money and information (“one world, one dream“)


First implication

First implication:

empowerment of once peripheral actors(for the principle of communicating vessels)

 from dependency to interdependency


That implies

…that implies:

once dominated actors get in a position to blackmail dominants


That implies1

…that implies:

dominant actors try to co-opt dominated actors in the dominant cartel (i.e. the global establishment) if you can´t beat your enemy, join him


That implies2

…that implies:

as the dominant cartel gets bigger, its leadership needs to be strengthen given the higher risk of centrifugal forces (1)  USA as World Police


Filippo dal fiore social scientist at mit and austrian academy of sciences

(2)  Promotion of a monoculture

(3)  Prevention of globalization of the ultime source of power


But one problem remains

But one problem remains:

What if a once peripheral actor refuses to be co-opted in the enlarged global establishment?


Filippo dal fiore social scientist at mit and austrian academy of sciences

Then…

 either you convert the dissident into a friend… or

 …you annihilate the dissident


Hence what does all this have to do with complexity

Hence, what does all this have to do with complexity?

Complex systems are composed of interacting elements, sometimes these are viewed as independent agents, in other interpretations these elements are considered to be nodes in a network. In either case, the important consequence of the interaction between elements is that the system displays properties and behaviour that could not be predicted by examination of its component parts. In other words, “the whole is greater than the sum its parts” and, in the terminology of the field, complex systems have “emergent properties”.(http://www.complexityinbe.com/index.html?section=intro&page=intro)


Filippo dal fiore social scientist at mit and austrian academy of sciences

In my view, it is all about the way elements interact Supposedly, IFcomplexity comes into place when we move from dependency to interdependence among elements,ANDinterdependence is revealed by the mutual power to blackmail

THEN, The power to blackmail is the first synthom of underpinning complexity


Filippo dal fiore social scientist at mit and austrian academy of sciences

Finally, is complexity (as it has been here defined) a feature peculiar to the 21st century global world?

Supposedly, not. It existed already before but to an infinitely lower scale

If the number of nodes increase, the opportunities to blackmail skyrocket


In the end something tells me things must be simple

In the end, something tells me things must be simple…


Filippo dal fiore social scientist at mit and austrian academy of sciences

Canterbury, 03.09.08, Conference on Conflict and Complexity

Filippo Dal FioreSocial Scientist at MIT and Austrian Academy of [email protected]


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