The black hole of finance: creation and destruction in life, the economy, and the universe

The universe exhibits a strong tendency to create – the universe itself arose out of nothing; galaxies, stars, and planets formed out of the primordial plasma; life began and evolved; human beings acquired the faculty of language and created complex societies. The universe can also destroy – stars collapse to form black holes; ecosystems collapse when stressed or deprived; companies and ventures fail; organisms die.

This talk presents a common mechanism for creation and destruction in life, the economy, and the universe, based on the concept of information. There is a natural tendency for information to be created and, once created, to evolve into more complex forms. By the same mechanism, however, there is an equally natural tendency for these complex forms to degrade, malfunction, and collapse. Implications for economics, ecology, and cosmology will be discussed by Professor Seth Lloyd, Oxford Martin Visiting Fellow and Nam P. Suh Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Professor of Physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).