How do you get people to appreciate the value of agricultural biodiversity? A colleague has taken to starting presentations with the advice one gets on investment: diversify, diversify, diversify. But does the message hit home? Seth Roberts is reading Nassim Taleb's The Black Swan, from which he pulls a big quote, from which I pull a smaller quote.

We have moved from a diversified ecology of small banks, with varied lending policies, to a more homogeneous framework of firms that all resemble one another. True, we now have fewer failures, but when they occur … I shiver at the thought.

And yet, that failure is only money. But you can't eat money. And if food is scarce enough, it is beyond money.

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