It is only a small step from order to chaos in an unstable society, and I will not comment on the proximate causes of the UK riots (even if I have some thoughts on the ultimate cause) as the difference betweens stability and riot can depend on one single person. It a curious coincidence, last weeks “little atoms” with Duncan Watts talked exactly about this fact and about the ignorance of the pundits who try to explain everything after the facts.
What I rather wanted to do is, to praise everybody involved in the “Riot Clean Up” campaign. If you have not heard of them yet, they are the best example that Hobbes was wrong and that societies will organize themselves if left alone.
That this cleanup was organized in just a few hours is not only a sign of modern communication, but rather an excellent example of emergent order. So if you despair about the images on TV, look at this picture and enjoy the bright side of humanity.
And follow them on twitter @riotcleanup or #riotcleanup