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The Curse of Optimization
Future sustainability, technology, industry and society

Peter Cochrane
cochrane .org.uk
ca-glob...
In a

connected
of

world

finite
resources

a stove-piped
is

dangerous
Wednesday, 6 November 13

View
Optimizing by € € € € alone
leads to brittleness and
instability often with
severe ecological
and social
damage

Wednesday...
Countries, companies & economies

that look like this
are short lived

Today’s financial systems
only produce one result
We...
In the long
term this is
fundamentally
impossible...
...you can’t
have it all at
the same time!

Wednesday, 6 November 13
This is what business schools
teach budding managers, but
it is incomplete, and
it is wrong!

Wednesday, 6 November 13
Brit

tlen

ess

This is what business schools
teach budding managers, but
it is incomplete, and
it is wrong!

Wednesday, ...
Brit

tlen

ess

Cost of
Ownership

This is what business schools
teach budding managers, but
it is incomplete, and
it is ...
Efficiency - far more sophisticated than
ripping out cost or sweating assets
€€€

η

Efficiency
Wednesday, 6 November 13

𝓷
Efficiency - far more sophisticated than
ripping out cost or sweating assets
€€€

Failure free
operating cost
with efficienc...
Efficiency - far more sophisticated than
ripping out cost or sweating assets
€€€
Failure cost with
efficiency f2(𝓷)
Failure ...
Efficiency - far more sophisticated than
ripping out cost or sweating assets
€€€

Optimum cost efficiency is
at the point (𝓷...
Efficiency - far more sophisticated than
ripping out cost or sweating assets
€€€

Optimum cost efficiency is
at the point (𝓷...
Efficiency - far more sophisticated than
ripping out cost or sweating assets
€€€

Optimum cost efficiency is
at the point (𝓷...
Efficiency - far more sophisticated than
ripping out cost or sweating assets
€€€

Optimum cost efficiency is
at the point (𝓷...
Efficiency - far more sophisticated than
ripping out cost or sweating assets
€€€

Optimum cost efficiency is
at the point (𝓷...
Efficiency - far more sophisticated than
ripping out cost or sweating assets
€€€

Optimum cost efficiency is
at the point (𝓷...
Wednesday, 6 November 13

se
ca
st
or
w
he
T
Only humans optimize...
Mother Nature goes for
good enough....

se
ca
...and in doing so achieves sustainable
st
or
w
rela...
€€€€

The minimum
decision set

Society

Ecology
Wednesday, 6 November 13
te
ch
no
lo
gy

€€€€

The minimum
decision set

Society

Ecology

Wednesday, 6 November 13
Even more fundamental to all this is the
advance and adoption of new technology
that is unpredicted/not fully understood
W...
im
po
ss
ib
le
is

im
t

p
o
y
b

Su

st
ain
ab
ilit

y

g
in
iz

old processes
and industries
Wednesday, 6 November 13
The Future

Wednesday, 6 November 13
The Future
Bio

Nano

AI, AL
ITC

Wednesday, 6 November 13

Printing
Instructing
Networking
Collaborating
Programming
Repu...
Wednesday, 6 November 13
Machines are the
biggest communicators
on the Plane t
They dominate manufacture and production and
are moving into design ...
They need
The Cloud
even more
than we do !

Wednesday, 6 November 13
The Internet cannot
scale to 9Bn people
and over 50Bn
machines on
line, but
Clouds
can

Wednesday, 6 November 13
We are increasingly
defeated by complexity,
but our machines are not !
Wednesday, 6 November 13
We are increasingly
defeated by complexity,
but our on
machines are not
Now outgunning humans
general and specific knowledg...
Half Life of
Knowledge
Physics
~13 yrs

Medical
~ 4 yrs

Software
~ 4 yrs
Wednesday, 6 November 13

Economics
~ 9 yrs

Mar...
ITC is vital to
our symbiosis

Material Technology
the biggest game
changer for industry
and sustainability

Wednesday, 6 ...
Thank You
ca-global.org
cochrane.org.uk

COCHRANE
a s s o c i a t e s

Wednesday, 6 November 13
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The curse of efficiency

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Of all the species on the planet we are alone in optimizing anything and everything. But this is not a route to long term sustainability, and to move on from the destructive vice of manufacturing more and more for the few, to a world of providing sufficient for the many, we have to think and act very differently. Today’s technologies and production methods cannot achieve an equitable, stable and sustainable future for mankind, but future tech probably can.

The key starting point lies at the cusp of nano, bio, artificial life and artificial intelligence, and our key challenge is to understand and master complexity. These components lie at the heart of (virtually) lossless repurposing, reuse and recycling and minimal energy consumption. We have to move on to material printing and programing instead of machining and forging; tagging and tracking instead of destruction and dumping; organic symbiosis instead of environmental destruction.

Is there an existence theorem for this hypothesis? Look no further than mother nature! She optimizes and wastes nothing, always goes for low energy and low material consumption, recycles efficiently whilst achieving impressive resiliency. Can we do the same ? Almost certainly, but we have to rethink our ‘short termism and quick win’ modes of operation, and we have to adopt methods and solutions focused on the long term future. We also have to adopt ‘good enough’ strategies instead of extreme optimization. In turn, this demands a partnership and symbiosis with our machines to overcome our fundamental human limitations precluding us achieving these goals unaided.

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Transcript of "The curse of efficiency"

  1. 1. The Curse of Optimization Future sustainability, technology, industry and society Peter Cochrane cochrane .org.uk ca-global.org COCHRANE a s s o c i a t e s Wednesday, 6 November 13
  2. 2. In a connected of world finite resources a stove-piped is dangerous Wednesday, 6 November 13 View
  3. 3. Optimizing by € € € € alone leads to brittleness and instability often with severe ecological and social damage Wednesday, 6 November 13
  4. 4. Countries, companies & economies that look like this are short lived Today’s financial systems only produce one result Wednesday, 6 November 13
  5. 5. In the long term this is fundamentally impossible... ...you can’t have it all at the same time! Wednesday, 6 November 13
  6. 6. This is what business schools teach budding managers, but it is incomplete, and it is wrong! Wednesday, 6 November 13
  7. 7. Brit tlen ess This is what business schools teach budding managers, but it is incomplete, and it is wrong! Wednesday, 6 November 13
  8. 8. Brit tlen ess Cost of Ownership This is what business schools teach budding managers, but it is incomplete, and it is wrong! Wednesday, 6 November 13
  9. 9. Efficiency - far more sophisticated than ripping out cost or sweating assets €€€ η Efficiency Wednesday, 6 November 13 𝓷
  10. 10. Efficiency - far more sophisticated than ripping out cost or sweating assets €€€ Failure free operating cost with efficiency f1(𝓷) Efficiency Wednesday, 6 November 13 η 𝓷
  11. 11. Efficiency - far more sophisticated than ripping out cost or sweating assets €€€ Failure cost with efficiency f2(𝓷) Failure free operating cost with efficiency f1(𝓷) Efficiency Wednesday, 6 November 13 η 𝓷
  12. 12. Efficiency - far more sophisticated than ripping out cost or sweating assets €€€ Optimum cost efficiency is at the point (𝓷) where: Failure cost with efficiency f2(𝓷) Failure free operating cost with efficiency f1(𝓷) Efficiency Wednesday, 6 November 13 η 𝓷
  13. 13. Efficiency - far more sophisticated than ripping out cost or sweating assets €€€ Optimum cost efficiency is at the point (𝓷) where: Failure cost with efficiency f2(𝓷) Failure free operating cost with efficiency f1(𝓷) Efficiency Wednesday, 6 November 13 f1’(𝓷) + f2’(𝓷) = 0 η 𝓷
  14. 14. Efficiency - far more sophisticated than ripping out cost or sweating assets €€€ Optimum cost efficiency is at the point (𝓷) where: Failure cost with efficiency f2(𝓷) Failure free operating cost with efficiency f1(𝓷) Efficiency Wednesday, 6 November 13 f1’(𝓷) + f2’(𝓷) = 0 For the specific exponential case: η 𝓷
  15. 15. Efficiency - far more sophisticated than ripping out cost or sweating assets €€€ Optimum cost efficiency is at the point (𝓷) where: Failure cost with efficiency f2(𝓷) Failure free operating cost with efficiency f1(𝓷) Efficiency Wednesday, 6 November 13 f1’(𝓷) + f2’(𝓷) = 0 For the specific exponential case: η C = Aexp(-a. 𝓷) + Bexp(b. 𝓷) 𝓷
  16. 16. Efficiency - far more sophisticated than ripping out cost or sweating assets €€€ Optimum cost efficiency is at the point (𝓷) where: Failure cost with efficiency f2(𝓷) Failure free operating cost with efficiency f1(𝓷) f1’(𝓷) + f2’(𝓷) = 0 For the specific exponential case: η C = Aexp(-a. 𝓷) + Bexp(b. 𝓷) The optimum operating efficiency is found to be: Efficiency Wednesday, 6 November 13 𝓷
  17. 17. Efficiency - far more sophisticated than ripping out cost or sweating assets €€€ Optimum cost efficiency is at the point (𝓷) where: Failure cost with efficiency f2(𝓷) Failure free operating cost with efficiency f1(𝓷) f1’(𝓷) + f2’(𝓷) = 0 For the specific exponential case: η C = Aexp(-a. 𝓷) + Bexp(b. 𝓷) The optimum operating efficiency is found to be: 1 𝓷o = __ Efficiency Wednesday, 6 November 13 𝓷 _ loge Aa b-a Bb
  18. 18. Wednesday, 6 November 13 se ca st or w he T
  19. 19. Only humans optimize... Mother Nature goes for good enough.... se ca ...and in doing so achieves sustainable st or w relationships....a symbiosis.... he T Wednesday, 6 November 13
  20. 20. €€€€ The minimum decision set Society Ecology Wednesday, 6 November 13
  21. 21. te ch no lo gy €€€€ The minimum decision set Society Ecology Wednesday, 6 November 13
  22. 22. Even more fundamental to all this is the advance and adoption of new technology that is unpredicted/not fully understood Wednesday, 6 November 13
  23. 23. im po ss ib le is im t p o y b Su st ain ab ilit y g in iz old processes and industries Wednesday, 6 November 13
  24. 24. The Future Wednesday, 6 November 13
  25. 25. The Future Bio Nano AI, AL ITC Wednesday, 6 November 13 Printing Instructing Networking Collaborating Programming Repurposing Recycling Reusing
  26. 26. Wednesday, 6 November 13
  27. 27. Machines are the biggest communicators on the Plane t They dominate manufacture and production and are moving into design and general knowledge, modeling and decision support Wednesday, 6 November 13
  28. 28. They need The Cloud even more than we do ! Wednesday, 6 November 13
  29. 29. The Internet cannot scale to 9Bn people and over 50Bn machines on line, but Clouds can Wednesday, 6 November 13
  30. 30. We are increasingly defeated by complexity, but our machines are not ! Wednesday, 6 November 13
  31. 31. We are increasingly defeated by complexity, but our on machines are not Now outgunning humans general and specific knowledge Wednesday, 6 November 13
  32. 32. Half Life of Knowledge Physics ~13 yrs Medical ~ 4 yrs Software ~ 4 yrs Wednesday, 6 November 13 Economics ~ 9 yrs Marine Bio ~ 2 yrs
  33. 33. ITC is vital to our symbiosis Material Technology the biggest game changer for industry and sustainability Wednesday, 6 November 13
  34. 34. Thank You ca-global.org cochrane.org.uk COCHRANE a s s o c i a t e s Wednesday, 6 November 13
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