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Small-scale victories (12/11/16 10:38:45)
    Roughly spoken there are two types of stability according to my ancient textbooks. One is the thermodynamic stability. The more energy you have to put into a system to change it, the more stable it is. In some systems the change is reversible: take away the energy, and the system returns to the starting point with the same energy.

    The other one is kinetic metastability or metastability. The system looks stable, but if enough energy is put into it, it changes irreversibly into a system with lower energy than the starting point. This is because there is an underlying set of captured energy which needs a push - big or small - to be released.

    The most dramatic example is explosives. Push an explosive too hard, and it blows up.

    I think the political establishment - in UK, in the US, in France - have neglected the buildup of energy. So the sudden release of energy came as a surprise.

    I think this is more general than a presidential election or a referendum. Lots of people have been deprived of or feel deprived of a possibility of those small-scale and rather humble victories of obtaining work, families an friends.

    OK - most losers are not dangerous. But I believe recruitment of dangerous people is easier among losers. Proactive high-quality politics would be concentrated on preventing people becoming or feeling like losers.

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Small-scale victories