The Big Picture

  1. Nature evolves through processes consisting of stable states separated by relatively fast transitions brought about by instabilities;
  2. During the stable phase, processes evolve merely quantitatively and continuously;
  3. Instabilities bring about discontinuous, qualitative changes which often give rise to emergent properties;
  4. Instabilities may be brought about by omnipresent disturbances or by slow change of the context;
  5. All these processes are nested on a vast range of spatio-temporal scales;