Hello from J M Applegate

I’m currently a research professor at Arizona State University’s School of Complex Adaptive Systems, and co-lead of the Complexity Economics Lab. While I practice a variant of economics, my doctorate is in applied mathematics. I consider myself 70% theor and 30% augur, though in today’s academic environment, this position requires regular incanting. My forte is generative computational proof of principle models demonstrating theoretical complexity economics concepts.

I’ll be spending this holiday break catching up on the phenomenal Witness work.

I teach a complexity economics course for our Masters in Complex Systems degree, and in the spirit of open sourcery, those lectures and models are all here: www.summaeconomica.com. This is the first iteration of the course and it will evolve, and hopefully improve, over time. If you wander over there, please send along any disagreements, comments or corrections.

My formal interest in economics was sparked by KSR’s Red Mars, so I am a natural fit with the SciFiEcon ethos. While I appreciated Ministry (I skimmed the list-like sections), KSR’s best econ work, IMHO, is New York 2140, in part because I found not paying creditors a more palatable protest than blowing up airplanes, and the rest of Ministry doesn’t work without the ecoterrorism piece. (Though traveling to Europe via sailing ship as described sounds heavenly.)

What gets me up in the morning is the desire to promote and protect human agency, appropriately situated within various possible social contexts. I subscribe to the humanism exemplified by Graeber and Crawford, and am a tech-skeptic.

I’m most excited about this group in terms of the system variant of networking described by the Messina Cluster, and I’m very happy to be here.


Hello and welcome! So glad you are here.

Paul Krugman claims that he became an economist because, after reading Asimov’s Foundation, economics was the closest thing to psychohistory. But of course there is no complexity in there!

I would argue this is scenario planning at its best. “We cannot see a non-violent path from here to there” is very useful information to the planner.

Once again, delighted to be scheming together.

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