Pace Layering: How Complex Systems Learn and Keep Learning, by Stewart Brand

I propose six significant levels of pace and size in the working structure of a robust and adaptable civilization.ย  From fast to slow the levels are:

  • Fashion/art
  • Commerce
  • Infrastructure
  • Governance
  • Culture
  • Nature

The order of a healthy civilization. The fast layers innovate; the slow layers stabilize. The whole combines learning with continuity.

The idea of pace layering has a history.ย  The text above is a slightly edited version of a chapter in my 1999 book The Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility.


Jolly Contrarian has a great summary page for pace layering.

Notes mentioning this note