Elizabeth Aquino kindly passed me a link to this interview (click on the podcast at top left) with French geophysicist Xavier Pichon who believes that fragility and empathy make us human.
"...I was very, very impressed by...the way earthquakes are fabricated, which is in the lower layer of the earth where the temperature is high, then the defaults that are within the rocks are activated and the rocks are able to deform without fracture – they become what we call ductile, they flow. But when the temperature is low and cold like in the upper few miles of the earth, then the rocks are rigid, these weaknesses cannot be expressed, and as a result the rocks are much more resistant...and they react by reaching their limit of resistance and suddenly – bing – you have a major commotion and an earthquake.
"The difference is in one case the defaults play a role in putting weakness in that and making things much more smooth. And in the other case it’s very rigid and I find in the society it’s very often the same thing in the community. The communities that are very strong, very rigid, do not take into account the weak points of the community – the people who are in difficulty – tend to be communities that do not evolve. And when they evolve it’s generally by very strong commotion, by revolution."