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The Frontiers Collection

The Seneca Effect

Why Growth is Slow but Collapse is Rapid

Authors: Bardi, Ugo

  • Presents wisdom from an ancient Roman Philosopher that you can use today
  • Explains why technological progress may not prevent societal collapse
  • Provides a true systems perspective on the widespread phenomenon of collapse
  • Highlights principles to help us manage, rather than be managed by, the greatest challenges of our times
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Buy this book

eBook 47,59 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-57207-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 59,27 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-57206-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
About this book

The essence of this book can be found in a line written by the ancient Roman Stoic Philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca: "Fortune is of sluggish growth, but ruin is rapid". This sentence summarizes the features of the phenomenon that we call "collapse," which is typically sudden and often unexpected, like the proverbial "house of cards." But why are such collapses so common, and what generates them? Several books have been published on the subject, including the well known "Collapse" by Jared Diamond (2005), "The collapse of complex societies" by Joseph Tainter (1998) and "The Tipping Point," by Malcom Gladwell (2000). Why The Seneca Effect? This book is an ambitious attempt to pull these various strands together by describing collapse from a multi-disciplinary viewpoint. The reader will discover how collapse is a collective phenomenon that occurs in what we call today "complex systems," with a special emphasis on system dynamics and the concept of "feedback." From this foundation, Bardi applies the theory to real-world systems, from the mechanics of fracture and the collapse of large structures to financial collapses, famines and population collapses, the fall of entire civilzations, and the most dreadful collapse we can imagine: that of the planetary ecosystem generated by overexploitation and climate change. The final objective of the book is to describe a conclusion that the ancient stoic philosophers had already discovered long ago, but that modern system science has rediscovered today. If you want to avoid collapse you need to embrace change, not fight it. Neither a book about doom and gloom nor a cornucopianist's dream, The Seneca Effect goes to the heart of the challenges that we are facing today, helping us to manage our future rather than be managed by it.

About the authors

Ugo Bardi teaches physical chemistry at the University of Florence, in Italy. He is interested in resource depletion, system dynamics modeling, climate science and renewable energy. He is member of the scientific committee of ASPO (Association for the study of peak oil) and regular contributor of "The Oil Drum" and "Resilience.org". His blog in English is called "Cassandra's legacy". His most recent book in English Extracted: How the Quest for Global Mining Wealth is Plundering the Planet (Chelsea Green”, 2014. He is also the author of The Limits to Growth Revisited (Springer 2011).

Table of contents (5 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 47,59 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-57207-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 59,27 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-57206-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Seneca Effect
Book Subtitle
Why Growth is Slow but Collapse is Rapid
Authors
Series Title
The Frontiers Collection
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-57207-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-57207-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-57206-2
Series ISSN
1612-3018
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVIII, 210
Number of Illustrations and Tables
36 b/w illustrations, 21 illustrations in colour
Topics