"COMPLEXITY OF ORGANIZATION AND THE CYCLES OF HUMAN HISTORY"
Radical social and biological change invokes new structures that depend on some sort of resource base to drive the positive feedbacks that deliver emergence. It appears that resources can be profitably divided into high and low quality. High quality resources are concentrated and readily available, but ultimately limited in quantity. They represent a special energetic opportunity to enter some new line of exploitation and organization. Examples are the stock of timber made available by a beaver dam, grasshopper feces as a source for ants to farm fungi, fossil fuels, or loot captured by conquering Roman Legions. In contrast, low quality resources are diffuse, with little exergy per unit, and place great demands on organization to achieve capture, but are the base of capital accumulation. Examples are trees harvested by beavers digging canals, leaves for leaf cutter ants to farm fungi, renewable human energy sources, and Roman taxation of German peasants. I will generalize the high/low distinction to lay out the nature of complexity for understanding biological and social systems, using a constructivist posture.