When Things Turn South

It was once said of the late Duke of Windor, “that he was at his very best when things went well.” This may be one of the worst things to be said of anyone. More people, in fact, or done in by their success than their failures.  In the office of Compline, the service for the late evening, there is a collect (prayer) that asks God to “shield the joyous” a notion that surprised me on the first hearing.  On reflection I realized that those moved by joy are caught in the moment and unconsious of the possible threat. We must be conscious at all times


Robustness and Evolvability in Living Systems – Andreas Wagner

A biological system is robust if it continues to function in the face of perturbations.

[.perturbation – activity that is a malfunction, intrusion, or interruption; “the term `distress’ connotes some degree of perturbation and emotional upset”; “he looked around for the source of the disturbance”; “there was a disturbance of neural function”]