LOOPY - Arms Race


In an "Escalation" situation (like the US-USSR nuclear arms race of the 1940s-1980s) a tiny initial difference grows exponentially. Each of the actors in this LOOPY sketch adds to its weapons stockpile at a rate governed by its (delayed!) perception of the other's stockpile size. The result is a stair-step climb toward infinity.

What can stop this dash to destruction? One way is to change the system's structure – breaking the positive feedback loop via arms-control treaties, mutual inspection, etc. Other ways include economic ruin, or thermonuclear war ...

(causal cartoon thanks to LOOPY2, an ultralight tool for systems thinking ©2021 MITRE Corporation ...) - ^z - 2021-09-19