I have been reading “The Collapse of Complex Societies,” by Joseph A. Tainter. It is a bit too scientistic for my taste, with heavy emphasis on generalizations like the amount of "energy" a society needs. Such talk reminds me of when I was getting my Ph.D. in field ecology. I chose to study competition between insect populations in a way that avoided the concepts of energy that were popular in ecology at the time.

Perhaps that prejudiced me, but at least Tainter's book got me thinking about the complexity of enterprise information systems, particularly in enterprises that automated in the 1960s and 1970s and are still around today.

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