Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Canopy Economics

Google Search: "canopy economics"

I was thinking about economics the other day. I used to think of the economy in terms of plate tectonics. When the fundamentals change, when the plates move, the visible surface is transformed.

Nowadays though, the surface seems very persistent. Even when the ground shifts, processes, institutions, entities, persist. Zombie processes stagger on beyond their life expectancy. The economy seems to have a "mind of its own".

So now I think of economics in terms of the "canopy", the layer of the forest that lies above roots and trunks. In a tropical forest I believe the trunks can die, but the canopy -- suspended by interconnections, can be relatively undisturbed.

Call this "Canopy Economics".

A google search found no matches on that phrase. Now there is one!

Update 9/11/06: Well, there are more hits on the Google search now -- but they're all 'splogs'! That is, computer generated web pages designed to trap search engines. I guess they harvested the concept from this page. Hmmm. What would be the neurologic and viral analog of that? DNA fragments, harvested and recombining, emergent systems ....

Update 11/24/07: The splog hits are gone now, and "canopy economics" returns two posts of mine and one post about forestry economics.