• Alex Mackinnon
  • Barnaby Powell


When we make decisions about industry or the military, or any action that involves change, we are limited in understanding the consequences. Global warming, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the atmosphere, ‘collateral damage’ and unexploded ordnance, chemicals, insecticides, fertilizers and such like, often have effects we do not foresee — they are unperceived injurious agencies in Darwin’s encompassing sense. These human-made injuries are caused by our inability to think hard enough. We all pursue ‘bounded rationality’ — behavior that is meant to be rational and thoughtful, but suffers from limitations caused by factors such as lack of knowledge, foresight, skill and time. Looking for the sharpest needle in the sewing box is not as rational as producing any needle sharp enough to sew with. The timely solution is ‘satisficed’. When confronted with a number of variables, ‘satisficing’ is a bounded but rational act. In trying to move beyond those bounds, Al Gore, the Nobel Laureate, notes that the human species is facing a global emergency endangering the planet. Darwin would agree.


Global Warming Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Nobel Laureate Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Cash Surplus 
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© Alex Mackinnon and Barnaby Powell 2010

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  • Alex Mackinnon
  • Barnaby Powell

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