or telescope, which has rapidly transformed conven-tional scientiﬁc perspectives on laws of both natureand societies.
is the buzzword across multiple disci-plines, even as previously segregrated disciplines aremarried [12, 66] (
in the case here, physics, ﬁ-nance, biology, thermodynamics,
). It is likely keyinsights have not yet been totally realized, remainingpotential lying undeveloped. For example, virtuallyall economic theory of the 20th century was devel-oped largely
extensive computational exper-iments, modelling, simulations, and empirical analy-sis, so central to the new style of inquiry
the pre-miere, even transcendental instrument(s) of science—the computer and the algorithm.[13, 5]The new breed of econophysicists are very open-minded in their metaphors, borrowing seemingly al-most indiscriminately (leaving them open to one of the major but predictable criticisms). A particularnew meme receiving heavy attention and advance-ment is the metaphor of the
economy as an ecosystem
.Such a view seems obvious in retrospect of various re-search delineating the parallels, but it was unfamiliar,novel, and even somewhat radical when ﬁrst exhaus-tively and deﬁnitively proposed by
Rothschild inthe seminal and foresightful book
Bionomics: Econ-omy as Ecosystem.
 It was not clear initially if the idea was just another shallow fad not so muchwith scientiﬁc merit but to be mostly appropriatedby those seeking to justify ulterior political or socialagendas.However, subsequent quantitative research, now afull decade after Rothschild’s manifesto, has pushedthe metaphor into reality and signiﬁcantly strength-ened the case for its validity and correctness. Asa Wall Street Journal reviewer wrote, used as thefront-cover blurb for the book, “Revolutionary... afascinating and highly creative alternative to the wayconventional economics views the world.” The early
tour de force
analysis by Farmer, “Market force, ecol-ogy, and evolution” invokes and reapplies theimportant Lotka-Volterra diﬀerential equations orig-inally proposed for modelling population dynamicsto a stock market system (see Farmer’s work for anexcellent survey of the economy-as-ecosystem memethread in the scientiﬁc literature).As usual with a paradigm shift, the perspectiveﬂip-ﬂops. How can the economy possibly
bethought of as an ecosystem? In Farmer’s work, dif-ferent traders’ strategies are ﬂuctuating adaptationsanalogous to evolutionary niches occupied by variousorganisms. The Lotka-Volterra equations originallyintroduced to explain oscillations in populations withpredator-prey relationships map readily into describ-ing capital (money) gains associated with the com-petitive speculative strategies utilized by inter- andindependent traders.The analysis presented here will be heavily depen-dent in places on the economy-as-ecosystem conceptand mostly take it as unequivocally justiﬁed and vir-tually proven, even though it is not a common per-spective among mainstream economists, and the un-derlying research agenda is clearly only beginning.Nevertheless, building on it, an important additionaltheme proposed and explored here is that of
Along these lines, another paradigm shift is go-ing on in the ﬁeld of parasitology. Researchers areonly recently beginning to appreciate the full implica-tions of parasites in and on ecosystems,
similarlyboundary-crossing interdisciplinary scientiﬁc collab-orations, all forcing a serious re-evaluation of the“big picture.” In fact the study of biology is inmany ways the study of parasites; by one estimate, onplanet earth parasites outnumber ‘freeliving’ species
four to one!
New realizations are manifesting around the ubiq-uitous and crucial role(s) that parasites play inecosystems. In many ecosystems parasites are farfrom inconsequential, insigniﬁcant, or innocuousstowaways, but in actuality, despite their relativephysical and scientiﬁc invisibility,
entire ecosys-tems. Parasites have been
domininant force, andmaybe even
dominant force in the evolution of life! So... given their forefront role, what is thepresumable link to economics?The third major theme pursued here in naturalconjunction with bionomics and parasitism is a largescale economy seen as an
While againthis concept may seem obvious, the full understand-ing stemming from this perspective appears not yetavailable. There is a strong parallel between eco-2