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I think that compound interest represents a "positive feedback" that renders a deficit-based system inherently unstable.

There are of course interesting biological analogies, for instance, the system of financial capital as a cancer which cannot help destroying the host, and "limitation of liability" as a very good analogy for a "semi-permeable membrane" (allowing value in, but not out) bounding an organism etc etc

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Mar 11th, 2008 at 05:31:33 PM EST
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Yes there is positive feedback, and there is negative feedback. They act on different timescales and therefore lead to cycles.

If you remove all the positive feedback all you have is negative feedback and you die off.

It'd be nice if the battle were only against the right wingers, not half of the left on top of that — François in Paris

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 11th, 2008 at 06:11:15 PM EST
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