Feedback Loops

A positive feedback loop is self-perpetuating; “The more it works, the more it gains power to work some more,” explains Donella Meadows (1941-2001). Consider influenza: the more people that get sick, the more people there are to infect others. The same phenomenon occurs in finances: the more money you have saved, the more interest you earn on your savings, and the bigger your savings grow. Soil erosion follows the pattern too: the less flora takes root, the fewer roots and vegetation there are to protect the soil against rain and runoff, making it even harder for plants to take root. (Meadows 1997)

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