Decent Democracy
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First published May-2010
last update 9-June-2010

- Joseph Tainter, in his Collapse of Complex Societies, pointed out that social complexity increases until further investment in complexity becomes counterproductive
- He also pointed out that complex systems do not self-simplify; they collapse catastrophically and are eventually replaced with much simpler systems
- Diminishing returns are observable and measurable
- Diminishing returns cannot be explained using the internal logic of the systems involved
- The people involved in maintaining these systems struggle along, but are eventually forced to give up


- Municipal water = bad risk
- Flushing with potable water = insanity!
- Many grades: drinking water, washing water, irrigation water, gray water, "lively" water
- Sewage is a very bad idea; composting much better
- Roof rainwater collection, barrels, filters for drinking water
- Swales dug into hillsides can boost groundwater
- Hot water for washing: rocket stoves fed by brush piles
- Passive irrigation systems instead of pumps and hoses
- Runoff from disused parking lots and other structures can be saved in cisterns
- Flat roofs can be planted with sod to soak up water and keep buildings cool
- Proper placement of shade trees and evaporation pools can make air conditioning unnecessary

Written by Eerik Wissenz.

Table of Contents

*Chapters in grey are in progress.

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