Protocols & Ergodic Problems

“… ergodicity expresses the idea that a point of a moving system, either a dynamical system or a stochastic process, will eventually visit all parts of the space that the system moves in…” - Ergodicity - Wikipedia.

I think one of the reasons I’m bullish on protocols is their life expectancy. Processes get optimized on timeframes that are too short. Protocols are better suited to handle problems that occur rarely, but eventually.

Pandemics, natural disasters, floods… or more individualistically: loss of mobility, wealth, status, etc. Since it’s impossible to engineer these problems away we have protocols to reduce impact when they occur.

Large-scale example: Dividing skyscrapers in half during epidemics by erecting temporary walls in the middle of each floor. Or establishing and enforcing higher-than-necessary ventilation standards.

Small-scale example: Wheelchair access to storefronts. busses, trains. Only a minority of people at any time are unable to walk, but most people will at some point in their life be unable to walk.

Protocol as “first glue” fits well in diplomacy but also here, as kind of an initial emergency patch on a continually evolving problem

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