Published on December 16, 2021

The adaptive cycle

Table of Content

Mini lecture on origin of the adaptive cycle (a construct developed in ecology). This video played a role in the Systems View on Life course at the University of Groningen.

The adaptive cycle is a very useful conceptual tool. Note that we have flipped the horizontal axis (referred to as connecteness) compared to the normal presentation. In a core cognition framework connecteness refers to low viability (stasis compared to vibrancy).

The explanation we give for the origin of the adpative cycle – as a multi-facetted consolidation process of sustainable building blocks – is new as far as we know.

Video topics

  • The rule of adaptive change: the building blocks of life are sustainable and super stable throuhout evolution.
  • Evolution is a step-wise progression of added sustainable building blocks
  • Agents clearly build the biosphere, but combining agency is actually difficult and not often sustainable.
  • Life consolidated itself. Actually the different meanings of consolidation covers what life needed to do to ‘consolidate itself.
  • The adaptive cycle exemplifies how life learned to discover sufficiently sustainable building blocks. Collapse, leading to a purge of the unsustainable, is part of this process.
  • The adaptive cycles involve: Stabilization, improvement, integration and fortification (all meanings of the term consolidation).
  • The adaptive cycle can be linked to the structure of values
  • We end with a comparison of expressed values of two countries that suggest quite different cycle positions.

Note that the convention for drawing and naming the adaptive cycle is different from what we do. We flip it left right and we use more general terms than the regular terms that make sense in the original ecology context. Adaptive Cycle